China's E-information Products Expected to Double by 2005

The manufacturing of electronic information products has become a leading element in all industrial sectors, according to statistics from the Ministry of Information Industry (MII).

China is now the top producer of colour TVs, audio products and programme controlled switches, and a major provider of computer related products, the MII report said.

In the year 2000, Chinese companies produced 37.42 million colour TV sets, 46.57 million lines of programme controlled switches, 8.6 million computer units and 52.1 mobile phone units.

The total sales revenue from manufacturing electronic information products reached 580 billion yuan (US$70.05 billion) in the year 2000, which is a 34 per cent higher than the previous year.

But China still does not have important core technology and has to import most of the chips used in its IT products, like computers and mobile phones.

Without this core technology, analysts say that China's IT industry will continue to operate like a huge assembly line. And due to this, Chinese companies are earning less profits than their foreign counterparts.

To amend the situation, the MII said in its 10th Five-Year-Plan (2001-05), the country will devote the following five to 10 years surmounting the bottleneck in integrated circuitry and software.

Wu Jichuan, minister of the MII, said he hoped Chinese firms would be producing patent-owned chips as soon as possible.

He said the MII plans to set up a nationwide electronic science technology group to monitor the development of the sector.

Wu said he hoped the group could begin operations soon.

Electronic information products are expected to bring in a revenue of 700 billion yuan (US$84.54 billion) this year, according to the MII plan. And the sector will keep up a growth rate of 20 per cent in the coming five years.

Wu said electronic information products will still be a major contributor to the country's exports. The export of electronic information products will double its present number and surpass US$100 billion in the year 2005, the MII said.

People's Daily Online ---