with China Daily CEO Roundtable delegates on F1
Interview with Rolf Beisswanger (R), Vice President, Corporate
Sponsoring, Siemens AG.
What are your expectations for the conference
It will provide great opportunities for local brands. I will be
happy to share my views and experience with the local companies,
to see us grow as one in the future, and to see success for years
to come. Previously, there are only international major sponsors
for F1. This year, however, we have one leading local company
among the major sponsors.
do you see in the future for local Chinese brands?
Sports marketing is a serious business. It has reached a level
beyond a fan-based business, and CEOs are getting involved just
for the sake of getting involved.
marketing has strategic goals behind it. To succeed, we have to
have a vision, a mission, and think how to reach our goals within
the next period of time.
as platform offers great opportunities for local brands, if you
play the game right. You have to have the actual money, the right
tools to measure the strategic goals, and you have to crate and
establish relationships with the media.
Is Siemens involved with the 2008 Olympics? What can you see happening
in China with the Olympics?
We're not involved in the Olympics as a sponsor. Right now, we
have made a strategic decision to start with and focus on F1.
But I do believe that the Olympic Games will play a major role
in the development of sports marketing in China.
How do you link up Siemens' F1 sponsorship with your local business
It will definitely help build our brand image.
There is the direct opportunity to showcase our performance through
There is also the new racetrack in Turkey, which is an example
of our goal to play a major role in developing sports facilities
in the future. We have employee programs, internal programs to
leverage F1. There are also road shows to showcase cars, to make
our employees proud of the company, both in Europe and China.
At the corporate level, what are Siemens CSR (corporate social
Siemens is dedicated to CSR programs, and we have links between
our sponsorship program and CSR program.
with Mr. Charles Zhang (C), Chairman & CEO, Sohu.com
As a major internet company in China, what so you think of conference
like the F1 Global Business Conference and its significance?
Answer: In the case of this F1 Conference, since F1, as a brand,
is gaining more and more exposure, the conference itself will
attract a lot more attention than before. Compared to some years
ago, when the event only attracted a small group of people, now
it appeals to a larger group, and the group's financial ability
has also grown. Looking from the angle of having a international
business conference, since local companies are growing both in
scale and financially, the commercial value of these conferences
will continue to grow as time goes on.
For local brands to become the mainstream shoulder-to-shoulder
with international brands, how long do you think the process will
At this point in time, many local companies are starting to participate
in international events, including global sporting events such
as F1. The process is definitely taking place.
In light industry, the development is indeed rapid. In the area
of heavy industry and national industry, I think that the participation
and contribution of local private companies is crucial. The future
development of these areas in China depends very much on their
involvement and investment.
Question: From what you see on Sohu.com, how are the consumers
responding to F1? Is the response positive or negative?
Answer: Young people, especially young men, are responding very
positively to the event, and showed a lot of interest. This brings
us to the importance of reporting on the internet, and media interaction
with its audience, such as reviews, critiques and discussions.
with Feng Jun, Chairman of Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology
Why do you choose to attend F1? What kind of result do you want
Huaqi is a leading high-tech company headquartered in Zhongguancun,
Beijing. At the beginning of Huaqi's development history, our
first brand was "Patriot" which is translated literally
from Chinese. We aimed to keep it as a meaning of "national
flag". In 1996, Huaqi needed a further development, so we
needed a new brand to support our products. However, "Patriot"
had been registered in many countries already. Finally, we translated
"Patriot' into "aigo". In 2003, the amount sells
of "aigo" MP3 was three times as much as the amount
sells in Samsung. I am very proud of our products because we won
the Korea as Chinese National Football had never won the Korean
National Football Team for 27 years. So I think if we can do it
in China, we can also win them in the international market. Therefore,
I planed to go into the international marketing with our new brand.
In 2004, we had 21% market shares, compared with Samsung which
only had 11% in the same field.
Our company culture: A stands for Number 1, I stands for self,
Go means action. We are going to get the No.1 once we start.
Why do you want to sponsor F1?
Our goal is to be Chinese Sony and Samsung. "Made in China"
has been widely accepted by the whole world. We need to establish
the recognition of "made by china". We are pursuing
to reach the same level as Sony and Samsung in the world by our
technical research and brand promotion.
F1 focuses on the hi-tech around global. It stands for passion
and high-speed. By making use of the impact of F1, I plan to develop
"aigo" into international marketing world step by step.
I think it is a better way to get our goal which is to be Chinese
Sony and Samsung.
Would you please compare with iPod because iPod is a very famous
brand in the field of MP3?
There is one of French Media which gave a comment few days before:
the next generation of iPod is MP4 858 from "aigo".
Actually, the technology in our country is much higher than that
in other countries. Meanwhile, our products have relevant low
price. What our only shortage is the reputation of our brand.
For example, all the equipment about recording and storage device
on the space aircraft "Shenzhou VI" are our products.
