Wang Weijia: Combining advantages from home and abroad
Editor's note: East China's Zhejiang province is renowned for its large international population. Aloft on the wings of China's reform and opening-up policy, a group of Zhejiang people have gone abroad to make a living since the 1970s. As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the policy, the Zhejiang website (www.ezhejiang.gov.cn) is launching a series of stories about overseas Chinese who are originally from Zhejiang, as well as those who are active in the province's development. Stories courtesy of Zhejiang Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and Zheshang Magazine
Wang Weijia, a businesswoman who resided in Sweden for two decades, builds a "kingdom of cosplay culture" in Pinghu, Zhejiang province [Photo/Zheshang Magazine]
In Western countries, people usually wear cosplay costumes to celebrate traditional festivals. As China's reform and opening-up policy made cosplay culture popular among youth, Wang Weijia, who studied and worked in Sweden since the late 1980s, was inspired to develop costume business for the rising cultural phenomenon in China.
Wang put her idea into practice by leading a delegation of foreign merchants to inspect Pinghu, a county-level city in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. After rounds of preparations and plans, she eventually returned to China at the beginning of 2003 and founded a textile company in Pinghu.
"It was not easy to start a new business in an environment that I was not familiar with," said Wang. In the very beginning, there were only 20 to 30 workers and Wang had to assume most of the responsibilities. She attached great importance to clients' trust, the quality of products and manufacturing efficiency.
"The reason why we could go through was that we believed there would be a beautiful future after all the difficulties," Wang recalled.
After more than a decade, the company has engaged in a variety of businesses relating to cosplay culture, especially the design, manufacturing and sales of cosplay costumes. It has also won a few honorable titles for its contribution to China's cultural industries.
Wang was not content with the existing state of affairs, instead, she led the company to go further by innovating products and creating more edges. Every year, her company Zhejiang EMF Cosplay Culture Industry Co Ltd invests 10 percent of its output value into technology and management innovations.
As the production becomes more stable, Wang turned her eyes to the transformation and upgrading of its businesses.
In 2014, IKALI Dreamland, a complex combining shopping and entertainment services was built by EMF in Pinghu, enabling visitors to experience the cosplay culture in different ways.
"Pinghu is a city with strong production capacity and complete supply chains while Europe abounds in advanced management concepts and leading technologies," Wang said the success of EMF is a result of the combination of advantages from home and abroad.