Combatting Air Pollution in China – the German Way

Successful market entry thanks to Steinbeis

An enterprise with a strong focus on international markets, the Steinbeis Consulting Center China (SBC) helps companies set up and expand their business connections in other parts of Europe and China. It takes a holistic approach to this. How it works to the benefit of clients can be seen by the successful market entry of LTM GmbH in China.

Most SBC clients are small and medium-sized enterprises spanning a variety of sectors of industry with a plan to enter new markets. To help them, the Steinbeis enterprise offers a broad portfolio of services, from setting up a company to procurement, marketing, and sales.

LTM, a provider of ventilation technology based in Meinerzhagen (east of Cologne), has been producing innovative ventilation equipment with built-in heat recovery since 1992. Its units are used in new residential buildings, renovated properties, public buildings, and on commercial premises. LTM’s specialist knowledge of ventilation technology has fuelled a successful track record across Germany and Scandinavian countries going back over 20 years.

In 2014, the company decided it was time to enter the Chinese market, mainly because of the dramatic rise in air pollution in larger Chinese cities and the related hike in demand for efficient ventilation systems for both residential buildings and office complexes. To take the right steps, the company received support from experts at the SBC. The SBC takes a holistic approach to supervising projects, from an initial market analysis to help with strategy planning to more frontline activities such as sales and marketing.

The project resulted in the foundation of LTM Eletronics Co., Ltd. in Shanghai, in November 2014. This move allows LTM to hand the exclusive right of representation on the Chinese market to a partner in the country. Only 12 months after setting up the company, LTM China successfully launched its products in the Chinese market, all of which still bear the hallmark of products “Made in Germany.” The company also received professional support from the Steinbeis experts with its sales activities. The resulting promotional plan kicked off in 2015 and included:

  • A promotional video on the most visited Chinese video-sharing website Youku
  • A presentation of LTM products by the PR China Ministry of Construction, Energy Saving and Smart Cities, which described them as particularly innovative technology
  • A special exhibition at the Beijing Institute of International Technology Transfer Center
  • An exhibition booth in several Chinese cities, for example at the Shanghai Exhibition Center for quality housing

Given the increasing levels of air pollution in China and stricter regulatory requirements, the environmental technology market is expected to continue to expand in China. As a result, LTM is planning to set up production in China, again with the support of the SBC.

The SBC is also involved in promotional activities and exchange revolving around the issue of energy and the environment. Since 2014, it has been part of a partnership with the CDE, a Sino-German energy alliance based in Frankfurt. Regular events with the alliance have quickly resulted in strong interest from Chinese companies. Other alliance members work for leading German or Chinese companies and research bodies in the energy industry and they have detailed specialist knowledge and business experience.


Da Li-Schumann is director of the Steinbeis Consulting Center China (SBC). The consulting center supports companies with their expansion activities outside Germany, especially in China. Its services range from planning to strategy development and handson support with actual implementation. This not only involves taking business considerations into account, but also soft factors such as business culture, business philosophy, and issues such as ethics.

Da Li-Schumann
Steinbeis Consulting Center China (Frankfurt)

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