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Hongqiao hub a springboard for firms eyeing overseas markets

LMS| Updated: March 22, 2024


The Hongqiao Overseas Development Service Center in the Hongqiao International Central Business District provides one-stop services for companies and expats in China.[Photo by Wang Xin/]

As more Chinese companies are looking to go global, the Hongqiao International Open Hub, which was initiated in 2021 to deepen reform and coordinate development in the Yangtze River Delta region, has become their springboard to the global stage, business executives said.

Trina Solar Co, a leading Chinese photovoltaics company founded in 1997, is one of them.

Established and based in Changzhou in Jiangsu province, Trina Solar has made globalization its corporate strategy since inception. In 2022, the company set up its global headquarters in the hub to boost its further global expansion.

"The international headquarters is speeding up construction and is expected to put into operation in 2025. After completion, it will also function as global centers for operation management, smart energy innovation, investment and financing, as well as carbon neutral business incubation and development," said Sa Shiyi, the director of the international headquarters project, on Wednesday.

The company's senior executives noted that the Hongqiao International Open Hub boasts integrated advantages in sectors, including business, exhibition, transportation and innovation. These advantages can greatly facilitate Trina Solar's business operation, regional connection and scientific and technological innovation.

Cao Yunduan, Trina Solar's global marketing director, added: "Our main production and office area are within the Yangtze River Delta region. The hub boasts extraordinary advantage in location and regional transportation, providing significant convenience for the visits of our global clients and talents."

According to the company, it has been actively building global teams and has attracted high-level management and R&D talents from over 70 countries. With business operations in more than 170 nations across the world, it has set up many regional headquarters, manufacturing bases, offices and branches across the world, including America, Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia.

By the end of last year, Trina Solar's cumulative shipments of photovoltaics modules exceeded 190 gigawatts, leading to carbon reduction equivalent to planting 14 billion trees worldwide, said the company.

Not only industrial leaders are looking to take a further leap into global expansion, local unicorn firms are also eyeing bigger goals, among which is Inceptio Technology, a Chinese autonomous driving startup.

Specialized in autonomous driving technologies for trucks, Inceptio Technology made the hub its operation center home.

"As most of our clients are in the logistics sector, the Hongqiao transportation hub can greatly facilitate our businesses," said Wang Lipeng, the vice-president of government affairs and external cooperation.

Wang said the company is hoping to leverage the hub as the springboard to the world stage.

"We are actively expanding in overseas markets such as Japan, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Together with our global supply chain partners, we expect to realize overseas landing within two years," Wang added.

The State Council approved the plan for the construction of the Hongqiao International Open Hub in 2021. With the Hongqiao International Central Business District, which was set up in 2009 as the core, the hub connects the inter-provincial adjacent areas of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. The planned construction area of Hongqiao International Open Hub has been expanded to more than 7,000 square kilometers.

To better support Chinese firms' demands for going global and overseas talent attraction, the administrator launched the Hongqiao Overseas Development Service Center in January, providing one-stop services for both companies and expats.

Liu Fei, director of public service affairs at Hongqiao International Central Business District Administrative Committee, said the center can provide one-stop services for expats and satisfy their diverse demands in starting businesses, work and daily life in Shanghai and even in China, such as visa, work permit, and policy consultation services.

"We are seeing more comprehensive demands from Chinese firms seeking global expansion. They need an integrated platform that can provide all-around services ranging from policy and market analysis, investment service, talent management to overseas local services," said Luo Xiangjun, general manager of overseas development department at Shanghai Foreign Service Holding Group Co.

According to the center, the one-stop platform is working with 54 partners offering professional services mainly in nine categories, including project investment, human resources, accounting and auditing, laws, intellectual property, marketing and financing.

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