The Chinese government is developing an operating system to supplant those of Google and Microsoft in the authoritarian nation, according to the state-controlled Xinhua news agency. There are many potential explanations for the move, including an unwillingness to pay for American software and concerns over U.S. surveillance. But given the widespread piracy of Windows software in China, financial concerns are unlikely to be the root cause of this move. It looks much more like a typical power grab to suppress what little freedoms the Chinese people enjoy, as TF’s Berin Szoka explained:

The move is “pretty obviously an effort by the Chinese government to increase their ability to both surveil and censor,” Berin Szoka, president of the TechFreedom think tank, told the E-Commerce Times.