Industrial chain empowers manufacturing sector to recover
Published: Sep 03, 2020 09:19 PM

Industrial robot arms handle Lenovo's global PC orders at the company's biggest production base in Hefei, East China's Anhui Province, on Thursday. Photo: Shen Weiduo/GT

By improving factory automation, coordinating global resources, using a complete local industrial chain, and organizing cargo charters to ensure shipments, Chinese manufacturers are keeping up with global demand when their counterparts in other parts of the world are still hampered by the pandemic.

"Since the work-from-home model during the pandemic has greatly stimulated demand for PCs both domestically and globally, we are rushing to fill orders and finding ways to strengthen our production ability," Bai Jing, vice president of Lenovo Group, the Chinese PC manufacturer, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Bai is also the general manager of the Supply Chain Management Department and Chief Purchasing Officer of LCFC, Lenovo's biggest global manufacturing base in Hefei, East China's Anhui Province, which produces almost all of its PC series. 

One out of every eight laptops sold worldwide comes from the Lenovo's factories. It has already shipped more than 140 million units worldwide, with annual orders exceeding 600,000.

Bai said that the pandemic has posed "unprecedented challenges" to the company and stability of its industry chain, but it managed to maintain production, thanks to the four-hour industry chain near Hefei, where its 70 upstream and downstream suppliers can transfer components within that period even amid a pandemic.

"Location is becoming increasingly important amid the pandemic, and as there are so many global uncertainties, we plan to build another factory in Chuzhou near Hefei that will be 10 times bigger than the original one," Liao Jie, general manager of Shenzhen Yuyang Technology Development Co, told the Global Times.

Even amid the pandemic, the company ensured smooth shipments to more than 120 countries and regions using charter flights, and a PC from the factory in Hefei can arrive at a US consumer's home within five days, said a company staffer.

Lenovo opened two new production lines on Thursday, in a fresh move to boost production. It shipped 162 million units in the second quarter of the year, an increase of 4.2 percent year-on-year and ranked first in the world with a 25-percent global share.

"All this experience, all these coping strategies, while meeting global demand, are also boosting the recovery of the country's manufacturing activities and leading the world to an economic recovery," Zhang Hui, an industry observer, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Results of a private survey on Tuesday showed China's manufacturing activity expanded in August at the fastest pace in nearly a decade, showing a strong recovery despite the global pandemic. 

The world's largest exporter is now roaring back thanks to its flexibility, efforts of local manufacturers, and a complete industrial chain that the country built up with years of experience, which could hardly be replicated by any countries in the world, said Zhang.