Wednesday, June 01, 2005

China's Tech Revolution

From SPECTRUMonline: China's Tech Revolution

"When a relatively unknown Chinese TV maker called TCL, based in Guangdong province's Huizhou, bought the TV division of France's Thomson SA, in Boulogne, last year, it instantly became the largest TV maker in the world. And when Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd., in Beijing, picked up IBM Corp.'s PC division for an estimated $1.75 billion, the symbolism was thick enough to cut with a cleaver: China had taken possession of the brand that was once synonymous with computers. "Will your next boss be Chinese?" the normally reserved conservative daily Le Figaro asked its French readers with a mixture of alarm and awe."

"Alcatel's Chengdu operation is, (...), global. (...) Wang (deputy director of Chengdu's 82-square-kilometer high-tech park) notes with pride that his big priority this year is fulfilling a $1.7 billion contract with SBC Communications Corp., in San Antonio, to extend its new fiber-optics network to 18 million U.S. households.

Twenty-five years ago, most people would have been astounded to hear that a U.S. telecom network was being developed by a group of researchers in a remote interior city of China. These days, it's fast becoming the norm."

"In 2004, three years after its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), in Geneva, and a quarter-century after China began welcoming foreign investment, China's trade volume hit $1.2 trillion, displacing Japan as the world's third largest trading nation, behind the United States and Germany. This milestone is all the more staggering in light of the fact that China's two-way trade, barely $20 billion in 1978, has increased 60-fold since then. For the first time in history, what China does, or does not do, ripples with consequence across the planet."

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