World Internet Conference in Zhejiang

The fourth World Internet Conference, also known as the “Wuzhen Summit”, concluded Tuesday, 5 December 2017, in Wuzhen town of Zhejiang province after three days of discussions and exhibitions of cutting-edge internet products.

The World Internet Conference in Wuzhen is an annual gathering of internet officials and internet company executives as well as administrators from developing countries. The previous three conferences in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were not attended by top US tech executives, but this year, leaders of IBM, Oracle, and Google participated in the event, along with the CEOs of well-known Chinese internet giants such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and Xiaomi.

The conference was also addressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Apple CEO Tim Cook. In his written congratulatory address, Xi said that online developments were raising many new challenges to sovereignty and security, and China was “willing to work with the international community to respect cyberspace sovereignty and promote partnerships”. Apple chief executive Cook’s presence indicated the importance of the Chinese market for the iPhone maker, even though Apple’s market share of China’s smartphone market is shrinking.

Will Google Return to China?

Google’s India-born CEO Sundar Pichai made a strong case for the search giant’s return to China, saying it is already helping Chinese companies gain global access. Google was shut down in China in 2010 following a showdown with the government over censor policies. Since then Google, Gmail, Youtube and its other products are banned in the world’s second largest economy. “A lot of work Google does is to help Chinese companies”, the 45-year-old Google CEO, who has a BTech degree from IIT Kharagpur, said at the conference.

“Many small and medium-sized businesses in China take advantage of Google to get their products to many other countries outside of China,” Pichai told the meeting, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. After the ban, Google subsequently shifted its operations to Hong Kong. In its absence, Chinese firms like Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com emerged most powerful players in China and abroad. Google and its products can be accessed in China through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) over which Beijing has stepped up a crackdown in recent times. Apple this year agreed to the Chinese government’s requests to remove dozens of virtual private network (VPN) apps services that allow Chinese users to access blocked websites from its local App Store. Skype, the calling app, was removed from its mainland App Store this autumn. Pichai’s attendance at the state sponsored internet meeting came after China recently lifted the ban on Google translation services.

Besides Google, a number of global social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter remain banned in China over fears that their presence would open-up to millions of China’s social media users marginalising the official media. In his address, Cook said “the theme of this conference – developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits – is a vision we at Apple share”, adding that Apple “is proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace”.

Info source: The Tribune, Image source: World Internet Conference

Zhejiang ranks fourth in GDP among Chinese provinces, and is positioned at the 2×4 slot within the G8x8. In 2015, it achieved a GDP of 549.8 billion € and a share of 5.9 percent of the Chinese total. Its GDP was higher than that of Argentina and Sweden, but slightly lower than that of Saudi Arabia.

Karnataka – Sichuan Cooperation

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the State of Karnataka, India, inaugurated the 6th China-India Forum on 10 November 2017 in Bengaluru. The meeting was jointly hosted by the Government of Karnataka, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), the China-India Friendship Association (CIFA), and Podar Enterprise. Semiconductor Alliance of China and Beijing Construction & Highway Development Group presented EoI letters to the Karnataka government. Forum slogan was “Innovation – Building Strong and Harmonious Future Together – Promoting Beautiful China & Wonderful India.”

Karnataka had signed a Sister-State-Province agreement with the Provincial Government of  Sichuan of the People’s Republic of China in May 2015, during the Forum of Leaders of the Regions of India and China in Beijing, and with participation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. At the China-India Forum 2017, however, other provinces of China were also invited. Podar Enterprise signed a strategic cooperation MoU with Hebei Provincial Government. Podar Advisory and Consulting Enterprise signed tri-party MoU of cooperation with Baoding City Government and Hebei Information Investment Group. Fortune Plus, China, signed MoU for setting up electric vehicle hub with Imperator Autocorp Pvt Ltd. Podar Holding International Pte Ltd signed MoU for cooperation in education with Yingcai University in Jinan, Shandong province.

