Philips shines a light on ini­tia­tive

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By ZHONGNANin Shang­hai zhong­nan@chi­

Philips Light­ing Hold­ing BV, a Euronext-listed com­pany, plans to ac­cel­er­ate its in­no­va­tive pace and ex­pand its pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity at its Chengdu re­search and man­u­fac­tur­ing base in Sichuan prov­ince to ship more prod­ucts to coun­tries along the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive over the next decade.

He said many of these op­por­tu­ni­ties come from coun­tries’ in­creas­ing de­mand for in­fra­struc­ture, pub­lic ser­vices and man­u­fac­tur­ing projects, as well as do­mes­tic use, es­pe­cially in fast-grow­ing economies such as Turkey, Kaza­khstan, Poland and Qatar.

The trade, ser­vice and in­fra­struc­ture net­work pro­posed by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment in 2013 en­vi­sions a Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and a 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road, cov­er­ing about 4.4 bil­lion peo­ple in more than 60 coun­tries and re­gions in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Eric Ron­dolat, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Philips Light­ing, said the com­pany’s Chengdu plant is not only sup­ply­ing light-emit­ting diode lamps and large-scale il­lu­mi­na­tion for in­dus­trial, sport and hos­pi­tal­ity fa­cil­i­ties to China, but also sup­ply­ing mar­kets in Europe and many other coun­tries along these two trad­ing routes.

At the tran­si­tion from con­ven­tional to LED light­ing con­tin­ues apace, the Dutch com­pany’s LED prod­uct sales have kept in­creas­ing, and ac­counted for 56 per­cent of its to­tal sales in the third quar­ter of 2016.

“As the main hub for the re­gion, our Chengdu base is also ben­e­fit­ing from the in­ter­na­tional freight rail­way route from the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive,” Ron­dolat said.

“There is still more mar­ket space for us to fur­ther ex­plore as we are pro­fi­cient in pro­duc­ing con­nected light­ing sys­tems, en­ergy-sav­ing and smart-light­ing prod­ucts, while many coun­tries along these two trad­ing routes are pro­mot­ing a low-car­bon econ­omy, cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for us to usher in new part­ner­ships to en­hance our earn­ing abil­ity,” said Ron­dolat.

China is Philips Light­ing’s sec­ond-largest over­seas mar­ket af­ter theUnited States and it has more than 1,000 re­searchers in China as well as 13 plants, and six re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ters.

The com­pany has de­ployed more re­sources in lever­ag­ing the in­ter­net of things to trans­form homes, build­ings and ur­ban spa­ces in China in re­cent years. It part­nered ear­lier this month with Xiaomi Corp, a ma­jor smart­phone maker in China, to es­tab­lish a joint ven­ture to pro­duce smart-home light­ing sys­tems.

With 2015 sales of 7.5 bil­lion eu­ros ($7.94 bil­lion), Philips Light­ing has 34,000 em­ploy­ees in more than 70 coun­tries and re­gions. It has sales branches in more than 1,600 cities and coun­ties, as well as more than 300 brand stores in China.

Zhao Ying, a re­searcher at the Bei­jing-based In­sti­tute of In­dus­trial Eco­nom­ics of the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, said the Chi­nese LED in­dus­try, which has long been ham­pered by a lack of patents, may have reached a turn­ing point. LED lamps last sev­eral times longer than in­can­des­cent lamps or most flu­o­res­cent bulbs. They are also more ef­fi­cient.

“We are also keen to seize op­por­tu­ni­ties that arise from China’s in­dus­trial up­grad­ing and ur­ban­iza­tion, be­cause the coun­try’s new­fo­cus is on qual­ity ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, as well as green, low-car­bon and sus­tain­able growth such as pro­mot­ing the use of LED prod­ucts and en­ergy-sav­ing au­to­mo­bile prod­ucts,” said Olivia Qiu, chief in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer of Philips Light­ing.

Eric Ron­dolat, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Philips Light­ing Hold­ing BV

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