On May 3, 2017, with a total investment of USD 150 million, the Global Outsourcing Software Park Project of Japan's SoftBank Group (hereinafter referred to as "SoftBank") was started, marking the launch of the largest service outsourcing base project in Weihai. Until now, RMB 300 million has been invested and an area of 80,000 square meters has been constructed. After the project’s completion, it will accelerate the gathering of global customer resources of SoftBank in Weihai, attract 10,000-plus high-level talents and promote the competitiveness of software information and service outsourcing industry in Weihai. SoftBank, one of Fortune Global 500 enterprises, was dedicated to establishing a global service outsourcing base by centralizing its advantageous resources. Thanks to the integrated efforts of Weihai Municipal Government and Weihai Economic and Technological Development Zone (hereinafter referred to as "Economic Zone") and accurate investment promotion, Weihai succeeded in beating its numerous competition counterparts for the project with only half a year from information acquisition to formal signature.
I. Seizing the Opportunity by Information Acquisition. Advanced information resources are the prerequisite for investment promotion. Based on current investment promotion situation, the Economic Zone centers on the main investment areas, including Japan and South Korea, and the key industries such as software information. It employs overseas friends and trade associations as the investment officers, builds an investment resources database, and quickly positions and collects the project's information resources by entrusted investment promotion. In November 2015, Weihai learned from Japanese friends that SoftBank was planning to form a base for business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology outsourcing (ITO) to integrate its 6 businesses in Fukuoka of Japan, mainland China and Hong Kong into one city, and was selecting the alternative cities based on the investment information. Then the Economic Zone and the Municipal Commercial Bureau took a swift action to contact SoftBank immediately and regarded it as the key target to be followed up and dovetailed, thereby grasping the opportunity for successful introduction of the project.
II. Gaining the Trust by Professional Alignment. The difficulties in the investment promotion of Japan SoftBank Project included the huge differences of thinking modes between China and Japan, the Economic Zone's inadequate experience in alignment and negotiation, and severe competition among different areas. To solve the problems, we followed professional negotiation strategies and took professional ways adapting to the Japanese Party, thus making Weihai as the key alternative city. First, professional team. We allocated backbone staffs from relevant departments to set up a negotiation team for investment promotion, and employed experts from IES (Weihai) Information Technology Co., Ltd. that has been doing businesses with SoftBank and related fields of Japan as the investment representatives to plan, negotiate and promote the SoftBank Project all the way. Second, professional plans. Under the planning guidance of the investment representatives, we stipulated scientific, targeted, reasonable and detailed negotiation plans to seize the initiative in negotiations. Third, professional negotiations. We designed and prepared the advertisement videos and PPT promotion data for attracting trade investment in services facing Japan in the thinking mode of Japan. We also held special promotion conferences for service trade in Japan. And some presented representatives from Japanese experts introduced the investment promotion information and answered the questions that the Japanese Party cared most, which gained their trust.
III. Solving Problems and Dispel Worries by Perspective Taking. During the negotiation, we, following the principle of "perspective taking, considerate services and mutual benefits and win-win", consecutively developed detailed solutions and advancement plans and timely replied to a series of questions by the Japanese Party, including project site selection, land planning and modification, talent and policy support, supporting guarantee, temporary work, the issue related to the migrant talents' children going to school, social security and medical insurance. We tried our best to eliminate their worries and strengthen their investment confidence. The project site shall be with convenient transportation, sound supporting facilities and complete service infrastructure. For this, we carefully selected one plot from the golden zone of Weihai City. In terms of the land nature, we actively coordinated with the municipal government to issue the Opinions on Strengthening the Land Management in Innovative Industries, transformed the commercial land from the key alternative plots into the land for innovative industries, and gave up hundreds of millions of revenues in commercial development. In response to the urgent need for talents majoring in Preliminary Japanese, the Economic Zone worked with the Municipal Commercial Bureau, the Education Bureau, the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau and other departments to conduct an investigation and survey on the graduates of this major among universities, secondary vocational colleges, foreign language schools of the city and even surrounding cities. According to the Business Development Planning of Softbank, we have specially prepared short-, medium- and long-term plans for talents training and reserve, constructed a long-acting cooperation and communication platform for universities and enterprises, and successfully invited IEC Co., Ltd., top five in Japan's industrial education, to take charge of employee orientation training. Such methods aimed to provide talents for guaranteeing the launch of the project in the Zone through order-based talents cultivation. In view of the temporary work during the transition, the Economic Zone rented a 10,000-square-meter high-grade office building in the central business district of the city. 3,500-square-meter decoration was completed at a high level in only one month based on the requirements of the Japanese Party, which safeguarded the effectiveness and continuity of SoftBank's business development, and laid a solid foundation for the introduction of the project.
