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The ICT Industry in China – Create an Open Market for All to Win

Roland Berger and emlyon business school are jointly publishing a Report on ICT Industry Business Environment in China (the “Report”). Providing a comprehensive overview of and a penetrating analysis on China’s ICT industry, the Report concluded that the large size and fast growth of the industry was attributable to the continuous optimization of the business environment in the country. It also offered a list of suggestions upon which stakeholders may act to drive further growth of the global ICT industry.

Mr. Denis Depoux, Global Managing Director at Roland Berger, said that according to the in-depth research conducted for the Report, it was thanks to the sound business environment that China’s ICT industry managed to achieve exponential growth over the past three decades. Roland Berger itself, as a European firm that has long established in China and works closely with a lot of Chinese enterprises, has first-hand experience of the dynamic, increasing open and orderly Chinese market. Many measures China adopted are worth referring to by other countries, and are highly relevant to accelerate the growth of the global ICT industry and the march toward a smarter society.

Prof. William Wang Hua, Associate Dean of emlyon business school and Dean of emlyon Asia, said that multinational ICT enterprises should factor in global geopolitics in making strategic decisions, especially when countries engaged in multilateral cooperation have largely reached a consensus on the landscape of competition and cooperation. Prof. Wang also advised multinational ICT enterprises to pay close attention to the continued rise of China in the coming five decades – only those who can secure a spot in the Chinese market stand a chance to lead in the global one.

On top of the deep insights of Roland Berger and emlyon business school, the Report cited a large number of unbiased statistics and case studies to illustrate the full picture of the ICT industry in China. It showed that in the past 30 years, China’s ICT industry has expanded 340 folds and created abundant opportunities for foreign ICT firms like Apple and Nokia, who saw their Chinese revenue rose c. 60% in merely five years. Such rapid growth would not have been possible without a sound business environment.

The Report on the ICT business environment in China has been elaborated from six dimensions:

  1. Macro environment: China has put in place comprehensive, forward-looking and systematic industrial policies and ensures they are well implemented;
  2. Industrial environment: China welcomes foreign-invested enterprises, treats them as equals in bidding and tendering process, and engages them in its efforts to formulate international standards;
  3. Commercial environment: China keeps making it easier to do business in the country;
  4. R&D environment: China strives to enhance international R&D collaboration by offering tax credits and other preferential treatments to foreign innovators;
  5. Infrastructure: China has rolled out the most extensive network infrastructure in the world, laying a
    solid foundation for digital economy to take off;
  6. Talent environment: China is working hard to enrich and globalize its talent pool in an effort to
    underpin the ICT industry.

The Report pointed out that China started developing its ICT industry by drawing on internationally recognized standards. Combining imported experience and its own efforts, China has become a crucial contributor to today’s global ICT market.

That said, room for improvement exists. China is expected to do better in refining relevant laws and regulations, protecting intellectual property rights, further leveling the playground for foreign competitors in terms of industrial policies, etc.

The Report urged stakeholders to realize that an advancing ICT industry will contribute to world economy and people’s wellbeing. Openness for common and concrete progress should be the mainstream. In the future, stakeholders across the world should adopt an open mind, refrain from politicizing commercial issues, avoid zero-sum mentality, and work together for win-win outcomes.

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