IBM and JDA Software Group Inc, the Phoenix, Arizona-based retail applications company; have announced a partnership to attack the Chinese retail market. Through the partnership IBM will distribute, implement and support JDA’s Retail Enterprise Management System (REMS) through their channels in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The REMS is designed for the retailers to manage the supply chain for planning, buying and receiving and transferring, distributing, selling and analysis. It uses an IBM AS/400-based Merchandise Management System for corporate head offices, Distributed Store Systems for Windows for the store, and the data warehouse system for analysis. JDA, in 1997, only made 9.6% of its $8.8m sales in Asia and expects the market to increase in the next few years. JDA has been facing increased competition in the last few years from ERP vendors like Peoplesoft and SAP, and systems management vendors, who are trying to add the retail vertical market to their portfolios. A JDA spokesperson said that these companies are likely to be the major competition in Asia as well. IBM at the end of September announced new software packages for SMEs to deal with supply- chain management. It has announced partnerships with, among others, JDA and rival QAD for retail customers. The spokesperson could not confirm whether this new partnership is an extension of the September deal.