growth. Multinational companies whether Nokia or Samsung, Ford or Volkswagen��have started to look towards Chinese culture and its uniqueness for design ideasthatcould generate greater product value and greater advantage in penetrating the Chineseconsumer market and so have local companies. The characteristics and lifestyles ofChineseconsumers are being explored and influenced globally.The Evolution of Design Management in ChinaThe growing recognition that design can add value to businesses and products raisesinterest in design management. The evolution of design management in China, likethe evolution of design itself, was in every stage influenced by the political organizational,technological and cultural aspects of the countrys reformation.�Industrial and economic developments have been the prime objectives for policymaking by the China government since 1978. Emphasis has been placed on technologicaldevelopment, which was considered the core advantage of the country, butdesign and intellectual innovation were not part of this. However, the importance ofdesign to market economy and industrial competence is gradually being understoodfrom the bottom up. Due to pressure from academia and industries alike, the government s�National Development and Reform Commission eventually started to evaluateand debate design topics for policy making in 2003. To the government, industrialdesign is part of the creative industry and many local authorities have already recognizedthe importance of creative industry. Industrial design was emphasized again byWen Jia-bao, the Premier of the State Council, in 2007. Soon after, local authoritiesbegan building creative industrial parks. This wave of building is now rollingrapidly throughout the country. The conventional industrial parks and technologyparks are being quickly replaced by these creative parks. Various design firms oftengroup together in these creative industrial parks to form a cluster of design servicesthat can provide local companies with total design services from conceptual designto product engineering. In cities like Shenzhen, Ningbo and Shunde in Guangdong,where the economy and industry is more prominent, local authorities have set objectivesand policies for advancing the design industry. Industrial design companies areDesign and Design Management in China 433supported in many ways, including through tax breaks, bank guarantees and governmentalfundingsources.In Hangzhou, the Creative Hangzhou Industrial Design Competition organized�annually by the government since 2008 attracts several hundred enterprises, �
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manycolleges and numerous design companies every year. It is effectivein enhancing thelevel of local design quality. In 2008, more than fifty companies came together to establishthe Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Association. This is an example of anon-profit-making and non-governmental organization that is actively promoting thedevelopment of industrial design and design management in the region.
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