Travel Story: Beijing and Hong Kong
Taking the MRT to Beijing Economical Development Area (BEDA) we visited Tetra
Pak's production plant. This plant was established in 2005 and is one of the
largest Tetra Pak production plants in the world. The production
capacity is more
than 16 billion packages/year.
Ms Mary MA kindly gave us a presentation of the production process dividing it into three
different steps: Printing, Coating and Slitting. The sanitation and safety of the production
plants was utterly imp
ortant and we had to wear specially designed suits and caps and
furthermore watch a safety video before entering the plant. The size of the plant was very
impressive. The printing machines, cutting machinery and the slitting machinery were
imported from Sw
eden, USA and Italy respectively. The paper rolls used for the process
were imported from Sweden and Brazil. However this facility only produces processed
"paper rolls" for their OEM's, where the OEM's in turn shapes the rolls into small packages
es the filling process. One can also add that the filling machines located at the
OEM's are also manufactured by Tetra Pak which add further value to the company. Even
though Tetra Pak has lot of facilities abroad it still contributes a lot to Swedish expo
machinery and raw material are exported to China.
At the SKF office in the central districts of Beijing Mr Hoper Ran, Maintenance
Products Manager greeted us kindly and showed us to the conference room. The
history of SKF's existence in China is
very unique. SKF established its first office in
Shanghai 1912, just a couple of year after it's founding in Gothenburg. Having
established several offices at major cites, the company was forced to withdraw its
business due to the political turmoil in the
country following the WW2. 1988 it
returned to Chinese soil via Hong Kong and has since then established offices and
production lines all around the country.
A major topic during our discussions with SKF was the wind power development in China. Mr
Ran was kind enough to invite a governmental expert in the field of wind technology,
Mr Yao Xiaoqin, who answered questions requiring more data on the sheet.
Since the government set up new requirements for reduced carbon oxide emissions the
market of w
ind technology has boomed to record numbers allowing China to take the lead
as the country with the highest production capacity of "green energy sources". SKF has an
important role to play when the demand for wind turbine increase since they supply Vestas,
GoldWind and other major wind turbine manufacturers with the required bearings and
They day after we, together with Mr Hoper, paid a small visit to Vestas Generator Factory in
Tianjin. There we had the chance to further expand our knowledg
e about the business of
wind turbines, the market demand, supply chain, competitors and so forth.
After the visit in Beijing we went to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong we visited the Swedish
Chamber of Commerce, Ericsson and SKF.
At SKF we made a short visit talk
ing about the
Hong Kong’s important role in trade with China. Before China opened up for foreign
companies most business was run through Hong Kong.
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is a non
profit organization, with its main
objective to create a network co
nsisting of workers in Hong Kong that in some
way have relations to Swedish Businesses. In comparison to the Swedish Trade
Council they receive no funding from the Swedish Government and make no
consulting jobs for its member companies. Today they have app
member companies, however not all of them are Swedish.
Lang, the Marketing Manager at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, explained about
their relation to their members and how they host meetings and gatherings for the
members to exchange ideas, knowledge and to provide a comforting atmosphere of the
pirit" for those that are highly nostalgic.
They host around 80 events each year, but also provides the opportunity for members
themselves to host event in special occasions.
There was a special branch called YP, that is Young Professionals, with the s
ame purpose as
the regular. However the events organised for YP are somewhat more customized for the
younger generation of entrepreneurs and students.
Greeted at the entrance by Michael Lee, the CTO for Ericsson in Hong Kong and
actually a former student
at Chalmers University of Technology, he held a minor
PowerPoint presentation in the conference room about their function in Hong Kong
and their relation to the neighbouring branches in Asia. He explained the
Corporate Structure and the joint venture toget
her with ST Ericsson and Sony
Ericsson and how services and products are being distributed between these
Ericsson in Hong Kong had about 100 employees in 1984 and has today nearly tripled its
staff number. Ericsson has about 80000 employees wo
rldwide, with the main part of its R&D
staff located in Sweden and mainland China.
What differentiates Ericsson from its competitors is that the 10 regions it has set up is a
result of cultural, not geographical, reasons. Michael Lee explained that 40% o
f the mobile
traffic is being handled by the switches Ericsson has set up.
It was very interesting to see in what rapid pace the mobile phone technology has evolved,
and to hear how bright the future still is. Ericsson is in the lead in the next generati
phone technology, LTE/4G, as well. Nowadays Ericsson's biggest competitor is the Chinese
company Huawei, their market share is getting bigger and bigger, but as can be seen to
right they still haven't caught up with Ericsson. Ericsson is also expan
ding their business
area to stay competitive. Before telecom operators usually had personnel running the
networks bought by Ericsson, but now Ericsson is taking over this market as well.
Kristofer Jovanov och Linus Hallberg