BEIJING: China plans to release a new operating system for PCs as early as October this year in a bid to end its reliance on imported software from Western companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, a leading Chinese official has disclosed.

Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told the People's Post and Telecommunications News that the OS will be introduced first on desktop devices and later to smartphones and other mobile devices, Reuters reported.

"We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores," Ni told the trade paper, which is run by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

He said he hoped software developed in China would be able to replace Windows XP desktop operating systems within one to two years and Android mobile operating systems within three to five years.

"Creating an environment that allows us to contend with Google, Apple and Microsoft – that is the key to success," he added.

The development comes after China banned Microsoft's Windows 8 from government use in May amid unconfirmed suspicions about US cyber-surveillance techniques.

Mutual suspicions between China and the US escalated over the past year following revelations by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor, that US-made hardware had been planted with surveillance tools.

Meanwhile, in a further sign of growing mistrust, Tech Times reported that the Chinese authorities are currently investigating Microsoft for alleged antitrust violations.

The Chinese government has also raised concerns that Android has too much control over the local market.

Data sourced from Reuters, Tech Times; additional content by Warc staff