Dealing with China: two leaders respond

Vincent Chen HYB rtmworld dealing with ChinaVincent Chen says building trust is the key—he is president of the HK HaoYinBao Group, known better as HYB Toner

Do you see China taking on a more or less of a significant role in the imaging supplies industry in the future? Why?

Yes. The Chinese products and their manufacturers are definitely getting more and more important to the imaging supplies aftermarket. There are many different reasons, but in my opinion, some Chinese manufacturers have improved their engineering development and strength. At the same time, of course, we also notice that those who fail to deliver quality products are fading away.

What questions are you asked the most from foreign companies wanting to deal with you as a Chinese company?

Most of our customers don’t treat us any differently from other international suppliers. It’s true that some have had bad experiences with some Chinese suppliers and became more cautious. From the questions we are asked I can tell you that the worst experience they suffer from is the stability of the products.

What advice would you give to an international company wanting to deal with any Chinese company?

There are always good and bad business people in every nationality and our customers have suffered serious problems with their suppliers in other countries too. So, we shouldn’t “label” companies simply by their nationality. As long as the manufacturers or suppliers are working with a principle that is in line with your standards, then you can get a deeper approach to understand these companies, business styles and how they manage their quality control. Gradually, you can decide if these companies are trustworthy or not.

How important is it for foreigners, wanting to do business with China, to actually visit China?

From the outset, all buyers should have done some research and had a conversation with the experienced representative of the suppliers. In my experience, our smartest customers have their own “FAQs” which help them to identify if a supplier is worthy or not. E-commerce, however, has seen many businessmen become lazier in communicating with their suppliers. They are doing less due diligence to discover if suppliers are suitable or not. I think this is the reason why problems are occurring more. It’s like the marriage between a boy and a girl who only know each other for a week. You can imagine how risky the marriage will be.

Providing consistent quality and non-infringing products are important for your company, yet not all Chinese companies hold the same values. Why?

Many company owners didn’t realise the industry potential when they started out in business. They only wanted a piece of market share and were surprised at how quickly this industry developed.

While our initial purpose at HYB was not to build a company that would sit on top of the industry pyramid, I found our people are not the kind that likes to lose the trust of our customers. The relationships we have with our customers are mutually beneficial with many customers helping us to further develop our products. With such a huge responsibility, you always try to find every means possible to invest in and improve your quality systems to ensure the consistency of your products. Customers are very demanding in their expectations for “trouble free” products. This thinking is reasonable so we will never stop the development of patents and systems to meet the needs of our customers.

Ding Li invites you on a field trip—he is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Apex Microelectronics Co.,Ltd

Ding Li Apex China Dealing with rtmworldDo you see China taking on a more or less of a significant role in the imaging supplies industry in the future? Why?

China must take on a more significant role in the imaging supplies industry in the future. Its huge population and booming economy have caused China to have a more a significant role on the world stage. In keeping with this trend, both for homes as well as business there is a growing demand for the imaging industry too. Chinese enterprise has the advantage of resources and commerce from its huge domestic market. This is all true for Apex which has developed, mass produced and released controller chips for multifunctional laser printers in 2018. Another kind of controller chip is in its validation phase. We expect to continue being more active in meeting both domestic and international demands required by the imaging industry.

What questions are you asked the most from foreign companies wanting to deal with you as a Chinese company?

The speed of releasing new products, patents, and product quality is the biggest issue among our customers. In response, I would like to say Apex has accumulated a significant 18 years of deep understanding about chip technology. Our highly-educated, experienced chip design engineers are able to accelerate the speed to release the new products. At the same time, our well-qualified and experienced IP engineers focus upon patent analysis, risk avoidance, and patented product design. We verify the chips in our Provincial Printer SoC Chips Engineering Center and Provincial Research Center using newly equipped test and analysis devices, valued at $7.5 million in 2018. By providing a strong quality system we can address any concerns customers might have.

What advice would you give to an international company wanting to deal with any Chinese company?

Have a field trip. I welcome any foreign friend to visit and explore the full process of chips development and the breakthroughs we made in technology innovation. Visitors tell us their on-site visits to Apex opens their eyes to the level of commitment in terms of research, development, manufacturing and quality control. I believe such a real, face-to-face communication will make us strong partners.

How important is it for foreigners, wanting to do business with China, to actually visit China?

There is an old Chinese saying, “To see one time is better than to hear a hundred times”. For foreigners who want to do business with China, it is not enough to simply contact a company online. There is only one way to experience Chinese culture and advances in technology. You must visit and travel on China’s high-speed trains, climb the Great Wall and visit Apex’s experimental and testing centers, and automated production lines. I urge visitors to use Apex’s 3D X-ray analysis equipment to take a stereogram of chips… I believe the impression formed by foreign friends will have a deep impact upon them and they will be encouraged to do business with Chinese companies.

Providing consistent quality and non-infringing products are important for your company, yet not all Chinese companies hold the same values. Why?

Most Chinese companies hold such values about providing consistent quality and non-infringing products. Having values is easy, however, but it is hard to realize. We have gained our current market position because we have focused on intellectual property rights and technical competence. This includes encryption analysis, chip design, product testing and patent analysis technologies. This is why Apex can design non-infringing patented products with high quality and firmware resistance. Those Chinese companies that cannot realize the above values are limited in technology or patent knowledge. As an industry leader, Apex is willing to work with more Chinese companies to achieve common development and to provide clients with design consistent quality and non-infringing products.

 

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