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CIIE Story • Why Choose CIIE | Developer of innovative water solutions is a huge fan of CIIE Release date: 2023-09-06    Source:China Daily


Xylem signs up to participate in the third edition of the expo during the second CIIE. [Photo/CIIE Bureau]

Xylem is a notable player in developing innovative water solutions through smart technology. From a first-time participant at the second edition of the China International Import Expo to a returning visitor of subsequent CIIEs, Xylem deserves the title of "enthusiastic fan of the CIIE". As a globally notable water technology company and as a witness and beneficiary of China's reform and opening-up, Xylem has participated in the construction and transformation of infrastructure and iconic buildings in many large and medium-sized cities.

Debuting new products

This transnational company has made efforts to ensure the completion of a number of major projects, including the rapids for the Roaring Rapids ride at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort; the drainage system for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge; the water supply for the tallest building in China, the high-rise Shanghai Tower; the drainage system for Beijing Daxing International Airport; and the water quality and flow monitoring system for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project.

Xylem entered China in 1994, and set up its national headquarters in Shanghai in 2007. In 2019, after learning about the CIIE through the media, Xylem expressed its willingness to participate so as to meet a large number of governmental buyers and leading enterprises.

When selecting which company under the group to participate as a representative, Xylem put in a lot of thought into it. Among its dozens of factories globally, Xylem finally selected the YSI factory in Ohio, the United States.

YSI has notable achievements in water quality analysis and instrument patents fields, and its products have been applied to a number of China's surface water and environment monitoring projects.

Moreover, the company wished to display its original registration document when it launched at the second edition of the CIIE, although it was not an easy task as the factories' founding happened a long time ago and had since been renamed.

Xylem China began to connect with the YSI factory in March 2019. After repeated communications and searches, the original registration copy was found in the factory's archives. On it was the recorded founding date: Jan 21, 1949.

On its debut, Xylem was shocked by the CIIE's influence. Many guests gathered around the exhibition booth of Xylem and 17 of them engaged in in-depth matchmaking discussions. Intended orders exceeded $24 million.

Before the second edition of the CIIE had finished, Xylem booked its exhibition booth for the third edition. But during the third CIIE in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was raging across the world and most of the workers at the YSI factory were working from home. The first release of new products had been delayed and the production progress had also been postponed.

However, Xylem was not willing to give up. The research staff members and the product manager began to live inside the factory and prioritized research work for the CIIE's debut products.

Amid the strained global supply chain, the engineers collected spare parts and manufactured a prototype of the new product. That was a multiparameter water quality monitor that was similar to a large insulated hand-held cup, which could monitor multiple water quality data of urban water sources in real time. This product was launched for global release at the third CIIE.

Full confidence

During the fourth edition of the CIIE in 2021, Xylem signed a collaborative agreement with the Binhai Institute of Zhejiang University to establish a joint laboratory aimed at easing cities' drainage pain points. In 2022, they officially released the first new product, AquaTalk, after the development by the two parties. It can effectively respond to three major problems: unfulfilled monitoring of city drainage systems, cities' waterlogging and sewage overflow.

In July 2022, Xylem rented a 2,000-square-meter office space in Shanghai's Changning district, aiming to build it into an innovation center as part of efforts to strengthen its local technological capabilities.

"We can feel that China's needs for smart water management systems are obvious, especially with the use of big data and artificial intelligence. Digital technology has promising application scenarios. It is of vital importance to build a research center that is localized and closely related to specific needs," said Lyu Shuping, president of Xylem China and Asia region.

On March 6, Xylem's China InnoSpace was put into operation. It is the company's largest research center in the Asian region. At present, there are 75 engineers working there.

This research center will focus on the development of intelligent water management and comprehensive water management solution plans. This will provide real communication and cooperation opportunities for the transnational company and Chinese partners, and contribute to building an innovative water management industry in China.

Xylem has benefited a great deal from China's reform and opening-up policy and the enhanced business environment.

Lyu said: "Since China has become the second-largest market for Xylem, China's market has become vitally important to Xylem's global business layout. The sixth CIIE is coming soon. With this national-level platform empowering the company's brand and market expansion, we are fully confident in deeper cultivation in China's market.”

By Yuan Shenggao

Li Ye from Jiefang Daily contributed to the story.