As China, France mark 60 years of relations, Michelin hails own connection

Wang Yanlin
Matthew Ye, president and CEO of Michelin China, writes of the importance of the French companies' connections with China, and the subsequent friendships and shared prosperity.
Wang Yanlin

Michelin celebrates 60th anniversary of Sino-French diplomatic relations

When people become closer, they form many connections and shared memories, and the same goes for countries. The 60 years of friendship between China and France has been a long journey, generating countless connections, from politics and economy to technology, culture, art, gastronomy, humanities, and so on.

The benefits of so many connections are obvious, as they foster friendship, prosperity, and a better future. During its 35 years of deep cultivation in China, Michelin has always been a witness, beneficiary, and promoter of connections.

The sound and stable Sino-French relationship has brought significant business opportunities. Many companies including Michelin have made great achievements. The "friendship" between two countries provides more certainty and predictability to companies to invest for the long term. Today, Michelin China has more than 6,600 employees, one regional headquarters, one R&D center, and five factories. The business is with, around, and beyond tires.

The diversity of connections between industries, including tourism and gastronomy, have provided better life experiences for people. Although China and France are thousands of miles apart, people's aspirations to a quality life is similar, especially their love of good food. Since 2008, the Michelin Guide has entered many Chinese cities. By recommending high-quality restaurants to foodies around the world, diners can experience the charms of Chinese and French cuisine. In 2024, Michelin will launch a series of activities involving mobility and dining in China.

The enhanced connection of culture has envisioned a promising future. Both China and France have a long history and share common cultural traditions in the pursuit of a better life, happiness, friendship, and opportunities for personal and societal development. In the long-term relationship of two countries, culture should play a leading role. Michelin firmly believes that it can serve as a bridge that connects people and their future.

"Those who know each other are never far apart." We look forward to more in-depth connections in various aspects. These connections may be intangible, but they are full of resilience, which can help China and France become closer and go further together.

As China, France mark 60 years of relations, Michelin hails own connection
Ti Gong

Matthew Ye, president and CEO of Michelin China

Milestones of Michelin in France and China

  • In 1889, the Michelin Company was established in Clermont Ferrand, France.
  • In 1891, Michelin invented the world's first detachable bicycle tire.
  • In 1900, the first Michelin Guide was published.
  • In 1946, Michelin invented the radial tire, which was a major breakthrough in tire history.
  • In 1988, Michelin established a sales office in Hong Kong and officially entered the Chinese mainland market the following year.
  • In 1995, Michelin Shenyang Tire Co Ltd was established, becoming the first joint venture for the Michelin Group in China.
  • In 2001, Michelin established its China headquarters, regional R&D center, and joint venture factory in Shanghai.
  • In 2003, as the Michelin Group's automotive after-sales service brand, Tyreplus opened its first store in China and transformed into a franchise model in 2009.
  • In 2016, the first Shanghai Michelin Guide was released, marking the official entry of the Michelin Guide into the Chinese mainland.
  • In 2023, the second phase of the Michelin Shanghai factory renovation and expansion project laid its foundation, aiming to create a "hyper flexible plant", which would be green, smart, and produce products of the future.

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