Sino-Swiss Business News
ABB Ltd, the Switzerland-based technology company, will produce more industrial and service robots in China that can be used in the new energy vehicle, 5G, consumer electronics and healthcare sectors in the post-pandemic era, according to a senior executive. “COVID-19 is the single greatest catalyst for change in the industry in a generation, forcing our customers to reassess their priorities, but the global lockdown itself has not started any new trends on its own,” said Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s robotics and discrete automation business. He said the pandemic has accelerated four megatrends that will fundamentally change the face of manufacturing in the long term－the individualized consumer, labor shortages, uncertainty and digitalization. “China’s ‘new infrastructure’ initiative presents exciting opportunities for global companies. It is clear that many of our customers in different sectors need to enhance their manufacturing capability, such as new energy vehicles, railway, 5G equipment, logistics and healthcare,” said Atiya, who is also a member of ABB’s group executive committee.
With the commissioning of a new production facility in Chengdu, Sika has further expanded its capacity in the rapidly growing mortar market in China. In addition to profiting from the strong demand, Sika can also benefit from the launch of new products and the expansion of the distributor network offering Sika solutions directly to craftsmen and DIY customers. Mike Campion, Regional Manager Asia/Pacific: “The expanded mortar production in China enables us to address our customers’ needs on an even more targeted basis. With a population of 15 million people, Chengdu is one of the most important economic urban centers in Western China. Here we see a growing demand for Sika’s Building Finishing solutions due to large investments in the construction sector. The strong business trend following the corona-related lockdown shows that we are on the right track: our mortar sales have increased significantly this year despite the crisis. We will continue to expand the business and bring two additional plants onstream in the growing Chinese market over the next eighteen months.”
Schindler was the first western industrial to sign a joint venture in China in March 1980. This year, Schindler China celebrates its 40 years anniversary. The history of Schindler in China is a success story with many great achievements over a timespan of four decades. Tall buildings and their need for elevators and escalators in China were still an exception in the predominantly low-rise urban landscape of the late 1970s. However, elevators quickly started supporting a boom in skyscrapers. Today, supertall buildings such as the PingAn Finance Center in Shenzhen (660m), the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong (484m), or the Qingdao Center in Qingdao (245m) are part of the skyline of every large Chinese city. We are looking back to 40 successful but challenging years. But, what will the next 40 years for Schindler in China look like and what megatrends will drive the elevator business in its biggest market?
Chinese President Xi Jinping on September 14th exchanged congratulatory messages with Simonetta Sommaruga, president of the Swiss Confederation, on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Switzerland. In his message, Xi noted that Switzerland was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. The two countries have jointly cultivated a cooperation spirit of equality, innovation and win-win over the past 70 years and set an example of friendly cooperation between countries that are different in social systems, development stages and sizes, he said. Xi underscored the mutual assistance between China and Switzerland in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he is willing to make joint efforts with Sommaruga to promote further development of bilateral innovative strategic partnership. Sommaruga said, Switzerland and China have upheld principles of openness and mutual respect in developing bilateral relations over the past 70 years.
The World Intellectual Property Organization has crowned Switzerland the most innovative country in the world for the tenth consecutive year. Switzerland not only offers fertile ground for innovation, but also inspires many new creations, as the number of patent applications shows. For the past ten years, Switzerland has ranked top of the Global Innovation Index (GII). The Index is published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), French business school Insead and Cornell University. It ranks the performance of 130 countries, examining both the necessary conditions for innovation and the new creations that result from innovation. According to the report, Switzerland offers particularly fertile ground for innovation. It scored 69.42 points in the corresponding category of Innovation Input and ranks second in the world. The average in this category is 41.39 points. In addition to substantial investment in research and development, Switzerland’s strong position is due to the high quality of local universities and extensive human resources. Furthermore, it performed highly for its stable political environment, good regulatory environment and infrastructure. Switzerland is followed in the rankings by Sweden, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands and Denmark. China is ranked 14th in the world.
