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The tour that helped change a nation (4)

(China Daily)    08:52, August 10, 2018

Konosuke Matsushita rides a bicycle at a Matsushita Electric factory. Courtesy of Panasonic Corporation

At a meeting attended by Chinese electronics industry officials, then vice-premier Zhu Rongji said that under Matsushita's leadership, Matsushita Electric had started developing businesses in China in a friendly way.

"With a management policy appropriate to the conditions in China, they have set up many companies and invested substantial resources," Zhu said.

The establishment of CMC was an experimental project for the Chinese government. In April 1995, the now-defunct Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation issued guidelines for establishing holding companies that encouraged investment by large multinational companies.

CMC, later renamed Panasonic Corp of China, has become a regional headquarters for the multinational company. Two years ago, it joined the Chinese Entrepreneur Development Federation, becoming the only Japanese company in the organization.

"Panasonic has developed cooperation with five companies in the organization in the hope of growing with their partners," said Yokoh, who is chairman of Panasonic Corp of China.

Tanii said: "While working hard on producing home appliances, Panasonic has taken the initiative to face daunting challenges. As tough as it is, such a strategy is very important for a company."

In June, to showcase the philosophy of its founder-who is known in Japan as "the god of management"-and the company's wideranging operations, Panasonic turned its first factory in China, the picture tube plant in Beijing, into a museum.

In Matsushita's first meeting with Deng, he is reported to have said "the 21st century will be the era of Asia, including Japan and China". China is now the world's second-largest economy and Japan its third-largest.

Prescience was obviously one of his strong suits, along with a laconic sense of humor.

In 1979, when he visited Beijing Television Manufacturing, Panasonic's partner, Matsushita is reported to have said: "You're putting a great deal of effort into developing color TV. If you go on like this you're bound to overtake Japan technologically and develop things we don't even have.

"When that happens, please make Matsushita Electric the first company you sell your technology to."


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(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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