German companies upbeat on the Chinese market despite COVID-19 disruptions
By Li Xiaoyang  ·  2022-05-26  ·   Source: Web Exclusive

Staff work in a Siemens workshop in Shanghai, which has been under closed-loop management since March (COURTESY PHOTO)

As Shanghai continues the resumption of production that began in mid-May, a growing number of foreign enterprises have restarted their business operations.  

German technology giant Siemens has launched closed-loop production in its plants in Shanghai to ensure the delivery of products and stabilize supply chains.  

To address challenges of the epidemic, Siemens is turning to local suppliers to address raw material shortages, and improve logistical efficiency through more flexible management. 

Another German technology company Robert Bosch has also resumed production in Shanghai. At the company’s annual press conference on May 10, board chairman Stefan Hartung said its auto part plants in Shanghai have resumed production under strict COVID-19 containment. 

Since the beginning of this year, Robert Bosch has been facing rising challenges including the Covid-19 resurgence, chip crunch and rising costs of raw materials, energy and logistics.  

“The support of the government and easing COVID-19 situation have improved our expectations, but the long supply chains of the auto industry, in which production links are inter-reliant, need some time to recover,” Bosch China President Chen Yudong told the same press conference.  

As of mid-May, three rounds of white lists of more than 3,000 enterprises in Shanghai had been prepared for work resumption. About 80 percent of the 847 foreign-invested firms have resumed operations, according to the Shanghai Municipal Economic and Information Commission. 

Foreign companies still hold upbeat expectations on the Chinese market.  

Bosch has developed businesses relating to electricity, hydrogen energy, automated driving, and smart manufacturing in China. “China will continue to be Bosch’s largest market. Over the past decade, Bosch has invested over 50 billion yuan ($7.5 billion) in the Chinese market,” Hartung said. 

According to Siemens, China as the world’s second largest economy has great market demand and complete industrial chains, which can back up its economic recovery.  

This year marks the 150th year of Siemens entering the Chinese market. Having established 20 research and development centers, Siemens has gained a firm footing in China. In June, Siemens will open a digital native factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. A global first for Siemens, the plant is expected to help promote local digital and green development. The company is also upgrading its electronic machinery production center in Yangzhou, Jiangsu. 

Copyedited by G.P. Wilson 

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