SCO Outlines Plans to Push into China with OpenServer
Published: April 13, 2006
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
Commercial Unix distributor SCO Group announced this week that it has begun shipping a version of OpenServer 6 in mainland China, and detailed its plans for aggressively marketing its Unix variant in the rapidly growing Chinese market.
SCO hosted an event in Beijing this week, and met with government officials, customers, and the local IT and general press to express its commitment to the Chinese market. Every other major and minor IT player has been chasing the burgeoning Chinese market since it is one of the few places on earth where IT has not been widely deployed and the economy is growing much faster than any other established Western economy.
"SCO is an important technology provider for China because the company provides the technology infrastructure for running many of China's largest banks and other institutions," said Tim Negris, executive SCO's vice president for worldwide sales and marketing in a statement. "While we already have a significant presence in Beijing, SCO is committed to increasing our presence in China and growing our customer base. Though SCO has long been established in many of the Asian markets for some time, we have focused much of our attention in recent years on many of these higher growth markets, including China, India, and Russia." Like I said, SCO and every other IT player.
SCO cited statistics from ATIP, a non-profit group that studies technology advancements in Asia, which say that overall annual IT revenue growth in China is expected to average 17 percent through 2009 and eventually hit $285 billion. ATIP also predicts that even higher growth is expected in the small and medium business sector, with 21 percent growth. Looking at the Chinese market by industry, ATIP says that 80 percent of IT sales will come from three sectors--education, with 8 percent; government, with 14 percent; and corporations, with 59 percent.
SCO has a roster of clients in China, including the People's Bank of China, the Bank of China, the China Post, China Life Insurance Company, the Agricultural Bank of China, Shenzhen Development Bank, and China Minsheng Banking Corporation.
The question you have to ask is this, though. How many newbie Chinese companies or established firms that have not yet computerized are going to pick OpenServer over Red Flag Linux, Novell SUSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, TurboLinux, and a number of other Chinese distributions? Linux and the whole idea of open source software is wickedly popular in China, and closed source software such as OpenServer and Windows is just not as appealing to companies in China.