Business / Industries

In praise of China's engineering

By Cecily Liu (China Daily Europe) Updated: 2015-02-20 08:51

In praise of China's engineering

John Browne says in China the scale of engineering is very impressive, and sectors like software and mobile platforms are all growth areas to keep an eye on. [Cecily Liu / China Daily]

Country on the cusp of producing engineering wonders, says former bp ceo

China is emerging as an engineering powerhouse with the potential to produce top-notch solutions that will make a significant impact globally, says John Browne, former chief executive of BP.

Lord Browne, who is also chairman of trustees for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, a global prize launched in the United Kingdom in 2011, says that in China "there is some very good engineering. This is something that has happened over the past 20 years.

"As the economy liberalized, and as more people went into high-end engineering, people began to focus on standards."

Browne says engineering is simply the application of scientific knowledge in transforming people's lives, which makes the commercialization and marketing of products and services very important in achieving wide use.

The million-pound ($1.35 million) Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, launched by a cross-party lineup of leaders from all three UK political parties, was first awarded in 2013 to five engineers.

The trio of Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf and Louis Pouzin received the prize for their contributions to the protocols that make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet; Tim Berners-Lee for the creation of the World Wide Web; and Marc Andreessen for creating the Mosaic web browser.

"The prize is designed to inspire more people to go into engineering. It combines the fruits of discovery, laboratory, innovation and the need to improve humanity," Browne says.

He says in China there are already many good examples of engineering emerging, citing the achievements of telecommunications company Huawei and computer technology company Lenovo.

Huawei, founded in 1987 as a manufacturer of phone switches in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, has since expanded its business to include building telecommunications networks.

As a company that highly values technology and innovation, Huawei invests 10 percent of its annual revenue in research and development, which in 2013 amounted to $5.4 billion. In last 10 years, Huawei has invested more than $20 billion in R&D.

The company has more than 70,000 employees directly engaged in R&D worldwide, with an international network of 89 centers, according to Huawei.

While Huawei's overseas expansion is largely attributed to organic growth, Lenovo's overseas growth has relied heavily on its $1.25 billion acquisition of IBM's PC division in 2005.

The acquisition not only gave Lenovo ThinkPad laptops and tablets, which were popular globally at the time, it also gave the company sales, marketing and technology teams in many international markets.

Today, Lenovo is a popular consumer choice for its laptops and tablets in the United States, Europe and Africa. As a company that values innovation and engineering, it has also launched many products for consumers outside China, such as laptops in power-starved Africa that can be used for long periods on a single charge.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks