China is not the new India yet

India is already well established in the IT oursourcing market. It is currently the “go-to-guy”. China is still its little brother, but this will be only a matter of time given its potential (with the proper changes implemented by China).

Symbian Ltd, the people behind the OS running on Nokia and some SE smartphones (among others), has opened an important R&D facility in Beijing, according to AAS. On the one hand, they are hereby making use of a big pool of engineers, but equally (or more) important, they are now in one of the biggest growth market. Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian:

“China has a vital role to play in our strategy for continued global leadership with over 700 applications originating from China over the past two years and 12% of Symbian smartphones shipped in China during Q2 2007, representing 77% year on year growth, according to Canalys”

Other companies that are already located there are not always equally positive. Take for instance Infosys. According to a FT article:

“Infosys Technologies admitted on Wednesday that its China operations were growing more slowly than expected, with the company’s customers preferring to use its English-speaking outsourcing base in India.”

This same article argues that the pool of talent is larger than any in the world, with 650,000 engineers produced every year. It seems though that this number, although large, does not tell the whole story. According to an OECD report, as the FT states, in China “a high-technology myopia pervades current policy objectives and thinking on innovation.” As a result, “more broadly-based innovation in services and other sectors of the economy has been neglected”. In other words, it seems to want to build the house starting with the roof.

With the necessary changes though, nobody will deny China’s possibilites. For now, though, it is India’s little brother when it comes to IT oursourcing.


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