All Chinese Investors Welcome

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah invited Chinese investors, saying the state is ready to receive them with open arms and promised the speedy implementation of projects. “India’s exports to China touched USD 8.86 billion, whereas China’s exports were USD 61.54 billion. I urge investors from China to invest in Karnataka,” he said at the inauguration of the 6th India-China Forum here.  India-China bilateral trade also had reached USD 70.4 billion in 2015, he added. “We will do everything possible to enable seamless conduct of business, with total transparency and with the assurance that your projects will be speedily implemented,” he said.

Karnataka government will continue to actively engage with China and explore all possible avenues to make them its valued partners in building of a strong and prosperous state, Siddaramaiah said. “It is just the beginning of identifying synergies in  technologies which would strengthen and deepen the foundation  of a Future-oriented Partnership between India and China and  Karnataka and China, evolving business ties, particularly in  defence, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and food processing, Information Technology and environment, to name a few,” he said.

Siddaramaiah said Karnataka’s Industrial Policy for 2014-19 was manufacturing centric with a vision is to make the state an innovative and hi-tech manufacturing hub of India. He said India and China’s relations had undergone an evolution in recent years developing along a positive track, into a friendly partnership. “It has made great strides in recent years and has become truly multi-dimensional, spurred by a significant convergence  of interests, mutual goodwill and high-level exchanges,” he  added.

Sources: The Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu BusinessLine

Image source: NDTV

Karnataka and Sichuan are both G8x8 territories. The former is ranking fourth in GDP among Indian states, placing it at the 7×4 position. Sichuan ranks sixth among Chinese provinces to take the 2×6 field on the board. In 2016, Karnataka took a share of 7.4% of the India total GDP. Sichuan posted a GDP share of 4.2 percent of the China national total.

Vocational Education Alliance

On 21 October 2017, organisations and enterprises of vocational education formally established a “Sino-German Alliance on Dual Vocational Education” in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province. Different from already existing bilateral VET associations, the new alliance will, according to its Chinese name, focus on the cooperation between enterprises and schools, and thus focus on truly “dual” vocational education.

The alliance was founded at the “International Summit for Vocational Education”, which was part of Education Plus 2017, an exhibition organized by Messe Stuttgart Nanjing Ltd. During the constituting session, founding members adopted by-laws and unanimously elected their chairman, Simon Zhao. He is CEO of the National Center for Open  & Distance Education in Beijing.

Simon Zhao pointed out the significance of founding this alliance at this time, as China formulates new goals for its economic development. “At present, speeding up the development of modern vocational education is a major strategic plan that the country has made. The plan demands to shift gears in economic growth, and requires structural adjustments and the transformation of old into new kinetic energy. It is also an inevitable requirement of China to achieve the goal of becoming an innovation-oriented country and to strengthen its human resources.”

Linking the German “Industry 4.0” approach to the “Made in China 2025” objectives, he further explained the connotation of internationalization in vocational education and said, “We should strive to explore the road of international cooperation in running schools, focus on the needs of regional economic and social development, regard international standards, employ international teachers, apply international management, and so develop a highly competitive, highly skilled workforce.”

Mark Ma, Vice General Manager of Open Education, referred to a 2016 study which estimated the vocational education market volume of China at 600 billion RMB (about 78 billion Euro) and further growing.  “In this market, the new alliance aims at developing the cooperation of enterprises and schools in vocational education, supporting the implementation of the Sino-German vocational education strategy, and establishing a new and sustainable type of cooperation.”

The new alliance is a branch organisation of the “China External Cooperative Alliance of Vocational  Education” in Beijing.

Objectives

The alliance aims to

  • Establish a benchmark of vocational education in China by localizing German curricula into the Chinese system.
  • Explore methods of developing vocational talents that are highly demanded by industry.
  • Research German philosophy of skills transfer in vocational education.
  • Apply the German quality assurance mechanism in China.
  • Set up a Qualification Assessment Center based on German qualification standards.
  • Train teachers by working closely with member enterprises and schools.
  • Develop a significant number of senior managers to apply German learning techniques in Chinese colleges.
  • Reduce the gap between vocational college graduates and industry needs.
  • Provide German employers in China with qualified workers.

For more details on the assocation, contact liw@mail.open.com.cn.

For more details on the exhibition Education Plus, see our related article.

