China’s New Year – The Year of Opportunity

Trade exchange between different cultures and countries has long yielded rich rewards for those who recognize the potential.

After all, as far back as the 1st century BC, merchants and caravans followed the Silk Road – the overland trade route from northern China to the Western World – and brought precious silks, tea and other resources from China to the rest of the world. Not only did linking different countries and cultures prove profitable, but new and greater products and ideas flowed between the countries.
The Silk Road of the 21st century is technology driven. This trade exchange, built on fiber-optic cable, sprang from the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Now, it is the R&D departments of companies from the United States and other countries that benefit from the resources and opportunity found in China.

Today’s China, the fastest growing country in the world, offers the:

o Biggest engineering talent pool
o Biggest emerging market
o World’s number one manufacturing industry

Strengthening ties, country-to-country, people-to-people, has shown time and time again that remarkable achievements, that otherwise would have been impossible, can come to fruition.
Long Circle urges you to explore the opportunities that exist in China today, especially if your business focus is embedded systems technologies for software and hardware.

With our global reach, we could see the importance of China, and we have grown significantly in the past five years in this critical market. Today, we have $5 billion in revenues and 12,000 employees.

GE 2005 Annual Report:
Letter to Stakeholders

Biggest Engineering Resource Pool

The last few years have convinced Fortune 100 companies and start-ups alike that China, home of the fastest growing economy in the world, is key to achieving their strategic plans, as well as the business objectives of their R&D departments. GE, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel, Nokia, Oracle, and SAP are just a few of the multinational companies with R&D operations in China, and for some important business drivers:

o Lower costs
o Lower wages
o Expanded productivity
o Reduced time-to-market
o Strengthened R&D embedded technology engineering resources

Wages are lower offshore, there’s no question about it, but the experience the workforce has must be in product research and development, not IT. With China’s deep pool of engineering talent, especially R&D embedded technology engineers, companies can expand and strengthen their R&D resources.

For example, the Microsoft Research (MSR) Asia lab has engineers working on a wide range of advanced technologies – from spoken-language technologies such as automatic speech recognition to face detection and tracking, face modeling and recognition, cartoon generation, image and video retrieval for MSN, and Xbox camera-based game interfaces. According to Forbes, Microsoft’s investment in all China-related R&D activities is approximately $100 million US dollars annually. In addition, with currently more than 800 employees in China, Microsoft is predicted to grow that number substantially over the next three to five years.

Biggest engineering talent pool; most engineering graduates each year
Engineering Graduates China India United States
Source: Duke University* 352,000 112,000 137,000
Source: Unknown ** 600,000 350,000 70,000

*Source: A study released in December, 2005 by Duke University (and also widely quoted in the media, including The Christian Science Monitor) citing the number of engineering graduates in each country yearly.

* Note: Statistics widely quoted, from Fortune Magazine to Senator Ted Kennedy’s speeches. However according to the Wall Street Journal online, these figures are misleading and no one can track down a concrete and reliable original source.

Biggest Emerging Market

How could any organization that wants to be successful in the global arena ignore China today?
China is the world’s most populous country – 1,313,973,713 (2006 est.) – and organizations like the Finnish mobile telecommunications giant Nokia expect China to be a key growth driver for their global operations. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations’ mobile phones and network equipment.

According to Infoworld’s online Web site:

“China has 400 million mobile users and its 3G (third generation) networks are not yet switched on, providing a future avenue for further growth. ” According to a study done by Norson (Hong Kong) Information Technology , “. . . after three years of 3G availability, more than 84 million Chinese will use 3G services.”

Consequently, construction is underway on Nokia’s new and expanded China headquarters, scheduled to open in 2007, that will host over 1500 of Nokia’s R&D, sales and marketing operations, pre-production, logistics, sourcing and manufacturing operations.
During China’s President Hu Jintao’s recent visit to the United States, he attended a dinner at the home of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and called for broadening the relationship between the United States and China.

“Today, many cargo ships are very busy crossing the Pacific Ocean, laden with the rich fruit of our strong trade ties and friendship between our two peoples,” Hu said. “I am sure that with the further deepening of China’s reform and opening up, we are going to see an even broader prospect for the economic cooperation and trade between China and Washington State and China and the United States as a whole.” Source: Reuters