Siemens plunges into Chinese market with a bang

MUMBAI: China sure seems to be in the limelight these days as all major international companies are eyeing the market there. Leading mobile company Siemens has planned to invest $1.2 billion in China over the next few years as part of an agenda in which the company will double the number of regional offices from the current 28 to 60 in order to ensure a presence in all of the country's provinces.



Part of the investment will go to a new headquarters in Beijing, while the remainder will mostly be used to expand Siemens' various business subsidiaries and to beef up its research and manufacturing facilities in the country, the company said.

In addition to this, Siemens also plans to boost the production of mobile handsets at its Shanghai plant from 14 million to 20 million units annually. Also notable is the fact that Siemens had appointed local handset manufacturer Ningbo Bird as the main distributor of its phones in China earlier this month and the two companies also agreed to jointly develop products for domestic and international markets.

A media report stated that beyond its cell phone division, the German engineering conglomerate said other business units specialising in areas such as power generation, transportation, lighting and medical systems, will also be strengthened in China.

Siemens CEO Heinrich von Pierer was quoted in a media report saying that the billion-dollar boost is designed to lift the company's sales in China from $4.8 billion last year to $9.6 billion in the near future.

Announcing Siemens' new plan for China operations, Pierer was quoted in a media report saying that the next year Siemens' purchase in China would top five billion euro. Of the one billion euro investment, 100 million will be used to build a 30-storied mansion in Beijing as the company's China headquarters, which is also the company's biggest real estate project in the world. Research and development would also be the priority of Siemens' investment in China, said Ernst Behrens, president of Siemens China said the media report.

So far Siemens has established 45 joint ventures in China, involving a total of 5.4 billion Yuan (651 million dollars). Its operations include information and telecommunications, automation, electricity, traffic, medicine, lighting and home appliances.

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