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Customer story

Bringing Mendix's Low-code Platform to the Chinese Market

Mendix sets up a cloud platform in China to offer its low-code application development services to the Chinese market

Related services
Low Code Platforms

Industry
IT and Business

Company
Xebia

In 2005, Mendix was founded in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Being highly successful in a new market, the low-code platform company moved its headquarters to the United States in 2012. It was acquired by Siemens in 2018. Still operating as an independent subsidiary today, Mendix offers businesses and professional developers a very economical low-code application development platform. More recently, Mendix identified a great opportunity in China to pursue global growth.

Why
Introduce Mendix’s low-code platform to the Chinese market
What
Establish a scalable and flexible solution based on local Chinese technology
How
Focus on technology, culture, and communication

Enter a New Market

Mendix' North Star is to make it easy for everyone to create and run apps. That's why they offer a cost-effective and easy-entry low-code platform. Expanding its services to the Chinese market presented Mendix with both technical and cultural challenges. When exploring the options to bring its platform to China, the company decided that working with a local cloud platform partner would be best. Maarten Smeets, Mendix’s vice president of research and development in cloud deployment and operations added, "Because in China, speed is way more important than 'first time right,' we needed to enter the market as quickly as possible, gain market share, and then iterate on the service."

Select a Chinese Cloud Provider

Senior consultant Léon Rodenburg provided Mendix with more insight into what bringing the platform to Alibaba Cloud would entail. However, Mendix decided to collaborate with Tencent. Smeets explained, “Although the technical fit with Alibaba Cloud was better, Tencent showed a strong willingness to address B2B together. Tencent doesn’t have its own low-code platform proposition. We entered into a partnership that is beneficial to us both.” To support Mendix in their decision, Rodenburg carried out a technical POC and provided Mendix with a list of things that needed to be arranged. “I presented Leon’s list of requirements to Tencent, and a few weeks later, they were all fixed,” recalled Smeets.

“We needed standardization to scale, flexibility to meet challenging customer requirements, and speed to keep up with the Chinese way of working. We managed to tick all boxes by partnering with Tencent and Xebia, using cloud and Kubernetes, and taking a phased approach.”
Maarten Smeets, Vice President of Research and Development in Cloud Deployment and Operations

Launch and Add

Besides being an Alibaba MVP, Rodenburgalso knows the Chinese culture and language. This certainly helped Mendix establish and get its new team up to speed. Smeets said, "The Chinese team knows Kubernetes like no other, but Mendix was new to them. Léon contributed enormously by sharing expertise and encouraging autonomy." Additionally, Jeroen Rosenberg (senior consultant, software development) and Dennis Vriend (cloud-native software engineer) helped Mendix with software engineering and platforming challenges, such as security, isolation, and rebuilding and re-platforming the build server. In March 2021, Mendix launched its low-code cloud platform in China. Smeets: "We started by offering four of our fourteen capabilities, and will continue to add more by relocating or rebuilding."

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