15 May 2024

Open-Source Technology and PRC National Strategy: Part I

Sunny Cheung

In mid-April, a series of technology challenges, competitions, and seminars took place in Suzhou Industrial Park, hosted by the OpenAtom Foundation and the organization openDACS (OpenAtom, April 14). The event explored the application of emerging technologies, including the open-source RISC-V architecture and EDA—areas particularly sensitive due to US export controls (see China Brief, December 15, 2023; March 15). Challenges focused on integration and industrial applications of open-source technology. These included electromagnetic simulation software, the latest simulation software for aviation engines, and computational mechanics software for integrated circuit design tools (OpenAtom, April 16).

The event, held across several days, provides a window on the eagerness of both government and industry in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to leverage open-source technologies to address real-world challenges. The desire to nurture an open-source ecosystem is part of a broader strategy, and open-source technology is being leveraged as a dual-use tool for advancing the PRC’s technological capabilities and, by extension, its geopolitical power. [1]

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