An Intelligent Urban Transportation Ecosystem for China

Gao Feng Insights Report, April 2015

We are pleased to share with you a report titled: An Intelligent Urban Transportation Ecosystem for China. This new report is the product of a collaboration between Gao Feng Advisory Company and our partners at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. The core mission of the MIT Media Lab is to design technologies to create a better future.

China’s cities have been the engines powering its rapacious economic growth. Since 1978, China’s urban population has risen from about 18% to over 53% today, and by 2025 about two-thirds of Chinese citizens will live in cities. The 35 largest cities in China recently contributed just under half of China’s overall GDP. However, the wealth accumulated in China’s cities has come at the price of livability. Many cities are struggling with paralyzing gridlock, dangerous air quality, and widening income disparity. There is a growing recognition that the current formula for development is unsustainable, and a more balanced model is being sought.

It is precisely this set of conditions that make China the most likely platform for incubating and commercializing the innovative technologies to serve the “smart cities” of the 21st Century. After several decades of advances in the world of mobile connectivity, big data and social networks, technology is now making the commercialization of smart city transportation solutions feasible. A new “ecosystem approach” must be envisioned to deliver sustainable urban mobility. Such a system should evolve beyond conventional solutions such as private vehicles with electric power trains or bus-rapid transit. This “systems” approach instead focuses on utilizing new technologies, urban strategies, and progressive public policies to create an intermodal and interoperable mobility network that combines existing mobility systems (such as mass transit) with creative new mobility systems.

In this paper, we describe the vision and key elements of an Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand (A-MoD) System, and how a collaborative effort among Academia, Industry and Government can be leveraged to deploy a sustainable urban transportation system in China.

Tech Mahindra and Gao Feng Advisory Company Sign Strategic Agreement

Shanghai, China– March  20, 2015 – Tech Mahindra Ltd., a specialist in digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering, today announced that it has signed a strategic agreement with Gao Feng Advisory Company (“Gao Feng”), a global management consultancy with roots in China.  Both firms will seek to join forces to deliver a unique and comprehensive set of services to their clients in China and worldwide.

It is anticipated that the Internet of Things (IoT) & Embedded Internet businesses will exceed US $14.4 trillion in size over the next decade. Connected devices will increase to 6.8 per person by 2020 from 0.08 per person (2003).  By that time, there will be 50 billion connected devices in the world and this number will increase as Internet usage becomes more prevalent.

Several driving forces are creating a greater than US $3.0 trillion IoT market in Greater China.

The sheer size of its population and industrial infrastructure, the high rate of user adoption of social networking and mobile/connected technologies, along with the commercial aggressiveness of the companies competing in the IoT market, will result growth rates higher than other global markets.

Tech Mahindra and Gao Feng will work together to provide services to help their clients harness these forces to achieve competitive advantage.   This will encompass providing digital enterprise, smart city, connected mobility, airline safety monitoring & remote health care monitoring, among other services.  The current relationship aims to play a significant role in assisting public and private sector organizations to leverage digital technologies to establish global leadership.

“As a worldwide leader, Tech Mahindra continues to invest strategically in Enterprise Business and to support our clients we always look for synergistic relationships. Gao Feng Advisory Company has deep expertise and vast experience in the Greater China market and we look forward to working with Dr. Edward Tse and his team to provide a unique value proposition to our clients in Greater China and beyond“, said Rohit Gandhi, Head – Asia Pacific, India, Middle East & Africa (Enterprise), Tech Mahindra

“Gao Feng is a pre-eminent strategy and management consulting firm”, said Dr. Edward Tse, founder and CEO of Gao Feng.  “The agreement with Tech Mahindra allows Gao Feng to offer our clients a broad set of capabilities beyond those typically found among strategy consultancies, leveraging deep expertise in the area of IoT , enterprise IT, engineering and big data solutions”, he added.

Gao Feng Advisory Company is a pre-eminent strategy and management consulting firm with roots in China and global vision, capabilities, and a broad resources network.

Tech Mahindra started operations in China in year 2003 and has global delivery centers in Shanghai & Nanjing and with presence in more than 10 cities in China. Tech Mahindra has key focus in Automotive, Healthcare, Industrial & Hi-tech and Retail segments in China providing IT, BPO, Infrastructure & Engineering Services.

About Digital Enterprise Services 

The Digital Enterprise Services (DES) unit of Tech Mahindra offers innovative and customer-centric services and solutions integrating technology with business that answer today’s issues, anticipate tomorrow’s needs and create Future Proof and Future Ready Solutions using seven technologies namely Networks, Mobility, Analytics, Cloud, Security, Social and Sensors.

