|Dong Mingzhu, Chairperson and President of Gree Electric Appliances [China Women's News]|
Dong Mingzhu, Chairperson and President of Gree Electric Appliances, the largest air conditioner maker in China, talked about mixed-ownership reform and entrepreneurial spirit during an interview with a group of reporters when she attended a forum about China's manufacturing sector held in its headquarters in Zhuhai, a city in South China's Guangdong Province, on December 28, 2019.
When commenting on China's manufacturing sector and its development opportunities, she said it takes time, and insiders should respect reality and make down-to-earth efforts to make breakthroughs.
Dong said that an entrepreneur should be patriotic, honest, creative and dedicated. At the very least, she said, when facing difficulties, entrepreneurs should stand out and try their best to come up with solutions without flinching or shouting slogans.
She pointed out that talented staff are the most important factor for the development of China's manufacturing sector, saying that Gree has a group of young professionals who create wealth, develop new technologies and enable people to enjoy a better life.
Gree Group, Gree Electric Appliances's state-owned parent company, sold a 15 percent stake in the subsidiary to Hillhouse Capital early November, 2019, which was considered by Dong as a move that will help the listed company develop into a real public enterprise.
She said the company will deliberate on the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the development of Zhuhai City, as Zhuhai serves as a core city in the area.
The city government's stake sale will help more listed companies in Zhuhai to improve their marketization and boost their growth, she noted, adding that it's not a simple transfer of state-owned shares but a move to boost the company's market competitiveness and operating efficiency.
Dong said the mixed-ownership reform will not change Gree's adherence to honesty, training for employees and protection of the legitimate rights and interests of shareholders.
Gree will also persist in seizing opportunities, overcoming shortcomings, and striving to meet the changing demands of consumers, she said, adding that the "internet of things" technology is such an opportunity.
When answering the question about the relationship between the brand of a business and the brand of a nation, Dong said: "Once upon a time, I felt that as long as we did well, we fulfilled our responsibilities." But she realized that China should have more brands that go global and numerous brands should be developed to help China expand its presence in the international market. As Gree has grown, the company has built several national brands, which were all created by itself rather than through acquisition," she noted. "Developing our own brands is our mission and responsibilities," Dong added.
In addition, according to Dong both the consumer and industrial sectors are very important for Gree; the former is the foundation of Gree while the latter is a pillar of the nation.
Without high-end equipment, it is impossible to produce perfect consumer products, so Gree attaches great importance to both, she said. Gree hopes that the high-end equipment developed and manufactured by the company will also occupy an important share in the global market, like air conditioners have done, in the near future, Dong added.
Dong also looked forward to achieving high-quality growth for the company and leading industrial reforms through innovation.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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