George Town-Xiamen sister city tie spurs champion CST Tires JV

A LOCAL tyre manufacturer has tied up with a China counterpart to produce new cutting edge off road and conventional tyres in a first of its type collaboration.

Branded as the “choice of champions” segment, the joint venture saw Penang-based Kian Hon Tyres Sdn Bhd partnered Xiamen-based Cheng Shin Rubber (Xiamen) Ind Tires (CST Tires) to produce the tyres which is then re-exported to 180 countries.

Such initiative is surely reflective of what sister city ties can manifest as both cities are celebrating their 30th years of friendship ties in Penang.

The types are fitted for cars, trucks and off-road automobiles. The manufacturing base is at Nibong Tebal in mainland Penang whereas the design and conceptualisation comes from Xiamen.

Penang through its city council of George Town enjoys sister city ties with the Xiamen City Hall with both sides looking to expand its economic ties along the way.

State EXCO for tourism Wong Hon Wai who represented Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow at the launching of the tyres in George Town spoke of how the arrangement of sister cities can help showcased a prosperous future for both cities.

“It can drive tie ups and boost exchanges in mutual areas such as trade, arts and creativities in the economy,” said Wong.

Chow who also spoke to the audience via a tele-conference video acknowledged that sister city ties can cement the business-to-business (B2B) relationships. He further underlined that the re- introduction of direct flights between both cities earlier this year is also an important element in boosting ties.


Similar to Penang, Xiamen is a port city on China’s southeast coast across a strait from Taiwan. It encompasses two main islands and a region on the mainland.

Wong stated that the latest data from the Malaysian Statistics Department indicated that Penang remains the primary exporting state by accounting for 34.6% of the nation’s total exports.

With China as Malaysia’s top trading partner, he believes that the Malaysia-China trade partnership will grow even stronger. He further hopes this will become a driving force for increased business collaboration between Penang and Xiamen by creating numerous opportunities for both cities.

According to CST Tires Malaysia & Blanc Designs managing director Helen Tan, the tyres jointly designed by Xiamen CST Tires and Penang’s Blanc Designs have not only won championships in endurance competitions but have also garnered international recognition.

Besides Xiamen, George Town also has sister city ties with Adelaide (Australia) and Medan (Indonesia). – Nov 14, 2023

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