China is known for ditching foreign platforms and software for its home-baked alternatives. For instance, it already has a Google alternative called Baidu, and it recently completed its own GPS alternative ‘BeiDou’ after 20 years. Now, China is working its GitHub alternative called ‘Gitee.’
Reports suggest that China is trying to localize their open source developers community. Given its ongoing tensions with the US, China is now promoting Gitee supporting it by turning it into an independent, open-source code hosting platform for the country. This development comes after Github’s recent compliance with US sanctions law.
Gitee isn’t a new platform as it was established seven years ago. It already has a community of more than 5 million developers and over 10 million repos.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China is pushing to localize businesses’ source codes on Gitee. But the main question is whether the Chinese developers will migrate from Github to Gitee because of the conflict at hand.
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The founder of Gitee, HongShu, says that they don’t see themselves as a replacement for Github, but rather that “the world should be a hundred flowers blooming and brilliant.”
The project is said to be carried out by a consortium led by Open Source China — the Shenzhen-based firm behind Gitee. The code hosting platform is not only supported by the government but also research universities and the private sector which includes a group of 10 organizations such as Huawei, which is already in rough waters because of the political storm in the US.