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China's software industry looks abroad
China's software developers are speeding up expansion as they take aim at a larger share of the world market.
According to the China Software Industrial Association, construction on three software development projects - Wangxin Software Development Base, Wangxin Nanchang Software Park and Ningbo Software Park -- recently commenced. All three are projects of the Zhejiang University Innovation Technology Co Ltd.
The new projects, designed to haul in a total of 3 billion yuan (US$360 million) in income by 2005, have the ambition to become the largest software exporters in China.
A company plan shows that software developed by Zhejiang worth about 120 million yuan (US$14.46 million) is expected to flow into the Japanese market, and software worth 80 million yuan (US$9.64 million) to enter the markets of the United States and Europe, by 2003.
The company's total exports are expected to reach 800 million yuan (US$96.39 million) by 2005, according to the plan.
The Zhejiang University Innovation Technology Co Ltd is not the only firm making exports its tools for development.
Many enterprises are forming alliances to make themselves strong enough to compete on the world market.
Official statistics show that China's total software output value reached 79.6 billion yuan (US$9.59 billion) in 2001. About 6 billion yuan (US$723 million) in software was exported.
Last year's software export volume was 80 per cent higher than the previous year. However, the volume is small compared with levels in the world's advanced countries.
"Despite the small export volume, China's software industry is still promising," said Chen Yuhong, deputy manager of the China National Computer Software and Technology Service Corp.
The sector enjoys two advantages: low labour costs and a powerful information technology industry as its foundation.
In China, the monthly salary of a professional technician specializing in software development is US$3,000 to US$5,000 on average, compared with US$8,000 to US$10,000 in India, and US$10,000 to US$15,000 in the United States.
The electronic information technology industry has developed quickly in China. A solid base for the export of electronic products has laid a good foundation for the export of software, Chen said.
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