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BOC's game plan to boost its global image

By Wang Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-14 09:21

Bank of China became the first top official partner of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games when it signed a deal with the Beijing Organizing Committee on Thursday.

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is a milestone event in China. It will have farreaching influence in showcasing China's image, help to promote the country's development and uplift the nation, said Chen Jining, Beijing's acting mayor and executive president of the organizing committee.

Commercial partnerships will contribute to the event's success and help the partner companies to accelerate their brand building and sharpen their competitive edge, Chen said.

BOC's game plan to boost its global image

"After being appointed the official partner in the banking sector, BOC will work hard to promote the Olympic spirit and the vision of Beijing 2022," said BOC Chairman Tian Guoli at the signing ceremony.

"In cooperation with the Beijing Organizing Committee, we will offer a wide range of high-quality, reliable and customized financial services to encourage people's enthusiasm for participation in winter sports on snow and ice," Tian said.

In addition, BOC will also work to meet the Chinese delegation's financial service needs at other future events, such as the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.

Huang Danggui, general manger of BOC's corporate banking department, said in an earlier interview that the partnership will help the bank group increase its global reach and better serve its clients.

Founded in 1912, the group has the most diverse banking business in China and is the most globalized Chinese bank, with branches in 51 countries and regions; the bank's business covers 179 countries and regions, via more than 1,600 correspondent banks around the world.

"The Olympics, as a unique global marketing platform, provides an influential international stage for brand building and sales promotion," Huang noted. "BOC will make full use of the platform and dovetail with the Olympic spirit to strengthen its reputation, influence and goodwill value."

BOC will develop a series of the Winter Olympics-themed financial products in line with the schedule for the release of the event's logo and mascot. It is authorized for exclusive sales of franchised precious metal souvenirs.

It is on BOC's agenda to improve its banking infrastructure and service network to ensure the system's smooth operation amid severe weather conditions, such as windy days or low temperature.

Information technology and smart services will highlight the financial service provider's outlets specially designed for the upcoming Olympics, according to the company.

Smart terminals and multilingual robots as investment counselors recommending financial products will be among the on-the-spot services provided.

BOC's ties with the global sports event can be traced back to 2004, when it was named an official partner of the Beijing Olympics 2008. That status helped the bank to accelerate its pace of going global and improve its world ranking by assets in the banking sector from No 15 in 2003 to No 4 in 2016.

"During the 2008 Olympics, we offered comprehensive financial services and created the record of 'no complaints from clients and no errors in services'," Huang said.

That successful experience contributed to BOC winning the bid to be an official partner of the 2022 Winter Games, he added.

Huang also cited the bank's operation performance, brand image and advantages in globalization and overseas business as other reasons for its successful bid.

The bank generated 484.6 billion yuan ($71.42 billion) in business revenue last year, an increase of 1.96 percent from 2015, and its net profits increased 2.58 percent year-on-year to 181.4 billion yuan.

BOC is the only Chinese bank that has ranked among the top 500 commercial banks worldwide for 28 consecutive years in the Fortune rankings. It has been granted the well-known trademark status by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the only bank to have won that honor.

It is also the bank with the most exchangeable foreign currencies for individuals in China - BOC can handle foreign exchange in 34 currencies for individuals and offer international remittance services for individuals in 18 currencies, covering more than 40 countries and regions, Huang said.

During the Rio Olympics 2016 in Brazil, BOC was then the only Chinese bank capable of Brazilian real currency conversion, he said.

A strong international team, including more than 20,000 overseas employees and a large group of experts in languages - such as English, German, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Korean and Portuguese - has been the key to the bank's globalization journey and also a contributing factor in its securing the partnership.

"The enthusiasm for the Olympics has never faded among our staff," Huang said. "We are looking forward to contributing to the 2022 Winter Olympics."

"BOC champions the 'participation and sharing' concept, and wants to promote wider participation in a variety of sports events, especially snow and ice sports, to lead a new trend for a healthy lifestyle."

wangxin@chinadaily.com.cn

BOC's game plan to boost its global image

(China Daily 07/14/2017 page24)

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