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Chinese IT market set to surge, says researcher

By Tuo Yannan (China Daily)

09:14, December 23, 2011

BEIJING - The value of China's IT market will surge to 985 billion yuan ($155 billion) in 2012, as sales rise by 19.9 percent from this year, according to the US-based researcher International Data Corp (IDC) in Beijing on Thursday.

IDC predicted that the European debt crisis will worsen, and the decline in Chinese exports will become more pronounced in 2012. However, the Chinese IT sector will continue to grow because of the government's plans to boost the high-technology sector during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) period. The global average IT growth rate will slow to 6.9 percent next year, compared with 19.9 percent for China, which will lead the market, said Wu Lianfeng, the associate vice-president of IDC's vertical industry research and consulting division.

"About 60 percent of expenditure will go into the hardware sector, including smartphones and other mobile Internet devices," said Kitty Fok, vice-president of IDC Asia-Pacific.

This year, China overtook the United States to become the biggest market for personal computers, seeing 18.5 million units sold during the second quarter. As the country with the largest number of Internet users, China is expected to see total PC shipments of 72.4 million units this year, said IDC. The researcher forecast that the US market will grow by 6.7 percent in 2012, slightly lower than the average global rate, because of the financial crisis.

It also forecast that PC shipments will rise to 85.1 million units in China in 2012, outstripping an expected 76.6 million units in the US.

"However, IDC still expects the US to have more PC shipments than China in 2011 because of year-end holiday season sales," said Wu.

Smartphones will dominate the handset market by 2015, said Fok, who said demand for the devices will surge in the next five years. Companies such as Apple Inc and Lenovo Group are already benefiting from a new wave of technological innovation.

The telecom sector will grow by 7.4 percent to 950.7 billion yuan.

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