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Where India Trumps China: Software

In the 1980s, the Chinese economy boomed, as Westerners and Japanese poured investment into the country, while India languished. Even when New Delhi introduced belated economic reforms in 1991, China continued to attract the bulk of foreign direct investment.

So India's prominence in the software industry gives tremendous satisfaction to many here in the subcontinent. Starting with the Y2K-solution business and continuing with software-outsourcing services, Indian companies have become key players in the global economy. The likes of Infosys, Satyam, and Wipro are now favorites of investors both in Bombay and in New York. These companies, which specialize in providing, outsourcing software services for Western multinationals, have recently reported their quarterly earnings, with profits growing.

China may have prominent hardware companies, such as, Legend Computer, that far outclass Indian rivals, such as, Hindustan Computer (HCL). But when it comes to software, the Middle Kingdom has nothing that can compare to India's world-class software companies.

Most of the Chinese programmers are just what they are - programmers. Very few people are program analysts and system designers. Thus, professionals with system integration skills, especially for large-scale integration, are not widely available.

Other factors that influence the software industry are:

  • No respect for Intellectual Property in China
  • India is more accountable to western values and ways
  • Developers in India are a lot easier to deal with, and a lot more English friendly, and a lot more politically friendly to the US

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