From a battery manufacturer to one of the leading electric carmakers in China, BYD has experienced rapid domestic and global expansion since being established, according to BYD's founder Wang Chuanfu, who delivered a speech during the Shenzhen Global Entrepreneur Workshop held at BYD's headquarters in Pingshan New Area yesterday.
Organized by the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation, a nongovernmental fundraising body initiated by the city's government in 2014, the workshop offers an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to visit an international enterprise every two months and brainstorm with other entrepreneurs.
According to Wang, when BYD was a battery manufacturer, its first large overseas deal was to produce batteries for Motorola, a U.S. based electronics company. It was the first time the company started adopting international techniques for production.
He said later Nokia also sourced batteries from BYD, but back then these electronics giants chose BYD mainly due to the low price of made-in-China batteries.
"The next step is to obtain pricing power by developing innovative technology", Wang said, adding that innovative and high-quality products ensure a company's sustainable growth.
He also encouraged Shenzhen-based enterprises to localize their businesses in foreign
countries. For example, manufacturing, assembling and marketing in a foreign country.
Zhao Tong, BYD's solar-powered battery sales branch's general manager, said an enterprise would face cultural, trade and legal barriers when entering an overseas market. He said the U.S. authorities launched an anti-subsidy investigation against BYD last year, and BYD had to pay an extra duty for receiving government subsidies.
Zhao said with the help of American attorneys, lobbyists and industrial associations, BYD ended up paying a lower duty. "A country's tariff policy is something out of a foreign company's control, but we still have to cope with it actively, " Zhao said.
Aidan Kelly, the Shenzhen International Business Schools dean, said China has a clear advantage in global markets as Chinese high-tech products are outpacing those in some Western countries, but generally Chinese companies lack strong design and branding capacity, which he hopes will change.