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外企欲借中国合资企业全球掘金

发布者: smile* | 发布时间: 2010-12-30 11:55| 查看数: 1376| 评论数: 2|帖子模式

Foreign companies have been teaming up with Chinese ones for years to gain access to the giant Chinese market. Now some of the world's biggest companies are taking a risky but potentially rewarding second step -- folding pieces of their world-wide operations into partnerships with Chinese companies to do business around the globe.

General Electric Co. is finalizing plans for a 50-50 joint venture with a Chinese military-jet maker to produce avionics, the electronic brains of aircraft. The deal with Aviation Industry Corp. of China would give GE access to a Chinese government project aimed at challenging Boeing Co. and Airbus in the civilian-aircraft market.

General Motors Co. established a joint venture this year with SAIC Motor Corp., its longtime partner in China, to produce and sell their no-frills Wuling-brand microvans in India, and eventually in Southeast Asia and other emerging markets as well.

The two deals show China Inc.'s growing international ambitions, as well as its increasing leverage over foreign partners. To make the GE deal happen, GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt made an extraordinary concession, agreeing to fold into the venture all of GE's existing world-wide business in nonmilitary avionics. GM, in its deal, contributed technology, its manufacturing facilities in India and use of its Chevrolet brand name in that market.

Several forces are motivating China's foreign partners to strike global deals that would have been unthinkable a few years back. China's big government-backed companies now have enormous financial resources and growing political clout, making them attractive partners outside China. In addition, the Chinese market has become so important to the success of multinational companies that Beijing has the ability to drive harder bargains.

But such deals also carry risk. Several earlier joint ventures inside China have soured over concerns that Chinese partners, after gaining access to Western technology and know-how, have gone on to become potent new rivals to their partners.

'Foreign partners are seeing they will have to sometimes sacrifice or share the benefits of the global market with the Chinese partner,' says Raymond Tsang, a China-based partner at consultancy Bain & Co. 'Some of the [multinational corporations] are complaining. But given the changing market conditions, if you don't do it, your competitors will.'

Big energy companies, too, have been pursuing international deals with Chinese companies. China has supplanted the U.S. as the world's biggest energy consumer, making access to its market vital for global companies. Foreign firms hope that teaming up with Chinese companies abroad will help on that front. Foreign companies supply technology and experience, and their Chinese partners provide geopolitical clout, low-cost labor, and easy access to credit that China's government-backed companies enjoy.

State-owned China National Petroleum Corp. was one of the first foreign oil companies to sign a major contract in Iraq. BP PLC teamed up with it last year for a $15 billion investment to increase output at the giant Rumaila field. Over the summer, Royal Dutch Shell PLC joined with PetroChina Co., a publicly traded subsidiary of China National Petroleum, on a $3.15 billion acquisition of assets from Australian energy company Arrow Energy Ltd.

China has been gaining clout in some resource-rich parts of the developing world where U.S. companies don't have strong footholds, partly by spending lavishly on infrastructure projects, and it can help broker deals in places like Venezuela and Myanmar, where it has good relations.

In financial services, foreign banks long have coveted access to China's fast-growing securities business. China has allowed a number of companies into the market in recent years through joint ventures, with their stakes capped at about 33%. Chinese regulators also restrict which parts of the securities business they can do.

Credit Agricole SA already is involved in such a joint venture through its Asian brokerage arm, called CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, but it is a minor player in China. In May, its investment-banking unit announced a preliminary deal with China's government-owned Citic Securities Co. to form a joint venture beyond China's borders. The French company plans to contribute CLSA and other pieces of its international operation. Citic Securities would throw in its small international unit, based in Hong Kong. Credit Agricole hopes that helping Citic Securities realize its international ambitions will enable the French bank to expand its business in China.

But talks have gone slower than expected. The two companies said this month that they had agreed on certain key terms, but extended a year-end deadline for a final deal to June 30, without explaining the delay.