Visit us at:

For Further Queries: 

Aashish Washikar | Head – Media Relations | Email:

About Gao Feng Advisory Company

Gao Feng Advisory Company is a pre-eminent strategy and management consulting firm with roots in China and global vision, capabilities, and a broad resources network. We help our clients address and solve their toughest business and management issues — issues that arise in midst of fast-changing, complicated and ambiguous operating environment. We put our clients’ interest first and foremost. We are objective and we view our client engagements as long-term relationships rather than one-off projects. We commit to helping our clients to not only “design” the solutions but assist in implementation, often hand-in-hand with the clients. We believe that every member of our team can contribute to problem solving for our clients, from the most senior to the most junior.

Our seniors are former senior consultants at leading management consulting firms and/or senior executives at large corporations. We believe clients would benefit the most from a combination of consultants with substantive experience in consulting coupled with line management professionals.  In addition to our team in the Greater China offices of Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, we have a global network of collaboration partners with a wide range of experience, capabilities and resources.

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For Further Queries: 

Bill Russo | Managing Director – Shanghai, China | Email:

To view the original press release click here

Internet Car Sales Click With Chinese Consumers

Ward’s Auto, January 5, 2015

Chinese automaker Geely will sell about 3,000 units online in China in 2014, five years after launching Internet sales on the country’s leading e-commerce site.

“The impact of Internet firms has been a major success for the company,” Geely spokesman Ashley Sutcliffe says.

Consumers have embraced e-commerce in China, the world’s most networked country. They are willing to buy just about anything online, including cars, and thus a new distribution model is being created.

But don’t count traditional dealerships out. They still play a crucial role.

“E-commerce in the automotive market is taking off,” says Paul Hu, chief marketing officer for Greater China and ASEAN at Volkswagen Group China. “In my personal opinion, online sales in the total car market in China will account for 10% in the near future.”

Shanghai Volkswagen, one of VW’s joint ventures in China, sells cars online in China though a handful of sites. Customers place orders online, but pick up the vehicle at a dealership.

“We do believe that there is some disruption to come to the distribution model, but it is not imminent,” says Kyle Dickie, CEO of Sewells Group, a dealership best-practices consultancy. “In China, there is an unusually high level of trust still placed in the sales consultant. In other words, consumers still want to interact face to face.”

Smartphones are the disruptive agent. By the end of 2014 China was to have more than 500 million smartphone users, says Wang Xiangrong, an official with China’s State Internet Information Office.

Those phones are kept busy buying stuff. Beijing-based iResearch predicts 2014 online retail sales in China will surge 45.8% to RMB2.76 trillion ($444 billion).

The explosion of online commerce in China is aided by e-commerce giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. All are playing a role in changing the vehicle-distribution model in China.

Alibaba owns Tmall, the country’s leading e-commerce site. Formerly called Taobao, it is the site where Geely launched Internet sales. Last year, Alibaba partnered with another Chinese automaker, SAIC, to create an Internet-enabled car.

Though consumers can buy a Geely car online, dealers still close the deal. “Consumers can pay a deposit or pay for cars outright online, (but) the official sale will be handled by the nearest dealer,” says Sutcliffe.

That allows the dealer to sell additional products to the buyer and also gives the customer a point of contact for aftersales service, he says. Geely has some 800 dealerships in China.

Demise of Dealerships From Ride Sharing?

Online sales aren’t what will cut dealers out of the sales loop, argues Bill Russo, managing director at consultancy Gao Feng in Shanghai. Business-to-consumer connected-transportation applications might, however. These basically are ride-sharing applications but in China taxi drivers are used.

“Empowered with technology, consumers of mobility services are likely to make choices other than what the automakers and their dealers are offering today,” says Russo.

China’s Internet giants are deeply involved in mobility services.

Alibaba is an investor in Kuaidi Dache, a taxi application that sometimes tops 6 million daily orders. Tencent offers the taxi app Didi Dache, which claims more than 100 million registered users and says it processes more than 5.2 million orders daily.

The Baidu search engine has 500 million monthly mobile users and offers Baidu Maps and Total View, which uses satellites to show actual locations. It is a Chinese version of Google Maps’ Street View; Google is blocked in China.

The U.S. ride-sharing service Uber has just entered the China market and will use Baidu’s maps and Street View.

Internet-savvy young Chinese increasingly are becoming accustomed to using such services, says Russo. They “are increasingly likely to opt out of traditional car-ownership hassles,” he says.

Geely is one automaker that is playing both sides. It owns London Taxi, a famous brand in the U.K. A few months ago it introduced a fleet of the vehicles in Shanghai.

The iconic taxis – which in Shanghai are gold, rather than black – are larger than regular taxis and equipped to accommodate wheelchair users or others with special needs, says Sutcliffe. Right now they can only be summoned using a phone.

“There are plans for an app,” Sutcliffe adds.