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Innovations, a key factor of IT sector's rise
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-11-22 15:51

By Hu Hongjun

On November 7, it was announced that eight technological inventions including Evermore Integrated Office were selected out as the 2006 Major Technological Inventions in Information Industry.

Zhang Lei, a vice-manager of Wuxi Evermore Software Inc., said gladly, "Relying on its spirit of independent innovations, Evermore Software has developed the first integrated office software in the world, resolved a difficult problem puzzling the industry for many years and made remarkable achievements in the market."

Data shows that so far, altogether 36 projects have been granted an award since the selection of key technological innovations began in 2001. Relevant responsible personnel of Ministry of Information Industry expressed that a key technology invention had to be a breakthrough in a certain key technology, the overall technology had to be leading internationally and there should have achievements with core intellectual property rights.

A certain expert pointed out that technological inventions with independent innovations were driving China's information industry to grow up gradually.

The lack of core technologies has been long affecting China's development of standards for the information industry and the improvement of China's competitiveness. Therefore, China has been increasing its inputs like investment and policies in this field and has made preliminary achievements.

The 2006 Analysis Report on Patent Trends in the Field Information Technology released by the Ministry of Information Industry shows that while the information industry is increasing rapidly and steadily, the patent application related to the IT field also maintains an increasing trend: the annual growth rate of patent applications has amounted to 25.23 percent during the Tenth Five-ear Plan period. Currently, the number of published or authorized invention patents and new type patents related to the IT field has accounted for 30.30 percent of the total amount.

Driven by these achievements, great breakthroughs have been made in China's core technologies such as Integrated Circuit (IC) and software etc. and a batch of domestic CPUs independently designed, researched and developed have come out. High performance computers and servers made in China have been successfully developed and applied with Inspur Group as a representative. Substantial progresses have been made in developing the third-generation mobile communication system while great breakthroughs have been made in the research and development and industrialization of the TD-SCDMA system, standards for which were set down independently by China. The digital trunking system independently developed by ZTE has been applied in China and entered into the international market. All these innovative achievements have provide a powerful support to drive the information industry to develop continuously, rapidly and healthily.

Certain experts pointed out that technologies had to be innovative but more importantly, they had to get verified and recognized in the market; otherwise, it would be a mere paper talk.

Just take Hanwang OCR (automatic recognition) technology and its applications as an example. Compared with technologies of the same kind, Hanwang OCR technology has made innovations and breakthroughs in terms of recognition methodology and technology: it is featured with a higher precision of recognition, rapid recognition, higher practicality; the technology has effectively resolved problems of mixing arrangement between Chinese characters and English words and the recognition of multiple fonts arranged in a mixed way with main technological performance indexes up to an internationally leading level.

"It is not enough even if such achievements have been made and extensive application is also a must." said Liu Yingjian, Chairman of Hanwang. Data shows that the accumulative sales volume of the Hanwang OCR Table and Character Recognition System has exceeded 3 million sets; the sales amount of Hanwang Value Added Tax Invoice Recognition and Authentication System, which undertakes the task to distinguish true and false value added tax invoices in the Bureaus of State Taxation under the State Administration of Taxation in 24 provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, has also exceeded 10,000 sets. Currently, relevant products with Hanwang OCR as the core technology have been put into extensive applications in such fields as banking, taxation and mail sorting.

The case for Evermore Software is the same. While challenging Microsoft, the magnate in the production of office software, Evermore Office has also become recognized in the domestic market and made uncommon achievements; in the meantime, it has made breakthroughs in the market in countries and regions like Japan and South Africa.

For the time being, the fixed network 3G of ZTE, which has won the award successively twice, has been put into extensive application in the network of domestic operators. ZTE has been helping international operators to construct the next generation network in countries and regions such as Russia and Pakistan so as to help over 120 million people to step onto the road towards next generation network.

Due to the long-term dependence on foreign technology in key fields, the domestic information industry has an urgent need for independent innovations. Industry insiders expressed that there still existed various difficulties for domestic enterprises to realize their independent innovation, such as lack of coordination, lack of matching policies and absence of talents etc.

Certain experts point out that it is very urgent and necessary to cultivate a market with government purchases so as to support the independent innovations. Zhang Lei said frankly that "I often ask our customers where Evermore Software's disadvantages lie on earth and we can do corrections (if they could tell me). But what is the most fearsome for us is that we have no chance to do corrections because of having no market."

Acting as a technology-follower for the long run has made it especially difficult for the independently innovative technologies in the information industry to explore the market in face of the yearly accumulation of multinational companies. In turn, the lack of application has resulted in a fact that the independent innovation technologies cannot be improved and ameliorated in the virtual environment. It is only possible for enterprises to get provided with passions and momentums to make independent innovations on condition that some shares in the market, especially in the market of government purchase, were provided to independently innovative products. 
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