Chinese products shine on World Cup stage
The Manila Times
Foreign Business: China
THIS year’s FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar on November 20. Although China’s football team was absent, goods and equipment manufactured in the East Asian country were very much visible on the stage of the sport’s top event. China-made products, ranging from buses to air conditioners, are well-represented at the event, and experts said these reflected the country’s pivotal role in the global manufacturing industrial chain and its resilience amid the coronavirus pandemic. Electric bus manufacturer Yutong Bus told Beijing-run tabloid Global Times that it had 1,500 of its buses at the World Cup. Of these, 888 will be used for public transportation and shuttle services for officials, journalists and football fans. Yutong vehicles account for more than 30 percent of all vehicles in operation at the World Cup, while its electric vehicles account for more than 25 percent. The World Cup marks the first time that new energy buses are used as the main mode of transport, according to the company. Electrical appliance manufacturing giant Midea Group told Global Times that the 2,500 Midea air conditioners for the 100 security check centers of seven competition venues installed and maintained by its distributor in Qatar had been delivered to the World Cup organizing committee. Heavy equipment producer Sany Group is also riding on the construction wave created by the World Cup. Nearly 100 pieces of Sany equipment were used in the construction of all eight World Cup venues, which lasted for five years. These included 15 truck cranes, five 220-ton and 600-ton all-terrain cranes, 30 large excavators and five pump trucks. Amid the industrial-chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 crisis, China’s manufacturing industry continues to improve itself, has contributed to the global industrial chain and has helped stabilize the supply chain, Chen Jia, an independent international strategy analyst, told Global Times. “China’s manufacturing sector is constantly speeding up greening and intellectualization, which has played a strategic role in smart manufacturing under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative,” said Chen. In addition, state-owned enterprises are also making contributions to the event. One of them, China Railway Construction Corp., built the Lusail Stadium, the main venue of this year’s World Cup, as a joint venture with HBK Contracting. Shaped like a date palm bowl and an enamel lantern, it will host the championship match on December 18. It is the first time a Chinese company has built a World Cup venue. Lusail is featured on Qatar’s new 10-riyal banknote of Qatar. Another, China International Marine Containers, was behind the construction of Qatar Stadium 974, which was assembled with 974 containers, so the stadium can be easily disassembled. It is also the first fully demountable stadium in World Cup history. Another feature of this stadium is that it allows natural wind to circulate inside it, so there is no need for an air-conditioning system, which can save on energy costs. The 800-megawatt Al Kharsaah photovoltaic (PV) power station in Qatar started operations on October 18. Generally contracted by the Power Construction Corp. of China, the station is the first non-fossil fuel power station in the country and one of the largest of its kind in the Middle East. The company said there would be power supply before the World Cup, adding that it would also strongly support Qatar’s commitment to hosting a “carbon-neutral” World Cup. What Chinese enterprises bring to the world are Chinese products and services that are full of world-leading technologies, and which have laid the foundation for Chinese manufacturing to enter the global high-end product market, Song Xiangqing, vice president of the Government Management Research Institute of Beijing Normal University and director of the Industrial Economy Research Center, told Global Times. “It is a global promotion of China’s own brands, and it will help to increase global trust in Chinese manufacturing,” he added. This is highlighted by Yiwu Sports Goods Association, which said its products accounted for almost 70 percent of all items used in Qatar during the World Cup. These included the national flags of the top 32 teams; trumpets and whistles for cheering; footballs; jerseys; scarves; and other World Cup decorations. Many Chinese enterprises have made their global debut by sponsoring the World Cup. Four of them are on this year’s official sponsor list: Wanda Group, Vivo, Mengniu Dairy and Hisense. This article was first published in the Global Times on Nov. 18, 2022. The Global Times is an English-language Chinese tabloid under the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.