Changes in the geopolitical context: what risks for Schneider ?

11 mars 2022

The dramatic episode of the last few weeks and the geopolitical turbulences occurred will have a major impact on our lives, our economies and ... on the Schneider Group.
The group's very international exposure has long been an asset. Today, with the hegemonic ambitions of some governments, Is the company enough protected ?

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Countries that were essential to the group's development... but at what price?

In the early 80s, the most populated country in the world starts its reforms and decided to open up its domestic market of almost one billion inhabitants. 10 years after, the Berlin Wall fell, opening up the market of another oil and gas rich giant.
Many Western companies will take advantage of these colossal growth opportunities like a boon.

Access to these juicy markets has been linked to major technology transfers and the creation of companies in the form of joint ventures requiring the participation of local partners.
It is this strategy that has enabled one very large country to become the "world's factory", saving years in R&D. It has allowed another country to modernise its industry, including military industry, and to earn foreign currencies because of our dependence on petrol and gaz, without respecting human rights.

Today, these states want to regulate and control everything, what are the risks for Schneider?

It is not a question of criticising the strategy or disputing what has been achieved. Without it, Schneider would not be what it is today. But since 2012, there have been strong signals of major political changes and the emergence for domination by these two countries, without Schneider's management seeming to care.

The trade unions have constantly alerted management, which seems to be very complaisant with regard to these countries that do not respect international rules.
They have demanded that the transfer of production and skills be stopped.

  • Risks linked to the implementation of a nationalist, repressive and soon confiscatory legislative arsenal?
    Numerous laws have been enacted since 2021: "law on the use of the internet", "law against international sanctions", "law on data protection", "anti-suit injunction" to prevent Western companies from protecting their patents, etc
  • Risks due to COVID management affecting worldwide growth:
    Low vaccination rates, suspect effectiveness of some local vaccines, a zero Covid strategy that regularly blocks entire regions, leading to the slowdown or even shutdown of factories, the paralysis of ports and global logistics, etc.

    ​After two years of "Zero Covid" policy, Hong Kong would be the city with the highest mortality rate in the world (Source les Echos 8/03/2022), causing 40,000 expatriates to flee... far from our CEO's statement in the Express (16/2/2021)
  • Some war situations linked to domination intentions of these countries in which Schneider has invested and transferred a lot of know-how.​

It is time for Schneider to open its eyes and realise that the continuation of investments and transfers in countries that violate human rights is incompatible with the ethical values advocated by the group.

Management must take the necessary actions to protect industrial and intellectual property, skills, data ownership... in order to guarantee the future of Schneider.

2022 03 11 Géopolitique quels risques pour Schneider 2022 03 11 Géopolitique quels risques pour Schneider