Some joint ventures in China have stumbled because of spats with local partners or because the partnerships enable Chinese companies to learn enough about industries to become new competitors to their Western partners.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. and Siemens AG, for example, worked with Chinese partners to help build China's high-speed rail network. Now the Chinese companies are bidding against them for international contracts -- using products at least partly based on the foreign firms' technology. Last year, France's Groupe Danone SA accepted a cash payment to terminate its joint ventures with China's Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co. after a nasty public feud. The French company had alleged that Wahaha's boss had produced and sold Wahaha-branded beverages supposedly owned by the joint venture through a separate network he owned. Wahaha denied the accusation.

GE's avionics deal with Aviation Industry, or AVIC, also is vulnerable, says Jim Wasson, president of Growth Strategies International LLC, an aerospace and defense consulting firm, and a former GE Aviation executive. The fear is that 'once AVIC knows enough about how to do this, they'll kick [GE] out and be on their own,' he says.

Lorraine Bolsinger, chief executive of GE Aviation Systems, acknowledges there were concerns within GE about protecting technology. 'It was very controversial,' she says of the proposed deal. 'It was really us knuckle-dragging technology guys that think we had a lot to protect.' In the end, she says, 'when we and the Chinese together create intellectual property, we are darn right going to protect it.'

These days, big Chinese state companies with access to cheap funds and other government support are gunning to dominate some of the same industries that firms like GE have targeted as growth opportunities, from clean technology to turbines.

Even so, GE has such high hopes for China that Mr. Immelt has called it 'our second home market.' Two years ago, Mr. Immelt said China revenue would double to $10 billion by 2010. But last year it reached just $5.3 billion.

GE saw working with AVIC as a chance to boost its avionics business, which has lagged behind Honeywell International Inc. and Rockwell Collins Inc. The planned venture, to be based in Shanghai, has been chosen to supply China's planned C919 jet, which has the potential to grab a big slice of the Chinese civilian-aviation market. Boeing estimates that market will be worth more than $400 billion over the next 20 years, second only to the U.S.

In negotiations, GE is asking AVIC to match the value of the technology GE is contributing with a cash investment, according to people at GE. If a deal is finalized, all of GE's existing and future civilian avionics contracts will go to the joint venture. Negotiations were supposed to be done by mid-2010, but the parties now hope to finish them by early 2011.

GE executives say the AVIC deal is their closest cooperation ever with a Chinese partner. GE has 45 people in China on the project now, and it is hiring or moving several hundred more people there, even before final terms are hammered out.

AVIC, which makes fighter jets and helicopters in addition to civilian products, has ambitions outside of China. 'For the aviation industry, there is no regional market, only the global market,' the company said in a statement. 'AVIC's strategy is to actively integrate itself into the industrial chain of the world's aviation industry, and to become a truly global company.'

Last month, China unveiled the first life-size mock-up of the C919. Other foreign companies have negotiated similar joint ventures to make other parts.

'Our hope and desire is that this joint venture maintains a working-together partnership that benefits both,' says Kent Statler, executive vice president at Rockwell Collins, which has a joint venture to supply the C919 with communications systems. 'But let's not be naive. We realize that this could turn into a competitor.'

For GM, the stakes are especially high: China became the world's largest auto market last year.

Back in 1997, GM decided to plow more than $1 billion into a 50-50 joint venture with SAIC to make Buicks. At the time, it was seen as a risk because car sales had yet to take off in China. This year, GM's China ventures are on track to sell nearly 2.27 million vehicles in the country, compared to 2.18 million sold by GM in the U.S., according to research firm IHS Automotive.

Much of GM's recent growth in China has come through a second joint venture set up in 2002 with SAIC and another Chinese company. The venture, SAIC GM Wuling Automobile Co., makes boxy microvans costing as little as $4,500, which have proven popular in China's smaller cities and towns. Last year Wuling became the first brand in China to sell a million cars in a year. This year, it's expected to account for nearly one-sixth of GM vehicle sales world-wide. Last month, GM reached a deal to buy an additional 10% interest in Wuling for $51 million from the venture's third investor, raising GM's stake to 44%. SAIC owns 50%.

