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Innovative Chinese firms in spotlight at 2024 Drupa exhibition
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Innovative Chinese firms in spotlight at 2024 Drupa exhibition

With their dynamic growth and leading strengths in digital innovation, Chinese printing companies have been in the spotlight at the ongoing 2024 Drupa exhibition, the world's leading print technology event.

Drupa, broadly dubbed the "Olympics of the printing industry," is recognized as the world's largest and most prestigious international exhibition in the printing industry.

During the "Bi Sheng Forum for Cooperation in the Printing Industry -- Drupa Dialogue," a side event of this year's exhibition, Marius Berlemann, regional head of Messe Dusseldorf for Asia, marveled at the dynamic growth and digital strides of Chinese companies in the global printing landscape.

The forum is named after Bi Sheng, an 11th-century Chinese scientist who made baked clay into movable characters for type-setting printing, thus accomplishing a major revolution in printing history.

In an interview with Xinhua, Berlemann said China has laid the foundation at a very early stage to be a driver of innovation on the world stage, and "it continued until today."

"Now, China has embraced its role as an innovator, not just a production force, but taking up the role as being an innovator in the global printing industry," Berlemann said.

Highlighting China's growing influence, Berlemann said "for me, three aspects define China's contribution: efficiency, innovation, and value. China skillfully combines all these elements."

"China is the most dynamic market and the biggest single market worldwide with the highest growth rate. It also has a fast-growing demand for digitalization," said Dr. David Schmedding, board member and president for global sales and services of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.

"Heidelberg has a series of landing strategies in China as well as the local organizational set-up so that products can adapt to a wide range of customer needs and the service is fast and flexible. We are doing all this to support the digital transformation of our customers in China," he said.

Li Ang, managing director of BindEx Machinery Co., Ltd., shared at the forum with Xinhua the company's longstanding engagement in global cooperation since 2004.

"Now, building on decades of international collaboration, we are focusing more on 'going global,'" Li said.

"Our hardware products have been sold in multiple countries and regions ... which not only serve as our entry point into local markets, but also facilitate the international expansion of our software digital solutions, as many customers have also begun using the software features included with the hardware devices," he added.

Li said his company has established model smart factories in several cities across China. "With this year's Drupa exhibition, we plan to promote our digital factory solutions to more countries."

"In the present context of achieving carbon peak and neutrality goals, exploring a digitally intelligent development path for the printing industry in this new era will not only foster sustainable growth within the sector but also invigorate cultural heritage and its ongoing development," Li said.

The Drupa 2024, from May 28 to June 7, has attracted over 1,600 exhibitors, with more than 440 hailing from China. Such substantial presence demonstrates the growing influence and participation of Chinese companies in the global printing landscape.

Artron Art Group Chairman Wan Jie told Xinhua that as a cultural enterprise grounded in printing and centered on digitalization, Artron has been serving global artists, museums, and auction houses for over 30 years, becoming one of the top art printing companies worldwide.

"We not only provide high-quality services to well-known cultural institutions and museums domestically and abroad but also leverage digitalization to empower art printing, having created the world's largest database of Chinese art to promote the application of art data," he said.

"Artron, as both a participant and beneficiary of the global digitalization process, continues to strengthen its influence on the world stage," Wan added.

XinhuaGu Yetao

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