Foreign companies eye new 'opening-up'

Updated: 2013-06-24 03:00

By DING QINGFEN and LIU JIE (China Daily)

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Aggressive companies

BioMerieux is not alone. Over the past year, more multinational high-tech companies and high-end manufacturers have been betting big on China, expanding their presence in Asia's largest economy. The multinational high-tech engineering group Sandvik AB is a case in point.

"Currently, our R&D in China is still about application and localization, so each business has its own team and focus," said ZZ Zhang, chief executive officer of Sandvik Greater China.

"But we are now considering whether to move some of our basic, early-stage and primary R&D capability to China."

The Sweden-based group has five units, including mining, machining solutions, materials technology, construction and venture capital. In China each business has its own R&D organization.

It's not only about R&D. Foreign businesses also increase their local presence through establishing high-end manufacturing facilities.

In March, Samsung Electronics announced it will spend $7 billion building a factory to make advanced gadgets of NAND flash technology, a type of digital memory widely used in smartphones and tablet computers. The operation will be the largest FDI measured by value made in China's western region.

"Many signals show China has realized the importance of enhancing cooperation with foreign companies through opening-up, especially in high-tech industries — and it is also advancing the initiatives," said Wang Zhile, president of the Beijing New Century Academy on Transnational Corporations and also senior researcher on FDI.

"Foreign companies should adjust their China strategy, integrating into the new development of China."