China, the undisputed global market leader for textile products, still has an image as a
cheap-quality country. This is definitively not the case anymore, at least not in modern spinning
mills. In view of the forthcoming ITMA Asia + CITME 2012, which will be held at the Shanghai New
International Expo Centre June 12-16, 2012, Textile World Asia spoke with Anson Xu, general
manager, sales, Uster Technologies (Shanghai) Trading Co. Ltd., to learn his opinion regarding the
Chinese textile industry.
Uster Technologies Ltd., Switzerland, is one, if not the, leader around the world for total
quality management and testing systems for natural fibers as well as for synthetic yarns. The
company’s quality testing and monitoring systems are well-recognized internationally. The Uster
Statistics even enjoys a legendary status among the global textile industry.
Xu is general manager, sales, of Uster Technologies China, which currently has 130 employees.
Xu likes reading and sports, graduated from Beijing Textile Engineering College, and worked as a
technician in a Beijing wool spinning mill. After that, he worked as a service engineer for
Switzerland-based Rieter Spinning Systems. In 2001, he joined Uster to start his career as a
salesman, and then was promoted to area sales manager. In 2009, Xu was appointed to his current
position. His personal challenge is to build a strong sales team, strengthen the brand reputation
of Uster Technologies and further develop the turnover.
Uster Technologies China Opened Its Technology Center in Suzhou in 2005. Photographs
courtesy of Uster Technologies (Shanghai) Trading Co. Ltd.
Textile World Asia
: Can you tell us some important milestones related to the activities of Uster Technologies
: It all started with the setup of the Uster service station in Shanghai in 1981. The
cooperation with the Chinese textile industry had started already in the early ’80s. An important
step was the opening of the representative office in Beijing in the early ’90s, which was followed
by the setup of the wholly owned sales and service company Uster Technologies (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.
in 1996. Following in the footsteps of our success in China, we opened regional offices in Xinjiang
and Shandong after 2000.
: When did the Suzhou facility start up?
: That was in 2005. This new Technology Center is very important for Uster Technologies.
Starting from 2003, we have established the cooperation with the China Fiber Inspection Bureau.
Since that time, 86 classing offices have been equipped with 400 Uster HVI [high volume instrument]
Xu says the company philosophy regarding China is quite simple:
“‘Think Quality!’ That’s all we can say.”
: It seems China is also heading toward higher-quality levels of production. Or, put another
way: Is there any difference between China and other textile-producing countries?
: Well, China is a middle-range textile country, and the industry is strongly supported by
the Chinese government. The Chinese textile manufacturers are mainly producing medium and low-end
products. However, our Chinese customers are facing more and more competition from domestic and
international suppliers. I am convinced that Uster is the right partner to help them overcome the
situation. This is especially the case when the market is cool, like now. We offer quality control
solutions with different levels of products from off-line to on-line.
Anson Xu has served as Uster Technologies (Shanghai) Trading Co. Ltd.’s general manager, sales,
: How do you see the current market situation in general?
: As everybody knows, the textile market faced a sharp drop during the second part of 2011.
Nevertheless, we see a slow pickup in the first quarter of 2012: The markets are showing further
improvements. Regarding our company, we have many opportunities to sell laboratory equipment and
on-line products such as the USTER® Sliverguard and the Uster Quantum 3 yarn clearers.
: What are the challenges you face at the moment with the market situation in China?
: Well, the Chinese spinner has had very low benefits since the market dropped. Due to the
financial situation, many spinners in the medium-range yarn production are hesitating to invest
also in the quality insurance solution.
: How do you hope to convince these spinners to buy your products? What are the main
advantages for a customer to buy your equipment instead of local machinery?
: This is a challenging question. I see it this way: With our equipment, the customers are
able to improve the quality of their products because they know all the quality parameters. Thanks
to the Uster instruments, the test results are accurate, precise and absolutely reliable. On the
other hand, they will receive not only the best instruments, but also strong support from our
after-sales and service teams. And if I may say so, Uster offers with its Total Testing a unique
approach to improve the spinners’ business.
ITMA Asia + CITME 2012
Uster Technologies will exhibit most of its high-end products such as Uster HVI, Uster AFIS;
Uster Tester 5, the Uster Tensojet and all kinds of M-series products manufactured in China at ITMA
Asia + CITME 2012. “Of course,” Xu said, “we will also show our on-line products: the Uster Quantum
3 and the Uster Sliverguard.”
: What are you expecting from ITMA Asia + CITME 2012?
: Well, first of all, we will exhibit our best products together with the Uster spirit.
We will hopefully meet many friends and customers and get many orders.
A Look Into The Crystal Ball
Xu is expecting a good year in 2012. How does he see the development for Uster products in
China over the next few years?
: We follow a step-by-step development with a wide medium-product M-series range. The success
of our way to approach the Mainland market is seen in the number of M products we sold in 2011. It
was five times more than in 2009.
: In 2001, you joined Uster Technologies. If you look back, what are the main differences
between some 10 years ago and now, if you compare your Chinese customers’ market requirements then,
with the market requirements of today?
: The biggest difference is the behavior: The modern Chinese spinner is much more mature, he
knows the markets, the problems, and such. The Chinese spinners face more competition, and they
have to be more flexible. However, there is still a certain gap; they need the ability to switch
from quality only to quality and productivity. We have to handle the markets in a smart way. For
example, we organize an annual Uster Quality University and invite an important group of Chinese
textile industry leaders. Furthermore, we cooperate with the China textile committee as well as
with local manufacturers. And on top of that, we provide state-of-the-art after-sales service.