BJ: Annual meeting for all 19 foreign Chambers in Beijing

BJ: On November 30, the Civil Affairs organised an annual meeting for all 19 foreign Chambers of Commerce in Beijing. Ms. Huangru, the Deputy Director General of the administration office at the Civil Affairs, initiated the meeting and welcomed all the representatives. Director Kexiaoshan followed with an update about policies related to foreign Chambers in China, and section chief Song Zhongwei concluded the first part with a general summary of last year’s working reports from all the Chambers.

For the second part of the meeting, all the Chambers took turns to present this year’s main events and activities. SwedCham presented activities in relation to the 20 years’ celebration earlier this year, as well as examples on how some of our member companies have implemented the No Plastic Challenge.

Thanks to the Civil Affairs for organising the meeting; it was a great opportunity to learn about the different policy updates and to hear different successful stories from other Chambers.

BJ: How to optimise your WeChat content

Since the release of WeChat in January 2011 the number of active user accounts now exceed 1.06 billion private accounts and 14 million corporate accounts (as of Q2, 2018). With 902 million daily users who spend on average 40+ minutes in the app, WeChat marketing offers a powerful way to interact and engage with the Chinese consumer.

But how to use WeChat in the best way for your business? We invited Johan Olausson from Bamboo Consulting for a workshop in Beijing to give us an update on how to optimise your WeChat content, the best tools for segmentation and lead generation and recent trends within WeChat marketing.

The most efficient way of WeChat Promotion is Offline to Online, both in terms of impact and cost-efficiency. The key is to promote events on WeChat and build a buzz, so it is important to always remember to put your WeChat QR code on roll-ups and event collateral“, said Olausson during the workshop.

Using Influencers or KOLs in China is common practice, especially within B2C and products within lifestyle, fashion, beauty etc. But there are a lot of different channels for your WeChat Promotion such as industry associations, interest groups, Government associations etc. Another recommendation is to promote on channels such as Jinri Toutiao (今日头条) which is a popular news and content aggregator, using AI for tailored news feeds. As of June 2018 the app has 268 million daily active users and growing.

One trend think that Olausson mentions as growing is the usage of chatbots including; Pre-sales Mini-bots, Welcome-bots, Support-Bots, FAQ-Bots etc. WeChat has had a bot platform since 2013 and it is actually on WeChat where the phenomenon with chat bots started. WeChat bots work by identifying keywords in text strings and using hand-coded rules for how to respond to different situations. Although bots are gradually learning to understand customer requests, they still text back only pre-set responses. Unfortunately, they still cannot give very complex answers to highly specific questions.

 

6 Practical Tips & Tricks

- Post timing: No strict “rules” for publishing time. Anytime between 10AM to 5PM for B2B WeChats. And 10AM to 8PM for B2C WeChats

- Color palette: No more than 3 per post. Keep consistency with Company guidelines and colors in images used in the article.

- Images and video:spread images so there is one only on the screen unless you scroll down/up. One video per post, use Tencent QQ Video.

- Length of posts: Depends on the content type. Generally longer article like 300-500 CH characters (Up to 400-500 EN words) for technical/professional content. Around 1,000-1,500 CH characters for softer, more general content like people stories.

– Articles per post: Aim for 2-3 article, the top article usually gets higher PV compared to the rest. 

– Post design interfaces: There are different 3rd party layout solutions. The most user-friendly are 96weixin and Xiumi.

BJ: We have moved to a new office

After 20 years at Radisson, the Beijing office has now moved to 金尚Shang in central Liangmaqiao area. 金尚 Shang is a multi-discipline and multi-functional co-working space with event spaces, hotel, co-labs, eateries and much more in the same building. Click here for more information about 金尚Shang.

