INNOVATION

ChinaSoft’s Taobao-like platform may help software engineers close gap with India

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2015, 12:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2015, 4:49pm

Software and information service giant ChinaSoft International is promoting its Taobao-like platform, Joint Force, to directly connect software engineers and clients using cloud and crowdsourcing methods. 

After months of testing, the platform claims to integrate the leading resources of IT service providers by allowing more SMEs to directly connect with software engineers who are able to work flexibly, the company said on Friday. 

According to the company’s senior management, this should help Chinese companies close the gap with Indian firms in terms of outsourcing software, an area in which India is the world leader. 

“We are using the internet as a tool to connect IT engineers, IT enterprises and individual industrial clients, in a way that enables them to submit tasks online,” said Chen Yuhong, CEO of ChinaSoft.

“Even though Indian companies have an advantage in terms of outsourcing software, we believe Chinese enterprises will be able to compete with them one day using our open platform,” he added.

READ MORE: ChinaSoft prospers on growth of cloud computing in China

Founded in 2000, ChinaSoft now has over 27,000 employees, mainly software engineers who provide IT services. Its key clients include e-commerce giant Alibaba, Tencent, China Mobile and telecom giant Huawei. 

These large enterprises help to generate about 40 per cent of ChinaSoft's income. 

ChinaSoft aims to attract more SMEs though the platform to create a new source of income. Its clients will benefit from ramped-up efficiency as they can outsource tasks through the platform, the company said.

After a client submits a task, the platform finds the most suitable engineer using certain algorithms to check their credibility and location, while keeping the working process transparent.

The platform also allows the clients and engineers to negotiate a reasonable price without the need for a middleman. It encourages them to continue interacting using the platform as a kind of social network. 

Chen said he came up with the idea after mulling ways to provide incentives for software engineers while improving their income, as the job can often be challenging, poorly paid, and repetitive in terms of the coding required.

After ChinaSoft developed the platform in December, some of its engineers tested it out in their free time. As a result, their bonuses rose by 13 percent while the company's gross profit for related businesses increased eight per cent, Chen said. 

The company is now valued at US$1.26 billion. Its revenue for 2014 was 4.4 billion yuan (US$709 million), but the new platform should double its annual income within five years, he added. 

Over 40,000 software engineers have already used the platform, but the company aims to attract 50,000 by the end of the year, or one in 10 of the available talent pool in China, Chen said.

In the future, ChinaSoft plans to expand its service to foreign markets by cooperating with Huawei.