|Volume 2: No. 02|
China's first intellectual-property copyright law has been amended to cover software. There is no corresponding patent protection. [CACM, 12/91.]
Asian multinationals are increasingly emphasizing services over manufacturing, but Asian governments are afraid to deregulate service sectors if it means American-style lawsuits. [Asian Business. Inc., 10/91.]
An IBM Japan member says logic design engineers work at a much higher level of intensity in the U.S. The Japanese are more efficient. They spend a lot of time sharing ideas, so engineers know what other groups are doing. Also, Tokyo is so small that it's easy to meet with suppliers and customers when you need to. [David Lammers, EE Times, 11/18.] As U.S. companies decentralize and outsource, they must be careful not to break apart creative design teams. Foreign manufacturing may be cheaper, but concurrent engineering requires proximity. Perhaps design efforts will also be moved overseas.
China is establishing regional software centers in Beijing, Shenzhen (near Hong Kong), and Shanghai's Pudong development. China has more than 200 software houses with about 40,000 programmers (but few senior systems analysts). Taiwanese PC manufacturers are interested in joint ventures, although these are currently prohibited. IBM has 100 programmers producing Chinese-language software (for Hong Kong and China) at the International Software Development Co. in Shenzen, in cooperation with Shenzhen University. DEC has 30 MIS programmers at the Shenzhen Taiji-DEC Software Center, a $1.2M collaboration with the Taiji Computer Corp. Unisys employs 20 "localization" programmers at Unimac Computer Systems Ltd. Telecommunications companies are also getting switching software from Chinese partners. [Rick Boyd-Merritt and Alan Patterson, Electronic World News, 11/18.]
Taiwan's National Science Council will encourage mergers in Hsinchu Science Park by subsidizing R&D at larger firms. Foreign companies will also be eligible. US$500M over five years is planned, about 1/3 of Hsinchu's R&D budget. [Electronic World News, 11/18.]
The government of Hong Kong hopes to invest US$26M over five years in private-sector R&D. The government will acquire equity, hoping to share in subsequent profits. [Ibid.]