China Mobile, the world’s largest operator by subscriber base, joined the Linux Foundation yesterday. The endorsement will have a big impact on the open-source technology group, whose technology is used in Google’s Android platform and the upcoming MeeGo technology from Nokia and Intel.
“When China Mobile talks or moves, everyone pays attention, especially IT and telecom companies,” said Cliff Miller, director for the Linux Foundation in China, in an e-mail interview. “By taking the lead to join the Linux Foundation in China, they give Linux their official blessing. Overnight, Linux gains immense credibility and momentum in China.”
China Mobile hasn’t taken an official stance on MeeGo, which is a Linux Foundation project, but the operator already uses a Linux-based operating system called OPhone, which also uses parts of Google’s Android platform.
Miller said China Mobile’s membership in the Linux Foundation will add to the group’s credibility and create significant momentum for the foundation’s efforts.
“Eyeing China Mobile’s half-billion users, many companies build their dreams and products around indications of market direction they see coming out of China Mobile’s headquarters,” Miller said. “I believe this decision by China Mobile – its embracing of Linux – will embolden companies and entrepreneurs to take the plunge into Linux. It may take some time, but nonetheless will have a snowball effect.”