Aiming to become a global service provider

Li Qian
Though it is one of the smallest districts in Shanghai, Jing'an has big ambitions to become a "global service provider." It's not just idle talk.
Li Qian

Editor’s note: 

Jing’an sits at the heart of Shanghai. It represents the essence of the history and culture of the city, home to century-old buildings, big-name attractions, glitzy retail malls and charming art galleries. Annual music and art events give the district a distinctive ambience. In this series, we showcase the highlights of Jing’an.

Aiming to become a global service provider
Ti Gong

High-rises flank the Yan’an Elevated Road through Jing’an District

January Keywords: Global service provider

Though it is one of the smallest districts in Shanghai, Jing’an has big ambitions to become a “global service provider.” It’s not just idle talk.

Today, Jing’an boasts 20 service organizations listed on the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, accounting for one-third of the city’s total.

The network is a think tank that studies the relationships of world cities in the context of globalization.

Its list of reputable service providers in Jing’an includes the French bank BNP, consultancy firm Bain & Co, accounting firm KPMG, advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather and law firm Jones Day.

This month, they were among the first group of 48 companies included in the district’s “global service provider” program. Others include domestic giants Guotai Junan Securities and SAIC Capital, multinationals Pfizer Investment and L’Oreal China, and the local XNode Innovation Accelerator.

Each will receive financial support and enjoy favorable policies related to employee health care, accommodation and education.

According to district officials, a “global service provider” is one of impeccable reputation and a leader in its industry. That includes professional service agencies and regional headquarters of multinational companies.

Under the plan, Jing’an hopes to add at least 10 such service companies and six new multinational regional headquarters a year.

The district has released a set of measures aimed at enticing more global services agencies, building clusters of high-end services, creating world-class business environment and forming functional platforms with shared resources.

According to the measures, Jing’an will spend 300 million yuan (US$43.4 million) a year to support the program.

Industrial organizations with global influence that settle in Jing’an will receive up to 1 million yuan in financial assistance. Multinational companies setting up innovation centers and regional headquarters in the district will receive up to 5 million yuan. Domestic companies that promote their products overseas and have widely recognized brands are eligible to receive up to 1 million yuan.

Companies and organizations that stage major industrial expos and forums in Jing’an will receive 1 million yuan.

Jing’an will support the development of the cross-border e-commerce by building platforms to promote global influence and will encourage local brands to go overseas through a variety of events, including the China International Import Expo. To build an internationally friendly district, Jing’an will offer bilingual language assistance at its service windows.

Jing’an also plans to encourage the creation of think tanks and will assist companies seeking to list on Shanghai’s new science and technology innovation board. The district will boost integrated development of big data, artificial intelligence and the services industry to attract international startups.

Jing’an is home to the Shanghai Data Exchange, China’s leading big data center, which handles an average 30 million pieces of data every day.

Last year, Amazon’s Web Services subsidiary cooperated with Jing’an to build the Shanghai Amazon AWS United Innovation Center in Shibei High Technology Park, where the data exchange is located.

At the center, the latest technologies are trialed before being applied to Shanghai’s “smart city” blueprint. The site also helps foster professionalism in big data and international incubators in Jing’an.

Technology giant Huawei will join hands with Jing’an to build a blockchain innovation center. Germany’s SAP, a leader in business applications, will work with Jing’an to build a global technology innovation center.

Jing’an is now home to 82 regional headquarters of multinational companies, including nine Asia-Pacific headquarters. They accounted for 15.5 percent of district tax revenue last year. About US$1.2 billion of foreign investment flowed into the district last year.

In the next three years, about 3 million square meters of buildings will be completed to support the “global service provider” program.

Of them, the former JC Mandarin Hotel will be renovated into a high-end business complex along Nanjing Road W., and the Jing’an Baohua Center will be converted into office space in the Jing’ansi area.

In the Suhe Bay area, the Jing’an International Center is turning into a complex featuring office, hotel, conference and retail space. The Suhewan Center of China Resources will function as a cultural and commercial center.

The Shibei High Technology Park will host the Ecological Valley of Block Chain, which will do research and development on the new technology. The Shibei International Science and Innovation Center will create China’s big data hub.

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