The India joint venture, which began operating in February, is part of GM's effort with SAIC to replicate its China success in other markets. It will produce cars based on its Chinese Wulings, but will sell them under the Chevrolet brand. GM contributed its brand, India factories and dealer network, while SAIC contributed about $300 million to $350 million, a senior GM executive said when the deal was announced.

'We think the business model we have in China with SAIC and the product lineups we have in China are ripe for export to other parts of the world,' says Kevin Wale, chief of GM's China operations.

GM and SAIC already have made less ambitious forays abroad together. They export Chevy Sail compacts designed and made in China to Chile and Peru, and are jointly developing more new models to be sold globally, such as the Buick LaCrosse, a sedan designed by teams in Shanghai and Warren, Mich., and sold in China and the U.S.

The India deal takes that cooperation a step beyond shipping jointly produced vehicles overseas. GM and SAIC executives and engineers will be posted in India to design, produce and market cars locally -- something SAIC currently has almost no experience with.

One risk to GM is that the venture will better position SAIC to compete abroad on its own -- against GM.

Already, SAIC has grown into a powerhouse at home, in part through learning from GM. In 2006, SAIC launched its own solo brand in China, called Roewe. It now competes domestically with the Buicks that SAIC makes with GM. The Roewe brand, which is based it on technology acquired from the now-defunct MG Rover Group Ltd., along with a related nameplate, MG Mingju, sold 146,323 cars in the first 11 months of this year, up 78% from the year-earlier period, according to J.D. Power & Associates. Buick's sales in China, while more than three times as large, grew one-third as fast over the same period.

'Roewe offers comparable products at lower price points and is taking away from GM and others,' says Michael Dunne, an auto-industry veteran who heads Hong Kong-based investment advisory firm Dunne & Co.

Last year, GM agreed transfer 1% of its stake in Shanghai GM, its main Chinese joint venture, to SAIC, giving its Chinese partner 51% and effective control. GM said at the time the move would give it better access to credit from Chinese banks, and pave the way for its bigger stake in the Wuling venture.

Last month, GM said the two companies are looking at the possibility of selling SAIC's MG-branded cars through GM's world-wide sales channels. The move could open the door for SAIC's cars to make inroads into Britain, where the MG brand was once based, according to an individual close to GM. Also last month, SAIC paid $500 million for a 1% stake in GM as part of the Detroit auto maker's initial public offering.

SAIC is 'very well situated to meet Western [car companies] head on,' says Michael Robinet, a U.S.-based senior analyst with consulting firm IHS Automotive. 'There's no doubt in my mind, MG and Roewe are going to be both very good launch pads for SAIC to look at new markets beyond China.'

最新评论

smile* 发表于 2010-12-30 11:55:55
多年来,外资公司一直与中国公司合作以进入巨大的中国市场。现在,全球最大的部分公司正在进行第二步,将其部分全球业务整合到与中国公司的合资公司中在全球做生意。这步棋有风险,但可能也有回报。

Bloomberg News中国航空工业集团公司(Aviation Industry Corp. of China)总经理林左鸣(左)与通用电气公司(General Electric Co.)首席执行长伊梅尔特(Jeffrey Immelt)去年宣布成立航空电子合资企业的计划。通用电气公司(General Electric Co.,简称GE)即将完成与中国一家军用飞机制造商成立均等股权合资企业的计划,专门生产飞机的电子脑──航空电子设备。这项与中国航空工业集团公司的交易将使GE能够接触中国政府一项着眼于在民用飞机市场挑战波音公司(Boeing Co.)和空中客车(Airbus)的项目。

通用汽车公司(General Motors Co.)今年与其在中国的长期合作伙伴上海汽车集团股份有限公司成立了合资公司,在印度生产和销售五菱牌低价微型面包车,最终再扩展到东南亚和其他新兴市场。

