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InfoQ Homepage News Rust China Conf 2020 Showcases Production-Ready Rust Applications

Rust China Conf 2020 Showcases Production-Ready Rust Applications

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Rust China Conf is the largest grassroots event for the Rust programming language in China. The 2020 edition of this conference was held in Shenzhen, China, on December 25th and 26th. It is co-organized by the Rust China Community, Second State, and Huawei. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, the conference attracted over 300 in-person attendees and over 5000 developers watched the conference’s live stream.

A diverse group of developers and researchers joined the conference as speakers. Niko Matsakis and Steve Klabnik from the Rust core team also participated through video links. The speakers shared thoughts ranging from best practices in real-world Rust applications to visions for the future of Rust.

Rust started as a niche language for systems programming at Mozilla. But its elegant design, built-in memory safety, strong compiler, and high performance have gained much acceptance beyond systems programmers. For the past five years in a row, Rust is voted as the most beloved programming language by Stack Overflow users.

As Amazon, Microsoft, and others in the US, Chinese tech companies are increasingly using Rust in mission-critical production software systems. At Rust China Conf 2020, how Rust is used inside Huawei, Bytedance (parent company of Tiktok), Ant Group, Agora, and other big companies was learned.

Huawei uses Rust to develop a real-time OS for IoT devices, and in the StratoVirt project, a high-performance virtualization platform. According to engineers at Huawei, the company organizes routine Rust training and evaluation activities to encourage its large number of C/C++ developers to write safer code. Bytedance has a popular team collaboration product called Lark. It uses Rust to create shared native libraries across all of its mobile clients. It could also use the same Rust library, compiled to WebAssembly, on their web client. Ant Group, a digital payment platform, uses Rust to build a high-performance time-series database, CeresDB. Agora (NASDAQ: API), a real-time audio and video communication provider, uses Rust to grow its developer community. It has a Rust SDK around its C-based core libraries.

Besides large tech companies, startups in China and beyond are also adopting Rust. Startups in Rust China Conf include well-known blockchain developers, such as Parity, Near, Solana, Cryptape, as well as cloud computing startups such as PingCAP and Second State.

Michael Yuan, CEO at Second State, noted that "the combination of Rust and WebAssembly in cloud computing is promising."

The Chinese Rust community is much more than commercial projects. The conference highlighted some very interesting personal and hobby projects. The creators or maintainers of Async-graphql, Tensorbase, TTstack, and Datenlord shared why they love Rust and problems Rust could solve for their projects.

There were also many students at this conference who are already using Rust. Two of the audience’s favorite talks were presented by college students. Luojia from Huazhong University of Science and Technology presented The Rust Embedded System Development. He discussed his own open-source project RustSBI, inspired by C-based OpenSBI. Runji Wang, from Tsinghua University, presented The Exploration of Writing OS Kernel in Rust & MadFs: A Tiny But High-Performance Distributed File System. He maintains the rCore open-source project.

The Rust China Conf 2020 is a coming-out party for the Chinese Rust community. As Steve Klabnik discussed in his talk, Rust 2021 Edition is going to be a major release and the global community welcomes more open-source contributions from China.

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