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ICT industry will continue to boom: Forbes

Updated: 2013-01-11 11:19
By He Wei in Shanghai ( China Daily)

China's Internet and electronics companies will continue to enjoy strong growth as the country's economic directives bolster the information and communications technology sector, or ICT, a Forbes survey has found.

About 28 percent of China's most promising small businesses belong to the ICT sector, according to the ninth Up-and-Comers List by Forbes China, the licensed Chinese-language edition of Forbes Magazine.

ICT industry will continue to boom: Forbes

The upbeat assessment of the industry reflects an ongoing trend, with similar predictions in previous annual lists.

Two separate lists rank the top 100 listed and top 100 unlisted companies, that are drawn from more than 10,000 small and-medium-sized enterprises, whose sales range from 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) to 1 billion yuan.

Topping the mainland's 100 best publicly traded small companies is Beijing Ourpalm Co Ltd, the maker of mobile and online games. The company was selected as one of the top three game developers by China Mobile Ltd, the country's largest telecom operator, according to its financial filings.

Holding second place is Longmaster Information & Technology Co Ltd in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province.

The firm now occupies a lion's share of the market in voice value-added service platforms of both China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd, the other two providers of China's telecom trio, according to its website.

In third place, the medical company Changsha Sinocare Inc is the only company in the top three of either list that is not in the IT sector. The company produces a blood glucose monitoring system that compiles with EU standards.

Four in five traded companies are listed on the ChiNext board, an exchange for high-growth, high-tech start-ups, one more than the number of companies traded on the board a year ago.

Taking top spot in the unlisted companies ranking is Shanghai Day-Up Information Technical Inc, which is the only provider of an automated public bicycle system in China, which allows people to hire bicycles using a mobile payment system.

Shanghai Day-Up was followed by Sealy Technology Co Ltd, the Guangzhou-based developer of the popular picture-matching PC game Lianliankan, and cross town counterpart Hi-Card Business Services Co Ltd, an online payment services provider.

Most of the enterprises on the lists hail from Guangdong province or Beijing.

China has had the largest number of Internet users since 2008 and is witnessing e-commerce expansion at a breathtaking speed, which is set to topple the US by 2013 with sales predicted to total 1.5 trillion yuan, according to a Bain & Co study.

The Ministry of Science and Technology said in its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) that domestic firms are expected to achieve breakthroughs in key technologies by 2015 in fields such as major cloud computing equipment, core software and supporting platforms.

The development was boosted by policy incentives from central and local governments, which aimed to beef up investment to turn China into the world's leading IT hub, said Dai Jie, head of the international cooperation office of the Shanghai Small Enterprises Center.

"Companies that are placed higher in the ranking have followed the industry principles released by relevant ministries, or partner with State-owned enterprises who carry out government-led tasks," said Dai, whose organization oversees 500 SMEs in Shanghai.

As efforts to become a smart city intensify, more small-cap firms on ICT equipment, mobile applications and cloud computing in Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta Region will benefit from the guidelines, he added.