Firms flex­ing dig­i­tal mus­cles

China Daily - - CHINA INTERNATIONAL IMPORT EXPO - By HE WEI in Shang­hai Shi Jing con­trib­uted to this story.

Global pro­fes­sional firms are rac­ing to ex­pand and up­grade their ser­vices port­fo­lio dur­ing the on­go­ing China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo, in an at­tempt to widen the scope and depth of their op­er­a­tions on the Chi­nese main­land and the mar­ket it­self.

Au­dit to con­sul­tancy ser­vice provider PwC, also known as Price­wa­ter­house­C­oop­ers, has launched its “panoramic ser­vice plat­form”. It ex­clu­sively ad­dresses the busi­ness needs de­rived from the CIIE, in a move to help make it a per­ma­nent event.

The plat­form will draw on PwC’s ex­per­tise in ar­eas rang­ing from con­sult­ing and re­source-match­ing, to mergers and ac­qui­si­tions, and will ex­tend a full spec­trum of ser­vices to in­ter­ested par­ties that are eye­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties aris­ing from the coun­try’s thriv­ing im­port sec­tor.

The pro­to­type plat­form is the re­sult of a se­ries of busi­ness re­quire­ments PwC fre­quently re­ceives that align with the CIIE ethos, such as Chi­nese mar­ket en­trance guid­ance for small and medi­um­sized for­eign en­ter­prises, said El­ton Huang, a Shang­hai-based se­nior part­ner at PwC China.

“The at­tempt is more like an ag­gre­ga­tion of busi­ness ma­tri­ces, or a pro­fes­sional ser­vices ecosys­tem that we of­fer,” Huang said.

The panoramic ser­vice plat­form made its de­but dur­ing the CIIE, where a ded­i­ca­ton­line ed news­room was in place at PwC’s booth to broad­cast all on­go­ing events to a wider au­di­ence.

As the six-day expo draws to an end, the plat­form is set to con­tinue its mis­sion of ad­dress­ing im­port-themed busi­ness in­quiries, Huang said.

In ad­di­tion to the ser­vice por­tal, PwC is also show­cas­ing some of its in­no­va­tive prac­tices be­yond its tra­di­tional au­dit, tax and man­age­ment ser­vice port­fo­lio.

Its blockchain trace­abil­ity so­lu­tion called PwC Air Trace pro­vides end-to-end trans­parency across the sup­ply chain, en­hanc­ing con­sumers’ trust in the prod­ucts they buy.

“The CIIE is a grand show­room for ser­vice trade prac­ti­tion­ers like us to ex­hibit our most in­no­va­tive en­deav­ors in tech­nol­ogy, so­cial ini­tia­tives and busi­ness mod­els,” Huang said. “Com­pared with pure com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the im­pact of face-to-face en­gage­ment is just so pow­er­ful and can have long-last­ing, spillover ef­fects.”

Also flex­ing its dig­i­tal mus­cles is Sin­ga­pore’s DBS Bank, which is show­cas­ing its strength in the dig­i­tal space and fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy, no­tably in trade and cash man­age­ment, tar­get­ing im­porters and ex­hibitors alike dur­ing the CIIE.

“Last year, we started to trans­form our re­tail branches into cash­less op­er­at­ing branches. We also launched the DBS iWealth dig­i­tal plat­form to fa­cil­i­tate our cus­tomers’ fi­nan­cial needs on the WeChat plat­form,” the bank said.

In a bid to fa­cil­i­tate smooth trans­ac­tions, HSBC Bank has launched its Trade Trans­ac­tion Tracker in China, a ser­vice that en­ables its cor­po­rate clients to track the sta­tus of their trade trans­ac­tions with real-time up­dates on their smart­phones, wher­ever they are and when­ever they want.

This will save a lot of time for com­pa­nies on back and forth en­quiries with in­stant mo­bile ac­cess to mon­i­tor trans­ac­tion sta­tus, and help them to speed up their trade cy­cle, en­hance cash flow, im­prove their sup­ply chain man­age­ment, and im­prove their mar­ket com­pet­i­tive­ness, ac­cord­ing to Florence Tan, head of global trade and re­ceiv­ables fi­nance for HSBC in China.

... the im­pact of face-to-face en­gage­ment is just so pow­er­ful and can have long-last­ing, spillover ef­fects.”

El­ton Huang, Shang­hai-based se­nior part­ner at PwC China

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