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Businesses Open Source Linux

Open Source Participation Gains Support In China 35

eldavojohn writes "ZDNet blogger Fred Muller notes that a Chinese company called Taobao has become one of the first in the country to participate in open source. After years of Chinese companies using Linux, Taobao has announced they are open sourcing TAIR, and they revealed what is believed by Muller to be the first open source repository hosted by a Chinese corporation. Muller tracked down the originator of this information and was also informed that the Linux kernel can expect contributions soon from Taobao. Several people involved with bringing open source to China have expressed concerns over a cultural divide (PDF) in regards to opening your corporation's source code to potential competition. Some people speculated that the culture created by an open source movement was irreversibly foreign to Chinese culture. Taobao is exhibiting cracks in that assumption — exciting times for open source advocates as code contributions to open source become even more multicultural."
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Open Source Participation Gains Support In China

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  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @07:10PM (#33009288)

    the Communist ideals of shared ownership and development for the public good that China purports to adhere to
    I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not; there's no such thing in China. There is a wide difference between Marxist communism and Maoist/Stalinist communism. Marx envisioned socialism as an intermediary step on the way to communism (and what you've described) while Mao and Stalin saw socialism as a mechanism for total state control with themselves at the head of state. They use the name communism but only for window dressing. The current economic system in China allows private enterprise but does certainly not work towards shared ownership and the public good in any political sense.

  • by plasticsquirrel ( 637166 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @02:58AM (#33011814)

    While I've seen China do a lot of innovative things, one thing I've learned from Western scientists working in China is that you should Verify first, before trusting.

    Remember, the normal response to any question there is "Yes", even when they intend to do absolutely nothing.

    The website hosting the code is right here: http://code.taobao.org [taobao.org]. It's not a press release, they actually have the files hosted on a special site they made just for distribution. There isn't a whole lot to be skeptical of. Also, from what I understand, Taobao is a private enterprise, not part of the Chinese government or anything. Of course, they will still need to comply with the government, but their basic motivations are not the same.

    For those unaware, Taobao is like the eBay of China. Few Chinese have an international credit card (i.e. Visa, Mastercard, etc.), and instead the Chinese banks issue Union Pay cards, which are specific only to China. Because they use Union Pay cards, everything is basically different, and Taobao is really the de facto place to shop online for the Chinese.

  • by ralphrmartin ( 1711260 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @03:15AM (#33011868) Homepage

    "Some company called taobao..." Actually, they are not just "some company". They are to China what eBay is to the US and many other countries.

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