China's largest private ship repairing company outshines with a global fame
Michael Wang, You Yang, Yang Xiao
03:59

Large ocean vessels are seen along a coastline of over 1,500 meters near Xinya Shipyard, China's largest private ship-repairing firm. 

Located in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province, Xinya currently owns two dry docks -- one of which has a deadweight tonnage of 200,000 tones. It also has four repair wharves. The shipyard can fix and convert more than 160 ocean vessels annually, making it the industry leader in China. 

The company's CEO, Xia Songkang, said, "Zhejiang Province is known for its ship repairing quality in China, Zhoushan is best known for that in Zhengjiang, and Xinya Shipyard is the leader in the field in Zhoushan."

Xinya Shipyard, Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, east China. /CGTN Photo

Xinya Shipyard, Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, east China. /CGTN Photo

The clients of the company, found in 2002, come from all over the world, including Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Germany. And what made them choose Xinya? 

Ajay Sharma, the technical superintendent from a ship management company in Singapore said: "I can choose Xinya, because I have been working with them. So we know if I bring anything new, they'll be able to understand what exactly my requirements are."

Xia Songkang, Xinya Shipyard's CEO./CGTN Photo

Xia Songkang, Xinya Shipyard's CEO./CGTN Photo

But that's not enough for Xinya, which has bigger ambitions. Xinya's CEO Xia Songkang noted that "only by continuous innovation, constant change, constant accumulation of assets, can we let our employees share Xinya's achievements." However, the growth of a company depends not only on its own efforts, but also government support. 

Xia said given the long distance between the shipyard and the city center, he hoped more kindergartens, technical schools and other residential facilities could be built near his company to serve his employees. 

Ajay Sharma, Technical Superintendent, Executive Ship Management PTE, Singapore. /CGTN Photo

Ajay Sharma, Technical Superintendent, Executive Ship Management PTE, Singapore. /CGTN Photo

Meanwhile, according to data released by a U.S.-based law firm, morale in the global shipping industry has fallen to the lowest level in the past six years, which also applies to the ship repairing industry. Battered optimism has been attributed to fleet overcapacity, at a time of recorded downturn in emerging Asian markets, coupled with ongoing trade tensions among the world's major economies. 

So how could private businesses find their way out? 

One program backed by the Chinese government offers hope. Xia believes, the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping has brought tremendous opportunities to his company. "General Secretary Xi Jinping has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative. This guides us to plan for Xinya's development in the next five years... We want to go out and go abroad to promote our business culture through this platform," said Xia.

Xinya Shipyard, Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, east China./CGTN Photo

Xinya Shipyard, Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, east China./CGTN Photo

Last year, President Xi Jinping met with some business representatives, reaffirming Beijing's support for the development of the private sector. As an ancient Chinese saying goes: "A journey of thousands of miles may not be achieved without the accumulation of each single step, just as the enormous ocean may not be formed without gathering every brook or stream..."

Every private firm is just like a small stream in the tide of China's economic growth. Supporting the development of private companies also means injecting strong impetus into China's development.