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Si­mon Yu Man-wang says the Asian elec­tron­ics in­dus­try has changed sig­nif­i­cantly dur­ing the past decade and be­lieves that more Chi­nese elec­tron­ics com­pa­nies will take the lead in the sec­tor within the next five years.

And Yu should know — he is pres­i­dent of the Asia Pa­cific busi­ness at Arrow Elec­tron­ics Inc, a global dis­trib­u­tor of elec­tronic com­po­nents.

Arrow Asia Pac has nu­mer­ous cus­tomers on the Chi­nese main­land, in­clud­ing giants such as Xiaomi Inc, Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd, ZTE Corp, Len­ovo Group Ltd and Datang Tele­com, Yu told China Daily in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view.

“We have so many cus­tomers, ba­si­cally ev­ery elec­tronic prod­uct you use, some of its com­po­nents were supplied by us, from your mo­bile phone to a LED ta­ble lamp,” he said.

Yu said more than 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the elec­tronic com­po­nent in­dus­try makes him firmly be­lieve that in the next five years, the world’s top 10 semi­con­duc­tor pro­duc­ing com­pa­nies will in­clude at least one Chi­nese name.

“Let’s take a look at the semi­con­duc­tor sec­tor, which is a high-end tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try still dom­i­nated by the US and Europe but main­land com­pa­nies have started to ac­quire semi­con­duc­tor man­u­fac­tur­ers, and it is def­i­nitely a good thing if you ask me.”

Mean­while, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment has also stepped up sup­port for the semi­con­duc­tor in­dus­try, with some out­stand­ing pro­duc­ers like Semi­con­duc­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ing In­ter­na­tional Corp com­ing into the lime­light.

“When I first en­tered the in­dus­try in 1980s, Sam­sung was a small firm in the semi­con­duc­tor in­dus­try. Back­ing from the South Korean gov­ern­ment has seen it be­come an in­dus­try leader,” Yu said. “I will bet that in the next five years, the top 10 semi­con­duc­tor pro­duc­ing com­pa­nies in the world will have at least one Chi­nese name.”

Yu noted that the elec­tron­ics in­dus­try in Asia has changed sig­nifi dur­ing the past decades. Asia used to be noth­ing more than a low-cost pro­duc­tion base for elec­tronic com­po­nents, the de­signs for which usu­ally came from the US or Europe, re­called Yu.

Ris­ing de­mand from the Asia Pa­cific as a re­sult of a rapidly grow­ing econ­omy means more and more elec­tronic com­po­nents pro­duced here will be sold within the re­gion in­stead of be­ing ex­ported to other mar­kets, he ex­plained.

“We used to pro­duce things for over­seas mar­kets and now we pro­duce to sat­isfy our own de­mand.”

Be­sides, Asia is more than just a pro­duc­tion base now, we also de­sign elec­tronic prod­ucts in Asia, Yu pointed out.

“I think the elec­tron­ics in­dus­try will have a great fu­ture in Asia, es­pe­cially on the Chi­nese main­land, with its ro­bust eco­nomic growth, ex­pand­ing green econ­omy and ris­ing med­i­cal care in­dus­try,” he said.

Yu said he started as a sales­man in 1987 at an elec­tronic com­po­nents dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany in Hong Kong, which was ac­quired by US-based Arrow Elec­tron­ics Inc in 1993.

“In Hong Kong, elec­tron­ics dis­tri­bu­tion was a new in­dus­try back in 1980s, so when I first en­tered the in­dus­try I thought that a dis­trib­u­tor was just a ‘mid­dle­man’ be­tween buy­ers and sellers.”

Ac­tu­ally it was more than that. One must un­der­stand the needs and de­mands of cus­tomers, and un­der­stand the cy­cles, as well as forecast and man­age the sup­ply chain, he said.

“The charm about the in­dus­try is that I’ve been in it for more than 30 years and still have a lot to learn about it, as it evolves ev­ery year and there are al­ways new things for me to un­der­stand and to learn.”

Yu said years in the se­nior man­age­ment of Arrow Elec­tron­ics have seen him de­velop his own busi­ness phi­los­o­phy of the three “Ts”.

The first “T” is tim­ing: Man­ag­ing a com­pany some­times means that you have to al­ways find the right time to do the right thing, he said. “Some­times my col­league would tell me that this thing we want to try we’ve al­ready tried 10 years ago, and I would re­ply that it did not work out 10 years ago but it may be per­fect for to­day.”

The Sec­ond “T” is tempo — if we want to do things right, we need the right time and the right pace, he said.

“As a busi­ness­man, I have to con­trol the tempo of how we do things. Some things need to be done quickly while some things need to be pushed for­ward grad­u­ally.”

The last “T” of Yu’s busi­ness phi­los­o­phy refers to team, as in­di­vid­ual achieve­ment in a way de­pends on team­work.“This is why I al­ways spend a lot of my time build­ing my team.” Yu knows that many


Si­mon Yu Man-wang, pres­i­dent of Arrow Asia Pac Ltd, is ready to bet there will be at least one Chi­nese name among the top 10 semi­con­duc­tor pro­duc­ing coun­tries and re­gions in the world within five years.

Si­mon Yu Man-wang,

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