Researcher IDC said Big Blue held a 6.8 percent market share on revenue of $111 million in 2001, based on the sale of its system-level and data-management software.
Microsoft was in second place with a 5.2 percent market share, according to IDC, followed by database software giant Oracle, which had a 3.6 percent share.
Lotus Software, IBM's e-mail, messaging and collaboration software unit, was separately ranked No. 10 with a 1.1 percent market share and revenue of $18 million.
IDC's report comes as the companies step up their efforts to gain a foothold in China's software market. Microsoft, for example, has beengovernment officials, donating money to educational projects and investing in joint ventures with local companies. For its part, Oracle has increased its in development centers throughout the country.
According to IDC, China's software industry was valued at $1.62 billion last year. By 2006, it is expected to increase to $7.8 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 36.9 percent from 2001.
CNETAsia's Irene Tham reported from Singapore.