I know from the very beginning of first negotiation, you just
needed five days and then made contract with F1. Do you think
it is too short for such a big event?
Answer: Because"F1 is high speed", so we have to be
high speed. I talk about the very general idea with Mr Yu Zhifei
in Beijing. We had lots of ideas in common because both of us
really hope to help national brand to become famous in the world
as a worldwide brand.
What is reward?
It is a long term plan. At present, Huaqi is still in the process
of growing. We can grow up under the impact of F1, on the other
hand, when we become more developed, we can support F1 further.
So we become the first special cooperator with F1 Global Commercial
Summit in china. When you arrive in Shanghai, you will see our
brand flag on the both sides of streets.
Do you think "aigo" is deemed more nationalism?
I don't think so. Just like many famous brands in Japan and South
Korea all have their own nationalism character. Eg. LG, Samsung
etc. Only if we respect our nation, we could have the opportunity
to be successful in business world. If you do not love your own
country, our brand, our product does not have the root. Our nation
is the very root. Also, it is the same in Europe and U.S. In 1996,
my friends suggested me all the high-tech equipments are imported
from overseas. The name of 'aigo' outdated. But with the development
of my products, 'aigo' has been accepted gradually by the general
public. Just like at before, the cigarette were only 555 and Malboro,
now what the consumers love is "zhonghua" or other local
what are your targets of consumers?
MP3 is for the youth.; MP3 in watch is for the office people;
Electronical equipment is for student. MP4 is for adult. We co-operate
many technologies into people's common life. I have very excellent
talents working for me. They always work over time. It is impossible
in Euro and U.S.
IT industry requires the ability of research, the ability of brand
and the ability of management. What do you think about?
You're absolutely right. I have the most excellent research team
in the world. But Huaqi needs to study the management. And the
shortage is brand impact around the worldwide business market.
Now all the local digital camera brands only have 1% marketing
shares in China. We aim to get 10% shares in 2006 in the field
of digital camera. Now, we already have the first 8,000,000, pixels
digital camera in China which is only sold RMB 2999 closing to
the capability of public's acceptance.
For instance, Samsung has a strong support from their people and
government. What about this situation in China?
The innovation ability in Chinese Hi-Tech companies is absolutely
excellent in the world. iPod doesn't have screen, Samsung only
has black and white screen, we have already colour screen. The
key point is our products have the same battery consumption. So
the consumers must choose our product. This year we create a new
kind of MP3 which can see film, watch MTV through colour screen
but in fact although we input many new technologies but do not
increase the cost dramatically. On Oct 18th, few days later, we
are going to release the largest music download website in the
world. We've collected nearly 72,000 songs from four big music
companies, compared with iTune which only has 2 music companies
as its co-operation partner and 30,000 songs. It is also the first
time of the development of Chinese copyright. It's only RMB 0.99
per songs which satisfied Chinese customers practically.
F1 is relevant new for general public. As a wide-accepted brand,
what is the main obstacle? Do you plan to input your brand into
other sports like golf?
We have our own International Chess Club which is leaded by Mr
Xie Jun, the champion of international chess game. Why do we choose
Chess? Because we think we are doing the IT business which collects
the top talents' intelligence. The same as IT industry, Chess
is also a game standing for intelligence and the sprit of teamwork.
With some development, we input Chinese Chess into Chess then
create our own 'aigo' Chess. The difference is the usage of cannon.
The Chinese people are the most intelligence people in the world.
The Chinese people know how to make use of cannon. It is Chinese
way of thinking. So we import international chess with our traditional
rules. After China entered the WTO, we should follow the international
marketing rules, and meanwhile, we should keep our own local features.
The more nationalism, the more international.
What is you future plan?
We aim to follow the way of Sony and Samsung. We have four sub
divisions in Singapore, French, Hong Kong and India respectively.
Singapore department is more mature. Nowadays, we have the equal
ability of innovation and research except our brand impact.
what is your company's culture?
"Aigo" has "Six Win" rule: public, agent,
staff, company, supplier and society. From "public' to "society",
it is a value chain. Only if we get all the parties satisfied,
we'll win. Our 1,500 staffs provide services to 3,000 agents.
3,000 provide services to 1,300,000,000 people then 5,000,000,000
consumers in the whole world. Now china is more open than before.
That is the reason why we have China Daily and F1. So I believe
the open China support Huaqi to develop more faster.
Could you tell me about your staff?
I have 1,500 staffs. Among them, the average age is 27 years old.
All the researcher hold master degree and other staffs hold bachelor
degree. At present, our directorate members are all Chinese because
Huaqi is just in the process of developing. We have 12 senior
directorates and we have regular meeting every week. So it's really
Among Fortune 500, there are Chinese 15 companies including 14
state-owned companies and one Hong Kong Company. What do you think
of the future of private company?
Now, Huaqi is a small seedling. It must become a strong tree in
the future and become a flag of Chinese private company. So sooner
or later, private companies will be the top 500 in the world.