这两项交易显示了中国公司日益膨胀的走向全球的雄心,及其对外国合作伙伴日益强大的影响力。为达成GE的交易,GE首席执行长伊梅尔特(Jeffrey Immelt)做出了非同寻常的妥协,同意将GE现有的非军用航空电子设备全球业务全部整合进入这个合资公司。通用汽车则在其交易中贡献出了技术、在印度的制造设施和在印度使用其雪佛兰(Chevrolet)的品牌名。

推动中国的外资合作伙伴达成全球交易背后有多重动力,这在几年前是不可想象的。中国政府支持的大公司现在有了更庞大的金融资源和日益强大的政治影响力,让他们在国外成为具有吸引力的合作伙伴。另外,中国市场对跨国公司的成功变得极其重要,因此北京方面能够进行更有力的讨价还价。

但这种交易也存在风险。由于担心中国公司在获取西方技术和知识后会成为合作伙伴的强大的竞争对手,早些时候在中国成立的一些合资公司遭遇流产。

咨询公司贝恩公司(Bain & Co)驻中国合伙人曾伟民(Raymond Tsang)说,外国合作伙伴正意识到,他们有时必须牺牲或与中国合作伙伴分享全球市场的利益;有些跨国公司在抱怨,但鉴于市场条件在不断变化,如果你不这么做,那你的竞争对手会这么做。

大型能源公司也一直在争取与中国公司达成国际交易。中国已经取代美国成为全球最大的能源消费国,使进入中国市场对全球公司变得至关重要。外国公司希望,与中国公司在海外进行联合将会对这方面有利。外国公司提供技术和经验,中国合作伙伴提供地理地缘政治影响力、低成本劳动力和轻松获取受中国政府支持的公司享受的信誉。

国有的中国石油天然气集团公司是首批在伊拉克签署重要合约的外国石油公司。英国石油公司(BP PLC)去年与中石油合作投资150亿美元提高鲁迈拉(Rumaila)大油田的产量。今年夏天,荷兰皇家壳牌有限公司(Royal Dutch Shell PLC)联合中国石油旗下上市子公司中国石油天然气股份有限公司,斥资31.5亿美元收购澳大利亚能源公司Arrow Energy Ltd.的资产。

中国在一些资源丰富的发展中国家花费大笔资金对其基础设施项目进行投资,这在一定程度上帮助中国在这些美国企业并不具备稳固基础的国家中拥有了越来越大的影响力,它还能在与其拥有良好关系的国家中帮助安排交易,比如委内瑞拉和缅甸。

在金融服务领域,外国银行长期以来一直渴望进入中国增长迅速的证券行业。近年来中国已允许一些公司通过合资企业的方式进入国内市场,而外方在合资企业中的股权比例不得超过约33%。中国监管部门还对外国公司可以参与的证券业务种类设定了限制。

法国农业信贷银行(Credit Agricole SA)已经通过其亚洲经纪分支机构里昂证券亚太区市场(CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets)参与了一家这样的合资企业,不过它在中国的业务量并不大。5月份时,里昂证券宣布与中国国有的中信证券(Citic Securities Co.)达成一项初步协议,双方将在海外组建一家合资企业。这家法国公司计划贡献的是里昂证券亚太区市场及其他数项国际业务。中信证券将贡献位于香港的一家小型国际子公司。法国农业信贷银行希望,帮助中信证券实现其国际雄心能够使自己扩大在中国的业务。

但谈判的进度没有预期那么快。两家公司本月说,它们已就某些关键条款达成一致,但将达成最终交易的截止日期从年底延长到了6月30日,它们没有解释推迟的原因。

中国一些合资企业的发展并不顺利,原因包括与地方合作伙伴的矛盾,或是这种合作关系使中国企业掌握了足够的行业知识,进而成为西方合作伙伴新的竞争对手。

比如,川崎重工(Kawasaki Heavy Industries)和西门子(Siemens AG)与中方伙伴协作,帮助建造中国的高铁网络。现在中国企业在争夺国际合同的过程中与它们展开了竞争──所使用的产品至少在某种程度上依靠的是这些外国企业的技术。在经过为人诟病的公开争吵后,法国的达能集团(Groupe Danone SA)去年接受了一笔现金支付,终结了与中国杭州娃哈哈集团(Wahaha Group Co.)的合资企业。这家法国公司宣称娃哈哈的老总通过他拥有的另一个网络生产并销售了本应为合资企业所拥有的娃哈哈品牌的饮料。对于这一指控,娃哈哈予以了否认。

