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Constant feedback from customers is key

By Ren Xiaojin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-17 10:14
Visitors look at Aruba's new products during a launch event in Beijing in December 2018. [Photo provided to China Daily]

California-based wireless network solution provider Aruba offers customized products for Chinese market

Many regional leaders of foreign companies in China face challenges when reporting to their global headquarters, especially if the latter lacks familiarity with or interest in the Chinese market.

But for Jason Xie, president of Aruba China, a unit of California-based wireless network solution provider, it has never been difficult reporting to his global boss.

He said the company's headquarters in the United States is deeply interested in the Chinese market and eager to know every change that takes place in the country.

"Our global CEO thinks that China has high potential to be developed," said Xie. "It would be painful for a regional head to report back if the boss had no interest in what is happening here. But for me, it has never been painful - but stressful, sometimes."

Aruba is committed to the Chinese market. It is one of the very few foreign companies that set up a local research and development center as soon as they come to China, according to Xie.

The move is a proof of Aruba's determination to provide customized products to the local market, Xie said.

"Not many foreign companies can do that, as the usual way is to build up an R&D center after being here for a while," he said.

Xie said for the company to survive and compete with its local counterparts, the key to remaining innovative is to constantly get feedback from customers.

"Many applications in China are very advanced. For example, while instant messaging apps such as WeChat were not invented in China, China was the first to connect such apps with business functions," Xie said.

"Our internet environment is highly complicated and constantly updating, which requires us to keep pace."

Taking SF Express, one of Aruba's clients, as an example, Xie said the company frequently sends its top researchers to the "frontline" to see what the clients need and to customize products.

Wu Dongming, CEO of DHL Express China, shared similar thoughts.

"Foreign companies usually have a standard and unified system, while local clients have their own demands," he said. "That bothered me a lot in the past. Many foreign companies face the same situations too, and they usually adapt the standard measures."

In early December 2018, Aruba launched its latest Wi-Fi solution supporting high-efficiency wireless standards, called IEEE 802.11ax, to serve clients with growing demand for a safer, more reliable and highly functional internet environment.

"The business-to-business Wi-Fi solutions market is huge in China, worth roughly $700 million, not to mention the wired network market, which is over $1 billion," said Xie.

"We have our own targeted market niche, as our clients mostly require advanced internet applications," Xie said.

"We hope we can gain a considerable market share in China."

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