India service provider TCS, Microsoft and the Chinese government have teamed up to establish an outsourcing joint venture in Beijing. According to the press release on the endeavor, the operation is intended to “provide IT outsourcing services and solutions to all major worldwide markets particularly US, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region including China's domestic market. The key objective of this global initiative is to build the new venture as a role-model for the growing Chinese software industry.”
It will be based in Beijing's Zhongguancun Software Park. TCS will be the majority shareholder and Microsoft and the Chinese Party will be “strategic investors holding minority shares.”
This isn’t the first Chinese initiative for TCS. The company has been operating in China since 2002 from a delivery center in Hangzhou, which employs 250 engineers.
Microsoft, of course, has been pilloried in the press and online for its decision to allow the People’s Republic of China to tell it what to censor on blogs that appear on MSN in China. The software that controls the blogs won’t allow bloggers to use such terms as “freedom,” “democracy,” or “human rights”
As the Guardian reports, “Users who try to include such terms in subject lines are warned: ‘This topic contains forbidden words. Please delete them.’”
If all the smart engineers in the world can’t keep spam out of my inbox and filmmakers in this country could still make the movies they wanted in the 1950s, my guess is, those bloggers will find new ways of getting past the censorship functions and communicating what they want to say.
But it does make me wonder, if a client has a project for the service provider whose results the Chinese government would ultimately find offensive, will TCS turn down the project?