航空及防务咨询公司国际增长战略(Growth Strategies International LLC)的总裁沃森(Jim Wasson)说,GE与中航工业的航空电子交易也很脆弱。曾是GE航空业务高管的沃森说,担忧之处在于一旦中航工业掌握了足够的技术,他们将踢开(GE),自己单干。

Associated Press一架中国的C919喷气式飞机模型GE航空系统(GE Aviation Systems)的首席执行长罗琳•鲍辛格(Lorraine Bolsinger)承认GE内部存在对技术保护的担忧。她谈到这笔拟议的交易时说,它极具争议性。她说,想到我们有很多需要保护的东西的正是我们这些保守的技术人员。她最后说,当我们与中方共同创造了知识产权时,我们一定会去保护这种产权。

最近,可获得低廉贷款成本以及政府其他扶持措施的中国大型国企为了在被GE等公司视为增长机会的部分行业中占据主导而加大了努力,这些行业涵盖了从清洁技术到涡轮机等领域。

即便如此,GE仍然对中国寄予了很高的期望,以至于伊梅尔特将它称为“我们的第二个国内市场。”伊梅尔特两年前曾说,中国的收入到2010年时将增加一倍,达到100亿美元。但去年它的收入仅为53亿美元。

GE将与中航工业的合作看成是提振其航空电子业务的机会,在这一领域它落后于霍尼韦尔(Honeywell International Inc.)和罗克韦尔柯林斯(Rockwell Collins Inc.)。计划中的合资企业将把总部设在上海,它已被选为中国研制中的C919飞机的相关供应商,而这款机型有可能会在中国民航市场上占据主要位置。波音预计,中国民航市场在今后20年间的价值将超过4000亿美元,仅次于美国。

据GE人士说,该公司在谈判中要求中航工业进行现金投资,以匹配GE所提供技术的价值。如果最终交易敲定,GE所有现有以及将来的民用航空电子合同都将归这家合资企业所有。谈判本应在2010年年中完成,但谈判各方目前希望能在2011年初前完成。

GE的管理人士说,与中航工业的交易是他们目前为止与中国合作伙伴最为密切的合作。GE眼下有45人在中国参与该项目,即便是在最终条款尘埃落定之前,它还将再招聘或是调派数百人前往中国。

中航工业除生产民用品外,还制造战斗机和直升机,它拥有走出国门的雄心。该公司在一份声明中说,对航空业而言,没有区域性的市场,只有全球性的市场。声明还说,中航工业的发展战略是积极将自身整合到全球航空业的产业链中,成为一家真正的全球性公司。

上个月,中国展示了C919大型客机的首个等比例模型,其它外国企业已与类似的合资公司就为该客机制造其它备件进行了谈判。

美国罗克韦尔柯林斯公司在中国有一个为C919生产通信系统的合资企业。罗克韦尔柯林斯公司的执行副总裁斯塔特勒(Kent Statler)说,我们的希望和愿望是这个合资企业能够保持一种双赢的合作关系,让双方都能受益,但我们还是不要太天真了,我们知道合资企业可能会变成我们的竞争对手。

对通用汽车来说,这其中的利害关系尤为重大,因为中国已在去年成为了世界上最大的汽车市场。

早在1997年,通用汽车就曾决定投资逾10亿美元,与上汽成立各占一半股权的合资公司,生产别克(Buick)汽车。那时,这被看作是冒险之举,因为在当时中国的汽车销售尚未起飞。根据咨询公司IHS Automotive的统计,通用汽车的中国合资企业今年有望在中国国内销售近227万辆汽车,而通用在美国本土今年只售出了218万辆汽车。

