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More than shared memory, HK beverage brand aims big in Greater Bay Area

2020-July-8       Source: Newsgd.com

Sipping soymilk or lemon tea with friends outside a convenience store after school or a basketball game is a shared memory of most millennials in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

Sipping soymilk or lemon tea with friends outside a convenience store after school or a basketball game is a shared memory of most millennials in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

[Photo provided to Newsgd.com]

These glass-bottle beverages are iconic products of a Hong Kong brand, Vitasoy. The company recently located its Chinese mainland headquarters in Nansha District, Guangzhou on June 22nd. This is considered as an important move to further vitalize its Chinese mainland businesses, said Zhong Tingyi, China CEO of Vitasoy, in an interview with Newsgd.com.

Zhong Tingyi, China CEO of Vitasoy [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]

“Vitasoy has a long history of seeking cooperation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and has contributed to regional development over the past decades,” said Zhong Tingyi. The company is one of the very first Hong Kong-funded companies that entered the Chinese mainland market during the reform and opening-up in 70s.

Its first move was to invest heavily in Guangming Huaqiao, a Shenzhen farm that had been losing money since its founding in 1958. Vitasoy successfully helped the farm turn losses to gains through employee training programs and introducing imported manufacturing machines to raise efficiency. Later in 1994, the company built its first factory in Shenzhen and then gradually expanded to Foshan, Dongguan, Shanghai and Wuhan as its businesses grow.

“As of today, the Chinese mainland has become the most important market of Vitasoy,” said Zhong, “in the just-ended ‘6.18’ shopping festival, our sales volume topped among beverage brands on JD.com and hit record high on T-mall.com. The total sales revenue nearly doubled compared to last year, which means having a headquarters here is more than necessary.”

Apart from administrative functions, Vitasoy’s headquarters in Nansha will also carry out product distribution in the Chinese mainland market. “Now that we are closer to our customers and suppliers, we can respond more quickly and push forward more effective marketing strategies based on local demand. We are able to improve management on local supply chains as well as making more flexible plans.”

Nansha is a relatively new district which is rapidly being developed as the sub-center of Guangzhou. The district also carries out a series of national strategies as a national-level new district, Free Trade Zone and pilot area for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao cooperation.

Vitasoy's headquarters in Nansha [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]

“We chose Nansha because it is geographically and culturally close to Hong Kong. And it provides a variety of advantageous policies which will benefit our development on the Chinese mainland,” said Zhong Tingyi, “Guangdong Commerce Department and Nansha District Government also offered us lots of support which enhanced our confidence in investing in the district.”

“Many long-lasting Hong Kong-funded firms have already landed projects in Nansha to seize the chance brought by the Greater Bay Area plan, which I believe, will cluster more companies here in the near future,” said Zhong, “we stand up for more active cooperation with both Hong Kong and local companies to jointly expand while contributing to regional development.”

Apart from the Nansha headquarters, Vitasoy’s factory in Dongguan will complete construction in August and is anticipated to start production by the end of 2020. It’s the fifth Vitasoy factory on the Chinese mainland and the one with the largest production capability. “It’s another significant project to show our determination to participate in the Greater Bay Area development, and to continue our stories with people whom we have long bonded,” said Zhong.

Thus far, more than 3200 Hong Kong and Macao-funded companies have settled in Nansha with the investment volume exceeding US$ 112.8 billion, according to Nansha District Government.

 

Reported by Jasmine

Edited by Wing, Jerry

Editor: Jasmine

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