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来源:天星 更新日期:2010-02-22 点击:

China may be the world's third largest economy, but Chinese brands still remain less well known than foreign counterparts and product safety problems continue to plague 'made-in-China' goods. Chinese solar power company Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. is hoping this year's soccer World Cup will give it a leg up.

中国或许是世界第三大经济体,但中国品牌还是不那么知名,产品安全问题也一再破坏“中国制造”的声誉。中国太阳能公司英利绿色能源控股有限公司(Yingli Green Energy Holding Co.)希望今年的足球世界杯能够助其一“腿”之力。

On Wednesday, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company became an official sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, making it the first Chinese firm to land global marketing rights to one of the world's biggest sporting events. This year, the month-long tournament will be hosted by South Africa, the first time it is held in an African nation.


With the sponsorship, Yingli gets the right to showcase its solar products at World Cup stadiums and the right to place its company logo next to the official emblem of the FIFA World Cup.


Yingli plans to set up a sales office in South Africa this year, and is also interested in expanding into northern Africa. Although the sponsorship will be Yingli's first major introduction into Africa, it's really about giving the company a platform to reach soccer fans who will be watching the matches on television from one of its key markets, Europe.


China's soccer team won't be playing in the World Cup, and has only qualified once for the tournament, in 2002. But while most Chinese soccer fans won't make the long trip to the southern hemisphere this summer, many are expected to turn to their television screens to catch the action. As a constant reminder, the South African embassy in Beijing has placed a huge digital clock at its front gates counting down to the June 11 kickoff.


The deal is a different take on the usual China-Africa ties that are dominated by extracting oil and minerals, and building infrastructure by mainly Chinese state-owned firms on the continent.


'We view this sponsorship as an investment opportunity,' said Bryan Li, Yingli's chief financial officer and executive director.

英利首席财务长兼执行董事李宗炜(Bryan Li)说,我们将这次的赞助看作是投资机会。

Li said Yingli's marketing budget for this year is about 2% of its projected annual revenue, and that the sponsorship spending will fall well within that level. He declined to be more specific on the figures.


He said Yingli wants to get across a message that it is a different kind of Chinese company. Yingli is private and it's in the fast-growing and relatively young renewable energy sector.


'It's a China-created company. It's not made in China. It's created in China. We want to bring this concept and increase the profile of a Chinese company to the global arena,' he said.


Li said that for example there still is about a 10%-15% difference in the pricing of solar modules between Chinese and foreign makers with the latter being able to command a higher product price in part due to a perception that it is of better quality. Yingli hopes the gap can be narrowed as Yingli increases its brand awareness and international expansion.


Yingli joins six other sponsors which have secured global marketing rights to the World Cup: Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser, McDonald's Corp., BP PLC's motor oil brand Castrol, tire supplier Continental AG, consulting and information technology services company Mahindra Satyam and cellphone network operator MTN Group Ltd.

除英利外还有另外六家获得世界杯全球销售权的赞助商:总部位于比利时的啤酒巨头Anheuser-Busch InBev旗下百威啤酒(Budweiser)、麦当劳(McDonald's Corp.)、英国石油公司(BP PLC)旗下汽车润滑油品牌嘉实多(Castrol)、轮胎供应商Continental AG、咨询与信息技术服务公司Mahindra Satyam以及南非电信运营商MTN集团(MTN Group Ltd.)。