By Manu Uniyal
Stockholm [Sweden], April 20 (ANI): India's decision to place curbs on Chinese companies buying Indian corporate assets have come at the right time as China is seen moving aggressively to completely buyout iconic Swedish brands like Volvo and Hasselblad, in which China had been gradually building up stake over the years.
Leading Swedish companies, Volvo, the auto manufacturer setup in 1927 and Hasselblad, founded in 1841 and whose cameras have been used by NASA, are the two most iconic brands now have majority Chinese stakes.
In 2010, China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired the 93-year-old Volvo brand for USD 1.8 billion.
In 2017, for nearly USD 3.8 billion, Geely also took a big share in AB Volvo, the truck manufacturer, which also has 3 industrial establishments in India and employs more than 3,500 Indians. Geely group is also one of the biggest employer in Sweden.
In the same year, the leading Chinese drone manufacturer, DJI, became a majority shareholder in Hasselblad, Sweden's leading manufacturer of digital medium format cameras and lenses.
In 2017, the Chinese Wanda Group via its daughter company AMC theatres also took a stake in SF Bio, Sweden's largest cinema chain that has operations throughout Sweden as well as in Norway, Finland and other Baltic nations.
Now, as COVID19 chokes the Swedish industry and bleeds its economy, the cash rich Chinese are Comming to Sweden for a bit of shopping even though, since last year there has been an ongoing "lovers' quarrel" between the two countries at the diplomatic and governmental fronts.
Since COVID-19 pandemic is severely affecting Europe after its outbreak in Wuhan in December last year, China's reputation here is taking a beating.
It is also revealed that many municipalities and provinces in Sweden are even breaking away their `twin city' engagements with China over COVID-19.
COVID-19 crisis means that not only many established Swedish businesses would be looking eastwards but also many start-ups and SME's that are teeming with innovative ideas.
It is a time when Indian businesses looking to establish themselves internationally must glance at Sweden and the Nordics, a place known for innovations and world class quality brands like IKEA, H&M etc. (ANI)