Innovation is the Soul of Founder Group

2010/12/20By Doris Li, China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

As the largest-scale innovative enterprise in Zhongguancun Science Park, Peking University Founder Group Co., Ltd. is featured with a large cluster of industries. Backed up by Peking University, Founder owns China’s vital technologies in the fields of IT, medical treatment-medicine and so on. By establishing a market-oriented, enterprise-centered and production, teaching & research combined system; Founder has become one of the typical enterprises which fully illustrates China’s innovation concept.
 
As for most people, their knowledge about Founder is only limited to Founder’s computer products. Though Founder has become a well-known brand, many people still know little about its achievements in research and development as well as its innovation capacity.
 
With only 400,000 Yuan registered capital at the beginning of its business, Founder, as one of China’s high-tech enterprises, now has established its own reputation after twenty years of development. Chairman of Founder Group Wei Xin concluded Founder’s initiative spirit can be summed up by stating that “Independent innovation and sustainable innovation have become Founder’s soul and driving force.” Until the beginning of 2009, Founder occupied 70% of the profitability of school-sponsored enterprises and became one of China’s first six technical innovation pilots. It ranked 118 among the 500 state-owned large enterprises, with a net worth of 21 billion Yuan.
 
Bidding Farewell to Lead and Fire and Ushering in Light and Electricity
 
The birth of Moore’s Law, which states that the numbers of inexpensive transistors in a computer will double every two years, allowed Intel to dominate the PC market. The appearance of personal computers allowed Microsoft to occupy the software world via “window technology.” Likewise, the creation of laser photocomposition technology allowed Founder to remain at the top in the world’s Chinese typesetting market.
 
When looking back to its developmental history, Founder still experienced a lot of hardships. Founder’s success is attributed to its founder Wang Xuan, who was known as the “contemporary Bi Sheng (the inventor of the first known movable type printing press technology).”
 
Wang Xuan is a famous scientist and the inventor of a computerized laser photocomposition system for Chinese. In 1979, Wang Xuan and his research team overcame a lot of obstacles and finally applied the laser photocomposition technology to Chinese characters typeset processing. On May 22, 1987, Economic Daily adopted the laser photocomposition technology. The Chinese publishing industry thereafter “bade farewell to lead and fire, and ushered in light and electricity.” Wang Xuan was regarded as a classical example of independent innovation and a legend of using high-tech solutions to reform a traditional industry.
 
Since the 1990’s, Wang Xuan and his scientific research workers carry forward the former achievements. A totally new publishing industry resulted. Wang Xuan insists on the combination of industry, teaching and research. He establishes a “one continuous line institute” based on long-term research, development, production, system testing, sales, training and after-sale service.   
 
Someone once evaluated his contribution as follows: “As long as we read books and magazines, Wang Xuan is the one we should appreciate.” Though Wang Xuan passed away, the staff’s respect for him has never disappeared. One technician stated, “China began patent applications in 1985. Professor Wang was the eighth applicant. The project he applied for was the laser photocomposition technology and Chinese character input technology. Founder was also one of the first enterprises to file patent applications in Europe. Since the founding, Founder has placed a high emphasis on intellectual property protection.”
 
Multi-industry Development Model
Today’s Founder has more than 80 independently funded enterprises and joint ventures, with 30,000 employees engaged in such fields as IT, medical treatment-medicine, finance, housing and so on. The first two industries are Founder’s keynote enterprises. In April this year, Founder introduced the public to its sub-brand: Founder IT. The person in charge of brand management said, “Founder will spend three years transforming from a single brand system to a multi-brand system. In addition to IT products, Founder will introduce three other kinds of products, namely, finance, real estate and medical treatment-medicine.”
 
Actually, we are all in touch with Founder. Every day when we check in or out of subways we are using its products. E-book now is the favorite in the digital market. Founder has already gotten prepared to enter.
 
In December of 2009, Founder Group and Shanghai Zhangjiang Group announced that they would jointly invest 285,000,000 Yuan to establish a digital company. The contents of cooperation include the research and development of moveable reader terminals, portal operation of books and digital publication technology. Fanshu.com of Founder consequently became the focus, as it can provide an integrated platform for searching, translating, guiding and buying.
 
The development of the medical treatment-medicine industry is also one of Founder’s emphasis. PKU International Health Care under Founder’s banner is predicted to go into service in 2012. Backed by PKU Health Science Center and managed by PKU International Health Care Group, Founder has established a health care chain.
 
Founder’s Trouble
Foundertype, as an important IT product, is not familiar to most users, but it does exist. Every time we key in a character, we are using Foundertype. It’s said that ten types of Characters in Microsoft Office were developed by Founder. Moreover, Founder is trying to create a “personal character” era. In 2007, Founder designed a simplified Jinglei character which was based on a famous Chinese star Xu Jinglei’s character style.
 
The infringement of Foundertype caused a lot of troubles for Founder. The sales model Founder adopted initially was a clustered one, that is, Foundertype was bundled with other Founder software products.
 
Those people concerned with technology management said 99% of Foundertype was pirated. An illegal copy only cost consumers five Yuan. The company received no profit at all. The Foundertype was also used in other computer producers’ advertisement. It was in urgent for the company to change its existing sales model to an authorization one.
 
In addition to its font library, Founder also does a lot of research on IT software and hardware development. In the Chinese market, software piracy is always an enterprise’s Achilles’ heel. They are helpless in the face of infringement.  
 
Innovation is Enterprises’ Soul
 
Compared with others, Founder has its own developing advantages. Backed by Peking University, it can achieve a rapid realization in the collection of research resources, transformation of scientific results and application of national programs. Founder has filed its trademark registration in 45 categories, and has owned 700 patents, among which invention patents account for 90%.
 
Founder Chairman Wei Xin said Founder will keep going on the innovation of electronic devices and components as well as the research and development of integrated circuits and software. Moreover, the business model and service model will see a totally new face. In the coming three-year strategic planning, the electronic information industry still should be given primary importance among priorities.
 
One of Founder’s core values is sustainable innovation. It is reported that Founder has established various awards to encourage staff’s innovation. As a national independent innovation zone, Zhongguancun benefits a lot from government preferential policies. The government support has greatly increased Founder’s confidence in patent applications and fund investments. Due to the economic crisis in 2009, the government reduced inputs, which resulted in a sharp reduction in patent applications.
 
Government’s financial support can shoulder part of enterprises’ capital pressure. Some enterprises, especially small enterprises, do not have the extra capital to put in strategic programs. If government supported them in these programs, it would play an active role in an enterprises’ patent application.
 
Founder’s representative stated that “Government’s financial support was only limited to patent applications before. It allowed some enterprises to extract money by filing several applications for one patent, which led to a waste of government revenue. In my opinion, financial support should also go to international patent application, as the fees of international application are much higher and small enterprises are unwilling to spare funds on it. The government is considering providing enterprises agent fees for patent applications. Additionally, the subject matter of patent programs can be expanded. Only when enterprises set a target according to its realistic conditions and specific project, can an optimistic result be achieved. ”
 

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