E China's Weifang builds future with innovation

By Guo Rong| (chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2018-06-09

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Weichai workers operate an engine production line. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Weifang, a neighboring city of Qingdao, the host of the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, wants to make innovation its name card.

The Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, whose comprehensive strength ranked 22nd among national high-tech zones, contributes to Weifang's rise as an innovative city.

Weichai Group, a heavy truck engine and component developer and manufacturer in the zone, is taking the lead in the city's efforts.

The manufacturer sold 620,000 engines and its income reached more than 220 billion yuan ($34.77 billion) in 2017, of which overseas revenue accounted for 40 percent.

It has business branches in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

The MAZ-Weichai engine factory was a flagship project under construction at the China-Belarus industrial park in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus, an observer state of the SCO.

The joint venture established by the Belarusian automotive engineering company MAZ and Weichai is set to start making engines by the end of 2018.

Adhering to independent innovation, Weichai has invested more than 15 billion yuan alone in engine research and development in the past 10 years.

It has carried out 21 large key projects altogether, including a new energy industrial park and a hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing base.

Weichai has also established research and development centers in the United States and Europe as well as Weifang, Shanghai, Chongqing and other cities in China to ensure its technical standards keep up with the global forefront.

The enterprise is making efforts to cultivate the spirit of craftsmanship in order to develop high-skilled talent.

In the past three years, Weichai has completed 368 major technological innovation projects, applied for 156 patents and generated 320 million yuan in revenue.

Weichai is not the only enterprise that has obtained strong support from the zone for innovative development. The high-tech acoustic and photoelectric company Goertek's new projects - which include an intelligent hardware industrial park, a photovoltaic industrial park and a smart factory for wearable products - are also progressing as scheduled.


A visitor experiences Goertek's virtual reality cinema in Weifang, East China's Shandong province, June 8, 2018. [Photo by Guo Rong/chinadaily.com.cn]

Goertek has achieved a revenue of 25.5 billion yuan and a compound annual growth rate of over 40 percent.

It has integrated research and development resources worldwide with a reinvestment of around 7 percent of its annual revenue in recent years, and has set up R&D centers in the United States, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, Beijing, Qingdao, Shenzhen and more, said Marvin Chang, senior vice-president of Goertek.

With more than 10,000 patents, Goertek is leading the industry in various fields such as acoustic, optical, wireless, software and system integration technology.

Relying on its own patented automated equipment and an efficient automated production line, Goertek has become a supplier to the world's top brands, winning the trust of Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Facebook, Huawei, Amazon and more.

The company's ODM/OEM shipments of virtual reality head-mounted products reached 5 million, and in 2016 more than 70 percent of such global midrange to high-end products were manufactured by Goertek.


Eight automatic transmission and its series products are shown in the exhibition hall of Shengrui ransmission in Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone. Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn

Shengrui Transmission, a leading manufacturer of automobile automatic transmissions, also demonstrates that its innovative abilities in technology are at the cutting edge worldwide.

The world's first independently researched and developed front-wheel drive eight automatic transmission (8AT) has filled the domestic blank and won the first prize in National Science and Technology Progress.

A total of 1 billion yuan has been invested into R&D for 8AT in the past 11 years.

The company attaches great importance to independent innovation and building an R&D platform, relying on two state-level technical centers to set up R&D subcenters in Germany, the United Kingdom, Beijing and Qingdao, said Wei Yanchao, assistant to the general manager of Shengrui Transmission.

It is estimated that by 2020 the number of high-tech industries in the zone will reach 170 -- joining Weichai, Goertek and Shengrui Transmission -- and they will generate more than 80 percent of the output value for the zone.