In fact, Alfred Chuang, CEO of BEA, said he expects to see China take a leading role in IT as it has in manufacturing.
And Chuang told the majority Chinese audience that BEA has vowed to work with the countrys government and internal IT industry to foster a "new era of software development."
Expressing pride in his heritage, Chuang said, "It is an honor to hold this conference in Beijing, the home of the 2008 Olympics. Only the best happens in Beijing." Chuang later noted that in 1997, two years after BEA was founded in Silicon Valley, the San Jose, Calif., company opened its first subsidiary outside the United States in Beijing.
Moreover, referring to one of the Chinese governments five-year plans relating to IT, Chuang said BEA wants to help move China "from an economy based on manufacturing to one based on intellectual property. China leads the world in manufacturing, and now it is time for China to become a global IT leader." Indeed, rather than exporting manufactured goods alone, "China will soon be exporting high-value technology," Chuang said.
And perhaps the biggest indication of the importance of China as an emerging IT giant is the sheer size of its potential market, Chuang indicated.
"Just one single mobile company in this country has more subscribers than all of those in the U.S. combined," he said. "Business use of Internet and mobile technology is still in its early days—its only beginning here in China.
Chuang noted that BEA has a research and development center in Beijing, focused primarily on development of the companys Tuxedo transaction management solution, but is also doing work on the BEA WebLogic and AquaLogic product lines.
"We opened an R&D center here, not because its the cheapest place to do business. We did it because we think this is where the innovation will be," Chuang said. BEA is leading the push toward large-scale adoption of SOA (service-oriented architecture). "SOA software will be the driver of the entire software industry," Chuang said.
BEA works with more than 500 Chinese partner companies to deliver solutions for the market, which Chuang described as not only the fastest-growing market for BEA in the Asia Pacific region, but the fastest-growing market for BEA in the entire world. And BEA has the No. 1 middleware, application server, integration and portal solutions in China, he said.
Chuang then reminded the audience that all the leading members of the BEA team helping the company move further into the Chinese market are Chinese, "including myself," he said with a smile.
Meanwhile, Chuang said two hot areas of opportunity for BEA and China are the third-generation mobile network technology (3G) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
"The era of 3G in China is about to begin," he said. "The impact will be enormous."