China - racing and working to keep up
China - when you hear the name, what is your first thought? Huge population? Yes, definitely. Pollution? Well, due to many factories, sure. Kungfu? Everyone knows it. China is full of rich people who buy luxuries just like they buy cabbage? How come they have so much money? Actually, I really want to know that too. Cashless payment? Also true, ATMs are struggling with their business, and because of this it gets worse every year. There’s a popular saying in China, “defeat you but nothing to do with you”. ATMs and cashless payment are competitors but they don’t even offer the same solution! I guess this contradiction is ongoing all over the world because of rapid development and new ways of living. I believe there are a lot of misconceptions about China, but that’s not surprising. I think, 1.4 billion people living in China is just the answer.
In China, speed is everywhere. The trains run very fast, cities are built fast, building in general is fast, E-commerce improves fast and technology develops fast. Society changes at the same speed, and so do people. Fast food is becoming more and more popular in China, especially among teenagers and white-collar workers, as it saves a lot of time and takeaways are much more convenient.
With the fast pace of life - especially in the east of China - people will adapt.
If you relax even a little bit, you’ll find you’re in danger of being eliminated.
Young people even haven’t got enough time to fall in love, and now the population growth rate is much slower than before. This will be a real problem in the future with a fast-growing ageing population.
China has historically been the second largest economy in the world, something of which we are proud, but a bit too late, we are also sad, because GDP per capita isn’t matching growth. China can’t be found in the first few pages at all, and at this point, everyone in China knows it. We haven’t only a bad position in terms of GDP per capita, but also in certain areas of technology, improving the economic system, industrial standards, as well as the topic close to my heart - Safety Awareness. My conclusion is simply that Chinese people have to work even harder.
It’s not only darkness, I must admit that China’s economy is developing rapidly, but Chinese safety awareness hasn’t kept the pace with the economy. Although it’s getting better, there is still a big gap if you compare China with advanced countries. Many times, I’m told at customer visits “We do not need such a high-quality fence”, “the fence is the lowest priority in the project”, “your fence is wonderful but so expensive” or “we want to use your fence, but the end customer’s budget is limited”.
I can tell by the use of the word “fence” that there’s a lack of safety awareness.
They should talk about “safety fencing”. No safety fencing, poor safety fencing, or just “fencing” shouldn’t even be options. Such views only show that there are no insights at all into workplace safety, particularly the fact that the costs caused by accidents would be more expensive than a high-quality safety fencing product.
So, what can we do? I think we have to educate customers about safety awareness by using marketing and sales activities. Gradually everyone will understand the importance of having safety fencing. Of course, some customers won’t purchase safety fencing from us anyway, but we still have to educate.
Awareness about safety and our products might also reach the end users as well, therefore I think it’s very important to foster and develop this market because, to some extent, awareness can (and often does!) create and stimulate demand.
Robot sales are accelerating worldwide, and China is expecting a growth rate of about 21% for 2019-2021. With more industrial robots sharing workplaces with human beings, safety awareness has to increase in order to achieve proper protection of people and processes - the two have to keep up with each other because investing in safety yields financial and productivity returns.