Beijing firms bring tech to Belt and Road countries

Updated 2017-05-08 10:01:24 Xinhua

Chen Zhiqiang is celebrating his decision to build a sprawling factory in northern Beijing 18 years ago.

His company, Nuctech, is one of China's leading security inspection equipment producers.

"When construction started in 1999 on our factory in Miyun District, many people thought it was too big, a waste. But the company has developed greatly, and nobody doubts my decision now," he said.

Since its founding in 1997, Nuctech has expanded several times. The Miyun factory, covering about 100,000 square meters, has become a large production base for exports. It also has factories in Poland and Brazil.

At the Miyun factory, workers are testing several car scanners which they plan to ship to Mexico. The company plans to export about 20,000 pieces of inspection equipment overseas in the coming months.

"Nuctech products have been used at many foreign ports and customs," said Chen. In 2016, exports made up 60 percent of the total sales volume, he added.

Nuctech is among the companies that have expanded swiftly since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in 2013.

"If there were no Belt and Road Initiative, we would still go out and look for business opportunities, but business has been a lot easier with the initiative coming along," said Chen.

"Our overseas partners are more ready to cooperate because they know they can also benefit greatly," he added.

Another Beijing company, OriginWater, was founded in 2001, four years after Nuctech. Both companies originated in Zhongguancun, known as China's Silicon Valley.

Banking on domestic success in providing safe water solution, OriginWater has sold products in countries including Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Nano-membrane filters developed by the company can block the pollutants and purify water. Vice manager He Yuanping said the technology could have broad applications in water-scarce countries and regions.

"We are working on an agreement in Oman," He said.

He said it is still not easy to seek business in foreign countries.

"It is important to understand the market before we move in, its legal system and finance situations. We find it easier to work with Chinese companies that are already successful in foreign markets," he said.

"Borrow a boat to sail in the sea -- we will find more ways to use the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative," he said.

"Chinese companies are developing fast, especially hi-tech firms. Many are ready to create value and spread their technology," said Zhang Xiaodong, head of the promotion association of Belt and Road in Zhongguancun.

MIUI, the phone operating system developed by Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi, has gathered many fans.

Evgeny Drozdov founded an online forum for MIUI in Russia. "There are about 70,000 clicks every day," he said.

Santi, an Indonesian woman, started working at Xiaomi two years ago. Her job is to respond to questions from local Xiaomi users. "Many netizens are quite active in helping the forum with translation between English and local dialects and Chinese," she said.

According to Xiaomi, starting in 2017, all Xiaomi phones sold in Indonesia will be produced locally.

"The reason why Xiaomi can develop so fast is that it localizes operations, production and consumption," said Wang Yiwei, professor of Renmin University of China.

"The Belt and Road Initiative has disseminated ideas of cooperation and win-win. It has guided Chinese companies to look for their place in the global division of labor and realize common development for all," Wang said.

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