ClearTV joins forces with SOEs to seek additional overseas biz opportunities

2023-06-07 10:36:06China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Visitors gather at ClearTV's booth during an expo in Wuhan, Hubei province, in July. The technology service provider has actively explored trade opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative and expanded its overseas footprint. (Photo/China Daily)

As numerous large-scale infrastructure projects involved in the Belt and Road Initiative make progress, an increasing number of smaller-scale projects led by leading companies that focus on niche markets are joining forces with major State-owned enterprises to venture overseas.

ClearTV, also known as Qinghe Technology, a technology service provider specializing in cloud computing, big data and multimedia telecommunication products, is one such company. ClearTV has actively explored trade opportunities brought by the BRI and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in recent years, expanding its overseas footprint to generate new growth points.

Through supplying SOEs who have overseas projects and establishing ClearTV's customer base abroad, the company's products are exported to the Middle East, South Asia and Europe, with a successful implementation in more than 20 countries and regions involved in the BRI.

The company has set up branches across multiple cities in China, and aims to build a new subsidiary in Southeast Asia to further tap trade opportunities brought by the RCEP.

"The scale and quantity of ClearTV's overseas projects have grown exponentially and achieved its first tenfold increase in terms of revenue in the past five years. Our overseas investments now reach over 50 million yuan ($7.03 million) and more than 90 percent of our overseas projects have started operations," said Chen Xingquan, head of ClearTV's overseas business.

The company has recently installed 768 intelligent screen display terminals in the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel in Ethiopia, empowering the five-star hotel with advanced technology to create 730 smart guest rooms.

At a hospital in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, a smart patient management system was developed and installed by ClearTV in 2021, including screens that display patient information, calling patients for doctor appointments and patient profile optimization.

In the same year, it built 750 intelligent screen display terminals in the Missan Oil Fields in Iraq, an energy project led by the China National Offshore Oil Corp, allowing Chinese workers in Iraq to connect with their families through video communication.

Chen said that compared with other domestic companies who provide similar products, ClearTV has made efforts to ensure product quality and technology advancement. Compared with overseas competitors, the company's products have advantages in cost-effectiveness, stability and after-sales service, which helps increase its share in the international market.

"We are aiming at the second tenfold increase in terms of revenue in the next 3-5 years," said Chen.

However, ClearTV's international expansion has not always been smooth. About a decade ago, the company attempted to enter the US market, but ultimately failed due to insufficient staffing, unfamiliarity with the market and lack of a customer base.

Afterward, ClearTV adopted a strategy of partnering with large State-owned enterprises. It began to expand its SOE resources gradually, providing comprehensive services for overseas projects. Simultaneously, the company established its customer base in international markets through referrals from other businesses and online platform promotions.

"Expanding our overseas customers is far more challenging than expected. Our team collected contacts from potential customers we met at overseas exhibitions or through advertising and reached out to them both online and offline to understand their needs precisely. In the beginning, the conversion rate was very low," Chen said.

Within five years, Chen's team grew from one person to ten, and the company's project scale increased from tens of thousands of yuan to millions of yuan. Over a dozen of ClearTV's overseas projects were completed last year.

Apart from achieving business growth and optimizing the team, this year's goals for ClearTV include establishing a subsidiary in Southeast Asia, Chen said.

"With the implementation of the RCEP, ClearTV enjoys tariff benefits in many projects in Southeast Asia, which has significantly reduced project costs and provided the company with opportunities to participate in the expansion of more overseas markets," he said.

"Now an increasing number of overseas customers recognize the advantages of Chinese business partners. Not only do Chinese companies deliver high-quality products, but they also provide comprehensive after-sales service support through overseas branches that are increasing thanks to supportive policies," Chen added.


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