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Nokia, BMW bullish on prospects in China

By Fan Feifei and Zou Shuo | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-01 07:52

Finnish telecom giant Nokia Corp and German carmaker BMW Group plan to increase their investments in China, reinforcing they are bullish about their future prospects in the country.

Their top executives were part of a delegation of Tsinghua University advisors who were met by President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday.

Nokia will ramp up efforts in the fields of 5G technology and promote its commercialization by cooperating with local telecom carriers in the future, said its chairman Risto Siilasmaa.

BMW will invest in the development of electric vehicle technologies as well as new engineering systems for autonomous driving, said its chairman Harald Krueger.

Nokia has been operating in China for 30 years. It is now focusing on the business-to-business or B2B sector.

It provides networks and network equipment to the country's big three telecom carriers.

Among its clients are internet giants Baidu Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

"We have also started a number of initiatives, such as building a completely new business, digital healthcare, which is currently our biggest consumer business," Siilasmaa said.

"The most important one for us is China's commitment to innovation globally.

"China has tremendous assets in many areas and I'm personally very interested in artificial intelligence. For instance, I know that Baidu is investing very heavily in AI and has launched AI-centered strategies. China has huge opportunities in AI."

In May, Nokia signed agreements with the China Huaxin Post & Telecommunication Economy Development Center, a State-owned investment vehicle, to create a joint venture called Nokia Shanghai Bell.

The joint venture will explore opportunities related to the emerging internet of things.

For its part, BMW set up a battery plant in Shenyang, Liaoning province, last week. It is BMW's third such facility worldwide and the first comprehensive center outside of Germany.

"China is already a global leader and BMW's biggest market in the world. Both sides can benefit in terms of developing the country further and investing in high-quality jobs," said Krueger.

"I'd call our joint venture in China, BMW Brilliance Automotive, a win-win cooperation. It showcases how successful a business can be with a partner in China, driving both the business and innovation sides forward and creating high-quality jobs and selling good products.

"The battery plant that opened last week is used for producing more new energy vehicles … We are building and manufacturing electric vehicles here in China tailored for the local market."

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