BJ: Swedish After Work and Office-Warming in Beijing

BJ: Last Friday we kicked off the spring with the very first Swedish After Work of the year when we welcomed members and friends to our new office in central Liangmaqiao area. The new office is located in Jin Shang, a multi-discipline and multi-functional co-working space with event spaces, hotel, co-labs, eateries and much more in the same building.

We were happy to see more than 40+guests celebrate this happy occasion with us. Next Swedish After Work will take place on March 1 at Pudao when we, together with Volvo Group, celebrate that Volvo Group has joined us as a Dragon Partner. In doing so, Volvo Group joins Atlas Copco, Handelsbanken, Mannheimer Swartling, Syntronics and Volvo Cars. Dragon Partners are important contributors to SwedCham’s ability to serve its members, and by extension a great support for Swedish business life in China.

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

 

Office Hours during the Chinese New Year

We would like to inform you that our offices in Beijing and Shanghai will be closed during Chinese New Year Holiday, between February 4 to February 8. Normal operation will resume on Monday, February 11.

We thank you for your continuous support and we wish you and your family good health, success and happiness. Thank you for your understanding and happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐!

SwedCham China

 

Opening: Area Manager (Shanghai) to SwedCham China

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with 270 Swedish and Sweden-related member companies, officially recognized as foreign chamber by the PRC. Our mission is to advance our members’ business interests through Networking, Information and Advocacy.

To that end, our activities include events, seminars, closed-door dialogues, surveys, reports as well as top-level meetings. Furthermore, we aim to improve Sino-Swedish business ties and promote the Swedish brand through the Team Sweden collaboration with among others the Swedish Embassy and Consulate General, Business Sweden, etc.

In recent years, the Chamber has undergone a thorough modernization process to level up its offering, brand image and internal structure. The successful candidate will work hands on with the continued implementation of this process at a regional level.

The Role

To our Shanghai office, we are looking for an Area Manager to take responsibility for the Chamber’s activities and operational development – in line with the Chamber’s modernization efforts and in close collaboration with the General Manager.

The position includes relationship building, regional business development, member recruitment and retention, as well as administrative and managerial duties. The ideal candidate should also display strong leadership skills in implementing organizational change, and feel comfortable shifting between strategic-level thinking and hands-on tasks.

Examples of responsibilities:

  • Manage the Shanghai office’s day to day operations, budget and financial result.
  • Representing the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in meetings with members and partners.
  • Regional recruiting and account managing responsibilities.
  • Coordinate high quality events (open-door seminars, closed-door dialogues, training programs, after-work events, gala evenings, etc.) together with the rest of SwedCham’s team.
  • Coordinate the coverage of Swedish, Chinese and international business trends.
  • Team management responsibilities for 1-2 staff, including development and performance review.
  • Preparing material for Chapter board meetings approximately 6 times per year.

Your Profile

To be successful in the position, we believe that you:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree or above within the fields of marketing, communications, or other relevant fields.
  • Have experience of multi-stakeholder partnerships, ideally including public, private, and non-profit actors.
  • Are Swedish and/or have strong ties to Sweden with a passion for Swedish brands and innovation.
  • Have experience from managing small teams, including recruitment and employee development.
  • Have experience from organizing events, from small business seminars to large social dinners.
  • Feel at ease with people at all levels and from all backgrounds. You are a natural networker.
  • Have experience of working in or with China. Being currently based in China is meritorious.
  • Speak and write impeccable business English. Swedish and Mandarin are highly meritorious.

Practical Details

The position is 100% of full-time, part time subject to discussion.

It is highly preferred if candidates already possess a working (Z) visa.

Possible costs for visa issuance/transfer to be supported by the Chamber.

Remuneration based on local standards and experience.

For questions regarding the position, feel free to contact Emma Lindgren, current holder, at emma@swedcham.cn

Apply by Februari 15, 2019 with letter and link to LinkedIn profile to martin@swedcham.cn

Start date at the latest March 11, 2019.

White Paper – Swedish companies show resilience: Analysis of late September’s media reporting

In September 2018, two events took place that resulted in an increased reporting about Sweden in Chinese media. SwedCham has analysed the events and potential effects on Swedish companies in China. The results presented in the white paper below show that the majority of the interviewed companies have not been notably affected, and continue to show strength both as consumer brands, as well as employers.

Highlights from the report include:

  • 77% of surveyed SwedCham member companies have not been negatively affected by the events.
  • 23% of companies state that they have been affected, reporting mostly comments in social media, worry amongst customers and/or employees and cancelled meetings with partners, media and  as examples.
  • Overall, 8 out of 10 Chinese interviewed in Beijing and Shanghai have had an unchanged or more positive image of Sweden throughout the year.
  • Among the 22% that report a worsened image, the effect of the events is clear. With 55% of viewers reporting a worsened image, the effect is most pronounced among viewers of the Svenska Nyheter segment.
  • Companies express a certain uncertainty of long-term effects and ask for extended studies of Sweden’s brand in China focusing on the consumer market.
  • SwedCham notices the need to initiate a dialogue regarding what types of communicative support that Swedish companies abroad may need under similar circumstances.

Click here for the full paper:

White Paper: Analysis of late September’s media reporting.

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