The McKinsey Quarterly: Can China compete in IT services? http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/article_page.aspx?ar=1556&L2=4&L3=115&srid=17&gp=0
The number of engineering graduates and software-applications professionals has grown considerably in recent years. Since 1997, annual revenues in software and IT services have risen by 42 percent a year, on average, reaching $6.8 billion in 2003.2 Moreover, the number of English-speaking graduates in the workforce—particularly crucial in software outsourcing—has doubled since 2000, to more than 24 million in 2004.
Revenues from IT services are rising, they are barely half of India's $12.7 billion a year. Growth is driven by domestic demand—most customers are small and midsize Chinese enterprises that want their software customized to their own needs. Moreover, the country's nascent foreign-software-outsourcing business accounts for just 10 percent of the industry's total revenue, compared with around 70 percent for India. Japanese customers, which seek mostly low-value application-development contracts rather than more lucrative ones for design, supply about 65 percent of this sector's income. And despite lower costs, operating margins in Chinese software-services companies average only 7 percent, compared with 11 percent at similar companies around the world
The top ten IT-services companies have only about a 20 percent share of the market, compared with the 45 percent commanded by India's top ten. Furthermore, China has about 8,000 software-services providers, and almost three-quarters of them have fewer than 50 employees. No company has emerged from this crowded pack; indeed, only 5 have more than 2,000 employees. India, on the other hand, has fewer than 3,000 software-services companies. Of these, at least 15 have more than 2,000 workers
Fragmentation exacerbates the Chinese industry's other problems, including weak process controls and product management. Only 6 of China's 30 largest software companies are certified at levels five or four of the capability-maturity model (CMM);3 by contrast, all of the top 30 Indian software companies have achieved these rankings.