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PARIS - China's strategic decision to boost investment in the digital industry will improve the quality of customer experience and encourage innovation, Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said in an interview with Xinhua.
Given the global economic crisis, markets in Europe and the United States remain sluggish. While low investment continues to plague Europe, Chinese markets show a difference scenario, especially in the telecom sector where broadband networks are in high demand and tremendous investment is encouraged.
"China is one of the countries that have really decided that now is the time to build digital infrastructure," Verwaayen said.
He added that the Chinese government's Broadband China project is "a very impressive strategy" that would produce "massive amounts of opportunities for people to develop new business, new ways of life."
Verwaayen pointed out that while Europe is struggling to translate its intentions into well-developed plans, China has not only the intention, "but also a plan to deliver."
As China continues its economic transformation from "Made in China" to "Mind in China", Verwaayen that in telecom industry, added value is not in the "make", but in system integration, software and creativity. However, this is not an overnight ride and needs to be done step by step, he said.
For Alcatel-Lucent, one of the world's leading companies in the telecom industry, China's economic transformation presents tremendous opportunities.
In Verwaayen's view, China's consumers nowadays are as picky and sophisticated as they are anywhere else in the world. Therefore, consumer satisfaction is becoming more and more important. "I think that will give us a lot of opportunities to use our minds, to have that customer experience capability ready for our customers in China," he said.
Alcatel-Lucent has rapidly accelerated its broadband network business in China. After winning a contract in excess of $100 million in May, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell in June secured another IP contract from China Telecom's 2012 central bid. This pushed its sales revenues to more than 112 million euros ($139 million) in the second quarter of this year.
"If you can make it in China, you make it anywhere. That is the reality in which we now operate," he said.
To navigate China's highly competitive market, Verwaayen says the firm has to stay agile and innovate. "For example, with China Mobile, we do what we call 'co-creation.' We asked them to participate with us at a very early stage of the development of a product."
"It is a different way of working together: more intense, but I think it pays off," he added.
Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell is a joint venture founded in 1982. Alcatel-Lucent currently holds a 50-percent stake, while the State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, China's state assets watchdog, holds the rest.