speaks Chinese

The on-demand software vendor is targeting its new Chinese edition CRM product at 10 million small and midsize businesses in China. has announced a Chinese edition of its on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) software targeted at small companies in China.

In a statement Monday, Salesforce said its China Edition is specifically tailored for the Chinese market, and is available today in a five-user version for US$576 per year, or a 10-user version for US$1,152 per year. On a per-user basis, this is the equivalent of RMB 888 (US$115) per user, per year. Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said the company was "responding to the demands of Chinese customers" and is targeting over 10 million small and midsized businesses (SMBs) in China.

Apart from business analytics, the China Edition also touts features from its flagship Saleforce CRM product such as Salesforce Marketing, which lets companies capture leads coming in through their Web sites and distribute those leads to sales teams, and Salesforce Automation, which helps businesses manage their sales data and processes.

The company said Salesforce's Chinese customers can access third-party on-demand applications available on Salesforce's AppExchange platform, while Chinese developers can also reach out to 29,800 Salesforce global customers in need of tailored applications.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia, Tien Tzuo, chief strategy officer at, said: "We are excited about the Chinese market, simply because they haven't invested in complex client-server solutions. We're seeing a great buzz around software-as-a-service (software-as-a-service) in China because they want to leapfrog to the latest technologies--and China has a history of doing so."

With a presence in the Asia-Pacific region since 2003, Salesforce opened its first Chinese office in Hong Kong in October 2006. Its Chinese customers include Metlife China, Digital China, Protime Consulting and FXCM (Foreign Exchange Capital Markets) Asia.

According to analyst company AMI-Partners, SaaS spending by small and midsize manufacturers in the region is the fastest growing in the world. The Asia-Pacific SaaS market, excluding Japan, is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27 percent from 2005 to 2010.