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China to train more "open source" talents with Sun Microsystems
[April 22, 2009]

China to train more "open source" talents with Sun Microsystems

BEIJING, Apr 22, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- China's State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) signed an agreement here Tuesday evening with U.S. computer service provider Sun Microsystems to jointly set up courses on "open source" technology in the country's colleges and companies.

"The development of open source technology has brought both challenges and opportunities to China," said SAFEA deputy director Li Bing here Tuesday. "The project will help broaden the scope of the country's higher education and bring it closer to the forefront of the global IT industry." The two sides will launch a three-year project that will include customized seminars, training courses, workshops and internship programs, which mainly focus on university supervisors, teachers and college students in IT-related majors and workers in IT companies.

Open source describes a kind of software development method that makes source code available to the public for further modification and development. Compared with closed-source technology, it usually means higher reliability, more flexibility and lower cost.

Lin Lee, vice president of the Global Communities of Sun Microsystems said the cooperation would help boost employment of Chinese college graduates in the IT industry.

Open source technology has seen rapid development in the past few months. In February, the United Kingdom encouraged its government organizations to use open source software in an attempt to reduce the cost of software development and fight against piracy.

IT market research giant Gartner predicts that by 2012, 90 percent of companies across the world will be using open-source software.

"Open source technology will help improve the country's information safety," said Hu Dong, an official with the China International Talent Exchange Foundation which runs the project with Sun.

"It will also help break the monopoly in the software industry and boost companies' innovative power," said Hu.

A team of Chinese university presidents will visit Sun's headquarters and several universities in the United States to map out a detailed plan for the project.

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