Borland plans to open two Chinese facilities

Borland Software Corp., which makes development tools including its latest toolset for building Linux-based applications, said Wednesday it plans to open two new facilities in Beijing and Shanghai in an effort to tap into the growing Linux culture in China.

The Scotts Valley, California-based vendor has eight Asia-Pacific offices in Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Sydney, where Borland maintains its regional headquarters. The company also recently launched operations in Ireland, Sweden and Italy.

With the opening of two China locations -- pending approval from the Chinese government -- Borland said it will take the necessary steps to establish a wholly owned subsidiary in that country. The company hopes to open the Chinese facilities in the third quarter of this year.

Borland has typically relied on third-party distributors to make its development tools available to developers in China. Its leading products include Delphi, C++ Builder and its newest RAD (rapid application development) tool for the Linux platform, Kylix.

China is pegged to grow its IT industry considerably in the next few years, Borland said, citing figures from research firm International Data Corp.(IDC), whose parent company International Data Group Inc. also owns the IDG News Service. IT spending in China reached about US$14 billion in 2000 and is expected to triple by 2004, according to IDC. Like a number of other U.S. firms looking to enter that market, Borland said it is hoping to boost its presence in China.

Chinese government officials have also announced plans to standardize the computer system on the Linux operating system instead of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows platform, according to Dale Fuller, Borland's president and chief executive officer. Borland is one of the only software firms with a RAD tool for the Linux operating system, so China could be a strong market for the company, Fuller said in a statement.

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