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Timothy Cook: Shanghai is a great city where any dream can come true


“This is a great city where any dream can come true.” Timothy Donald Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc. and one of the idols for global entrepreneurs, spoke highly of Shanghai in his visit to the city on May 14. Clearly it is a warm greeting to the city. Let’s feel the all present liveliness of the city.

“这是一个任何梦想都能实现的伟大城市。” 作为全球创客们的偶像之一,美国苹果公司首席执行官蒂姆•库克5月14日在上海的这句话,显然是对这座城市的一次温情致意。让我们来深深感受上海无处不在的活力。


1. “No.1” of Shanghai 


In his meeting with Cook on May 14, Shanghai mayor Han Zheng said, “Shanghai could not progress without contributions by every person and every enterprise in this city. We expect better development of Apple in China, especially in Shanghai. ”


Since it set its footprint in Shanghai back in 2001, Apple has set up its China operation and business center in Shanghai and has grown along with the city.


Someone also said that quite a few enterprises have to escape from Shanghai as a result of the expensive housing and labor costs here.


If only the visible costs such as the living cost, the business cost and so on are concerned, Shanghai is really in a special position in China right now. However, through careful observation, you will find those leaving Shanghai are basically highly-polluting and low-end enterprises, which conflict with the development orientations of Shanghai. More and more high-end manufacture enterprises, hi-tech enterprises, financial service businesses and so on have grown larger in Shanghai or moved to Shanghai. 


As far as foreign investment is concerned, according to the latest research report by the world-renowned Deloitte, the average foreign investment success rate in Shanghai has been over 62% of late, and the one in Pudong New Area has reached 68.3%, the highest in China. To contrast these information, the national rate is just about 30%. By the end of 2003, there had been only 56 regional HQ of multinational companies in Shanghai. However, by the end of 2014, the figure had climbed to 484, 24 of which are HQ in the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, there have been 295 foreign investment companies and 379 foreign R&D centers as well. These figures completely beat those of other provinces or metropolises in China. Shanghai has become the most-populated multinational company city in the Chinese Mainland.


Someone may ask is it true that it is hard for a foreign enterprise or Chinese private enterprise to survive in Shanghai? Let’s look at some recent examples.


Minsheng Life Insurance moved its HQ to Shanghai in 2015. Presently, its network equipment bidding is going well.


Alipay.com Co., Ltd. quietly completed change of its registered HQ address from Hangzhou to Pudong New Area in 2015.


It has been reported that Wanda Group would move its HQ from Beijing to Shanghai in 2015 and that Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda, loves Shanghai as well.



2. “Shanghai Advantages” are interpreted in multiple dimensions


The media have summed up the “Shanghai Advantages”: the natural environment more suitable to expats, more-favorable location advantages, more-favorable and more-developed capital and finance businesses, richer human resources, greater compatibility with the international community, a “thicker” market atmosphere, and more stress on following contracts.       


“There are richer technological and human resources and complete comprehensive infrastructure facilities here, which have brought convenience and higher efficiency. Financial leaders merge here, which is equally important.” Wang Huimin, an official from Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said, “These all have laid good foundation for Shanghai to attract innovations and businesses. Its internationalism and openness are both its selling points as well.”


3. How does Shanghai attract the young professionals?


Obviously, what Cook said is an encouragement and confirmation of young professionals in this “great city”.


As Han Zheng said to Cook on May 14, the development of a city needed a sustainable vitality, so higher positions and more opportunities could be provided to the young people. 


Professor Zhang Jun, director of Chinese Research Center of Fudan University, said in an interview, “The solid industrial foundation and numerous colleges and research institutes in Shanghai provide the powerful supporting ability and R&D ability to the innovative enterprises, which is unparalleled by many other provinces or cities.” It is believed that innovative enterprises incubated from these maker centers and incubation centers will not necessarily fail to create another “Jack Ma” or “Ma Huateng”, as time goes on.



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