China’s dragon head

22.03.2017 — The Shanghai district of Pudong symbolizes X the new China today. An encounter.
At the beginning of the 1980s when the Chinese economic reforms began, Shanghai was overshadowed by the southern provinces. Only 25 years ago, the area Pudong which represents a sixth of the city area, was dominated by agriculture. Pudong now symbolizes the success of Chinese reform and open-door policies and serves as a test object for further reforms. In 2013, the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone was opened to drive modernization of China’s market economy. In the financial quarter of Pudong, every major bank has built a mega-tall tower reaching into the Shanghai sky. The east accommodates two deep water harbors: Waigaoqiao and Yangshan and in the adjacent high-tech zone, many industrial companies have established their research and development centers.

A safe (cleaner) harbor— a visit to the customs-free zone Waigaoqiao


The motorway to Waigaoqiao is spanned by a red and yellow steel arch with the lettering “China Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone”. Not far behind it is the duty-free area Waigaoqiao and the deep water harbor Yangshan which is also part of the 29 square kilometer free trade zone of Pudong. Shanghai port is the largest container harbor worldwide with 33.6 million TEU in 2014. TEU stands for Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit—a standard container is 20 feet long. The container harbor of the Shanghai Waigaoqiao is one of ten port zones. As far as the eye can see: bridges, cranes, ships carrying up to 100,000 tons. And containers, row upon row of containers piled as high as a house. Many are marked “Cosco” or “Maersk” and frequently “China Shipping”.

Containers are at sea for almost four weeks until they arrive in Los Angeles, Hamburg or Antwerp. The freedoms of the free trade zone include investment and trade concessions, free currency exchange, highly efficient, simple processing and a standardized legal environment. Shanghai Waigaoqiao Port is located outside the customs boundary and it is therefore permitted to import and export foreign goods free of customs duties. In a container harbor, this means that, with a bill of lading, companies can pick up their containers directly from the harbor and transport them to the free trade zone before carrying out customs formalities. This shortens customs procedures and minimizes logistics costs (Source: China heute). Free trade zone requirements include strict security to protect those freedoms. Access to the harbor area is possible only with a special permit and movement within the site is exclusively by the harbor operator’s bus.

The Shanghai International Port (Group) (SIPG) has been operating the harbors since 2003 in addition to those in Chongqing, Yibin, Changsa, Jinjiang, Nanjing and Wuhan. As a state subsidiary of SIPG, the Shanghai Mingdong Container Terminals Ltd. (SMCT) provides an extensive service package for container and general cargo. It begins with the loading and unloading of freight, includes storage, container cleaning and harbor security and extends to transport services on the harbor site.

We sit in an SMCT bus and drive across the harbor site. Accompanying us is Sun Jia Qi, the SMCT Superintendent- Administration. “Our company is like a machine” he says. “Each part is important”. Many years ago, he selected an FM provider with German roots to carry out cleaning and security services: 110 Dussmann operatives have been maintaining consistent cleanliness in the administrative building, in the residences of SMCT employees and in other harbor buildings since 2004. And they are also deployed if liquid escapes from a container and this or other soiling needs to be removed. They even carry out machine cleaning. There is an average of 10,000 square meters for each cleaning operative on the huge harbor site. The team also includes 30 Dussmann Service security guards who monitor the various gates, patrol the SMCT buildings and guard other points on the site. “I am very satisfied. Dussmann is professional and individual. You can feel the German efficiency” says Sun Jia Qi and praises the Dussmann project manager Liu Pei Chao: “He manages his huge team very well. I trust him”. Trust is of great value— perhaps the most important cultural value in China. A German business man might say “Why should we be friends? We’re doing business” whilst a Chinese business man would say: “Why should we do business? We’re not even friends!”


A Fort Knox of knowledge: A visit to GE China Technology Park


When the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang visited the GE China Technology Park in November, extreme security levels applied. The campus, which is already well secured, was subject to a day of strictly limited access for visitors on foot and in vehicles. The security measures were the results of close cooperation between local police and Dussmann security operatives on site. But even when the premier is not expected, security and crisis management are at the top of the priority list at GE, Shanghai. Functions at the Chinese headquarters of the “leading digital industrial company”, as it describes itself, include not only administration but also research and development. At the subsidiary GE Global Research, “more than 3,000 of the world’s brightest scientists, engineers and researchers work together to deliver technical breakthroughs for GE customers” according to GE. Visitors to the technical center can see the many areas of research where such a breakthrough is possible; miniature models make the topics CURE, POWER, MOVE and BUILD tangible, for example mobile solutions for nurses, a trip optimizer for train drivers or a wind park.

Innovation as a Leitmotiv


In all of its activities, GE Global Research is led by the drive to innovate “making aircraft engines more efficient, powering the world with flexible gas turbines and pioneering the industrial internet” to name but a few examples. Fast growing China is an appropriate backdrop.

Zhenping Wang, 32, is responsible for security and fire prevention at GE Shanghai. The most important task: “The important knowledge of our experts must be protected”. The campus is huge; around 5,000 employees from 16 nations work here and relax during breaks on the basketball field, in the fitness center or in the vegetable and herb gardens. The site presents a variety of challenges that are met by the security concept. In the summer of 2016, Dussmann Service commenced provision of an extensive service package and is present around the clock every day of the year. The team of security guards monitors access gates, GE staff entrances and the car parks and operates visitor reception and CCTV. They patrol the buildings and the grounds on foot and with agile 10 HP electric vehicles.

Dussmann facility services are adjusted meticulously to the standards, the regulations and the client’s highly professional security concept. “Dussmann is very supportive” says GE-security head, Zhenping Wang. The Dussmann project manager, Nang Xiaogang, put the team together for the start of the contract according to GE standards: “Minimum height is 1.75 m for men, 1.62 m for women. They may be no older than 35, need a good school certificate, a flawless police record and may have no financial issues” he enumerates and adds: “The best of the best”. When recruiting these professionals, Dussmann’s good reputation and the well-organized human resources department were helpful. In each CCTV shift, there is at least one colleague who speaks English because calls from GE employees are received here, “for example when someone has left their access card at home or during a fire alarm” he elucidates.

Following our conversation, Zhenping Wang observes a fire prevention drill in front of the CCTV building. He organizes these regular drills for his own team and for the employees of other service providers. It ensures that reaction would be fast and effective in the case of an emergency—24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

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