Thales’ strategy is to boost its local presence partnering with local players. In China, Thales is developing also through local Joint Ventures:
- 2007: Creation of Beijing EasySky Technology Ltd. (BEST) with Air Traffic Management Bureau (ATMB), Joint Venture to provide innovative and reliable air traffic control systems and services to meet Chinese ATM customers’ needs.
- 2011: Creation of Thales SEC Transport (TST) with Shanghai Electric Group, the Joint Venture in Shanghai to provide advanced SelTrac CBTC signalling solutions for metro projects. TST today has local R&D and brings local innovations based on customers’ operational requirements to the market.
- 2013: Creation of Thales CETC Avionics (TCA) with China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), Joint Venture in Chengdu to produce the IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) system, software and equipment for single aisle aircraft and for the COMAC C919 aircraft when it enters the operation in the future. TCA brings a Chinese solution for the local customers.
Committed to the long term development in China, Thales is working together with Chinese partners not only for business in China, but also to promote their mutual growth on a global market.
R&D and Innovation
Research and development (R&D) is at the core of Thales Group, with its 3,000 researchers and 28,000 engineers dedicated to R&D, and Thales invests 1 billion euros a year in self-funded R&D. Today the Group has become a giant laboratory inventing the world of tomorrow, with a portfolio of 20,500 patents, of which more than 400 new ones were registered in 2018.
With the acquisition of Gemalto in 2019, Thales expands the footprint of R&D in China.
- Beijing R&D center design and deliver physical and digital identity credentials, multiple authentication schemes, including biometrics, IoT connectivity, device security as well as cloud service protection. These technologies are enabling digital payment, border control, cloud security and much more.
- Dalian R&D center was established in 2016. It serves the customers in IoT sectors through developing innovative solutions to meet their needs.
Innovation is in Thales DNA. Thales develops Innovation Hubs around the world, which serve as structures for collaborative innovation and combine new design methods, simulation tools and visualisations in order to co-create a truly differentiated offer with ‘customer-users’, ultimately designing better products.
Thales is determined to be innovation Ecosystem partner in China, developing innovation programs both for Chinese market and international market through its innovation hubs in Beijing and Hong Kong.
- In 2014, Thales inaugurated an Innovation Hub in Hong Kong. It serves as a creative platform with partnership with academic institutions and local customers. The innovation projects mainly focus on intelligent transportation and passenger services through big data analytics etc.
- In2016, the innovation hub in Beijing was established. The mission of this hub is to become an open multidisciplinary platform, where we can co-create disruptive solutions with Chinese partners to deliver new values for customers.
Local talents and academic partnerships
People are the most important asset for Thales. To succeed in global marketplace, and in order to continuously innovate, Thales considers diversity a key driver for a global growth. Now Thales in China employs around 2,400 people with different nationalities and out of which 37% are female employees as the group is promoting diversity and inclusion.
Thales has actively engaged with universities across the country especially in cities where it operates through internship program, scholarship, research program, seminars, or teaching exchanges etc.
Since 2016, “Project Arduino” -- Thales global on-campus competition—has been introduced to China. Thales hopes to foster innovation for students, helping them to explore a world of possibilities, and also to discover new talents.
To prepare the future, relation with Universities and research centres is the key. Thales has developed several academic partnerships with prominent Chinese universities such as: Civil Aviation University of China (CAUC), Beijing Jiao-Tong University (BJTU), Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA), Dalian University of Technology, Tongji
University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), etc.
Socially Responsible Corporate
Since 2016, Thales in China has been cooperating with Cedar Foundation for providing ‘off-campus’ education content to university students. Thales is empowering students with knowledge and the much-needed practical know-how in future career development that they may not learn at school.