What Western en­trepreneurs say about China

China Daily (Canada) - - ANALYSIS -

“Chi­nese su­per­mar­kets are more flex­i­ble in their choice of part­ners and are more adapt­able to new tech­nol­ogy. They are go­ing mo­bile first, there­fore Re­ward Tech­nol­ogy is keen to tar­get on this mar­ket. We will start from big cen­ters like Shang­hai and Shen­zhen, which have big head of­fice shop­ping clus­ters.”

Tech­nol­ogy

CEO of Re­ward

“We have de­vel­oped our prod­uct’s pro­to­type in the UK, but we think China has good man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity to pro­duce and com­mer­cial­ize our SpaceCots on a large scale. In ad­di­tion, China’s mass con­sumer mar­ket will help us cre­ate scale of sales.”

founder of Ox­ford Space Struc­tures

“China’s vi­brant tech­nol­ogy scene and vi­sion­ary Chi­nese firms like Ten­cent are al­low­ing us to im­ple­ment our tech­nol­ogy on a large scale. Af­ter we rolled out our po­si­tion­ing tech­nol­ogy for the first time in China, we’re now look­ing to take it to other in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.”

Sense­where is a startup in Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land, founded in 2009. It has cre­ated a po­si­tion­ing tech­nol­ogy for smart­phone ap­pli­ca­tions that can de­tect user po­si­tion in­side shop­ping malls ac­cu­rately, so app de­vel­op­ers can send more tar­geted dis­counts and di­rec­tion ad­vice to cus­tomers. It has re­ceived in­vest­ment from Chi­nese In­ter­net firm Ten­cent, which is us­ing its tech­nol­ogy on its maps and in its QQ ap­pli­ca­tions.

vice-pres­i­dent of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, Sense­where, whose smart­phone ap­pli­ca­tions that can de­tect user po­si­tion in­side shop­ping malls in­vest­ment cap­i­tal in Bri­tain only two years af­ter the com­pany was set up. Chen was aware that China’s man­u­fac­tur­ing strength is the key to help­ing SpaceCots be­come com­mer­cially vi­able, and that the size of the Chi­nese mar­ket would be crit­i­cal in the com­pany’s growth.

Ox­ford Space Struc­tures set up an of­fice in Suzhou In­dus­trial Park in Jiangsu prov­ince to man­age the man­u­fac­tur­ing side of the busi­ness, which is out­sourced to a Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ing firm. The com­pany said it ex­pects to make 1 mil­lion SpaceCots this year.

“China is a very big mar­ket for baby prod­ucts, and its ris­ing middle class is in­creas­ingly able to af­ford high-end con­sumer prod­ucts,” Chen said, adding that she ex­pects that it is in China that sales of SpaceCot will be largest in the next few years.

In ad­di­tion to the sheer size of that mar­ket, the newly emerged Chi­nese con­sumer mar­ket’s will­ing­ness to try new ways of buy­ing is also mak­ing it highly at­trac­tive for Western star­tups that hope to make an im­pact but can­not com­pete with deeply rooted in­cum­bents in their mar­kets.

The UK startup Re­ward Tech­nol­ogy has de­vel­oped a new way of en­gi­neer­ing su­per­mar­ket dis­counts, so that a store de­tects loy­alty cards in cus­tomers’ pock­ets as they walk in and au­to­mat­i­cally gen­er­ates a se­lec­tion of the most suit­able pro­mo­tions based on a cus­tomer’s shop­ping habits, and sends this list to the cus­tomer’s phone as a text mes­sage.

ZHANG ZHEN / XIN­HUA

Tech­ni­cians of the He­bei Ang­tai Ro­bot Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd work on an in­dus­trial ro­bot. The Shi­ji­azhuang Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion Cen­ter, in which Ang­tai is lo­cated, is a state-level sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy in­cu­ba­tor.

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