China’s first homegrown web browser is allegedly repackaged Google Chrome

China’s first homegrown web browser is allegedly repackaged Google Chrome

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Google Chrome is now the world’s most popular web browser, with some websites seeing 80% of their visitors using the software. Chrome is based on the open source project that Google calls Chromium, which means anyone is able to build a web browser from its codebase and release it to the world. Interestingly enough, that’s exactly what AllMobilize’s (now known as Redcore Times Technology Ltd.) co-founder and chief operating officer, Gao Jing, did. It’s been renamed to Redcore Browser and is being marketed as China’s first homegrown web browser.

The company, Redcore Times Technology, recently raised $36 million from investors, including IDG Capital and Morningside Ventures. This investment was based on the idea that Redcore Times Technology would build a “web browser with a secure kernel,” which would then hold the title as “China’s first self-researched and self-developed web browser.” They ended up naming this web browser after their company, calling it the Redcore Browser and released it to China’s citizens.

This release received a lot of press because of those claims that it would be China’s first homegrown web browser. There are a number of popular web browsers in China already, but they have all been based on a pre-existing project. So when Chinese programmers started digging into the code of the Redcore browser, claims of it simply being a Chrome shell browser started to circulate the news outlets. Getting $36 million just to create a Chrome shell browser is a bit deceptive, but Redcore Times Technology’s CEO disagrees.

In a response to Chinese news website BJNews, the co-founder and COO Gao Jing admitted that the Redcore browser does “include Chrome inside,” just as the critics have said. However, since it is based on the open source project Chromium, they haven’t stolen any intellectual property. He goes on to defend the release of Redcore by saying they have simply “innovated by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Gao claims they never misled anyone by using the banner of “domestic innovation.”

Still, the company’s Weibo account has been flooded by enthusiasts mocking them as they did say the Redcore browser would be “independently developed.”


Via: China Money Network Via: Sixth Tone