More than 1.5 million copies of Ubuntu Kylin, a version of Ubuntu orientated to Chinese users, were downloaded in China last year.
October’s release of Ubuntu Kylin 13.10 racked up more than 1.3 million downloads, Canonical say. This, combined with the 400,000 downloads accrued by the debut release in April of last year, demonstrates a growing appetite for open-source software in China.
As in the West, China is largely dominated by vendor lock-in to Windows. But that is changing. Ubuntu widely sold pre-installed on HP, Dell and Lenovo laptops, both online and through more than 2,500 retail stores across China’s major provinces.
The popularity of Ubuntu Kylin has undoubtedly been bolstered by affiliation with the Chinese government and military – a tie-up that makes Ubuntu Kylin the de-facto ‘official’ operating system in China.
Alongside providing language support for Chinese users, Kylin also features custom desktop applications, Baidu integration in the Unity Dash, and Kingsoft WPS Office, the most popular office suite in China, preinstalled by default.