Domestic software sees opportunity in PRISM
Updated: 2013-07-04 15:28
By Zhang Xiang (chinadaily.com.cn)
Washington's PRISM program has brought the issue of information surveillance into the global spotlight. To ensure the security of information, insiders and experts are calling on the Chinese government and enterprises to use domestic software.
Some insiders say a crucial factor for the NSA spying is that US-made servers, databases, routers and other software and equipment are widely used around the globe.
"One solution is to use domestic software and equipment," a senior executive of a Chinese software company told Sina.com.cn. The plan calls for wider use of domestic software in Chinese enterprises, government and financial areas.
He said only by using domestic products can information security be ensured.
In fact, many experts have long been calling on the government to introduce supportive policies for domestic enterprises.
"The US is suspicious of Lenovo even though it uses US-made CPU and operating systems in its microcomputers. How can we stay relaxed when the core technology of China's information system is not developed by us?" Ni Guangnan, an academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said in an interview.
Chairman of Yonyou Software Co Wang Wenjing has also raised the information security issue in his proposals at the nation's annual two sessions.
According to insiders, some State-owned enterprises and governmental organs are beginning to replace the foreign products with domestic ones in their core information business areas, after the PRISM program was leaked.
While the PRISM scandal might have provided an unexpected opportunity for domestic software companies, it is still questionable whether they are able to expand their influence in the market because of their lagging behind in technology.
Undeveloped technology has been an obstacle that domestic software faced in the market, a senior executive of a Chinese database company said.
"There is a big gap between the domestic database software and the foreign products," he said.
A senior executive of a Chinese management software company told Sina that although domestic management software is able to satisfy 90 percent of the needs of enterprises, many of them still prefer foreign products, making it harder for the domestic companies to seek cooperation with large enterprises.
However, many enterprises are now changing their attitude toward domestic software, from rejection to gradual acceptance.
"Now many enterprises give an opportunity to domestic software by conducting a test first. If they pass the test, they will be used by the enterprises. But the test period usually takes long," the database company executive said.
Cao Kaibin, editor-in-chief of soft6.com, said that the exposure of PRISM is a safety warning to domestic information development. For the sake of national security, enterprises should be more cautious with their software choices.