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Connecting with China

Nokia Corporation
The world’s largest mobile phone company has got where it is today by being the first or among the first in developing and introducing new technologies and opening up new markets. One of the markets that Nokia has been in for many years and that has become central to its success is China.

Nokia first came to China over 25 years ago. Like many successful multinationals, Nokia saw China as a large market full of opportunity and potential, but unlike many foreign companies – and perhaps because of its Finnish roots – Nokia worked hard to become part of the Chinese community early on.

Not only has Nokia helped connect people in China through contributing to the construction of mobile phone networks and selling mobile phones, it has also invested heavily in designing, developing, and making phones locally. China, in fact, is the only country where Nokia has two manufacturing facilities.

Nokia also has a Design Studio, over 10 R&D facilities, and a Nokia Research Center based in China. Through these facilities and the talent of the people working in them, China is making an important and valuable contribution to the company and the wider Nokia world.

In addition to direct investment, Nokia has also built a retail and distribution network that now encompasses over 100,000 small businesses; while its logistics and supply chain supports thousands of local companies and provides work and careers for tens of thousands more.

Nokia’s great design, affordable prices, wide range of products to suit all tastes, retail reach, and outstanding after sales network, has made the company China’s leading mobile phone brand and the one most trusted by Chinese consumers.

Close ties

Nokia maintains close ties with over 20 Chinese universities, helping nurture local talent, while its Asian Business Leadership Program helps Chinese executives pursue global careers with the company. Through programmes such as Heart to Heart, Hand to Hand, and the Youth Business Centre, Nokia also does its bit to give young people a head-start in life.

Nokia’s sleek N97 mini enables users to seamlessly connect with friends and their favourite online services.

In line with China’s goals to become more environmentally sustainable, Nokia China has introduced initiatives such as its takeback recycling programme and highlights the importance of lifecycle thinking and sustainable practices in all aspects of its business.

The Nokia Campus at Beijing BDA , for example, is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in China and has won numerous international awards. Located in the Xingwang Industry Park – together with Nokia’s Beijing production plant and over 20 suppliers within a one-kilometre radius – the Xingwang site represents one of the most eco-friendly supply chains in the world with industry-leading low levels of CO2 emissions.

A new era

As a new ere of mobility dawns in China with the establishment of 3G, Nokia China is supporting all three international mobile standards, including China’s own TD-SCDMA , and is working to make the transition easier for local consumers with an ever-expanding range.

Today’s Nokia China is now embarking on its next stage of development, which will see it moving from a device company to a mobile solutions company, with a growing focus on mobile services that connect Chinese people to what matters most to them.

As part of this, Nokia will provide an expanding ecosystem for Chinese application developers to make their applications available not only locally but worldwide, giving local Chinese businesses and talent an opportunity to take their place on the world stage.

China is rapidly progressing towards a more connected future. As it does so, Nokia will progress with it, supporting the nation’s ongoing development and helping connect more people every day.

Nokia is playing a major part in bringing the benefits of mobility and communications to China and has two manufacturing facilities, a Design Studio, over 10 R&D facilities, and a Nokia Research Center all based locally.

Leading the field in telecoms

The Nokia story extends over a century and a half, and has seen the company transform itself from a small paper mill in southern Finland to a global telecommunication powerhouse that sold its billionth mobile phone in 2005 – a Nokia 1100 to a customer in Nigeria.

With its roots in paper, rubber, and cables, Nokia entered the emerging mobile communications early on, introducing the world’s first 30-channel PCM transmission equipment certified to CCITT standards in 1969, the first car phones for the world’s first international cellular mobile phone network – Scandinavia’s NMT – in 1981, and the world’s first portable NTMT car phone – the Nokia Talkman – in 1984.

The iconic Nokia Cityman, the world’s first portable NMT handset, followed in 1987. NMT was eventually superseded by GSM, and Nokia equipment was used to make the world’s first GSM call in 1991. The following year saw Nokia take probably the most important strategic decision in its history, when it decided to focus solely on the telecommunications business, launching the world’s first GSM handset, the Nokia 1011.

By 1998, Nokia had become the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer, a position that it retains to this day – thanks in no small part to its continued focus on innovation and R&D worldwide, through things like its global network of Nokia Research Centers, Nokia Beta Labs, the Symbian Foundation, and Forum Nokia.

(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)