From humble beginnings selling keyboards out of Tsinghua University, Feng Jun the Founder and CEO of Shenzhen-listed electronics manufacturing company, Aigo, believes now is the time for Chinese companies to be global players.
In the recent BrandZ Top 100 ranking which measures the most influential brands in the world; American tech companies take the top positions as you would expect. Apple, IBM, Google make up the top 3 positions. The only Chinese brand to recognised in the top 10 was China Mobile in the 10th position. The difference is, Apple, IBM and Google are globally recognised brands but China Mobile is really only known in China. Moreover nearly every international company has products made in China but the world still has no China brand, and Jun said “this is not okay.”
Speaking at CHINICT, Feng Jun was clearly inspired to not let Chinese companies be labelled by the world as cheap, poor quality or clones. Instead he believes Chinese companies have dramatically improved in quality and exclaimed now catching up Japanese made products.
Jun explained that some of the key reasons Chinese companies have not been able to crack into new markets outside its borders. One reason is that long ago when the only Chinese companies big enough to go overseas, were SOE’s or state-owned entities. However these SOEs were not sophisticated and savvy enough to understand the culture gap, hence failed and lost a lot of money. Such big failures scared other private companies from trying, but Jun believes there is a better way and they shouldn’t be scared.
To make this happen, Aigo has created something called the Aigo Entrepreneurs Alliance between major Chinese companies that want to better understand the world in order to successfully enter new markets. The Alliance is organizing a world tour to different countries across Europe, South East Asia, America and Africa for executives to meet potential partners and scope out the market. The outcome for some companies, maybe to set up regional offices to establish a presence and better localize products.
As for Aigo itself, the company is moving away from pure hardware products to more software and especially cloud based products utilizing IPV6. Inspired by Sony, Jun see the future as a land of ‘wireless ubiquitous’. He demonstrated an example by taking a photo on his digital camera and having it synced on the cloud to be viewed on his smartphone. He even threw his phone on the ground to prove how sturdy and high quality it was, and that Chinese no longer make poor quality products that break easily.
Photo credit: http://english.cntv.cn