China Internet Boom Could Mean 50% Growth For Cisco

U.S. networking components maker Cisco Systems Inc. may see its China sales double every year for the next few years on the back of the surge in Internet usage there, a company spokesman said Apr. 10. Cisco's Hong Kong-based spokesman David Ko also said that Asia Pacific is the company's fastest growing sales region in the world. (Cisco does not report its China earnings separately. However, it reported global 1999 net income of US$2.1 billion on net sales of $12.2 billion.) Some analysts predict an annual doubling in Internet usage in China over the next few years. Ko said it's possible Cisco's sales will mirror that growth in the world's most populous country. The company's China business has been growing by more than 50% annually since it set up operations in China in 1994. However, now that the increase in Internet usage is beginning to accelerate, previously seen growth figures also may rise accordingly. Cisco is the world's principal manufacturer of Internet routers, a key component for Web servers. China had 8.9 million registered Internet users at the of 1999, up from 4 million in July 1999, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

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