• Published by, 02nd Aug 2016 in category Engineering / Manufacturing in English

    More than half of an estimated 60 million Chinese people with hearing problems are inclined to use aids as long as they are "invisible"-that is, not easily noticeable, something that can fit snugly into an ear, like in the case of television news reporters and anchors. Led by Albert Lim, a Singaporean, Sonova's Asia-Pacific, the world's leading provider of hearing solutions, has taken upon itself the challenge of meeting this need. As senior vice-president of Sonova's Asia-Pacific region, Lim travels to China frequently, and has been overseeing the company's efforts to develop and produce customized "made-in-China" products for Chinese customers. What's more, Sonova's new products will also make it easier to hear and understand the Chinese tonal language. Switzerland-based technicians of Sonova are burning the midnight oil towards this goal within a year. Their customized designs will factor in the customer's ear shape and its peculiar parts. Using 3D printing technology, hearing aids will then be created at Sonova's factory in Shanghai with high precision, delivering better hearing quality.

  • Published by, 29th Jul 2016 in category Business in English

    The Asia-Pacific region is soon set to overtake North America with regard to online trade, and China stands out in particular. The size of the population, rising incomes and growing IT knowledge, as well as promotional programs run by the government are all contributing to high demand. Even back in 2012 around 90% of electronic products in China were procured via purchase sales platforms. Over the past year online sales have amounted to approximately 2.9 billion US dollars. The government is fostering the development of e-commerce through various programs, but in doing so they are focusing primarily on the promotion of their own export industry (around 83% of sales are down to online export, with 17% online import) and aiming to press ahead with cross-border e-commerce. Chinese consumers have enormous trust in Swiss products in particular, which stand for quality and safety. Food producers in particular are able to benefit from this, as the example of baby food shows. In 2008 the share of baby food in Chinese online retail was 0.2%, but that was before the milk scandal. In 2014 the share had already increased to 12%.

  • Published by, 25th Jul 2016 in category General Interest in English

    In 2015, 70 shawls made from the wool of the protected Tibetan antelope (shahtoosh shawls) were seized in Switzerland. Trade in these luxury products is prohibited. To combat this illegal trade, INTERPOL and Switzerland invited countries to a workshop to define measures for a coordinated international approach.

    In the workshop, held in Lyon in early July 2016, Switzerland and INTERPOL created an international network to strengthen the fight against the poaching of the Tibetan antelope as well as the smuggling of and trade in shahtoosh shawls. Representatives from ten countries of origin as well as transit, processing and consumer countries discussed causes and enforcement strategies. Among them were India, Kuwait, Nepal, China, Pakistan, Italy, the UK, Spain and Germany. Representatives from the CITES Secretariat (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) as well as from INTERPOL also participated.

    Specialists in the identification of these shawls coming from forensic institutes in India and the USA also attended the workshop. By exchanging relevant information, next steps were identified and country-specific objectives defined. In the future, the network will enable a coordinated international approach to this illegal trade.

  • Published by, 22nd Jul 2016 in category Business in English

    According to a survey carried out by Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) among around 200 small and medium-sized exporting companies, Swiss SMEs see major potential in the Chinese market. Exports to China are accordingly set to gain importance in the next five years. Companies from the MEM industry are particularly active. Credit Suisse sees good sales prospects for Swiss SMEs in China. Chinese growth and the Chinese currency are set to develop in favor of Swiss exporters in the next six months. Export sentiment among Swiss SMEs has improved further and is more positive than at any time since the abandonment of the minimum euro exchange rate by the SNB in January 2015. As Bettina Rutschi, Senior Economist at Credit Suisse, explains: “The most important driver of Chinese economic growth at present is consumer spending. Although we expect this to rise less sharply in the second half of 2016 due to the slight deterioration of the labor market situation, altogether economic growth in China is also set to remain high in 2016 at 6.5% so that there are good export prospects for Swiss SMEs particularly since according to our forecasts the Swiss franc should depreciate against the Chinese yuan by 1.5% in the next six months.

  • Published by, 11th Jul 2016 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has granted its formal approval for the takeover transaction of gategroup by HNA Aviation (Hong Kong) Air Catering Holding Co. As reported, HNA Group announced on 11 April that it would launch an all cash tender offer for publicly held registered shares of gategroup at CHF 53 per share (USD 54.43 at today’s exchange rates). A public prospectus was duly issued by HNA Aviation (Hong Kong) Air Catering Holding Co on 20 May. On a fully diluted basis, the offer price valued Swiss aviation and travel services giant gategroup at approximately CHF 1.4 billion (USD 1.44 billion). The NDRC approval has paved the way for the deal’s subsequent clearance by the Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, which is expected to be forthcoming, gategroup said in a statement this morning.

