Running an office in China can be challenging, but at the same time we participate in an efficient industry, a desire for growth and enormous technological development.
(By NewTracks AS founder and owner, Julius Espedal)
First travel to Shenzhen in 2014
In 2004, I had my first trip to China. I visited factories in Shenzhen and met hardworking and talented people, and a multitude of manufacturing companies and production capacity that I have not seen elsewere. We still work with some of these factories.
NewTrack’s office in China for quality assurance
In 2016, I established an office in Shenzhen for engineering, quality assurance and to follow up production.
Some times, we only get SW / STEP files – 3D models – from our customers, and then we make complete engineering drawings at our office in China. NewTracks China works with SolidWorks CAD program, as do most of our customers. Therefore, file transfer back and forth goes smoothly.
Shenzhen is China’s Silicon Valley
Shenzhen (abbreviated SZ) is the technological front in China, both for development and production. Here you can get everything produced! What characterizes the production in Shenzhen is close cooperation between the factories. They specialize in one technology and outsource everything else.
Huge development from 2004 to 2020
When I was in China for the first time in 2004, Shenzhen was polluted and unsafe, but today it has developed into a top modern city. The population has almost doubled in 15 years, and there are now 4 million in the city center and 12.5 million inhabitants in the big city. The subway system was just started in 2004, but now a fantastic subway system covers the entire city with 8 lines and 215 stations. Thus, they have opened one metro station per second. month for the last 15 years! Nevertheless, the plan is to grow further, and by 2030 the subway network will be 4-fold from today’s 300 km to 1150 km (wikipedia).
Focus on environment and safety
In Shenzhen, almost all taxis are electric cars and Shenzhen is the only city in China where the use of seat belts is mandatory. Sharing economy has very well developed and with WhatsApp on your mobile you can rent a car or bike, pay in stores, restaurants or taxis. Cash is almost non-existent, and for foreigners with cash this can be a bit of a challenge. You’d better have the exact amount to pay in cash.
BYD electric cars and electric buses
Most taxis are of type BYD e6 and a taxi driver we talked to says that the cars work very well. With a range of 300 km, a charge lasts about half a working day. But one challenge is that many taxis will charge at the same time around lunchtime and he must stand about 20 min. in the loading queue.
BYD, headquartered in Shenzhen, is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars. They have also delivered 42 electric buses that go into traffic in Oslo. It probably won’t be long before we see BYD electric cars in Norway as well.
New Tracks office in Shenzhen
Our office is located in the Longhua district, 30 min. from SZ center and 15 min. from Shenzhen North Railway Station. From there, trains travel at 350 km/h to Guangzhou in one hour. The factories we work with in both Dongguan and Foshan are therefore within a 2-hour radius. This is important for monitoring and quality assurance.
Quality assurance and factory audit
All the our manufacturing partners have good quality routines. Additionally, we check every order before they are shipped from China. For small shipments, the goods are shipped to our Shenzhen office for inspection before being shipped to the customer. On large shipments, a NewTracks employee goes to the factory and checks the goods there.
Flexible production for small and large series volumes
Our manufacturing partners are flexible, and can deliver both small and high volume. Some factories have specializes in prototypes, small series and short delivery times. Others are more effective in larger volumes.
As volumes increase, we are your advicor to reduce production costs, eg by doing the manufacturing by fixed tools.
Differences in doing business in Norway and China
Running business in China is quite different from Norway, eg tax, VAT refund, reporting and currency transactions. Actually, you become very fond of the Norwegian Netbank and Altinn when working in China…
In China, an export license is required to export goods. Many of the factories we work with do not have the license andNewTracks China Co. Ltd. act as an export agency for these factories.
Delivery of simple components or complete products
We help make purchasing and assembly easier; For example, we mount locks in profiles and fasten gaskets on components, so that the assembly can be done faster and there are fewer part numbers for our customer.
NewTracks works with product development and production of hardware – mainly for the electronics industry. With offices in Shenzhen and Oslo, we are a quality-assuring link to sourcing, efficient production and logistics