China's software industry is the most rapidly growing industry in the country with an annual growth rate of over 30 percent.
China's software industry and the market have witnessed skyrocketing growth since the beginning of the 1990s, said Yang Tianxing, director-general of China Software Industry Association, at a forum held in Dongguan, a southern city neighboring Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which is hosting the 3C Expo 2000 -- Computer, Communications and Consumer Electronic Products.
The software industry, with 150,000 employees, sold 17.6 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion) of products in 1999. It is now referred to as an industry promising as the rising sun in China.
Yang, also chairperson of the China National Information Technology Standardization Technical Committee, said that China will work out more preferential policies in support with the software industry in the coming five years. The Chinese government will, as it has always, severely crack down on piracy.
China will invest more in the software industry, encourage venture capital, cut taxation on software, and create more channels for software businesses to raise funds.
Yang said China will try to cultivate several powerful software bases as well as a group of big software companies with an annual output value of over 1 billion yuan (US$120 million) each in five to 10 years.
China expects the export volume of software to increase to US$1 billion by then from the current US$130 million.
Yang said China's future entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) will lead to the overwhelming entry of foreign software products without any barrier. China will further regulate its software market, make full use of the international resources, strengthen international exchanges and cooperation to meet the challenge.
He believes that China's software industry, a toddler Sunday, will grow into a strong man to have a share of the international software market in the future.