  • Published by, 08th Jul 2016 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    Credit Suisse is planning to boost its stake in its Chinese securities joint venture to the maximum permissible 49%, which would make it the first foreign bank to take advantage of relaxed Chinese investment rules introduced four years ago, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The Swiss bank, which currently owns 33.3% in Credit Suisse Founder Securities Ltd, is betting that boosting its shareholding in the business will help put it in a position to win a bigger share of China's burgeoning deals business, the people added.

    Credit Suisse and Beijing-based Founder Securities formed the joint venture in 2008 to provide services, including sponsoring and underwriting of China's A-shares and Chinese government and corporate bonds. The bank's bigger push in China comes at a time when a pickup in onshore equity and bond issuance in China is helping the nation's home-grown investment banks to grab a bigger share of the fee pool in the world's second-largest economy.

  • Published by, 04th Jul 2016 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    Switzerland's watch industry exports fell nearly 10% in May as watchmakers struggle with the effects of last year's Islamist attacks in Europe and a prolonged slowdown in Asia. Watches are Switzerland's third-biggest export sector after pharmaceuticals and machinery. Like other manufacturers, the sector has also been hit by the strength of the Swiss franc, which makes exports more expensive. Exports of timepieces fell 9.7% to CHF 1.55 billion, according to data released by the Swiss customs office on Tuesday. Overall this year Swiss watch exports, which are seen as a proxy for sales, have fallen by 9.5%.

    Hong Kong and China, two of the world's largest markets for luxury watches made by companies such as Swatch , Richemont and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton , have been particularly hard hit in the downturn. Europe has also been struggling with reduced tourism numbers in the wake of deadly attacks last year, cutting visitors to important luxury shopping destinations including Paris.

  • Published by, 29th Jun 2016 in category General Interest in English

    The Embassy of Switzerland in China is expanding its visa services to more Chinese cities and it will open nine new Visa Acceptance Centers in nine cities from June to July. Chinese visitors to Switzerland and the Schengen region, of which Switzerland is a member country, can hand in applications at more convenient locations and enjoy faster services. This is expected to ease holiday preparations for Chinese tourists traveling to Switzerland this coming summer. The nine cities, in order of opening, are Xi'an, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Kunming, Changsha, Fuzhou, Jinan and Chongqing. The new centers are scheduled to be inaugurated between June 15 and July 15 and will be operated by the embassy's commercial partner TLScontact. The centers are authorized by the embassy in China to accept applications for short stay individual visas and provide administrative support services and biometric data implementation. The expansion of the visa services is another initiative of the embassy to meet the increasing number of Chinese tourists to Switzerland following the opening of three centers in Chengdu, Wuhan and Shenyang in January.

  • Published by, 27th Jun 2016 in category BUSINESS NEWS in German

    Football is becoming more and more popular in China. Olivier Glauser has recognized it. He opens the door to the actual European football cup in France to Chinese companies with his startup Shankai Sports located in Beijing. During this Eurocup, the names of internationally renowned brands like Adidas or Coca-Cola will be seen by everyone again. If you look closely, you will discover in the coming days the name of a company only a few knows outside of China.

    With the electronics company Hisense, the European Football Union UEFA for the first time in the 56-year history of the tournament works with a Chinese company as a sponsor. The transaction shows the importance that Switzerland has in international sport business, being made possible thanks to the startup Shankai Sports headquartered in Beijing. Olivier Glauser, from Lausanne in Switzerland, is one of the founders of the company. He explains in this article the growing importance of international sport in China and its access for Chinese company.

  • Published by, 20th Jun 2016 in category Hospitality / Tourism / Retail in English

    Nestlé SA and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd have launched a digital commerce and marketing campaign, a move the Swiss food giant hopes will boost its disappointing business in China through innovation in products and digital distribution channels. The six-month joint campaign will leverage Alibaba's online and mobile marketplaces, media platform and rural services. According to Nestlé, it will feature 154 products from 30 brands, 67 of which will be introduced to Chinese consumers for the first time. Nestlé's growth had been slowing in the past few years in China, as the company said it has not reacted quickly enough to trends like e-commerce and healthier eating. Nestlé said its Chinese Yinlu congee brand still faces challenges as consumers shift to more premium products. "Consumers in China are very discerning and adapting to technology faster than almost anywhere else in the world," said Wan Ling Martello, executive vice-president responsible for Nestlé's Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa regions who is also on Alibaba's board. Martello said at an investment meeting in May that despite the slowdown in Chinese economy and the country's fast-moving consumer goods sector, the country remains a great consumer story thanks to its emerging middle class and their growing disposable income.