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  • [WORLD PC EXPO 98] 'China Will be the World's Largest Cyber Nation': Chinese Gov't Official
  • October 6, 1998 (TOKYO) -- The government of China will throw its might behind developing China into the world's largest "cyber nation," a Chinese government official said.
    China's government intends to do "everything in its power for the future development of the information industry in China," said Qi Zhang, director general of the Department of Electronics and IT Products, Ministry of Information Industry of China. Zhang was speaking at the WORLD PC FORUM 98 held at Makuhari Messe near Tokyo Sept. 30-Oct. 3. He spoke of his government's enthusiasm for realizing a cyber nation.

    According to Zhang, China's electronics industry grew to RBM410 billion (US$49 billion) in 1997, a 28 percent jump from the previous year. The sale of 3.4 million personal computers was recorded during the same year, and the figure is expected to soar to 5 million in 1998.

    Of the total number of PCs sold, domestically produced machines accounted for 60 percent. Zhang said that if the electronics industry continues to grow at this rate, the market will reach the RBM1 trillion level by the year 2000, and RBM6 trillion by 2010.

    In commenting on the recent market trends in China, Zhang said that the market for advanced-function televisions is rapidly expanding, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are spreading fast.

    He said the advanced-function TV, through digital signal processing, enables higher quality images. He expects that increasing numbers of families will purchase DVD players that can bring about high-quality displays.

    Zhang said that it will not be long before the annual sale of PDAs in China exceeds 10 million. Internet users have already reached 1.2 million, he said, adding that China is in the middle of an "information technology" process.

    Following Zhang's speech, Akio Irie, executive vice president of Seiko Epson Corp., took the rostrum.

    Irie said that Seiko Epson is actively engaged in business activities in the Chinese market, and has been selling dot matrix printers in China since 1983.

    He said that in 1985, Seiko Epson began full-scale production and sales of the products. It also commenced joint-venture production of ink jet printers in China this year. At present, his company has 17 related firms in Hong Kong and China.

    Irie said he expects a great deal from the Chinese market and personnel.

    He made the following three points his company plans to pursue:

    1) Development of software, personnel training and utilization in the area of R&D.;

    2) Fostering key persons through overseas-affiliated companies' business management.

    3) Support of foreign students studying in Japan under the Epson International Scholarship Foundation.

    Irie closed his speech by saying, "We hope to continue with our efforts toward the development of China and Epson."

    (Nikkei Click)

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    Updated: Mon Oct 5 13:25:44 1998 PDT