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How do private enterprises tackle challenges with innovation?
Last Updated: 2024-04-23 13:20 | Xinhua
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Workers work at Yadea Group's intelligent production base of electric scooters in Yongchuan District of southwest China's Chongqing, Sept. 22, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Quanchao)

by Xinhua writer Tian Ying

WUHAN, April 23 (Xinhua) -- In a plant the size of a football stadium, 416 weaving looms, attended by a dozen workers or so, are rapidly turning out woven fabric. The fabric, as soft as regular cloth, is heat-resistant, insulating E-cloth eventually used in circuit boards, woven with fiberglass yarns.

The E-cloth producer, Huangshi Grace Fabric Technology Co., Ltd., situated in Huangshi of central China's Hubei Province, is among the innovation-driven private enterprises that are relatively well-positioned amid economic challenges and external uncertainties.

These enterprises, high-tech or traditional, all strive to stay ahead of the curve, by constantly innovating their technologies, shifting lanes in prompt response to market demand and seizing new opportunities created by future industries.

These enterprises are optimistic about their business prospects, which are in alignment with the general landscape as reflected in the latest data. Statistics showed private investment in the manufacturing sector grew 11.9 percent year on year during the first quarter of this year.


Grace Fabric, the parent company of Huangshi Grace Fabric Technology Co., Ltd., started in Shanghai manufacturing E-cloth exclusively. Around 2016 and 2017, the company invested two years in developing super-thin fiberglass yarns with diameters measuring 4 to 5 microns, freeing itself from reliance on imported yarns and, in hindsight, ensuring uninterrupted production during the pandemic.

The company set up its Huangshi branch in 2018. Today, Huangshi Grace Fabric Technology Co., Ltd. gains a competitive advantage in fierce competition with its E-fiberglass yarns of 3.5 microns.

Yadea Technology Group Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of electric motorcycles, scooters and bicycles based in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province, is seeking new sources of growth from cutting-edge power batteries, such as graphene batteries and sodium-iron batteries.

Sodium-iron batteries promise a gigantic market in the future for their superb safety performance, said Zhou Chaoyang, senior vice president of the group, adding the company this year will boost its investment in sodium-iron batteries, including in the research and development of the batteries, expanding its manufacturing capacity and upgrading related production equipment.

Boasting growth in both total revenue and profit in 2023 -- a total revenue of over 34.76 billion yuan (about 4.89 billion U.S. dollars) and a total profit of 2.64 billion yuan, Yadea holds bullish views on its business prospect. It has just acquired a controller factory and plans to launch 2,000 to 3,000 new retail stores across China this year, among other expansion schemes.

Also in Wuxi, HOdo Group, a private enterprise in the apparel, tire, and pharmaceutical industries, has upgraded its production lines for smarter manufacturing.

Hung on the wall at the entrance of HOdo's suit processing plant is a huge dark-blue screen displaying a wide array of data concerning the 5G intelligent factory, such as real-time order analysis, on-the-ground production progress, inventory turnover, and a layout of all the working stations.

Each working station is marked with a green, yellow or red dot, signifying the degrees of workload pile-up. The production manager could pinpoint the worker in need of help and come to his or her aid.

In the suit plant, hundreds of thousands of pieces of clothing hung on automatically-moving and chip-implanted hangers "fly" around along the overhead tracks, each worker takes down several pieces commensurate with their capacity. Each procedure is traceable.

With the smart retrofitting of the production lines, the overall efficiency of production in the suit plant has been boosted by 32 percent, relieving pile-up pressure of semi-finished products and shortening the product turnover cycle, according to Wang Zhuqian, chairman of the board of supervisors of HOdo.

HOdo will expand its retail sales presence across the country this year, by adding about 600 new retail stores, which could bring 2,500 new jobs, said Wang.


Chuzhou KingMould Equipment & Mould Manufacturing, based in Chuzhou City of Anhui Province, originally a refrigerator mould manufacturer, opened a new horizon by beginning to produce automobile mould in 2021.

Since the new plant for automobile mould was launched, the annual sales revenue has almost doubled that of the previous years.

"We have touched the ceiling in the home appliance sector and experienced a decline in revenue growth in recent years. We decided to shift into a new 'racing lane' while capitalizing on existing technical strengths, and that's how the burgeoning new energy vehicle sector has come to our mind," said Wang Luohai, general manager of KingMould.

The KingMould planned to invest 20 million yuan this year into equipment upgrading to keep up with the rising demand. It took KingMould's home appliance plant 20 years to hit the 100 million yuan mark in terms of industrial output, but three years for its automobile mould plant to generate over 10 million yuan. Wang expected the industrial output of the new plant to break the 100 million mark in five years.


China's efforts to foster new quality productive forces, for instance, developing strategic emerging industries and future industries, create new opportunities for businesses.

Eying a swelling market for circuit boards used in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic industries, Grace Fabric plans to manufacture a special kind of E-cloth used in AI circuit boards.

"Robots and AI servers require faster signal transmission and no signal loss, hence a special kind of fiberglass cloth, different from what we currently produce in Huangshi," said Ma Zhanyong, assistant to the general manager of Huangshi Grace Fabric Technology Co., Ltd.

Walking into the industrial park of the Zerog Aircraft Industry (Hefei) Co., Ltd. based in Hefei of Anhui Province, one feels impressed by a futuristic scene featuring aircraft of various sizes and shapes.

"We are committed to developing manned electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (evtol) with a flight altitude range of 300 to 3,000 meters, to achieve short to medium-range and low-altitude commuting within and between cities. A two-hour drive now may only take 10 minutes by flight in the future," said Jia Siyuan, co-founder of the company.

As one of the emblems of new quality productive forces, the low-altitude economy enjoys broad prospects for development. This year's government work report proposes to actively create new growth engines such as biomanufacturing, commercial aerospace, and low-altitude economy.


Local authorities are increasingly playing a service role to create an enabling environment for innovation.

Wuhan East-Lake National Innovation Demonstration Zone, also known as the optics valley of China, has created a science and technology innovation platform, bridging research institutes with state-of-the-art technologies and enterprises needing their technologies.

Wuhan Sunhy Biology Co., Ltd., a biotech firm developing enzyme and probiotic products, is a recent beneficiary of the platform. It typed in a technological assistance request on Oct. 23 last year on the platform and received a response from a research institute a couple of days later. This March, the project jointly carried out by the company and the research institute was inaugurated.

Since the platform was launched, 142 requests for research and development cooperation lodged by enterprises have been responded to. "The platform has turned authorities from overseeing enterprises to sharing risks with enterprises," said Li Jiang, an official in charge of scientific innovation affairs with the optics valley.

When asked about the source of resilience for private enterprises, Wang Zhuqian said, "I've been working for HOdo Group for 31 years and have seen so many enterprises closed in each tide of market turbulence. I believe the key to the survival of an enterprise is constant innovation."

(Editor:Fu Bo)

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How do private enterprises tackle challenges with innovation?
Source:Xinhua | 2024-04-23 13:20