Chongqing – When Li Wenxun, a Taiwanese businessman, visited Chongqing alone in 1989, he could never have imagined that the city would become his second home, attracting investment from companies worldwide.
After the establishment of the Taiwan Paichi Group in Taiwan in 1977, Li came to Chongqing alone in 1989. Facing the relatively backward economy of Chongqing at that time, he boldly decided to invest in Chongqing. What Li Wenxun was looking at was Chongqing’s development potential.
In the same year, he established Chongqing Paichi Cookware Co., Ltd., taking the lead in introducing the automatic high-flow water heater. Paichi became the first Taiwan-funded production enterprise in Chongqing, and Li became the first Taiwan businessman to invest production-type enterprise in Chongqing.
Peng Jianjia, general manager of Chongqing Paichi Home furnishing, introduced that relying on technological innovation and the vast market on the mainland, the Paichi gas cookstove has achieved significant development. The first domestic water heater without any external power supply was born in Paichi. Originally, Paichi only produced gas cookers, but now it has a whole industry chain of multi-functional kitchen appliances, complete house customization, and other home furnishments.
Paichi is not the only one making progress and development. With Chongqing’s rapid economic and social development, the exchanges and cooperation between Chongqing and Taiwan are also becoming increasingly close. By June 2022, Chongqing approved 2,002 Taiwan-funded enterprises, with a total contract of $30.415 billion and actual utilization of $7.958 billion. Among them, 221 enterprises with an investment of more than $10 million.
In addition to the production line, Paichi began to think about how to bring these experiences in Chongqing to more Taiwanese enterprises. Chongqing Paichi Huigu Industrial Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Paichi, was established for cross-strait youth exchange and learning, focusing on building a cross-strait youth innovation and creativity base and providing a platform for supporting investment attraction for enterprises.
“By doing this, we hope that more Taiwanese businessmen and enterprises can see the development opportunities on the Chinese mainland and the development of Chongqing. We hope that more people will come!” Peng added.
In 2020, Yonggu Group Inc. was listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation(TSEC), becoming the first Taiwan enterprise in Chongqing to list on the TSEC.
“The growth of the company and the city accompany each other,” said Lin Huangzhi, the chief operating officer of Yonggu Group Inc. He introduced that in 1999, Yonggu Group Inc. set up five subsidiaries in Chongqing.
Concrete is not a simple collection of cement and sand. Standing in the exhibition hall on the company’s first floor, Lin pointed to some concrete samples and said proudly, “Now the company has more than 20 kinds of commercial concrete, and many of them are customized according to customer’s needs.”
Behind all kinds of concrete, the R&D and design team has made great efforts. Yonggu Group Inc. spends 3% of its annual turnover on research and development. The company currently has over 60 application patents, two invention patents, and some patents under review.
Lin revealed that the company is also in technical cooperation with Chongqing Technology and Business University to explore the uniform distribution of graphene in concrete, to enhance the compressive strength of concrete.
“In the past decade, the company has developed and changed a lot. We have participated in the pumping and pouring work of the Chongqing World Financial Centre and the construction of several bridges and rail transit in Chongqing. We are still working on constructing the T3B runway at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport,” Lin added. The company’s total production reached 3.4 million cubic meters last year.
City developing rapidly, let Taiwan companies also profit from it. The preferential policies issued by the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and Chongqing Municipal People’s Government allow Taiwanese enterprises and business people to enjoy convenience. Lin said that with the rapid development of Chongqing, the company had achieved remarkable growth. Next, the company’s goal is to increase the market share of commercial concrete in Chongqing to more than 20%. Under the favorable policy of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, the company’s business will gradually expand to Chengdu and face the whole country.
“The initial idea was just to see it.” Huang Jinxun, now 76, said with a laugh. This “see” has lasted for 30 years.
Huang was engaged in the LPG business in Taipei before. At that time, Chongqing had a large population, primarily using coal or biogas. There were only two state-owned enterprises in the LPG industry. He decided to invest in Chongqing and establish Chongqing Ideal LPG Industrial Co., Ltd.
Over the years in Chongqing, Huang led the Era Kitchen&Bathroom company to constantly adapt to the changes in the market. “In recent years, everyone’s quality of life has been improved significantly, and the demand for kitchen and bathroom appliances has changed from simply being able to boil water and cook to having diversified functions and intelligent services,” Huang added.
Therefore, the Era Kitchen&Bathroom company increased its efforts in the research and development of intelligent products, and a series of powerful functions came out successively.
“We have more than 500 dealers in Sichuan and Chongqing. In the past decade, excluding the closed stores, the number of stores in Chongqing has increased by roughly 40 percent,” said Huang. Now, his son has taken over more sales work, and he has a more meaningful identity as a promoter of the cooperation between Chongqing and Taiwan.
Many Taiwanese enterprises come to Chongqing for inspection, and Huang will give his full support. “I am half a Chongqing native and have become a qualified Chongqing tour guide!”
(Chen Qian, as an intern, also contributed to the report.)