Unix System Laboratories Inc’s deal with the People’s Republic of China for Unix System V.4.2 (CI No 2,049) has spawned the Peking-based Unix System Technology China Ltd, which has been set up in collaboration with the responsible government agency, the Ministry of Machinery & Electronics Industries. It has five other Chinese partners, two local software […]
Unix System Laboratories Inc’s deal with the People’s Republic of China for Unix System V.4.2 (CI No 2,049) has spawned the Peking-based Unix System Technology China Ltd, which has been set up in collaboration with the responsible government agency, the Ministry of Machinery & Electronics Industries. It has five other Chinese partners, two local software companies and three hardware firms reported to be independent capitalist concerns. They include Shenzen Comtec Software Ltd, China National Computer Software & Technology Corp, China Great Wall Computer Group Co, Langchao Electronic Information Industrial Group Corp and Chang Jiang Computer Union Corp. The Ministry is represented in the venture through the state-run Peking Information Development Centre. Dascom Holdings Ltd, said to be Hong Kong’s largest distributor, is also a partner. These companies will be the subsidiary’s points of distribution across the country. Unix Labs declined to reveal how ownership of the subsidiary is apportioned. The eight partners kicked in a total of $1m to fund the start-up. The Ministry evaluated both System V.4.2 and OS/2. The Chinese dropped OS/2 when IBM Corp couldn’t guarantee a single binary that the Chinese distributors could all ship. The Chinese also evaluated Microsoft Corp Windows NT but dismissed it as an incomplete and immature system. Microsoft apparently put little effort into wooing them. Unix Labs is currently working with the Ministry to develop a localised version of System V.4.2. Developer kits are scheduled for delivery in first quarter 1993.
200,000 to 300,000 Unix systems
Unix Labs estimates that there will be 200,000 to 300,000 Unix systems running in China by the end of 1993. Most of them will be supplied by its local partners, it says, who are supposed to start shipping the first batch of user-ready code in February, seemingly an aggressive schedule. China has an installed base of some 200,000 desktops, Unix Labs reckons. Apparently the China deal was cut over the head (and protest) of Unix Labs’s other joint venture Univel Inc and Univel’s other owner, Novell Inc. They are only now said to be coming round to the idea. Unix Labs says Univel’s UnixWare was not part of the deal because China’s network market is not sophisticated enough to justify its presence. Unix Labs suggested it will actively encourage relations between China and Novell to set up NetWare outlets in the country. Professor Jia Yao Liang, who is also president of the state-run China National Software and Technology Service Corp, the largest of the country’s software companies, is heading Unix System Technology China. James Clark, president of Unix System Labs Pacific Ltd, which negotiated much of the deal, has been named chairman. The Chinese Unix company is expected to funnel other Unix Labs products, presumably technology like Tuxedo, and third-party products into China. It will also do engineering, systems design, architecture support, education and training. In the meantime, Unix Labs, whose target of 10 overseas joint ventures has slipped from the end of 1992 to the end of 1993, says its next joint venture will be in either Mexico or in Australia.