Blueprints for greater success in the future
During the 13th Five-Year Plan ( 2016-2020) period, Shanghai will introduce reforms that will affect numerous industries to improve the livelihoods of people. Here are some of the plans that leaders in respective sectors will be implementing, according to a series of online talks by Shanghai-based news portal eastday.com.
Shanghai’s textile industry has a history of more than 150 years and it used to be known as the city’s key industry. During its peak, the city’s cotton and textile output accounted for 47.23 percent of the nation’s total.
By combining technology with fashion, Shangtex Holding Co Ltd is gearing up to become the nation’s largest multinational group in textile and attire trade in the next three to five years, with its core business centering on fashion, said the company’s president Zhu Yong.
“The ‘ Made in China Strategy 2025’ initiative offers an opportunity for the textile industry to make good use of the internet and information technology,” said Zhu.
After more than 40 years of exploration in raw material innovation, the group has successfully combined tech with fashion in a green fiber project that has an annual capacity of 1,000 tons. The fiber uses bamboo as raw material to produce an environmentally friendly product.
According to Zhu, the group is now looking to provide tailor-made services to consumers. “Made-to-order clothes do not have to be expensive, and Shangtex is dedicated to making such services affordable in the future,” said Zhu.
Af t e r decades
of development, Shangtex now produces 60 percent of China’s automobile floor mats and more than half of the nation’s automobile safety belts. At the moment, more than 80 percent of the company’s business is in international trading related to textile and clothes.
The group is also aware of its limits in building influential brands. Apart from underwear brand Three Guns, Shangtex’s other brands, including apparel brand Conch, are limited in exposure to the global scene.
“We will gradually increase our attire and clothes brands, but it will take time,” said Zhu.
Since launching an online store for fresh food, vegetables and fruits in February, Bright Food (Group) Co Ltd has attracted more than 600,000 registered users, and their revenue reached 66 million yuan as of late November.
According to Dong Qin, president of this Shanghai-based food corporation, e-commerce will be key for the company’s development in the next few years. “Bright Food will strive to leverage the Internet to combine the primary, secondary and tertiary industries,” he said.
Another of their strategies involves the acquisition of international brands, something Bright Food has done over the last few years. In November 2012, it completed the acquisition of British food processing company Weetabix Ltd for about 700 million pounds ($1.05 billion), which was the biggest overseas M&A deal for a Chinese company then. In 2014, the company acquired a majority stake in an Israeli counterpart Tnuva, and bought a majority stake in Italian olive oil producer Salov Group. In September this year, the group purchased Spain’s second-largest food distributor Miquel Alimentacio Grup for 110 million euros ($120 million).
“This will be only the beginning,” said Chen Yongming, a professor from the Shanghai Administration Institute. According to Chen, Bright Food will raise the proportion of its overseas assets from the current 15 percent to 25 percent in the next three years, and the company is very likely to become a Fortune 500 enterprise by next year.
“Although China is known as the world’s factory, we will strive to begin exporting our very own brands in the future,” said Dong.
According to him, Bright Food will not only bring good products to domestic consumers, but also import advanced technology and management to improve the Chinese market.
Many new records were set during the construction of the 632-meter-tall Shanghai Tower and the building is physical proof of what can be achieved with state-of-art technology.
The construction of the Shanghai Tower was a groundbreaking achievement for Chinese companies. After all, it was the first time they had to construct a building taller than 600 meters, and also the first time a single-building project with a weight of 850,000 tons was constructed on soft clay ground, said Hang Yingwei, president of Shanghai Construction Group, the contractor for the Shanghai Tower development.
To build the tower, Shanghai Construction Group spent millions of yuan to research building information modeling (BIM) technology and the Shanghai Tower represents the first application of this technology by Chinese companies, added Hang.
“We stored every detail of the complicated design into an iPad, and more than 3,500 workers can work together at peak construction periods, thanks to the three-dimensional digital technology of BIM,” said Hang.
High technology requires huge input, and Shanghai Construction Group spared no efforts in research and development investment. More than 2.5 billion yuan was spent on technological R&D in 2014, and Hang said that such input has started to pay off.
“A fine building is like a business card for a city, but more importantly, it is a testament to the making of history,” said Hang, who noted that Shanghai Construction Group will be looking to use its intelligent construction and green technology to build more buildings and turn Shanghai into a smart city.
As many as 600,000 new energy cars will be produced by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) by 2020, among which, about 200,000 will be under its own brands.
The current annual sales revenue of SAIC is around 630 billion yuan, or one-third of the combined revenue of all of Shanghai’s State-owned enterprises.
According to Chen Zhixin, president of SAIC, a breakthrough in core technology has already been made and the company’s own car brands are poised for a new era of development.
Chen added that the increase in building capacity will complement automotive innovation and e-commerce. An online platform for sales and resale, as well as maintenance, was launched in March this year and nearly 3,500 retailers have signed up.
Although SAIC currently produces 5.62 million cars, or 23 percent of the nation’s total, only 2 percent of the company’s cars are sold overseas, whilst merely 4 percent of its products are under its owned brands, according to Chen Yongming, a professor from Shanghai Administration Institute.
“This situation will soon change in the next five to 10 years as the city is working to develop advanced manufacturing industries which in turn will help to boost SAIC’s presence in foreign markets,” said Professor Chen.
Reforms can be expected in the public transportation sector to boost efficiency as well. Shanghai’s underground network is currently the world’s longest, measuring 577 kilometers and comprising 339 stations and 15 lines. As of the first half of 2015, the network handles 8.09 million passenger trips daily.
According to Gu Weihua, president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Group Co Ltd, the waiting time for trains at Shanghai’s major metro line stations will be within two minutes in the next five years, and the total distance covered by the subway network will hit 1,000 kilometers by 2025.
China's automobile industry will be leveraging technology to boost production and presence in foreign markets, while public transportation is expected to become more efficient.