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China: Convergence Is the Key Trend in IT Industry
Source: shanghaidaily.com
Source Date: Friday, December 21, 2012
Country: China
Created: Dec 25, 2012

China's economy has been regaining some steam in recent months after growth was hit by weak external demand and domestic tightening in the previous three quarters. As we embrace 2013, Shanghai Daily now runs a year-end series to track policy and market changes as well as their influence on different sectors for next year.

Mobile phone numbers, bank accounts, e-mails and work documents. These are the data that matter most in our everyday life.

With the development of new technologies, the management and use of data and the devices that convey them have become hot topics. Big data, cloud computing and mobile Internet are but a few of the innovations that will influence the information technology industry in both business and consumer markets in 2013.

China, as the world's biggest personal computer and mobile device market, provides huge potential for companies in the industry.

"In common with many emerging markets, China's cloud and mobile initiatives are hot," said Matthew Cheung, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Without the legacy systems that hamper many Western enterprises, Chinese organizations have an opportunity to leapfrog in the adoption of new technologies."

Spending on IT in China is forecast to grow from US$117.8 billion in 2013 to US$172.4 billion in 2016 - a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent. That compares with predictions for a global growth rate of 3 percent over the same period, according to Gartner, a US-based research firm.

In the consumer sector, the convergence of the personal computer and the mobile phone is expected to accelerate with products like Microsoft's Surface and Apple's iPad, which already is a catalyst for the booming mobile Internet industry.

Mobile Internet market revenue will hit 100 billion yuan (US$16.1 billion) in 2013, compared with 71.2 billion yuan in 2012 and 39 billion yuan in 2011, according to iResearch, a Shanghai-based research firm.

Each sector of this chain is well connected because cloud services are based on big data in the cloud end server, which spreads and is used across all devices, from servers and computers to mobile phones.Cloud's popularity will soon extend to televisions.

A CLOUD firm today offers content access and sharing from various devices, including PCs, mobile phones and tablets. Some firms have tested connections between televisions and mobile devices via apps and WiFi connections.

By 2014, at least three personal cloud providers will extend the service to television. At the same time, many government-backed public cloud service providers will be out of the market, according to Gartner.

Personal cloud services will bring content access and sharing across devices of different brands, which enhances the user experience. For example, users will be able to stop a video on a handset and resume it on a TV. In the future, this can extend beyond media content to allow users to make calls, view e-mails and respond to text messages from their TV sets while they are away from computing devices. Gartner said it expects at least three providers to extend such services to televisions by 2014, without identifying them.

The list of firms with the capability is long. Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and China's Lenovo have developed all or part of the related products, including mobile phones, tablets, game consoles, PCs and TVs.

On the other hand, government-invested public cloud computing service data centers will go online soon, but many of them will be unable to achieve profits on those services alone and may be forced out of the market before they can expand, analysts said.'Big data' management helps businesses.

"Big data," the latest buzzword in the IT industry, refers to a collection of data that is too large and too complex for traditional management tools to process. The challenges include data capture, storage, search and analysis.
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