Next time you visit us you find us at this address:
Room 226, 2nd Floor, 20 Xinyuanli West, Chaoyang District, Beijing
北京市朝阳区新源里西20号2层226

 

 

 

 

 

You will now be able to reach us on our new phone numbers:

To reach Erika Staffas, Office Manager & Jaycee Yang, Member Service Manager, please call please call 6368 5820.

To reach Martin Vercouter, General Manager, or Tian Yiling, Financial Assistant, please call 6468 5825.

Sharp-Talk: Individual Income Tax – Summary

On August 31 2018, the National People’s Congress Standing Committe officially passed the new Individual Income Tax (IIT) reform, which will be implemented in January 2019.

Earlier this week we had full house at Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai hosting an event dedicated to the topic of IIT, discussing how it will effect companies in China. The two draft rules of the IIT provided more details on the changes brought about by the new law which include the amendments on five-year rule, defining of China sourced income, requirement of annual reconciliation, elaboration on anti-avoidance rules and rules in relation to specific additional deductions etc.

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The tax payers and employers should have a comprehensive understanding of the new regulations and get fully prepared to embrace the changes.

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Click here to access upcoming SwedCham events!

BJ: Swedish After Work together with Stey

Together is better” was the key message when Stey, White Peak’s new solution to urban living, opened up their doors for a unique first hand look during the Swedish After Work in Beijing last Friday. Stey has partnered up with the team behind Singapore’s CreatureS to launch the brand-new gourmet experience “Tease by CreatureS”, and offered tasty bits from their new menu and had two bartenders on site from their “La Bar Atory” who created some of their signature cocktails.

Stey is offering a modern urban professionals a smarter, digitally integrated way of living and provides community-based serviced apartments and aims to make long term renting much more flexible by giving long-term tenants the option to re-rent in their absence. Stey will be launched officially in mid December, and will be open also for non tenants through Tease by CreatureS and La Bar Atory on Stey’s ground level.

Are you interested in co-organizing the next Swedish After Work with us? Send an e-mail to either Bejing@swedcham.cn or Shanghai@swedcham.cn, and we will get back to you with more information.

 

 

 

 

Singles’ Day: Will Sweden Be Next?

China’s Singles’ Day just passed and broke records the first hour during midnight with an increase of $4 billion in sales from the previous year.

Singles’ Day, also referred as Double 11, is a shopping event day in China similar to Black Friday in the U.S., where many E-commerce companies have discounted prices on their products. One of them is the E-commerce giant Alibaba which is constantly breaking records by selling millions of goods. This year’s Singles’ Day Alibaba surpassed an amount of $31 billion, about $4 billion more in sales than last year, through their E-commerce site Taobao.
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Singles’ Day and Black Friday are considered to be the biggest shopping event days of the year. According to thebalance.com, last year’s Black Friday had a total sales of $8 billion, while Singles’ Day had $31 billion in sales this year.

But what is it that really distinguishes these two shopping event days except the number in sales? While trends are widely different in China compared to the west, there’s a clear distinction between these two shopping festivals, Black Friday is aimed towards shopping in physical stores while Alibaba’s sales derives from its E-commerce business.

Consumption patterns also widely differ from Black Friday and Singles’ Day. China is known to be a country of materialism, where luxury items and expensive accessories symbolize a rich lifestyle and high status in society. This gives a rise to the high consumption rate of goods among the Chinese middle-class in the country as well as abroad. In Sweden people tend to spend more money on things like travelling and other experiences, not really having the same view of a prestigious image obtained through materialistic goods.

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However in Sweden, we see very different trends. Our shopping festivals can’t be said to be placed on one particular day, instead we have periods which provide discounted goods. The biggest one starting shortly after Christmas and ending before the New Year. As the shopping trends in Sweden along with its population are widely different from China, the numbers in sales of Singles’ Day and other shopping festivals will likely not be experienced in Sweden. Even the biggest Swedish companies, for instance IKEA, had an annual revenue of about $40 billion in the fiscal year of 2017, which is just a little more than what Alibaba experienced on Singles’ Day only.

