Combination of software, hardware prowess can help both sides
Technology companies from China and India aim to expand cooperation as the two countries see a surge of innovation. But rising protectionism may hurt incentives to work together, experts noted on Thursday.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, announced on Wednesday that its new India data center will open next month, according to a statement the company sent to the Global Times.
The new center in Mumbai will help meet the surging demand for cloud computing services among the fast-increasing number of Indian small and medium-size businesses in the region, according to the statement.
"India has always been a market attractive to Chinese technology companies," Liu Dingding, a veteran analyst of the sector, told the Global Times.
Many Chinese companies in the hardware and software industries have been pouring money into India in recent years and enjoying rapid growth.
A Chinese app for cross-platform sharing of documents called SHAREit has now more than 350 million users in India.
"The boom of smartphone users in India also helped our business grow," Du Xiaolei, director of marketing of SHAREit, told the Global Times.
India has a large market share in information technology infrastructure services, with China ruling the manufacturing market, so cooperation could offer "great advantages" to both and lead to "solutions" for people in home automation, cloud solutions, education and other areas, Charanjeet Singh Arora, an Indian entrepreneur, told the Global Times on Thursday.
India's policies "have been welcoming for all foreign companies to do business," he said, noting that Alibaba and SoftBank's operations in the country set examples for other foreign investors.
The policies aim at making the Indian economy more market- and service-oriented and expanding the role of private and foreign investment.
India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions in the world, and its research and development investments increased from .49 billion in 2015 to .48 billion in 2016, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
India is seeking more cooperation with China in the information technology (IT) sector.
India's National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has just signed an agreement with Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, to set up a platform for partnerships between Indian and Chinese IT companies, media reported on Wednesday.
It's not the first time that NASSCOM has worked with a Chinese partner in big data exploitation.
It teamed up with Southwest China's Guizhou Province to collaborate on building ecosystems for the Internet of Things and big data.
"It's hard to ignore the Chinese market when talking about big data, artificial intelligence and the future development of the IT sector, as major Chinese technology companies have been advancing in this domain in recent years," Liu, the analyst, remarked.
However, there is rising protectionism in the Indian technology sector. Many of India's top technology start-ups are establishing a lobbying group to push for government regulations that would put an end to global companies' continued success in the country, CNBC reported on December 6.
"There might be increasing competition between China and India in this sector, but the collaboration is mainstream, and protectionism will hurt incentives to innovate," Liu said.