Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, has become the 13th city in China to be granted official status as a base for service outsourcing.
The ministries of commerce, information industry, and science and technology have approved Changsha as the only outsourcing base in Central China for computer software and cartoon and animation services, local authorities said yesterday.
Other major outsourcing cities are Dalian, Shanghai, Xi'an, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Beijing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Nanjing, Wuhan, Jinan, and Hefei.
Each of the cities is provided with a range of support packages from the State, including financial support for personnel training.
Hunan Vice-Governor Gan Lin said Changsha would play a key role in the development of the sector as it already had a mature software industry.
The province has an abundant supply of local talent, as well as good telecommunication facilities, she said.
It also has more than 100 higher learning institutes with some 280,000 graduates entering the job market each year.
The cartoon and animation industry is also strong, Gan said.
Last year, the province generated 12 billion yuan ($1.65 billion) from its software industry, which comprises more than 340 firms and 25,000 staff.
Forty-two of Fortune's top 500 multinationals have a branch or research center in Hunan, Gan said.
Industry insiders have estimated the global service outsourcing sector will expand at a rate of 20 percent a year to more than 1 trillion yuan by 2010.
Since 2006, China has been working to become a major base for international service outsourcing.
The Ministry of Commerce is currently following its own outsourcing plan called the "1,000-100-10 Project".
During the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), it aims to develop 10 globally competitive outsourcing cities, attract 100 transnational corporations to shift their outsourcing services to China, and cultivate 1,000 large and medium-sized outsourcing companies with global quality standards.
(China Daily January 11, 2008)