Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Why China is Top in Tech Gear

From BusinessWeek:

"Beijing-bashers, take note: You now have another reason to rail against China. On Dec. 12, the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) announced that China has surpassed the U.S. to become the world's No.1 exporter of tech gear.

The news rounds out a year when Chinese high-tech companies raised their profile worldwide: Lenovo, China's top computer brand, took over IBM's (IBM) PC division. Huawei Technologies, the leading Chinese telecom- and networking-equipment maker, accelerated its overseas expansion. And ZTE, Huawei's cross-town rival in the southern city of Shenzhen, won new customers in developing markets in Asia and Africa, while also teaming up with Cisco Systems (CSCO).

What's behind this success? For Beijing's many critics in Washington, the answer is easy: China cheats. Whether it's by depressing its currency's value or by stealing and copying American ideas, the argument goes, the Chinese simply don't play fair. So, the critics reckon, it's no wonder China has become the world's biggest exporter of electronics. An unfair argument? Here's a look behind the hype to see what has driven China's climb."

In the article the BusinessWeek tries to answer the following questions:

Are all of those high-tech exports really Chinese? Or are they made by companies based elsewhere that have shifted manufacturing to China?

If so much of the money comes from abroad, are foreigners behind China's high-tech companies?

Are Chinese winning the export game because they have an unfair advantage at home?

How successful have Chinese tech brands been so far?

If the Chinese are so good at high-tech hardware, why isn't China also a software power?

In which areas may we see China next overtake the U.S. in tech exports?