China: The magnificent Shenzhen, city of innovations

By Elias Mhegera, Beijing – Up to 1980 the now modern city of Shenzhen in the Guangdong Province was just a tiny town like many others in China. But today this is a cosmopolitan city of over 11 million residents.

A team of African journalists when they visited Huawei headquarters

A team of African journalists when they visited Huawei headquarters

It was two years later in 1982, when the major constructions started to make this beautiful city a world class one with an accumulation of innovations. Assessing from the current developments this dream has been achieved to a large extent.

This is after an encounter with Mr. Yao Weizhi Deputy Director General, Foreign Affairs who says it is vitally important to acknowledge the 35 years of fast developments.

A drone camera from DJI

A drone camera from DJI

“This is a city with tangible items in place including  modern infrastructures, general cleanliness, high technologies logistical supply chains, it is a city of designs, and this is not forgetting that this is a leading city in the world in production of watch in terms of quantity. But also it has a production of quality garments,” he boasts.

Tencent Bluetooth detectable shoes

Tencent Bluetooth detectable shoes

He explains further that this city has more than 230 trading partners countries generating more than USD $ 13 billion in 2015 alone and its official investments in Africa accounts for more than USD $ 708 billion, so far.

It is difficult to explain what is more important than the other but technological innovations in this city have centered in all important demands of human beings. And for that matter the Mindray Medical International Company could be given a first priority due to the demand of its medical equipment.

According to its spokesperson  Mr. Jason Wanga, Mindray Company which was established in 1991 has now employed over 10,000 staffs worldwide reaching 31 countries with 41 subsidiary companies as well.

“The Shenzhen Unit has now turned an international one in terms of supply of its products and branches in various parts of the world. The main focus has been production of medical equipment, thus its products ranges from digital x-ray to ultra-sound machines, laboratory equipment to those for ambulances,” he explains.

He adds that this is a number three world company in production of medical equipment and a dire friend of Africa due to various supplies in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and other many African countries.

Mindray total OR solution

Mindray total OR solution

One of the notable successes is its production of the pre-hospital notification equipment which can send information to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) directly from the ambulance, hence making doctors well prepared to receive and attend an expected patient well along while still on their journeys to the hospital.

The company has been of vital importance to many parts of the world Tanzania inclusive due to the supply of life support machines monitoring equipment and many of the kind needed in the theatre room.

“This company has been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) to not only produce for the local market but also for exports worldwide. In this way one of its potential clients has been the World Health Organization (WHO) itself and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP),” he concludes.

Other clients according to official records have been private and government health facilities and hospitals in the US, Europe, Korea, and Africa.

According to Shawn Guo in charge of the Patient Monitoring & Life Support product line in East Africa, In Tanzania Mindray medical devices are installed in varies hospitals including Aga Khan Hosptial, Hindu Mandal Hospital, Regency Medical Centre, Muhimbili National Hospital, TMJ, Sanitas Hospital, and some others.

But of equally importance is Tencent Technology Company one of the world’s most famous telecommunication companies. This company apart from hosting WeChat the electronic platform with the biggest number of followers in China and probably the world over also has innovations in a number of technologies.

For instance, through connections to the Bluetooth embedded in shoes or hand watches one can use their mobile phones to search for the missing children. The Bluetooth has the capacity of detection up to a radius of 20 meters.

But with no detection then the head office would request all people around the area to switch on their Bluetooth and help in these searches. Once the child has been detected by any client of the Tencent then the owner of the child will be notified. But similarly one can print a document from their cellular phones to a mobile printer.

Apart from this unique service the company which was established in February 1998 now provides other services like e-banking, e-commerce and e-taxation. Through its wireless connections one can print a document directly from a hand phone, but can as well control his ‘smart home’ by using their phones as a remote application.

Shenzhen is the home of the world famous mobile application technologies company the Huawei Technologies.

According to the company’s Vice President, International Media Affairs and Corporate Communication Department, Joe Kelly, this is a company which emanated from a single person’s idea namely Mr. Ren Zhengfei in 1987, after retiring voluntarily from the Chinese military.

“The civil engineer was disillusioned in the military after a scarcity of cement for fabrics. So he saw the next venture in the telecommunications industry. His idea was well received and he went into a shared venture with other 14 colleagues together making a company of 15 people,” he discloses.

But while his company was still in a take off stage the Chinese Government opted for a new technology of fiber optic cable in 1993 which sent waves of shock to this company which was still in the offing.

This now demanded strengthening whereby ten more shareholders joined in order to strengthen the company some had to resign from their jobs in order to add a value in its production capacity, the new team of owners now reached 25.

The new board came up also designing a rotational managerial style currently the CEO holds his position for six months and then gives room to another. Hence due to this arrangement there are three executive rotational CEOs.

Mr Ren whose worthy is estimated at 2.1 billion USD in 2016 by Forbes holds 1.4 percent shares of the company the rest being from other contributions including workers who are co-owners and other international shareholders totaling the remaining 98.6 shares.

In regard to its success stories, the company employs more than 50,000 within China alone, but the total number of employs now is more than 176,000 while as many as 76,000 are employed for its research and development department only.

Due to its survival strategies the company has gone as far as employing world class competent experts in almost all its department in order to manage the stiff competition n the world market. These are in its engineering, communication and marketing to human resources departments.

Everyone in this company is entitled for a motivational extra payment due to innovations which are the gist of survival of any technological company today. “There are new technological developments after every two years which make a known technology to become obsolete,” says Eli Brovashov who ushered journalists from Africa inside various departments of the show room.

He said, through these kinds of innovations the company has a big number of requests for manufacturing security video devices for both corporate and individual demands in “smart homes”. These devices require a G5 internet capability for their best operations and by these one can switch on and off an electronic device being an air conditioner or a television set, in their homes from long distances.

But this is not all about Shenzhen where the Dà-Jiāng Innovations Science and Technology Co., well known as DJI are also headquartered. These are where famous world class drones are manufactured.

These have been helpful in so many ways from taking digital photographs in wedding and public ceremonies to rescue operations in the debris and even in sea waters.

The DJI Company currently holds 70 percent of the world market in such cameras with production of super high cameras with high capacity remote sensors. The company has been lauded for production of filming technologies which are now used in tracking movements of elephants.

But even more is the Shenzen Museum which stores artifacts and archives of vital information. This museum tells it all in the efforts of a former Chinese leader and head of state, a reformist Mr. Deng Xiaoping who had a vision of turning this former village into a new ‘Hong Kong’.