Red Hat will make a concerted effort to drive new Linux software and services business in China with the opening of a business practice in China’s capital.

Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) is calling the new venture Red Hat Software (Beijing) Co. Ltd. The new operation was announced at a press conference in Beijing.

The Raleigh-based firm said it would offer training in Red Hat Linux. Strategic partners HP, IBM, Intel and Oracle will work with Red Hat in the effort.

“We see a great future for Red Hat in China. Open source software, and particularly Linux, has a critical role to play both in advancing the development of China’s rapidly growing software industry and in creating the best information infrastructure for China’s globally competitive enterprises,” said Matthew Szulik, president and CEO of Red Hat, in a statement. “We look forward to closely examining the market’s needs to create and deliver the best solutions possible.”

Red Hat Beijing will offer Red Hat’s Academy training program free of charge to students and teachers through Tsinghua University and Nanjing University.

“This is an exciting development for Red Hat Asia Pacific. The market opportunity is rich, as evidenced by the support we have received from the Chinese government and enterprise customers,” said Steve McWhirter, vice president of Red Hat Asia Pacific. “Working with our partners we will bring high value, low cost solutions to China.”

The China effort is the latest in a series of moves Red Hat has made to drive business in Asia.

In June, Red Hat and Oracle announced a $13 million investment to open a joint development and implementation center in Singapore.
The so-called LEAP Center is short for Linux Enterprise Applications Porting. At the center, software vendors and systems integrators can work to develop Linux solutions. The companies said that the center will include resources and assistance to “enable them to go to market faster with applications that are pre-tested and certified on Oracle and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”

“Demand for Oracle solutions on Linux has steadily increased over the last several months,” said Leigh Warren, vice president of the Linux Business Unit for Oracle Asia Pacific, in a statement issued Wednesday. “Oracle has enjoyed a long relationship with Red Hat to jointly service customers and we look forward to working together to service the Chinese market.”

In September, Red Hat signed on a major reseller and systems integrator in Japan.

“We have worked closely with Red Hat in many countries around the world. HP is committed to developing the Linux market in China and we look forward to our continued partnership with Red Hat to meet the Linux and Open Source requirements of our customers in China,” said Sam Lo, China HP’s Director of Enterprise Storage and Servers, in a statement.

Added David Sung, vice president of IBM Software Group, GCG: ” IBM software has long-term investment and commitment on open standard and Linux, we will be able to take advantage of leading technologies of both companies for better on demand solutions for our Chinese customers.”

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