China’s Singles’ Day event is also getting traction in other countries, Russia and the U.S. are two examples already committed to the Chinese shopping event day in terms of spending. More countries are now acknowledging foreign shopping event days such as Singles’ Day and start adopting these as local shopping festivals.
Picture 3.PNGAlthough in response to these shopping event days and festivals, several movements against these days dedicated to excessive consumption of goods have taken form. Among these movements is ‘White Monday’. White Monday was first established in 2017 with an origin in Sweden, hence having a large amount of Swedish speakers & supporters. To this day, the movement has support from many big organizations like WWF, SSNC and several companies. One of the criticial points made from these movements, is particularly the impact large consumption of products leaves on the environment.

While Sweden has a long way to go to reach the same E-commerce trend that is being experienced in China, how will shopping festivals evolve from here? According to an article publicized by Tom Popomaronis on Forbes.com, shopping trends will evolve to be completely different from our traditional ways of shopping. The article conveys ideas that drop-shipping, automatic replenishment and AI will play a large role in replacing physical shopping in stores. The article adds that augmented reality, which is a perceptual world that is generated by a computer, will also be a thing where consumers can try goods through immersive virtual experiences.

Written
by
André Bengtsson, intern at SwedCham in China

 

BJ: After the US midterm elections: Where is China heading next?

BJ: Yesterday the Beijing office, together with the other Nordic Chambers, invited Co-founder of Trivium China, Andrew Polk, to discuss US and Chinese relations after the US midterm elections.

Since this summer, said Polk, the trade war has entered a new, deeper, and protracted phase. From the US side the dissatisfaction with China is unanimous, which means that the US midterms elections is likely to have little impact on the trade war. The Trump administration sees a depreciating CNY and a falling stock market as a sign that China is on the brink of economic collapse and that they have the upper hand in the trade war. This however, according to Polk is an over-estimation of its own leverage.

From the Chinese side trade issues was originally the key focus of the negotiations, but seems now to have less priority than before. Now the Chinese leaders does not seem to be too worried about trade and think that they have the upper hand politically and can outlast Trump. “So far, they have not felt any real pain. Once it goes in to tech, investments etc. then it is a different story. The key, however to remember is that China does not want this war”, said Polk.

“So far, they have not felt any real pain. Once it goes in to tech, investments etc. then it is a different story,Andrew Polk

One thing is certain, there is no a quick fix to the trade war, as deeper structural issues needs to be addressed. “The Trump administration wants a concrete set of deliverables on Made in China 2025 to even restart the trade war talks, which is very unlikely to happen as Chinese leaders now sees the trade war as part of a concerted long-term effort to thwart China’s rise, and therefor wary to come to the negotiating table at all”, said Polk.

So far there are few genuine macro effects caused by the trade war. Before anything happens, predicts Polk, both sides will need to feel some genuine pain for anything to change. “Even if a deal is made in one month, or in 6 months, it is only going to be a pause in the trade war, not the end of it, because we have not since any real pain yet.”

“If a deal is made in one month, or even in 6 months, it is only going to be a pause in the trade war, not the end of it, because we have not since any real pain yet,” Andrew Polk

BJ: Interesting company visit to Didi HQ

Last Friday SwedCham’s Beijing office, together with the Finnish Business Council in Beijing and Danish Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, was invited to visit Didi Chuxing’s head quarter in Beijing to talk about Didi’s journey, automotive cars and their international expansion strategy.

Didi Chuxing is a Chinese technology conglomerate, that offers a full range of mobile tech-based mobility options for close to 550 million users across over 400 Chinese cities, including taxi hailing, private car hailing, chauffeurs, buses, car rental, bike and e-bike sharing and food delivery to users in China via a smartphone application.

