Can you please introduce the newest developments for the M&A powerhouse Midea and how are you involved in those?
Midea is currently very active on the outbound investment side. We have for example just purchased in June this year the majority of Toshiba Lifestyle and Services Cooperation in Japan (80,1%) and we expect to finish the transaction of Kuka in Germany in Q1 next year, then holding 94.55% in the leading German pioneer of robotics. Beside this we also just finished another acquisition of a 80% stake in Clivet SpA in Italy, a specialist in commercial air conditioning. For myself I am currently responsible for the financial integration of our new acquisitions into the Midea financial management framework. Finance plays an important role and reaches from GAAP conversion to financial IT system
integration to ensure the entire company operates on same standards.
Midea is one of the global champions from Foshan. What can we expect from Midea in the future?
We have just entered the Fortune 500 ranking as one of the first Chinese enterprises and the first Chinese corporation in the home appliance sector. This is without doubt a great achievement and shows our determination to develop Midea Group into a leading global player in the home appliance industry. We will continue this path and will clearly focus to expand the Midea own brands coverage and penetration worldwide. Beside this we generally shift our focus to develop technological leading products and thus have increased our R&D spending from 3% in 2013 to close to 4% this year. Definitely a big topic in the future you will hear more about is our smart home strategy and consequent offerings to “make yourself at home”.
What would you say to a foreigner professional moving to Foshan?
Foshan sounds at first maybe less intriguing to foreigners compared to Shanghai or Beijing. But in my opinion it is a true gem in the South China and a great place to live, especially for foreigners. The city develops at fast pace but keeps a great balance in its urban development. It is not one of these artificial cities having only large buildings but offers a lot more like in the recreation areas built on the riverside, the cultural offers of which I can definitely recommend. For example my personal favorite spot is here Qiandeng Lake. You can even say that Foshan bridges Western and Chinese development understanding.