Image source: National Center for Open and Distance Education (OPEN)

Jiangsu ranks second in GDP among Chinese provinces and takes position 2×2 on the G8x8 chess board. In 2015, the province produced 7,011.6 billion RMB worth of goods and services, contributing 9.7 percent to the total GDP of China. Depending on the exchange rate, this was almost as much as the GDP of Australia.

 

Education Plus in Jiangsu

Education Plus is the annual international summit and exhibition for vocational education. The 2017 fair was held in Jiangsu’s capital Nanjing from 19 to 21 October. Exhibition topics included

  • Information Communication Technology
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Modern Agriculture
  • Modern Service Industry
  • Vocational Education Training Providers
  • School Pavilion

More information at http://en.educationplus.com.cn/

Jiangsu ranks second in GDP among Chinese provinces and takes position 2×2 on the G8x8 chess board. In 2015, the province produced 7,011.6 billion RMB worth of goods and services, contributing 9.7 percent to the total GDP of China. Depending on the exchange rate, this was almost as much as the GDP of Australia.

 

Guangdong Free Trade Zone

The pilot free trade zone of Guangdong province, aiming at the promotion of foreign trade and investment, has been opened in 2015 with great enthusiasm. Their website at http://www.china-gdftz.gov.cn , however, has no “news” in English since June, 2016. You might think that enthusiasm has died down, but no! News in Chinese are updated almost daily. Seems that only the English language team has been on vacation…

Guangdong ranks first in GDP among Chinese provinces and is placed at field 2×1 on the G8x8 chess board. In 2015, its GDP of 7,281.3 billion CNY contributed 10.1 percent to the national total of China. In international comparison, this is more than the GDP of Indonesia and a bit less than Mexico.

 

30 Years of Shandong – Bayern

Shandong and Bavaria have been sister province and state for 30 years and achieved good results in various fields. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of their sister relations, minister-president of Bayern (Bavaria) Horst Seehofer visited the provincial capital Jinan. He met the provincial party secretary Liu Jiayi on 11 May 2017.

Liu welcomed the visit of Seehofer and his delegation. He said Shandong is a leading province in economy, culture and resources in China. Now it is stepping up efforts to transfer the old energy into the new one. Furthermore, it promotes supply-side structural reform to realize economic transformation and development. Bavaria is an economic powerhouse of Germany, also a highland of research and technology. So there is great potential for cooperation between the territories.

“I hope this anniversary will be a new start for both sides. We should deepen strategic cooperation, broaden investment scale and cooperative areas and strengthen project docking. This way we will achieve a win-win cooperation,” said Liu Jiayi.

“Both our economies are vigorous,” said Seehofer. “What impressed me deeply is the love of the people here for their homeland.” Seehofer said he wishes the final implementation of the cooperative projects and more substantial cooperative fruits to benefit the two peoples.

According to both sides, the meeting was productive. They achieved good progress in the cooperation, docking Germany’s “Industry 4.0” and China’s “Made in China 2025”.

The Speaker of Bavarian State Parliament Barbara Stamm and Shandong leaders Yu Xiaoming and Wang Shujian attended the meeting.

History of the Partnership

In 1985, then minister-president of Bavaria Franz Josef Strauss led a business delegation to Shandong. This marked a prelude to the friendly relationship between the two territories. Then vice governor Ma Shizhong and Strauss signed a joint declaration on developing sister province-state relations on 9 July 1987. They opened a new chapter of friendly exchange and cooperation between the two sides. In 2010, Shandong party chief Jiang Yikang and minister-president Seehofer signed an agreement on establishing a strategic partnership in Munich. This lifted the relation between the two parties to a new level.

By 2014, they developed a number of sister city and cooperative relations even between TV stations. They set up economic and trade representative offices in each other’s province and state. The Provincial People’s Congress signed an agreement with the State Parliament on a fixed exchange relation. Various branches of the government established relations and developed fruitful cooperation and exchanges in all fields.

Previous provincial leaders, including Liang Buting, Zhao Zhihao, and Jiang Chunyun, have led delegations to visit Bavaria. Franz Josef Strauss and Edmund Stoiber have visited Shandong in 1985, 1995 and 2003 successively. The precious two speakers of the State Parliament John Paume and Alos Guleck have also paid a visit to their partner province in 2000 and 2008. Horst Seehofer visited in April 2010.

