Pioneering is in our blood. With this attitude, Sioux Technologies started building a multidisciplinary system house in China a few years ago. The Chinese high-tech industry is growing at a rapid pace and Sioux in Suzhou now employs around 100 people working for Western and Chinese customers. Slowly a second Sioux is emerging in which all competences are united. Time for an update from Thomas van Schijndel, managing director Sioux Asia.

‘China is rapidly catching up on high-tech innovation. It is buzzing with energy here’, says Thomas van Schijndel. ‘The drive to move forward is enormous. It is wonderful to be part of that.’

How fast is technological innovation going in China?
‘The country is ahead of the West, at least in the digitization of consumer products such as payment systems and online shopping. One of the many other examples of the incredible pace of development is the lightning-fast construction of 25,000 kilometers of track for high-speed trains. As a result, you can now travel across the country from Shanghai to Beijing in about 4 hours.’

Is China no longer the factory of the world?
‘More and more products are being developed here. China is also rapidly catching up in terms of innovation in the high-tech industry. Companies are increasingly interested in open innovation with external development partners. Tech studies are incredibly popular. The number of patent applications out of China is unbelievable.’

Plenty of reasons for a Sioux office in China...
‘A rapidly developing Chinese high-tech industry brings a lot of opportunities. The Sioux strategy is local for local. We work for developers of high-tech equipment. In addition, we are also growing along with our strategic international customers.’

What is your technological focus?
‘Accurate positioning & motion, vision & sensing and equipment design & control. We are a specialist in soft- and hardware and combine that with in-depth knowledge of photonics and AI. With this, we serve the back-end semiconductor, medical and analytical industries. That is what we are heavily invested in here.’

‘China produces 35 percent of the world’s electronics but is dependent on the West for high-tech equipment. That is why own development is stimulated. In addition, China is dealing with an aging population. Hence the big commitment to innovation and technological developments to make healthcare better and faster.’

How does Sioux deal with the growing tension between America, Europe and China?
‘This obviously brings opportunities, but it is also something we have to be very careful with. Sioux has ensured that the team in China can work completely autonomously and that no overlapping IT systems are shared with our European offices.’

What is the dream?
‘We are now with about 100 engineers. Growth is always good. But above all, we want Sioux to become a household name for high-tech OEMs. In addition to R&D services, we are developing our own product lines and will start production in 2022, to be a complete partner for our customers.’