Information technology is only the hardware and software supporting a variety of uses. Stand-alone PCs provide the first important step in the use of applications, but the second step, and the vital one for the information technology services industry, is the spread of networking. It is at this point that the largely unregulated information technology industry meets the highly regulated telecommunications industry. Experience from other countries shows that a policy contradiction arises at this point, often reflected in the fine distinctions of language, for example, the distinction between ‘basic’ and ‘value-added’ services, and between value-added network services (VANs) and valued-added services (VASs). These policy issues need to be resolved if a rapid evolution of networking and the network services industry are to be successful in China.
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