Schindler was the first western industrial to sign a joint venture in China in March 1980. This year, Schindler China celebrates its 40 years anniversary.
The history of Schindler in China is a success story with many great achievements over a timespan of four decades. Tall buildings and their need for elevators and escalators in China were still an exception in the predominantly low-rise urban landscape of the late 1970s. However, elevators quickly started supporting a boom in skyscrapers. Today, supertall buildings such as the PingAn Finance Center in Shenzhen (592m), the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong (484m), or the Qingdao Center in Qingdao (245m) are part of the skyline of every large Chinese city.
We are looking back to 40 successful but challenging years. But, what will the next 40 years for Schindler in China look like and what megatrends will drive the elevator business in its biggest market?
First of all, China will continue to urbanize at a rapid pace. 20 million people will move to cities every year and these cities will grow vertically. A typical residential building in China today has 22 floors and with it comes the need for elevators.
The second megatrend is sustainability. China’s extraordinary rise as an economic superpower has accelerated a realization that new, more sustainable solutions are needed for the urban mobility of the future. Schindler is leading the way with innovation. For example, when our elevator system in skyscrapers is delayed, electricity is generated and fed back into the electricity network.
Lastly, digitalization will continue to shape our contribution to vertical urban mobility in China, particularly as the world is becoming increasingly connected. China itself became an innovator of new digital solutions. At Schindler, we have developed many digital products around the elevator which in the future will also be brought to life in conjunction with Chinese technology. Partnership has brought us forward over the past 40 years and this will continue.
The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that there is value in a long-term strategy. Therefore, our next 40 years in China will be marked by the same themes as the last four decades: bridging cultures and approaches, learning from each other, and a commitment to the local market.
Some impressions from the 40 years anniversary celebration in Shanghai below: