Multinationals eye greater tech cooperation with China

Representatives of multinationals attending a forum in China have expressed a strong willingness to expand cooperation with their Chinese partners in science and technology, in order to tap the huge opportunities offered by the country’s modernization drive.

At the 4th World Science and Technology Development Forum, which concluded Monday in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, participants from over 20 countries and regions gathered online and offline to discuss sci-tech innovation and sustainable development in basic sciences, climate change, digital economy, and green innovation.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of US tech giant Microsoft’s entry into China. Guan Zhen, chief technical adviser of Microsoft China, cited launching Microsoft Research Asia (MSR Asia) in China as an example of the company’s robust cooperation with China.

MSR Asia, based in Beijing and Shanghai, is Microsoft’s largest research institute outside the United States. At MSR Asia, experts and scholars from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to develop revolutionary technologies, said Guan.

Xi’an Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd., under Johnson & Johnson, is a pharmaceutical company that entered China in the 1980s. Its R&D laboratory in Shanghai has developed new drugs for various diseases including hepatitis, lung cancer and hematologic malignancies, through cooperation with China’s domestic R&D resources.

“We have benefited a lot from entering China,” said Liu Jun, an executive with Xi’an Janssen.

Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate services firm, has offered consulting services for many multinationals in China.

Wei Chaoying, an executive with Cushman & Wakefield’s office in China, said that the company has shifted from helping multinationals locate sites to proactively exploring development paths in China.

“Our innovation aims to create a good ecology for enterprises, the market and government in China,” Wei said.

Rockwell Automation, a leading global industrial automation company, has been doing business in China for nearly 40 years.

Chen Ye, vice president of Rockwell Automation (China) Co., LTD., has witnessed the upgrading of China’s manufacturing industry in the past decades – with it becoming increasingly intelligent and automated.

Promoting innovation in China is the only way to meet the demands of high-end customers in the country, said Chen, adding that Rockwell has cooperated with Chinese research institutions to achieve a win-win situation for customers, research institutions and multinationals.

China has reiterated that it will not change its determination to open up at a higher level and has welcomed multinationals to share in the benefits of China’s development.

In the latest move, China’s Ministry of Commerce pledged on Thursday to better support multinationals when investing in China’s manufacturing sector.

Foreign investment is significant to China’s manufacturing upgrades and integration into global industrial and supply chains, the ministry’s spokesperson, Shu Jueting, told a regular media conference.

The ministry recently published policy documents that contain 15 specific measures to encourage foreign manufacturing investment, including post-establishment national treatment and access to better financial services and financing support.

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