Chinese giants target Europe

13 March 2013

BEIJING: Major Chinese firms like BYD, Huawei and Bosideng are hoping to drive up sales in Europe, despite the considerable financial challenges facing the region.

BYD, the automaker and battery manufacturer, first started selling products in Europe in 1999, and has recently targeted sectors like electric cars and buses to try and gain ground.

Chen Yongping, its European senior manager, told the China Daily: "The European market is the key to our success in globalisation, and we expect to win the European market through our high-end products."

While Chinese companies face stiff competition from more established international players, Chen suggested green technology could be an area where they are able to take the lead.

"Renewable energy is what Europe puts emphasis on, and electric buses will lead the trend," said Chen. "We are glad to see that BYD is four to five years ahead of European products in the sector."

Elsewhere, ZTE, the telecoms group, has partnered with Intel, the microchip manufacturer, to create "unique smartphones" based on the latter firm's high-performance Atom Z2580 processor.

This agreement builds on a long-running alliance between the two organisations, which has already yielded the ZTE Grand X IN smartphone, a device available in more than ten European nations.

"We've launched it successfully across Europe in strong cooperation with Intel, and as a result have significantly increased our brand awareness in these important markets," said Ao Wen, general manager, mobile devices, for ZTE Europe.

Huawei, the same sector, has two R&D centres in Europe, and offices focusing on this area in 12 cities across the region. It also plans to double the number of staff pursuing this activity in the next three years.

"The IP that Huawei develops and acquires as a result of our participation in European scientific research initiatives will first be applied in Europe in order to help improve Europe's global leadership in the science and technology industries," said Chen Lifang, a senior vice president at Huawei.

Bosideng, the apparel manufacturer, has long made products on behalf of major foreign groups, and is now seeking to build its own brand, opening a store in London as the first step to growing internationally.

"The problem is the Bosideng brand is quite new globally, especially in the European market," Zhu Wei, CEO of Bosideng Corp UK, said.

Chen Yongwu, European general manager of Zoje, which makes industrial sewing machines, was sure this widespread problem would change, saying: "Made-in-China goods will eventually become the gold standard worldwide. It's a matter of time."

Data sourced from China Daily; additional content by Warc staff