To mark Chinese Brands Day, which took place on May 10th, CGTN's Lu Sirui spoke with a number of Chinese firms who not only survived, but thrived, though a difficult 2020 to understand how these companies turned obstacles into opportunities.
With the coronavirus pandemic hitting the global economy hard, some see a glimmer of hope.
Midea, China's leading household electronic devices company, says it still witnessed more than ten percent growth in 2020.
The company says innovation is a core driver.
ERIC WANG Vice President, Midea Group. "We have already applied more than 120,000 patents worldwide just last year. We are the number one in terms of patent grant in last five years worldwide. The result of these investments is a series of innovative products."
Most of Midea's overseas markets are centered in Japan, U.S., Germany and Italy. But these nations are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Eric Wang says a balanced global manufacturing layout has helped the company to survive.
ERIC WANG Vice President, Midea Group. "Currently, we have 34 manufacturing bases worldwide. And half of them are outside of China. When China's supply chain is in constrains, we can utilize overseas factories to supply the demand that used to be from China. After the overseas supply chain was disrupted, we used Chinese supply chain to supply the rest of the world."
Many young companies have seen a boom during the pandemic thanks to help from big data.
Welland, which produces smart health devices, is one of them. Its revenue in 2020 is two times that of 2019.
They attribute this achievement to partner Alibaba Design Innovation Center, whose parent company Alibaba, has millions of active users online.
They say the center helped them better understand customers and customer preferences to better build their brand.
GAO RUIJUN CEO, Welland "We used to do Original Entrusted Manufacturing, export-oriented trade, and get orders from overseas. Generally customers tell us they want certain types of products and decide how much they want to pay for the design. But after building our own brand, we control the design and price of the product."
YAO HANJIANG Manager, Alibaba Design Innovation Center "We help our customers design more efficiently, reducing the cost of product innovation, so as to get rid of price competition. We hope to help turn 'made in China' into 'created in China'."
Industry insiders say China has a long history of manufacturing and with improvements in industrial design and customer understanding, it won't be long until the country grows more competitive. Lu Siuri, CGTN, GUANGZHOU.