DEATH TO AMERICA! China has your data centre covered

1.35 BEEELLLION people, massive investment – and fear of Snowden - can't be wrong

In the wake of the Snowden revelations, China's encouraging local companies to buy from their brethren behind the great firewall.

That exhortation won't hurt Chinese companies because the nation's domestic IT outfits are now very sophisticated.

In some product categories Chinese kit is a no-brainer. Lenovo PCs, tablets and servers are world class and the company also has a handy line of EMC-influenced storage. The HP and 3Com offshoot H3C will do for switches.

At last week's Canalys Channels Forum in Shanghai the analyst outfit's supremo Steve Brazier mentioned Inspur as a candidate for your servers. The company does all sorts of X86ery, also offers a mainframe, storage and even a “Cloud OS” complete with virtualisation stack. Brazier's also keen on Kingsoft, maker of an office suite and Qihoo's security applications for Windows, Mac OS and Android. The company also offers a browser in case you fancy an alternativer.

Brazier also mentioned Beijing's Yonyou Software, a vendor of business applications such as HR, CRM, BI, financial management, supply chain management and manufacturing management, plus the NCS enterprise management suite. The company's already opened an office in France, in addition to presences across South-East Asia.

Yulong also scored a mention during Brazier's talk, because it's Coolpad brand is China's top tablet vendor. The company also makes a decent smartphone, as does another local outfit called Oppo that, like smartphone darling Xiaomi, is already exporting.

And here we are in paragraph seven before we even mention Huawei, source of routers, switches, storage, a virtualisation stack, telco kit galore, mobile phones of most shapes and sizes, servers, PCs and all manner of other kit.

There are plenty of others Brazier might have mentioned. Chinese middleware CVIC SE has a shot. Kingdee and Ufida are top-tier ERP players in China and are looking to offshore markets. Kanakura offers the Kingbase database.

China's a bit thinner in software than it is in hardware, but that will change because the nation is funding a national effort to create the capacity to build “Core Electronic Components, High-end General Chips and Basic Software Products”. The latter category focuses on databases, operating systems and middleware. The “Chips” are intended to be 45nm general purpose creatures, and the core components are next-generation wireless devices, which will make China an even more formidable source of hardware.

Those efforts, and many more, mean that while today it's possible to shop for many but not all of your computing needs from Chinese companies, before long lots more basic building blocks will be available.

And as of this week, Chinese companies will have a very good reason to target buyers beyond the middle kingdom, thanks to the likely abolition of tariffs on tech products.

Government patronage and liberalised trade allowed Huawei to kick off operations in 1987. 25 years later it became the world's premier telecoms networking company.

Which other Chinese companies will have similar stories 25 years from now? And what will their success mean for today's enterprise giants? Those tired of hearing the word “disruption” may have to get used to hearing it for a lot longer if China's plans come to fruition. ®




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