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Siemens eyes Shanghai as major growth platform

As many companies with operations in Shanghai accelerate production to deliver orders around the world, German technology and industrial group Siemens said that it will continue its investment in the metropolis and keep introducing digital solutions to businesses in China's Yangtze River Delta region, said a top executive.

As more than 80 percent of its production has come back online in Shanghai, Xiao Song, global executive vice-president of Siemens, said that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, China, with its complete industrial chain system, is capable of maintaining high-quality growth in the coming years.

Siemens has already established a complete localized value chain in Shanghai, as it operates more than 20 companies and branches, including six manufacturing bases covering key areas such as industrial automation, industrial software, power systems and automation, mobility and healthcare.

After putting its first digital native factory globally into operation in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, in late June, Xiao, also chairman, president and CEO of Siemens China, said that looking ahead, the company will continue to make innovation its driving force, and leverage digitalization and sustainable development to work with China and the world on major challenges such as climate change.

The new factory-Siemens Numerical Control Ltd-is able to manufacture products in two major categories, electronics and electrical products, which require different raw materials and production processes.

Xiao said the new factory will become an important platform for Siemens to share the concept of digital transformation and practical experience with Chinese companies, which will empower the transformation and upgrade of local industries, accelerate the process of industrial digitization and digital industrialization together with industrial enterprises, and bring new vitality to the economic growth of the Yangtze River Delta region.

"We see that amid all changes and uncertainties in global markets, China's determination to continuously open up has remained unchanged over the past years," he said, adding that greater market openness has a positive impact on sustainable social and economic development in China, and also helps revitalize the global economy, address climate change and improve the multilateral trading environment.

Supported by more than 30,000 employees in China, the German multinational group runs innovation centers and plants across China and launched its industrial 5G solutions in the country this year, providing flexible end-to-end communication services to industrial enterprises so as to assist them to build security ecosystems and master digital transformation.

Zhao Ying, a researcher at the Beijing-based Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the application of digital solutions has been expanded from the consumption sector to the production sector. With the industrial internet taking shape, it has already become a new engine driving growth of the digital economy.

"Despite the fact that China is faced with short-term challenges, we believe that the country will remain an attractive market, a superior industrial cluster and an increasingly efficient innovation hub for most multinational companies," said Denis Depoux, global managing director of consultancy Roland Berger.

The Chinese market increasingly demonstrates features of its own in consumption patterns, domestic technology and business model evolution, which are different from those of other markets, calling for business model localization. Therefore, engagement and business models of multinational companies need to evolve accordingly so as to better participate in China's future development, Depoux said.

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