German software giant SAP AG brings its toughest jobs to this port city in China's rustbelt northeast. In a sunny, spacious office at a leafy business park, 200 technicians help run software that manages bank transactions in Switzerland and auto manufacturing in Michigan.
"Nighttime support for a Swiss bank is one of the most difficult things you can do, and we do it in China," said Andreas Reuther, SAP's vice president for global support.
Along with SAP, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Britain's BT Group PLC, Japan's Yokogawa Electric Corp. and some 230 other foreign companies have flocked to Dalian in the last decade. Now, a critical mass of development is coming. Ground broke this year for both a $2.5bn Intel Corp. factory and a $6.5bn nuclear power plant for the city. Cranes line the busy waterfront as office and apartment towers rise at a furious pace.
A former Japanese colony on green rolling hills, Dalian is a model for the transformation that Chinese leaders want to see in the rest of their country. Beijing is eager to raise China's status from low-skilled factory labor to higher-paid technology jobs. A 15-year plan issued last year promises tax breaks and other aid to software, genetics, aerospace and other high-tech businesses.
Source: CIO Today, http://www.cio-today.com
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