The Kylin operating system is a server operating system focusing on high performance, availability and security. Its initial developement was funded by a Chinese government-sponsored Research and Development (R&D) program in 2002. The first public version of Kylin was released in 2007.
Kylin is based on FreeBSD 5.3 with some proprietary security extensions to add an extra level of security to that operating system. Kylin, named after qili, a mythical beast, has been organised in a hierarchy model, including the basic kernel layer which is responsible for initializing the hardware and providing basic memory management and task management, the system service layer which is based on FreeBSD providing UFS2 and BSD network protocols, and the desktop environment which is similar to Windows. It has been designed to comply with the UNIX standards and is compatible with Linux binaries.
Operating systems currently used in China are mainly developed overseas, and it seems to become clearer that it is a national strategy to develop China-owned computer software to replace proprietary software produced in the West. Kylin is approved for use by the People’s Liberation Army and has apparently been deployed in Chinese military, national defence and sensitive government organisations since 2007. Kylin is also being used in finance, governance and education.
(sources used: EuroBSDCon 2005 lecture and Wikipedia)