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Making life easier, safer and greener

By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-21 09:35
An employee operates the working system in Infineon's smart factory in Dresden, Germany. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Editor's Note: This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. China Daily interviewed top executives of well-known multinational companies for their views on the country's socioeconomic development.

Semiconductor producer Infineon bridges real and digital world gaps

Please use three words to describe China's changes in the past 40 years.

Speed, innovation, growth. In only four decades, China has transformed into the second-largest economy of the world.

Today, it is setting an incredible pace when it comes to digital transformation and innovation. China's opening up to the outside world allows for more business opportunities for both domestic and foreign enterprises. Our manufacturing joint venture with SAIC Motors is a perfect example of that. We work together to accelerate the growth of electro-mobility.

What are the biggest achievements in China since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy 40 years ago?

High-speed growth, higher productivity and more foreign investment have resulted in a much bigger industrial and consumer base. Increased wealth is clearly visible in a much higher GDP per capita figure.

Technological advancements have played a critical role in driving these achievements, and semiconductors are the backbone of modern technology. These barely visible semiconductors have become an indispensable part of our daily lives.

Infineon is very proud to join, support and contribute to this journey. We make life easier, safer and greener with technology that achieves more, consumes less and is accessible to everyone. We are the link between the real and the digital world.

What's the biggest challenge China faces today and how can the country overcome it?

Society faces a number of challenges.

Population growth and changing demographics result in urbanization and a need for higher automation of industrial processes. Demand for energy continues to spiral across the globe.

At the same time, the rising need to fight climate change calls for new solutions in many areas of everyday life. These challenges also exist in China and our semiconductor solutions are a key when it comes to addressing them.

To illustrate, we enable eco-friendly, safe and smart mobility; we enable efficient generation, transmission and conversion of electrical energy; and we enable security in the connected world.

How has your company benefited from China's reform and opening-up policy?

China's reform and opening-up policy has led to impressive economic development, providing significant opportunities both for local businesses and foreign investment. We have been honored to witness, contribute to and benefit from this policy.

China has been one of Infineon's most important sales markets for several years and, with a figure of 1.74 billion euros ($1.97 billion), accounted for 25 percent of Infineon's revenue for the 2017 fiscal year.

Infineon's business has grown rapidly. With approximately 2,000 employees in China, Infineon has established an entire value chain covering research and development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and technical support. We have also been carrying out in-depth cooperation with leading Chinese enterprises and universities in sales, application R&D and personnel training.

Infineon's commitment to China remains unwavering. We have been expanding our investment, and collaborating with local partners to drive industry development and transformation.

For instance, we built a second factory in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, in 2015; we have joined hands with SAIC Motor to establish a joint venture; and we have initiated collaboration with Alibaba Cloud, JD and Baidu.

For local talent development, we have established joint labs with top universities in China such as Tsinghua University.

Has competition intensified between your company and Chinese companies?

Competition exists in any market, especially in an industry as global as semiconductors. For Infineon's growth in China, we are more focused on collaborating with local partners, rather than competing with our local peers.

We hope to enhance collaboration to drive innovation, create value and achieve win-win results across all industries.

How do you view China's role in the world today?

After 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has become an influential member of the international community and a strong engine for global economic development.

What measures are needed if China wants to deepen reforms?

Through its reform and opening-up policy, China has created a very dynamic marketplace attracting foreign investment. As a trusted partner, we deliver game-changing solutions that drive success in the local market and support China as it deepens reforms.

The China International Import Expo is one great example of China's continuous efforts to create opportunities for all.

What is the most unforgettable experience you have had in China?

What strikes me most about China is a cultural phenomenon, namely the unique co-existence of history and the future.

I have been to our manufacturing site in Wuxi very often - and the city looked different every time. Seeing this ongoing transformation made me realize: You have to be a part of it or you are missing out on something.

At the same time, China is cultivating its tradition with great care. The Great Wall of China, for example, has outlasted 2,700 years of human history and is located in close proximity to the vibrant megacity of Beijing.

Apart from economic development, what progress in other fields have you witnessed in China in the past 40 years?

I think opening-up has a double meaning for China and its people - inviting the world as well as traveling the world. As a long-term resident of Munich, I have witnessed how increasing prosperity in China has fueled the latter.

This may sound trivial, but this mutual curiosity is essential in order to develop understanding and respect for each other, and eventually to create successful partnerships.

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