The old state-owned enterprises invested heavily in the "low-carbon economy" to share a piece of the pie

A lighting company transformed from an old state-owned enterprise invested heavily in the LED lighting industry, trying to take a slice of the "low-carbon economy."

This year's National Conference, "low carbon" has become a hot concept, not only the capital market is a fire, but people in the industry are also excited.

“Premier Wen said that in 2010, we must work hard to build an industrial system and consumption model characterized by low carbon emissions. This is the general trend we have to grasp.” After listening to Premier Wen Jiabao’s government work report, Lu Zeming smelled good policies. breath.

In 2009, Shanghai Mingkai Investment (Group) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Mingkai Investment”) invested 250 million yuan in Zhejiang to develop LED and energy-saving lighting industry projects. Two years ago, this company invested 50 million yuan in Jianhu, Jiangsu Province, where it produced an annual production capacity of hundreds of millions of energy-saving lamps.

As the vice chairman of Mingkai Investment, Lu Zeming hopes that the entire society's call for a "low carbon economy" will bring about a certain market prospect. However, for this private enterprise transformed from state-owned enterprises, the road to industrial upgrading is not smooth.

Old state-owned enterprise new mission

Just after the Lantern Festival, Lu Zeming invited Chen Dahua, a professor at the Institute of Electric Light Sources of Fudan University, to the office to talk about the development prospects of LED. He excitedly told Chen Dahua that Mingkai invested in Mikaa brand LED lamps already on the market. The current cost of 9-watt and 19-watt led fluorescent lamps is 20% lower than domestic similar products, and is less than 200 yuan. It is very competitive.

But Chen Dahua poured a cold water on him. Chen Dahua said that at the end of this year, perhaps a multinational company on this model would launch a product with a retail price of around 100 yuan. The international lighting giant is likely to push Chinese companies into a predicament before the market has really grown.

Lu Zeming was surprised by the low-cost product strategy of the competitors. Previously, these multinational giants often occupied the high end of the market. However, he soon recovered his mood and began to think about how many "cards" in his hand to deal with this situation.

This is not the first time Lu Zeming has faced a difficult problem. In 2006, Shanghai Lighting Co., Ltd., a state-owned enterprise, was transformed into a privatization system, which became the current Mingkai investment. Lu Zeming, as the former state-owned enterprise leader, stayed as the vice chairman of Mingkai Investment.

The restructuring is a departure for those who have worked in state-owned enterprises for a lifetime. Today, after a lapse of four years, the company has stood at the starting point and brought heavy gold into the field of energy-saving lighting manufacturing with LED as its benchmark.

At present, there are 240 billion yuan of cakes in the domestic lighting market, which are divided by 10,000 companies, of which 5,000 are enterprises above designated size. Among these enterprises, the largest ones are Zhejiang Sunshine (600261), Foshan Lighting (000541), NVC, and Oupu. Their sales are only about 2 billion yuan. Small, scattered, and miscellaneous, making the entire lighting industry appear brand disputes. situation.

Faced with this situation, in 2009, Mingkai Investment “sold” 11 of the group's 20 lighting-related companies to the operators of the company. The remaining nine companies are loaded into Shanghai Mingkai Lighting Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Mingkai Lighting”), which makes Mingkai Lighting have more than 20 brands at once, such as Shanghai Brand, Guangcai Brand, Riyue Brand, Double happiness cards, mountain cards, etc. These brands have been born for more than half a century. They are now replaced by Mikia. "It took us a year to think about the old president of each company." Shen Jialin, assistant president of Mingkai Investment, said.

Roundabout survival rule

In addition to some of the burdens of the old state-owned enterprises, the lighting industry, especially the disorder of the LED industry, has become an obstacle to the industrial upgrading of Lu Zeming's enterprises.

In recent years, the LED industry boom, but now, even the promotion of energy-saving lamps is just entering the mature stage. Chen Dahua told the "First Financial Daily" reporter that in the early 20th century, incandescent lamps used candles instead of candles for 30 years. In the 1980s, energy-saving lamps replaced incandescent lamps for 30 years. Therefore, he believes that "LEDs will take decades to replace energy-saving lamps."

However, since the emergency launch of the National Semiconductor Lighting Project in June 2003, China has become the fastest growing region in the global semiconductor lighting industry.

As of the end of 2009, the number of domestic LED chip manufacturers was 62, the number of packaging factories exceeded 1,000, and the number of related downstream application companies was close to 2,000. As the upper, middle and lower reaches of the LED industry, the manufacturer's ratio is extremely unbalanced, but the amazing profits still attract many manufacturers.

At present, LED chip technology is in the hands of a few companies such as Cree, Philips, Osram, and Nichia. Taking Cree as an example, it is done from chips, substrate materials, epitaxial chips, and even packages. The industry chain has 825 US patents and more than 1,800 international patents.

Many domestic enterprises must face the exhaustion of LED patent applications and bypass one patent trap. In this case, Mingkai Lighting, which just got started, chose to start from the luminaire. This is because, in order to meet the various needs of customers, the variety of lamps must be diversified, so production is difficult to increase. Moreover, the design patent protection is relatively weak. In this area, multinational companies have lost both patent advantages and scale advantages.

"Sales 1 yuan light source, the profit is 0.05 yuan; sales 1 yuan money lamps, the profit is 0.25 yuan." Shanghai Lighting Industry Association Secretary-General Weng Yifu analysis that sales of LED lamps can bring higher added value.

Industry upgrade "combination card"

In 2009, led by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the “Ten Cities and Ten Thousand Cities” program was launched nationwide, that is, 100,000 LED street lights were built in ten cities. Finally, the plan evolved into the construction of 1 million street lamps in 21 cities. The huge amount of government procurement has benefited companies such as Dongguan Qinshang Optoelectronics, Nanjing Shifu, and Ningbo Shuyuan.

However, Lu Zeming feels that the development direction of Mingkai Lighting should not be outdoor lighting, but indoor lighting. This market is bigger, and fewer people bring LED technology into this market.

At the end of last year, Mingkai Lighting introduced the highest internal salary employee, the marketing director, who even surpassed the executives. Such a high salary to dig people, mainly to build a marketing network.

Like most companies that start from OEM, Mingkai Lighting does not have its own sales channels.

At present, 90% of Mingkai Lighting's products are for others, and 80% are sold abroad. If it is not a heavy blow to the financial crisis, Mingkai Lighting may continue to receive orders and continue to follow the old road.

The same is true of Zhejiang Sunshine. According to the annual report, in 2009, Zhejiang Sunshine's annual operating income was 1.74 billion yuan, down 7.8% year-on-year. Putting the lifeblood in the hands of international buyers, the financial crisis has made the light source enterprises deeply understand the embarrassment of their status.

It is an industry consensus to rationally treat the foundry model and promote comprehensive industrial upgrading.

However, competition with foreign companies is not enough just by brands and products. Lu Zeming put the battlefield of the deciding on the channel and trade platform. Since March 2010, Mingkai Lighting's sales channels will begin to be fully laid out in the Yangtze River Delta, Northeast China, and Southwest China. At the same time, the Shanghai Lighting City project with an investment of 900 million yuan has been under construction, and the Mikia series products have also entered the lighting city across the country. At the end of March, a website called “Lighting Express” will also be launched.

After considering these many "cards", finally, Lu Zeming told reporters that the 100 yuan LED products are not terrible, "we can survive and live better."

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