China eyeing Indian talent? Clamour grows in Chinese official media to leverage India's software strength

A new article published in one of the main official Chinese newspapers makes a point-by-point argument for why China should leverage India's huge talent pool.

An increasing number of assessments in official Chinese media are advocating that the country should leverage India's talent pool. The latest such piece was published in Global Times, one of the official newspapers of the Chinese Communist Party.

Published in the opinion section 'Insider Eye', the article argues that like western countries, it is now time for China to leverage India's huge talent pool to fuel the country's global competitiveness, and presents point by point support to base its narrative.

The article was written by S Ramakrishna Velamuri, a professor at Shanghai's China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), one of the global Ivy League B schools. This assessment by an Indian origin professor who did his MBA from Spain and PhD from America is not the first article on the subject in the official Chinese media.

Notably, it is published in one of the main Chinese newspapers, where nothing is printed without approval from the highest levels of the Chinese government.



  1. The article notes that even though China produces the largest number of engineers and science graduates in the world, its forte traditionally has been hardware. Complimenting this with India's pool of software professionals would give the Chinese economy the edge it needs to succeed in today's times when the world is heading towards Industry 4.0, an era of smart factories that work on seamless integration of hardware with software, the article argues.
  2. The industrial future is automation, driven by the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems, the article notes, arguing, that with superior English language skills, "Indian software engineers are more accustomed to developing solutions for global markets, whereas Chinese engineers have been more focused on their domestic market".
  3. The article goes on to make the point that India's population, which is the youngest in the world (the median age in India is 10 years lower than in China, will provide China a sustained supply base for the foreseeable future. This, the piece argues, will be a boon for a rapidly ageing China, which is projected to have the biggest population of people over tghe age of 65 years in the world. And to cap it all is India's cost competitiveness, with Velamuri writing that 'Indian talent is significantly cheaper than the Chinese talent'.
  4. The article says China is rapidly switching to becoming an innovation-driven economy from being a global manufacturing base and was ranked 25th on the Global Innovation Index 2016. In upper middle income countries, the country was ranked first. India has emerged as the R&D hub for multinational companies. The article says India has around 1200 R&D centres including 42% of the top 500 R&D spenders in the world which employ over 3,00,000 professionals and the count is only going up. So, India has what China needs.
  5. Last month too, an article in Global Times had written that by not attracting Indian talent, China had made a mistake. Written by a Global Times reporter of Chinese origin, that assessment was more direct in accepting that "talent pool in China was not large and flexible enough to meet demand for the rapid expansion of innovation capability'. The article said, "China cannot afford to risk a decline in its attractiveness for high-tech investors and attracting high-tech talent from India could be one of China's options for maintaining its innovation ability".


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