China, which is aggressively working on improving people's English language proficiency, will challenge India's domination in the information technology sector by 2008, a global research company has indicated.
The Chinese government is stressing on English language learning as Beijing city is all set to host the 2008 Olympics that year. Moreover, the government is supporting Chinese IT companies to learn from India's experience in the software sector and replicate it here.
The increasing proficiency, and the competence of developing software in English, will make the Chinese mainland a more competitive player in the global IT industry, Gartner, a global IT research company, said.
"The Chinese mainland will have the largest English speaking capability by 2008, with a significant impact on business and IT globally," Dion Wiggins, vice president and research director at Gartner, said.
"Removing the language barrier will enable mainland companies to work in a wider range of markets and segments," Wiggins was quoted as saying by China Daily.
"It will also result in more competition between China and India in the external service provider segment."
However, cultural barriers remain when it comes to developing software, even if language barriers are overcome, Wiggins said.
"While English will become the preferred language of business in China, the context will remain in Chinese and the cultural barriers will remain. It is important for enterprises to recognise these barriers and address the issues they represent," added Wiggins.
Wiggins predicted that an upsurge in the number of people wanting to learn Chinese in the West would help communications.
Meanwhile, the Gartner survey also forecast that Chinese firms are expected to increase their spending on information technology over $62 billion in 2006 to improve their research and development capabilities.
Gartner forecasts that Chinese enterprises' spending on IT will reach $62.3 billion next year. The figure could grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3 per cent from 2004 to 2009.
The spending in 2006 would reflect an 8.6 per cent year-on-year growth.
A total of $41.4 billion is to be spent on telecommunication services and equipment, a nine per cent increase over 2005; $14 billion on hardware, a 5 per cent increase over this year; and $5.2 billion on IT services, a 13.5 per cent increase.