Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ - Get Report) shock acquisition of 3Com (COMS) may have been a bolt out of the blue, but the deal highlights the growing importance of the Chinese technology market.
Tech research firm IDC estimates that the Chinese IT services market grew from $7.7 billion in 2007 to $9.5 billion last year, and is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of almost 14% between 2008 and 2013.
Further evidence of China's value surfaced last week when Claymore Securities launched the Claymore China Technology ETF. Touted as the first ETF to focus on the Chinese technology sector, Claymore is clearly eyeing a major growth opportunity.Economic Observer News estimates that around $53 billion of China's $585 billion economic stimulus package will be spent on technology projects, something that has certainly grabbed attention on the other side of the Pacific. With companies like Apple (AAPL - Get Report) now attempting to tap this eastern market, H-P is bolstering its ability to support China's service providers and enterprises, as well as Beijing's myriad infrastructure projects. The Silicon Valley heavyweight is already the technology lead for the ChinaGrid, a vast communications infrastructure for more than 290 million Chinese students. Last month Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) CEO John Chambers predicted that Chinese firms will revolutionize the tech sector within the next decade. The networking giant plans to increase its company's foothold in the world's fastest-growing major economy, he added. In 2007 Cisco announced a $16 billion multiyear investment in China, which included a stake in Chinese giant Alibaba.com. The CEO says he has no intention of taking his eyes off the new frontier. "The Chinese are going to be a very good market for us," he said, during Cisco's recent shareholder meeting. "We can't ignore markets, we must play there, compete there."