China have announced a new time frame in which they will move to a new operating system. It will consist of 15% of government computers being switched to Linux per year. The report by Ni Guangnan outlining the transition won government approval and by 2020 the Chinese Government’s transition to Linux should be complete.
Earlier this year the Chinese Government decided that they would ban the use of Windows 8 and upwards on Government computers due to security concerns about the operating system, it was assumed that China would seek to move to a Linux distribution for government computers, this has been confirmed and they plan to make the complete switch by 2020.
An alternative OS has not yet been finalised although it is likely to be a home-grown Linux distribution a likely choice might be Ubuntu Kylin as the government in China have been promoting the distribution for those looking to move away from XP.
The timetable to replace the Microsoft product also extends to servers, chips and software. The China Banking Regulatory Commission has already informed banks to swap to domestic operating systems too.
Microsoft is not in a good position in China, they are currently being investigated for monopolistic behaviour similar to what happened in Europe which led to the browser ballot box being distributed in the OS a few years ago.
[Update]: The news originated from Chinese news sources and has been picked up by many western news sites such as Reuters and the Guardian and Forbes. One discrepancy that has been noted in the comments is the fact that the Chinese news sites who reported the news did not include a source for the report. Also the details regarding the distro that will be used are vague at this point, currently China has three prominent distribution of Linux which include Red Flag Linux, Kylin and Ubuntu Kylin. The latter seems the most well supported at the moment although nothing has been finalised. I’ve also changed the wording of the title from “China will upgrade all PCs to Linux by 2020″ to “China will upgrade a “significant” number of PCs to Linux by 2020″ to reflect the translation in Forbes’ article.