IV Integrating the Superior and Subordinate Efforts. The cooperation and interaction between superior and subordinate departments played an important role in the follow-up process of SoftBank. The provincial and municipal leaders have attached great importance to this task. The leaders of Provincial Department of Commerce guided the negotiations for many times; the main leaders of Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government conducted the scheduling and demonstration personally; the head of each division of the municipal government respectively shouldered his own responsibilities. The full-process follow-up services required the efforts of departments directly under city government such as Municipal Commercial Bureau, Education Bureau, Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, Economic and Information Commission, and Science and Technology Bureau. A special working team was organized by the Management Commission of the Economic Zone with the main leader as Team Leader. It was responsible for demonstration, negotiation and advancement of the Project. Through the high-level multi-frequency interactive visits between the two parties and the integrated efforts of various departments at all levels, it took only half a year to sign for the implementation of the project. After the project agreement was signed, the Economic Zone provided the following full-process follow-up services: allocate experts from the departments of business, economic development, finance, construction, planning, land, industry and commerce to form a service team, which has been responsible for assisting in handling all the procedures for enterprises setting up businesses in the zone in the whole process; establish the park construction and demolition working team, which has been responsible for accelerating the integration and relocation of land resources for implementing the Project to ensure on-time commencement of the Project; customize the special supporting policies according to the policies for national pilot cities in service trade innovation and development, so as to accelerate the commencement and construction of the Project.
V. Leaders Pilot Win-win Results. SoftBank, one of the Fortune Global 500 enterprises, is endowed with abundant industrial resources, so it plays a powerful driving role in investment promotion and has remarkable demonstration effect. After the signature and introduction of the SoftBank Project, in accordance with the idea of "changing from old industries to new one", the Economic Zone, leaded by Softbank, launched the Weihai Service Trade Industrial Park at a high level with the total planned floor area of 516 mu to create a new cluster area for international service trade. The park focused on promoting software application and development, service outsourcing, e-commerce, information and communication technology and other industries. The Economic Zone established special teams and a professional operation company (Smart Valley Operation Co., Ltd.), and purchased a 23,000-square-meter smart building to provide an "immediately available" service for the development of projects to be commenced in the zone during the transition period. Driven by the SoftBank Project, 29 projects in software R&D and information network technology such as Inspur B&R National Cloud Service Operation Center, China E-Commerce Headquarter of Gigakorea Co., Ltd, and Safe Soft Great Maker Big Data have been commenced in the zone. The Economic Zone also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Japan-based Hitachi Group and reached a preliminary investment intention with Microsoft (China) Co., Ltd.. Major breakthrough has been made in investment promotion and clustering of industries.
For the successful introduction of the Japan SoftBank Project, we must regard effective information as the basic premise, professional investment promotion as the top priority, accurate service as the important support, as well as integration of the superior and subordinate efforts as the fundamental guarantee. This helps broaden our thinking and accumulate experience for the future accurate investment promotion. In the next step, we will conscientiously summarize the experience and practices in the investment promotion of SoftBank Project. By taking the Project as a model and comprehensively deepening the accurate investment promotion strategies, we will make every effort to "introduce leading enterprises and major projects and select competitive ones", and quickly drive a large number of well-known multinational enterprises in software information to set up businesses in the zone. We will rapidly expand and strengthen the software information industry chain, and accelerate the creation of the city's core area for innovation and development of international service trade.