Symantec looks for security in Chinese market

By Chen Limin (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-03 08:04
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BEIJING - Symantec Corp, the world's biggest maker of computer security software, said China will be its largest revenue contributor in the Asia-Pacific region in the next two years, as the company is going to expand aggressively to more Chinese cities.

Enrique Salem, president and chief executive officer of Symantec, said the company "needs to grow faster than the GDP of China".

He said that, over the next two years, he expects the company's overall business in China to be its largest single business in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japan is the largest market for Symantec in the region, but the company didn't break down its specific contribution.

Half of the company's revenues come from the United States, said Salem, but he added that this proportion will become smaller in the future, as Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and China have been registering the biggest growth.

Symantec, which provides security and storage services mainly for corporate users, is going to dig deeper into the Chinese market, especially the second- and third-tier cities, to boost its user base.

The company plans to establish offices in six cities - Wuhan, Urumqi, Xi'an, Shenyang, Jinan and Fuzhou - in addition to its current seven branches, all located in big cities.

"The list will be even longer as the business grows," said Andy Wu, president of Symantec in China.

In the consumer software market, however, the company said it will not change its paid service strategy, even though some Chinese counterparts believe that free security software will be the big thing in the market of the future.

The major Chinese security software provider, Kingsoft, and a smaller player, Keniu, merged last month. The new company, operating under the name of Kingsoft Network, is offering permanent free use of its security product.

Meanwhile, European security company Kaspersky also said in November that it will provide free security software in China for one year.

The moves were seen as a means of fending off competition from Qihoo 360, a Chinese company that quickly rose from a start-up to one with more than 70 percent of China's security market after it provided free security software.

Symantec refused to disclose how much consumer users contribute to its overall business in China, but globally, one-third of its revenues come from consumer purchases.

The company, which has more than 1,000 employees in China, said it will also hire more staff, without specifying numbers.

China Daily