通用汽车在中国近来销量大涨,这主要归功于它与上汽及另一家中国公司在2002年共同建立的第二个合资企业,即上汽通用五菱汽车股份有限公司(SAIC GM Wuling Automobile Co.),该公司生产的面包车售价仅为4,500美元,在中国小城镇大受欢迎。上汽通用五菱去年成为中国首个年销量过百万的汽车品牌,今年它的销量有望在通用全球汽车销量中占到近六分之一。上个月,通用与有关各方达成了协议,准备从上汽通用五菱第三个投资方那里以5,100万美元收购上汽通用五菱10%的股份,将自己在后者的股份增加到44%。上汽持有该合资企业50%的股份。

通用汽车在印度也成立了合资企业,今年2月已投入运营,这是通用联手上汽在其它市场上复制其中国式成功的部分努力。这个合资企业生产的车型将以上汽通用五菱面包车为基础,但会挂雪佛兰的品牌进行销售。宣布签订合资协议时,通用汽车的一位高管说,建立印度的这个合资企业,通用贡献了自己的品牌、印度厂房和经销商网络,而上汽则提供了约3亿到3.5亿美元的资金。

通用汽车中国公司总裁兼总经理甘文维(Kevin Wale)说,我们认为与上汽在中国形成的商业模式以及我们在中国的产品阵容都十分成熟,可以出口到世界其它市场。

通用汽车和上汽在联手进军海外市场方面已经有过不那么雄心勃勃的尝试。二者将在中国设计制造的雪佛兰赛欧(Chevy Sail)小轿车出口到智利和秘鲁,并且正共同研发可销往全球的更多新车型,如别克君越(Buick LaCrosse),这是一款由上海团队和美国密歇根州团队共同研制的小轿车,在中国和美国市场上销售。

达成印度合资公司的协议让通用与上汽的合作又向前跨出了一步,不再仅是将共同生产的汽车运往海外。通用汽车和上汽的高管及工程师将被派驻印度,负责合资企业的汽车设计、生产和本地化营销,上汽目前在这方面的经验几乎是一片空白。

对通用汽车来说,这样做的一个风险是,合资企业将使上汽在海外市场上与通用进行竞争时处于更有利的位置。

上汽在中国国内已成长为一个实力雄厚的企业,其中部分得益于它向通用汽车的讨教。上汽2006年在中国推出了自己的品牌荣威(Roewe),目前这款车与别克(上汽和通用共同制造)共同争夺国内市场。荣威是基于从英国MG罗孚汽车集团(MG Rover Group Ltd.)获得的技术,现在这个集团已不复存在,上汽继承的还有名爵(MG Mingju)这一品牌。汽车调研公司J.D. Power & Associates的数据显示,荣威今年前11个月卖出了146,323辆,销量较去年同期大涨了78%。别克在中国的销量虽然基本上是荣威的三倍,但同期的增长率只有后者的三分之一。

香港投资咨询公司Dunne & Co总裁邓恩(Michael Dunne)是汽车行业的一位资深人士。他说,荣威不仅可与同类产品相媲美,而且售价更低,这款车正在抢夺通用和其它制造商的市场份额。

去年,通用汽车同意将自己在上海通用1%的股权转让给上汽,从而让后者得到合资公司51%的股权和实际控制权。通用汽车当时表示,此举会让自己更为方便地从中资银行那里拿到贷款,也为自己增持上汽通用五菱的股份打下了基础。上海通用是通用在中国的主要合资公司。

通用汽车上个月曾表示,自己正与上汽研究是否可通过前者遍布世界各地的销售渠道来销售上汽MG品牌的汽车。与通用汽车过从甚密的一个人透露说,这或许会为上汽打入英国市场敞开大门。英国曾是MG的总部所在地。另外,通用汽车上个月IPO时,上汽还斥资5亿美元购买了前者1%的股份。

咨询公司IHS Automotive驻美国的高级分析师罗比内特(Michael Robinet)说,上汽为迎战西方国家的汽车制造商,现在已蓄势待发,我绝不怀疑MG和荣威均将成为上汽打入海外市场的一个非常好的跳板。
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