India and China, Tech Frenemies

The rivalry between China and India in the information technology sector has grown more intense this year, with India temporarily restricting imports of telecommunications equipment from China over security concerns, and Beijing grousing about New Delhi’s tightening of work visa standards.

Partha Iyengar, India research director at Gartner, said the two economic giants are missing the forest for the trees. He blogged last month that as both countries move past their traditional strengths in tech, joining forces is the smarter play — particularly as the IT sector moves into the cloud.

China’s historic strength has been focused on hardware and manufacturing, and India’s on software and services. But Iynegar said the evolution of IT toward so-called cloud computing — where computing resources aren’t maintained on-site but instead are accessed over remote connections — has rendered those paradigms moot. Beijing and New Delhi would be far better off if they cooperated in the sector, exploiting each country’s traditional business strengths and minimizing their weaknesses.

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