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How time flies. We meet again on this occasion in 2018. After 25 years, SELF continues to offer more and look forward.
Through our years of development, we have fought to be what we are today. Over the last 25 years, we have evolved from a small rented plant in an unnoticeable corner on South Dongjiang Road into a modern facility standing tall alongside Dadong River. We operate today as an integrated lighting solution provider with a selection of product lines ranging from small infrared lighting sensors to LED fixtures, power supply, and controls. As a small local business in Ningbo, we have evolved into a multinational business with a global business network connecting Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. From “Made in Ningbo” to “Designed in China”, SELF employees, generation after generation, dream like visionaries, act like doers, venture like entrepreneurs, and fight like partisans. Meanwhile, they take down-to-earth measures to gauge how far we have come and how far we will go towards our vision, as well as using craftsmanship to define the values of our cause.

1. Our 24 Legs

When China’s economic reform just began four decades ago, the entrepreneurial ambition awakened among the worried Chinese to revive the prosperity of all businesses and industries. On May 17, 1993, 12 people, including Mr. Lin Wanjiong, met at his residence and determined to break away from the shackle of an “iron rice bowl”, meaning an occupation with guaranteed job security, as well as steady income and benefits, with their spirit of being “confident, persistent, practical, and innovative” to start their unprecedented business venture. Since then, our branded name SELF emerged from the optoelectronics field. The Company started as a manufacturer of infrared lighting sensors and had the bitter taste of a “door-to-door marketing” experience in the overseas market amidst the strong taunts of foreigners vowing to never buy electronic products made in China. In the second half of 1994, the Company began to build its business presence in the electronic transformer sector. By 1996, our first electronic transformer CST60/105 had been certified by TÜV, a certification body based in Germany, becoming the first Chinese enterprise certified by TÜV for electronic transformer products. Our business venture began from 12 down-to-earth doers, and did not, does not, and will not end there…

2. Choked by a Destined Challenge

In the first half of 1997, SELF encountered a TÜV incident involving our CST60/105 transformers in Germany. As “the best transformer of the Far East region”, our products suddenly fell drastically like a hot potato in the market. Challenged by mounting pressures from public questioning and ongoing customer complaints, Mr. Lin expressly commented, “To conduct a successful business, SELF employees must practice self-discipline. If issues indeed exist inside SELF, we will definitely assume all due liabilities and obligations”. On the brink of life or death, SELF employees did not collapse in chaos but instead united together with the resolve and courage to overcome the imminent challenge. Many backbone employees confidently said to Mr. Lin, “We will not fall, even if we lose our products, markets, or money. We can start over.” Driven by such an indomitable spirit, SELF employees strove for rapid improvement in technologies, while actively communicating with our customers to earn a second chance. Acting on behalf of the Company, Mr. Li Luyong flew to Germany for product rework and recall. It took more than 40 days to complete product recall in the market for rework and testing. In the end, all products were approved to meet industry standards and launched into the market. Upon urgent request, Mr. Rong Yumin flew to the headquarters of TÜV to resolve an incident through reasoning. Within five days, all processes involved in testing for reissuance of certificates were completed. With the good faith and cooperation of all SELF employees, the incident was successfully resolved by September. Throughout the entire year, our sales turned the tables on their previous performance, breaking through total sales of RMB 20 million for the first time. The crisis turned into a success.

3. Protection of Three Pine Trees

At our inception, three pine seedlings were planted nearby our production plant. In 1997, Ningbo was hit hard by a typhoon. To protect the young and small pine tree seedlings, SELF employees erected steel poles to provide such firm support that all seedlings remained intact during the rainstorm. After years of individual and business changes, SELF employees and those pine trees have developed an inseparable bond. Over the last 25 years, the pine trees and the SELF employees have supported each other, weathering through all difficulties. To date, they are still standing firm and tall to the west side of our production facilities, as if they were making a silent confession to passers-by, “Look, we are the most ordinary pine trees, yet we possess our own unique character. Through years of change, we remain firmly poised standing here. We, along with SELF, have witnessed our transformation with energy and force.” Neither winter, nor summer can topple those pine trees over the years, as this is their rigidity, which is also the character of SELF.


4. Care and Passion in Words

Our internal magazine Self mirrors the development of SELF, reflecting all matters inside the Company from small to big, as well as recording the individual development path of each employee. Traced back to 1996, Self started as our first bulletin on a blackboard. It was hung at the staircase between the workshop and our management office. Passing by, Mr. Lin always stopped there to appreciate the articles written by our employees. One day, upon being touched by an article expressing true feelings in plain language, Mr. Lin suddenly realized that a platform for employees to express their feelings would be conducive to building a strong corporate culture. In 2000, Literature Garden was established and changed to Self of 2005, which continues to be in use to date. Currently, Self has already become an important form of cultural media to promote corporate development, relay humanistic care, and shape the common values of our employees.

5. Birth of an Indigenous Brand

Due to a demographic dividend and an economically affordable labor force, the development of
the domestic manufacturing industry has been in full swing. In line with such trend, SELF has been
growing stronger each day. In October 1999, the Company, for the first time, introduced the corporate
identity system (CIS) to consolidate its corporate image and completed its first CIS Manual, which
was an important initiative to demonstrate our business strength and market competiveness, as
well as the first step for SELF employees to achieve self-recognition, self-development, and self
-improvement. In August 2002,Mr. Lin established the strategic objectives of “four majors”, namely,
“major projects, major customers, major markets, and majorbrands”. Under such objectives, it is
the first time to propose the establishment of a highly recognizable and highly credible SELF
brand in the lighting markets at home and abroad. The awakened brand awareness results in a
tremendous transformation of thecorporate culture, business philosophy, and even future destiny
of SELF, which also puts SELF to an increasingly stringent test in the markets in the future.