Bavaria is one of the most powerful regions in economy that shares sister province-state relations with Shandong. Both sides valued the economic and trade cooperation at the beginning of their relationship. The Free State, largest and second populous in Germany, is source of one third of total German investment in Shandong. Bavaria has invested over 20 projects in the province, involving about one billion dollars as foreign capital.

Projects

The Bavarian state government provided great support by training 1200 talents in railway, aviation, finance, telecom, communication, and metereology. It also helped to complete these joint projects:

  • Beer Technical Center established at Shandong Polytechnic University
  • Telecom Technical Center established at Shandong Telecommunication School
  • Land Consolidation Village Renewal Project of Zhanglou Village in Qingzhou City completed in 1988
  • Weichai Vocational Training Center built in Weifang City in 1989
  • Dual System Agricultural Vocational Education Center built in Pingdu City in 1990
  • Vocational Teacher Training Center built in Qingzhou City in 1998
  • Sino-German Rural Development Research Center jointly established in 2003

All this could not be completed without the support and participation of various Bavaria partners:

  • Ministry of the Interior
  • Technical University of Munich
  • Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Art
  • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry
  • Dillingen Academy for Teacher Training
  • Hanns Seidel Foundation

The Bavarian state government invested over 10 million € for the construction of these projects. It also dispatched long-term and short-term experts, over 100 people in total.

The province and the free state achieved remarkable results in higher education. A number of universities established friendly interschool exchange relations. They conducted fruitful exchanges and activities.

The Shandong-Bavaria Educational Cooperation Programme Commission plays an important role in the educational cooperation between both sides. The  partners established this commission in 1993. In 2007, they even founded the Sino-German Center for Cooperation of Universities for the further all-around cooperation of universities of Shandong and Bavaria.

Image © dpa / Sven Hoppe. Information Source: www.shandong-bayern.com

Both Shandong and Bayern (Bavaria) belong to the G8x8, the most productive places on earth. Shandong ranks third among Chinese provinces, taking the 2×3 spot on the chessboard, and contributes 8.7 percent to the national GDP. Bayern ranks second among the German laender, is located on field 4×2, and produced 18.1 percent of the German GDP.

 

Silk Road to NRW

Sichuan party secretary Wang Dongming and Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) minister president Hannelore Kraft participated in the official inauguration of a new NRW China Project Office in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. NRW economics minister Garrelt Duin pointed out that China is currently one of the leading investors worldwide, and that Chinese enterprises get more and more engaged in Europe. In foreign direct investment of Chinese enterprises, NRW ranks first among the 16 German laender. “Sichuan is our partner province and one of the most important locations for hi-tech, chemicals, and logistics in China,” said Duin. “Meanwhile, NRW is now the most desired location in Germany and a bridge to Europe for Chinese enterprises. We hope to welcome even more companies in the future, especially from Sichuan province.”

According to Petra Wassner, CEO of the NRW investment promotion agency, more than 850 Chinese enterprises already set up branches there. “This includes well-known corporations such as Donghua, Genertec, Hisense, Huawei, Lenovo, Lingyun, Minmetals, Sany, Shanggong, Wisco, and Wolong. Just last year, 79 firms from China newly established a business here.”

The Chengdu office aims at intensifying direct contacts with local associations, institutions, and the political community, in order to better inform them about the strength of NRW as a business location. It will provide individual services to potential investors of all sectors: market information, investment conditions, and practical assistance with setting up a business. Sichuan and NRW are directly connected by rail. This “New Silk Road” is a major part of China’s new long-term development strategy, also known as the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

Sichuan ranks 6th in GDP among Chinese provinces and occupies the 2×6 field on the G8x8 chessboard. Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) ranks first in GDP among German states and occupies the 4×1 field on the board. Sichuan contributed 4.2 percent to the national GDP of China, NRW contributed 21.4 percent to the national GDP of Germany. To compare province and state with countries, Sichuan exceeded Thailand (world GDP rank 26), NRW exceeded Switzerland (20) and Saudi-Arabia (21).