Robin Zhang has lived and worked in Europe for almost 10 years, the five of which he has spent in Finland. He feels happy to be living in a place he really likes, where the way of doing business is straightforward and the mindset is futureoriented.
The reason behind Robin’s move to Finland is Nokia: his employer, global Chinese corporation BYD, operates in the IT, automotive and new energy industries. BYD provides display windows, and plastic and metal components for Nokia. Setting up an oﬃce in Helsinki has ensured a smooth ﬂow of communication with this key customer.
Green solutions are the way forward and Byd has recognized and embraced the trend. It has expanded operations into building electrical busses for the future. Finland is a strong advocate of green growth and fosters both know-how and innovative solutions in green technologies. In addition to this, the Finnish weather makes Finland an ideal location for BYD’s test trials. “If the electrical busses work well in the wintertime in Finland, they are sure going to operate in the warmer climates too,” Robin says.
Robin admires the Finnish way of doing business. He finds it extremely honest and trustworthy. “People keep their promises and do their work, which is good for building long-term relationships. What he finds unusual is how oral agreements are as valid as written ones. “Oral agreements in China are not as binding as they are in Finland. It’s very reassuring to know that people stand behind what they say,” he marvels.
Robin’s family lives in Beijing, but thanks to the eﬀortless direct flights from Helsinki to China, he travels back to his native country 3-4 times a year. “The ease of travelling between my two homes is essential. Thinking forward, I can see myself living in both countries and dividing my time between the two also in the future.”
Find out more about the Helsinki way of doing business here.
Robin Zhang is the Business development director at Chinese BYD, the world’s biggest supplier of rechargeable batteries. BYD has specialized in the fields of IT, the automotive industry and the green energy sector. The Finnish subsidiary was established in 2008 as the partner for Nokia Corporation. In 2011, BYD expanded its Finnish operations from mobile phone spare parts into green energy solutions. Now the company is testing its electric buses in extreme weather conditions in Finland. These busses will soon be tested in real life conditions as a part of the public transportation system in Greater Helsinki.