Benjamin Wang, International Business Chief of Staff, told the story of how it all started 6 years ago when the founder of Didi Dache, Cheng Wei, was tired of having difficulties to find a taxi, particularly during rush hour and that he missed several flights because he could not hail a cab in time. “To create an interest for and traffic on the APP in the beginning, we had our office personal acting as customers and drivers driving around in the city during office hours”. 

To create an interest for and traffic on the APP in the beginning, we had our office personal acting as customers and drivers driving around in the city during office hours” – Benjamin Wang

Emily from DCCC and Nina from FBCB

In 2018, DiDi launched its own-branded mobility services in Mexico and Australia, and a joint venture with Soft Bank Corp. to offer taxi-hailing service in Japan. “Partnering with local companies has proved to be the best way when launching at new locations. Before we launch we always invest in similar local companies to learn the market, and to test if our system can add value.”, said Wang.

Partnering with local companies has proved to be the best way when launching at new locations. Before we launch we always invest in similar local companies to learn the local market, and to test if our system can add value.” – Benjamin Wang

Didi Chuxing’s CSR strategy characterises the daily work both in the offices and on the field. Today 27 % of the middle and senior managers are female and from 2017 to 2018, DiDi provided over 30 million flexible and equitable job opportunities for people, including a considerable number of women, laid-off workers from traditional sectors and veteran soldiers. In addition, nearly 2.3 million of Didi’s drivers are female – among them, 80% are mothers with young children who are able to find flexible work and income opportunities through DiDi’s platform.

We also had the opportunity to listen to Jianhao Zhang, Transportation Planning Specialist, and Dr. Tong Wei who talked about autonomous cars, big data operations and smart transportation. Today Didi has 4 autonomous labs in LA, Beijing and looking to setting up more labs in Europe. “Human drivers are not going to be eliminated in the future, but we are going to see more autonomous options in the future“, Zhang predicted.

SwedCham is looking for 1 intern to Shanghai and 1 intern to Beijing with passion for communication

SwedCham is looking for two interns with passion for communication

Do you have a passion for business relations and want to develop your skills? We are now looking for 2 motivated intern to join SwedCham’s Beijing and Shanghai office respectively during spring 2019.

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China is an independent, non-profit member organization, network and platform for Swedish businesses and decision makers in China. The Chamber regularly arranges activities for its members such as seminars, workshops, social activities and other network opportunities. The Chamber is a part of the local team Sweden effort together with the Embassy in Beijing, the Consulate General in Shanghai, Business Sweden and Visit Sweden, and works to build a stronger Swedish community in China.

The purpose of the internship is for you to get integrated in the daily work, and get an insight of how a foreign Chamber of Commerce operates.

Key Responsibilities

  • Preparing, marketing and executing events
  • Maintaining and managing SwedCham’s social media sites; LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
  • Producing content for Social media articles, briefs and press releases
  • Designing SwedCham’s marketing collaterals, e., event posters, flyers, web banners etc.
  • Assisting office management in daily work

Requirements

  • Internships last for 4 months’ minimum starting January 2019
  • Excellent command of business English. Swedish and Mandarin are highly meritorious
  • Excellent communication skills and previous experience from working with social media. Previous experience from analyzing social media is highly meritorious.
  • Comfortable in social environments
  • Knowledge of Adobe CS4 (Premiere PRO, Illustrator CS5, Photoshop CS5) or InDesign is an asset
  • The candidate should have a legal right to intern in China. This means that you are required to be a student holding an X2 visa, enrolled at a Chinese university pursuing a degree within a relevant field, g. Economics, International Business, Political Science, Law, Marketing and Communications etc. And that you are able to get a permit from your university that allows you to do out of campus activities. We also accept students that are enrolled at a Swedish University and have an internship semester included in your program.

Practical Details
The internship is unpaid. You are required to have a valid insurance during the time of the internship. Interns are responsible for finding their own housing.

Deadline
Please submit your cover letter and CV before November 30 to Erika@Swedcham.cn for Beijing and Emma@swedcham.cn for Shanghai. Positions are filled continuously.