Startups reveal how they made profits despite pandemic

Yang Jian
More than a dozen local startup firms were recognized at the annual International Community Festival on Friday for posting profits amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Yang Jian
Startups reveal how they made profits despite pandemic
Ti Gong

Jia Bo, deputy chairman of the Shanghai Culture Promotion Association and the president of DoBe, presents awards to startup firms.

More than a dozen local startup firms were recognized at the annual International Community Festival on Friday for posting profits amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The business volumes and revenues of the companies, mainly in e-commerce, electronic sports, smart education, intelligent life and innovative products sectors, have been growing rapidly despite  COVID-19.

The founders and top officials shared their post-pandemic development experience with their counterparts on Friday at the closing ceremony of the festival organized by local innovation parks’ operator and service provider DoBe.

Fengshen Group, a leading air-conditioning and air purifier developer, is among the winners. While the pandemic forced many other companies to reduce business volume or lay off employees, the company has seen a dramatic boom in the sales of its product.

“The company has recently signed agreements with the high-speed railway station of Xiong’an to take charge of the air purification system,” said Lu Hui, the president of the company.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital services have been a lifeline for the millions of people subjected to lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders.

Imagination English, another winning online and offline English teaching platform, received 60,000 additional online students. The growth rate has been tenfold the firm’s normal speed.

“We always focus on the demands of the consumers and company clients, while keeping an eye on our competitors,” said Li Yongyao, vice president of the English teaching firm founded in 2014.

“Full preparations made us able to grab the opportunity."

Startups reveal how they made profits despite pandemic
Ti Gong

Founders and top officials share their experiences.

Employees of All Start Sport, a local sports education organization, volunteered to take part in various community activities during the pandemic, such as sorting parcel deliveries and checking the temperatures of residents in nearby neighborhoods.

“Staff wearing our uniform gained a good reputation," said Deng Jian, chairman of the company. "Residents became our customers after the training sites were allowed to reopen around March."

Zhao Yuanyuan, director with the Shanghai Content E-commerce Research Center, said new Chinese brands, 5G technology and the preferential policies from the China (Hainan) Free Trade Pilot Zone are expected to lead the next round of business trends amid the pandemic.

“Related companies are expected to develop rapidly within two years,” Zhao predicted at the event.

The festival, initiated in 2016, aims to create a platform for local small-and-medium-size startup and innovation companies to share their resources and experiences with each other, said Jia Bo, deputy chairman of the Shanghai Culture Promotion Association and the president of DoBe.

Most of them are based in the DoBe parks across the city, which were mainly renovated from the former factory buildings or industrial heritages.

Friday’s event was held in a newly opened innovation park in the city’s northern outskirt Jiading District. The DoBe E-manor of Jiajia was renovated from the factory of the former Jiading Mechanic Plant. Leading scientific innovation companies have been based there to create a park for artificial intelligence.

Startups reveal how they made profits despite pandemic
Ti Gong

The DoBe E-manor of Jiajia in Jiading District.

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