Business / Companies

Bureau Veritas adds Gallic twist to local standards

By YU RAN (China Daily) Updated: 2016-10-13 08:59

Targeting record revenues from the Chinese market by the end of the year, Bureau Veritas-the Paris-headquartered international testing, inspection and certification agency-said it is aiming to help more Chinese companies reach export markets.

Founded in 1828, Bureau Veritas advises clients so they produce high-quality goods to global standards, using its professional testing labs and inspection teams.

The agency has grown rapidly since it entered the Chinese market in the late 1990s. It now has 110 offices on the Chinese mainland, 36 labs and 12 joint ventures with local governments-and employs some 12,000 employees in 55 cities, including 3,000 staffers working in Shanghai.

Bureau Veritas said it offers services to 20,000 Chinese companies covering sectors including construction, consumer goods and government services.

"China is the world's biggest testing, inspection and certification market, so further strengthening our presence in China is part of our current strategy," said Bureau Veritas Chairman Frederic Lemoine.

The French group said it is continuing with acquisitions as core to its strategy of expansion in diversified business areas.

In just a decade the company acquired 140 groups internationally, among them seven in China, in the past four years including Shanghai TJU Engineering Service Co Ltd and Shandong Chengxin Construction Management Co Ltd.

"Our plan is to consolidate the key sectors where we have already involved, build a large portfolio of services for the construction industry, and to become a key service provider for domestic companies to test and inspect the quality of their products," Lemoine added.

Currently 90 percent of Bureau Veritas clients in China are international companies, with the rest being domestic Chinese firms. But the agency said it is aiming to have that mix changed to 50 percent from the Chinese market by 2020.

The French agency said it is in cooperation with leading Chinese companies including State Grid Corporation of China Ltd, China Petrochemical Corporation, China National Petroleum Corporation, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

"We test and provide third-party certification to ensure the quality of products from Chinese companies and outsource those goods to overseas, to raise the reputation of domestic brands in the world," said Lemoine, who also is the chairman of Wendel, an investment company which owns a 40 percent share of Bureau Veritas.

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