back to article Get FOSS-happy, China tells its financial institutions

China has told its finance sector to embrace free and open source software (FOSS). An opinion from the People's Bank of China and the nation's Central Cyberspace Administration essentially boils down to "go for it". The document instructs China's financial sector players to use FOSS whenever they feel it is apposite, to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It really is too bad the global banking industry is so bent on their own implementations because they don't trust anyone else.

    The only way I could see North American banking doing the same is if they spent the same amount of time they would have developing their own software on *auditing* the FOSS offerings of same for security, and "enhancing" it in-house, of course.

    Because as any good engineer or programmer knows, "If it ain't broke, enhance and modify until it is."

    1. James Anderson

      While banks developed their own software in the 1980s and many of these systems are still running, most banks buy off the shelf solutions from companies like Fidelty andTenemos.

      Financial services are an extremely complex and sensitive area. While many solutions are based on open source software and tooling there are very very few actual FOSS applications.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I briefly worked for Temenos, I wouldn't touch it's software with a barge pole

  2. thames

    IBM, Oracle, and the like

    I suspect that the main companies affected by this will be IBM, Oracle, and other big enterprise vendors who dominate their respective niches. These companies pose a single point of failure supply chain risk whereas FOSS doesn't.

    Given the current heightened awareness of supply chain risks I can see more countries, particularly those who see themselves as having significant domestic IT expertise, coming to the same conclusions.

    An obvious country to follow up on this would be India, if they haven't such a policy already.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It's much more difficult to subject FOSS to sanctions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Doctor Syntax - That doesn't mean

      US will not try to do it.

  4. Alan Brown Silver badge


    Too bad the CHinese government isn't telling chinese PRIVATE companies to respect FOSS licenses

    I deal a lot with chinese academics. The prevailing attitude is that "GPL == public domain" and there's a bit of disbelief when it's explained "no, there's still copyright on this stuff and you must respect it"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Alan Brown - Re: hmmm

      If I'm not mistaking, US government isn't telling American private companies to respect FOSS licenses either. Same goes for all governments on Earth.

  5. Death Boffin
    Big Brother

    Free Open What?

    My irony meter just pegged. The Chinese Government promoting free, open anything?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "users need to create emergency plans in case FOSS contributed to in China is found to contain backdoors or security holes"?

    No criticism of individual Chinese developers intended, but how do we know that there will not be, uhh, Committee pressure to add certain 'features' to libraries (carefully obfuscated in the code, various vulnerabilities have shown us that the maxim "with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow" doesn't always work)?

    (Of course, the same concern may well also apply to development done in certain other countries, or under the oversight of certain large corporations...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: Backdoors

      ...large corporations or certain three letter agencies ? See the Juniper backdoor saga or the RSA backdoor-ed algorithms story, no criticism of US developers involved.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't trust the Chinese government to put give anything back. Their general attitude is take take take and take some more. Don't like it and we'll call you racist.

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