The Chinese life sciences company Hengrui Medicine is establishing a Swiss subsidiary in Basel. The European hub for clinical research and development will help the company to advance its innovative drugs, including cancer treatments. The Basel life sciences ecosystem is set to grow by another major global player. The international company Hengrui Medicine is establishing a Swiss subsidiary, Hengrui Europe Therapeutics AG. Founded in 1970, the Chinese company reportedly has a market capitalization of about USD 70 billion and therefore ranks as one of the top 30 life sciences companies in the world. It has more than 25,000 employees worldwide and currently runs more than 120 clinical trials globally. The Basel site will be dedicated to the clinical research and development of Hengrui’s innovative drugs in Europe. Hengrui Medicine operates in various fields, though its primary focus is on cancer treatments. The investment and innovation promotion agency Basel Area Business & Innovation is supporting Hengrui Medicine in establishing the Basel subsidiary.
DKSH Business Unit Performance Materials has won the “Ringier Technology Innovation Award 2020 – Food & Beverage Industry (Category: Food & Beverage Ingredients – Functional)” by Ringier, Switzerland’s largest internationally operating Swiss media company. The award was presented to DKSH for the innovative product Cluster Dextrin®, produced by Glico, DKSH’s valued business partner. DKSH provides Market Expansion Services to Glico Nutrition and exclusively distributes its products to the food and beverage industry in China. Cluster Dextrin® is a functional carbohydrate that provides quick and sustainable energy to significantly enhance performance during exercise and sports. It is made from non-GMO waxy corn starch utilizing Glico’s original enzyme technique. Cluster Dextrin® is highly uniform in its molecular structure, highly water-soluble and the solution allows a quick supply through the stomach into the intestine. Compared to traditional carbohydrate sources like glucose and dextrose, Cluster Dextrin® is clinically proven to enhance stamina, reduce intestinal discomfort and fatigue as well as suppress inflammatory stress.
V-ZUG, the Swiss manufacturer of household appliances, plans to open more stores in both top- and second-tier cites in China, and will introduce new digitalization of related products into the country’s lucrative market for the long term. Many opportunities arise from Chinese consumers’ growing demand for high-end home appliances, such as ovens, high-efficiency stoves and fabric-care appliances, as well as the evolution of consumer needs, from purchasing expensive products to customized solutions, said Jennifer Bao, managing director of V-ZUG (China). She said China is a market with attractive potential. According to statistics, high-end goods are bought by more than 400 million middle- and high-income residents in the country and the number will continuously grow. Being the second-largest market after Switzerland globally, V-ZUG currently has 60 sales outlets in 21 cities across China.
Nestlé has launched a campaign on three continents, taking aim at the fast-growing market for plant-based meat alternatives that has been led by startups like Beyond Meat. Nestlé began selling its Garden Gourmet Sensational Burger — a plant-based ready-made patty — in Europe this month. It also targets the huge U.S. and Chinese markets. The entry of the world’s largest food company broadens the field of competition in plant-based meat, which has gotten a boost from increased health awareness during the coronavirus pandemic. “Success in plant-based foods will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” CEO Mark Schneider has said. The company is accelerating its push into meat alternatives around the world. In China, it is investing CHF 100 million (USD 110 million) to expand a factory in Tianjin, with plans to start producing artificial meat there by the end of the year. The company sees significant room for growth in China, the world’s largest consumer of pork.
Credit Suisse Group AG is set to reap the benefits of a secret investment it made in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) subsidiary Ant Financial Services Group, as the latter goes public in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Bloomberg reported. The Swiss bank invested $100 million during the Chinese financial firm’s latest funding round in 2018, which brought Ant’s valuation to $150 billion, according to Bloomberg. Asset management firm Bernstein projects Ant Financial’s valuation to be $210 billion, a premium of 40% over Credit Suisse’s investment. The lender didn’t previously disclose the amount it invested in Ant and does not have plans to sell its stake, people familar with the matter told Bloomberg.