Blueprints for greater suc­cess in the fu­ture

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­

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 east­

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.

PHO­TOS BY GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY Smart and green con­struc­tion

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.

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