Fortune China, the Chinese language version of the global business magazine, honored 25 companies for innovation in its Aug. 13, 2012 issue. Sixteen firms were new to the list in 2012. The top five include the online media company Tencent Holdings Ltd., SAIC Motor Corporation, SANY Heavy Industry, the web services company Baidu Inc., and China Building Materials Co.
“Innovation needs continuous input and attention,” the editors wrote in an article accompanying the rankings. “Any slack can lead to being surpassed by competitors.”
The article chronicles the improvements to the concrete pump made by SANY, driven by customer demands for higher pressures and improved performance. Xiang Wenbo, president of SANY Heavy Industry, said continual investment in innovation is what drives SANY. “Technological innovation must be a top priority in our industry,” he said. “Developing innovative products is crucial to thrive and lead.”
SANY invests 5 to 7% of revenue in research and development each year, well above average. More than 7,000 SANY employees are involved in R&D — half have master’s degrees or doctorates. In additional to its R&D centers of excellence in China, SANY has opened R&D operations in the United States, Brazil, Germany, and India.
“Management innovation, organizational innovation and technological innovation all drive competitiveness and profitability,” Xiang said. The magazine illustrated the story with a photograph of the SANY transformer, a concept machine built to resemble the Transformers line of children’s toys. The giant SANY transformer has an excavator bucket at the end of one arm and a rotary drilling rig on the other. The iron creature was a hit at the Beijing International Construction Machinery Exhibition & Seminar (BICES) in late 2011. The SANY transformer is now displayed in the SANY factory in Lingang, south of Shanghai.
The top 10 companies on the list of innovators include:
- Tencent Holdings Ltd.
- SAIC Motor Corporation
- SANY Heavy Industry
- Baidu Inc.
- China Building Materials Co.
- Guandong Midea Electric Co.
- China Mobile Ltd.
- Zoomlion Heavy Industry
- China Shenhua Energy Co.
- Lenovo Group Ltd.
SANY America Inc.