Roland Gerke: 'Poised for smart life, growing together with Jiangsu'
2018-09-17 15:07:00

Roland Gerke of Germany, president of BSH Home Appliances Holding (China), is an honorary citizen of Nanjing and Jiangsu Friendship Award winner.

In an interview with Xinhua Daily recently, he shared his thoughts on the development of Jiangsu province in the years of reform and opening-up.

Dishwasher offers a glimpse of big changes

What impresses Gerke most, in his 20 years experience life here, is the massive increase in purchasing power and sophistication of Chinese consumers.

He said consumers only bought basic kitchen appliances such as gas stoves and microwave ovens 10 years ago, but they have now branched into trying a range of other products such as dishwashers, baking ovens, steamers and steam ovens. In the past, some families in Shanghai had dishwashers brought back from abroad, but they now are available at any home appliance store in Nanjing.

According to the Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Statistics, in the first half of the year, the per capita disposable income of residents was 19,885 yuan (about 2,900 USD), an increase of 8.9 percent year-on-year, and the per capita consumption expenditure was 12,391 yuan, a nominal increase of 7.5 percent year-on-year.

Intelligent manufacturing in Jiangsu holds great promise

Roland Gerke has participated in the World Intelligent Manufacturing Summit (WIMS) held in Nanjing for two consecutive years. He believes WIMS will showcase Jiangsu's intelligent manufacturing to the world and provide new momentum for industrial transformation and upgrading.

Data from the Jiangsu Economic and Information Technology Commission showed about 360 enterprises in the province are engaged in artificial intelligence-related business and the industrial revenue reached 23 billion yuan in 2017.

In May of this year, the commission published the “Opinions on the Implementation of the New Generation of AI Industry in Jiangsu Province”, projecting that the scale of Jiangsu AI industry will exceed 100 billion yuan by 2020.

Gerke believes China has the most extensive Internet application scenarios while new ideas and new applications keep springing up. Jiangsu certainly has great prospects for future development in the field of AI.

Grow together with Jiangsu

Gerke also said that in the past 24 years, BSH has made great progress in Jiangsu and he has never regretted his choices.

Looking ahead, he believes more and more products will offer digital services and become intelligent, and BSH will also build new factories for ovens and dryers in China.

In his spare time, Gerke likes going out for a walk with his family. They have visited the city’s top tourist attractions, such as the Xuanwu Lake, Purple Mountain and Linggu Temple. He said, to his pleasure, nothing has changed to the ancient city walls and tree-lined boulevards in Nanjing.

For Jiangsu cuisine, Gerke likes Yangzhou fried rice, plain noodles at the Linggu Temple, spicy crayfish, and various kinds of snacks in Confucius Temple.

Roland Gerke, a pioneer who refines the beauty of home applicances and a witness to smart life, has already taken root in Jiangsu. Editor:Dylan