Archives

Back to Normal

At yesterday’s ACSME webinar on-the-ground live stream interview with Michael Harding, direct from Pazhou New Village in Guangzhou, we learnt ...
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A Deep Niche

It’s widely accepted that in order to position your product appropriately in a crowded, populated and noisy market like China, ...
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Doing the Research

When I started helping companies do consumer research in China in the early 2000s, I have to admit it was ...
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Fast Forward

McKinsey in China have done a typically good job of highlighting some of the pre-existing consumer trends in China which ...
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Live from Guangzhou

Wherever you are in the western world, you’re having your views on China tested and challenged by the constant barrage ...
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Driverless

I don’t know exactly when I’ll be able to go back to China but I’m pretty sure that, when the ...
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Dragon Ashley

I have recently got to know Ashley Galina Dudarenok, a fearless young Russian entrepreneur who shares my passion for China ...
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Mind the Gap

It’s been a while since I’ve studied the list of the top 10 countries in the world, as measured by ...
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Benefit of Hindsight

In recent days, I’ve found myself studying JFK’s actions and reactions over the 13 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis ...
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Let’s talk?

As a regular reader of China Bites, you’ll know that I have a broad range of views when it comes ...
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New Adventures of Mulan

In our household, we’ve been looking forward to watching the new Disney movie, Mulan, and saving up to pay Disney’s ...
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Who wants to be a millionaire?

When I attended the CKGSB CEO Program in China last year (seems like a decade ago now!), one of the ...
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China or Bust

I enjoyed appearing on the new SME TV show, hosted by my old friend, Angela Vithoulkas, alongside Kevin Zhang of digital ...
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Bubs in China

This year of Covid keeps throwing up more and more strange contradictions. With all of us stressing about the Australia-China ...
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The Silicon Valley of Asia

Of all the amazing changes that have taken place in China over the past 40 years, the rise of Shenzhen ...
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5G Machinery

The rollout of 5G in China is already throwing up some interesting possibilities, including the opportunity for crane and machinery ...
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MOUs

There seems to be some confusion about the role, scope and purpose of an MOU (or Memorandum of Understanding). I’ve ...
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Roaring Back

The words "never under-estimate the Chinese" were ringing in my ears when I read this report from the New York ...
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Purchase Intent

Following on from yesterday’s China Bites on Mark Tanner’s recent presentation to ACSME members, I would like to pick up on the point ...
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Changing Behaviour

At last week’s ACSME webinar on “Changing Consumer Behaviour in China”, Mark Tanner of China Skinny covered a wide range ...
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View from SE Asia

I suggest you finish your week by listening to this short extract from last week‘s ABC Saturday Extra program which ...
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Inside FMCG

I am pleased to have been invited to write articles for "Inside FMCG" magazine on the opportunity for companies in ...
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Lunatics and Condemned Prisoners

When I first started writing my daily China Bites nearly two years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined that I would ...
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America First

I’m often being asked whether life in China is returning to normal and, not being able to jump on a ...
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Engage

Back in late June at our ACSME monthly webinar with futurist, Craig Rispin, I asked him for his top 3 ...
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Lucky Numbers

As a follow up to Name Games earlier this week, underscoring the importance of auspicious and aspirational brand names in ...
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Made in Hong Kong

When I was young, all the toys I played with carried the label “Made in Hong Kong”. It conjured up ...
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Name Games

On a recent road trip around regional New South Wales, and an overnight stay in the country town of Orange, ...
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Around the Honeypot

When I see a headline saying that a foreign product is "flying off the shelves in China", it certainly gets ...
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The Other 6 Billion

You could be forgiven for thinking, after a routine scan of the media headlines and your favourite social media sites, ...
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Malaysia is 5G Ready

I spent last Christmas and New Year in Kuala Lumpur (seems like an age ago now!) and was struck by ...
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Car Sales Up

I acknowledge that I may be the wrong person to comment on this (having not owned a car for several ...
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Turning Point

How would you expect a Great Power and Leader of all Nations to guide the rest of the world through ...
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China in Pictures

I enjoy reading Week in China which recently passed its 500th issue and, to showcase the thousands of photos selected ...
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Strategic Priorities

Your ability to do business with China depends on 3 things (in no particular order): The strength of your relationships ...
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Hawks v Liberals

America doesn't have a "China Strategy". It has a "China Attitude". That’s one of the problems with a liberal democracy ...
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Capital Requirements

Setting up a foreign company in China (now known as a Foreign Invested Enterprise "FIE" but previously referred to as ...
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Emerging from the Bunker

I think it's interesting to note that, after 6 months in the bunker, I have suddenly been booked to speak ...
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Pure by Nature

In a move that seems likely to create a bonanza for dairy farmers around the world, renowned Chinese doctors and ...
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Why China? (continued)

Many thanks to all China Bites readers who commented on, and added to, my list of compelling reasons for why ...
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Beyond the Headlines

Back in the second half of 1989, when Governments all around the world broke off diplomatic relations with China and ...
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Opportunistic

During a campaign speech in 1959, JFK was one of the first westerners to say in public: “in the chinese ...
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Playing Poker

As the Internet grew and developed in the 1980s, China (being a fraction of the size it is today) saw ...
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Consumer confidence in China

Many international analysts, commentators and media outlets are pouring over the latest GDP data from China which appears to have ...
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Keeping the Fire burning

Over the years, I’ve been delighted to speak and participate at events organised by the Australia China Youth Association, a national ...
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Summer Holidays

McKinsey’s regular traveler survey has provided interesting insights into the aspirations of Mainland Chinese tourists, especially before the covid crisis ...
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Big Mac Index

For the past 20 years, if not longer, economists, journalists, commentators and ordinary people like me have been speculating about ...
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Career Choices

In a startling sign of the times, and an early indication of how education and career choices are likely to ...
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Covid in China

The latest number of Covid infections in Mainland China are greatly improved from the last time I looked, which was ...
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China has the money

Many thanks to a regular reader of China Bites who pointed out an important omission from my list of why SMEs ...
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Wealth Management Bonanza

Having worked in the financial services sector in London, Hong Kong and Sydney, I’ve led many initiatives over the years ...
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China Internet Report 2020

If you do nothing else today, watch this short video on the China Internet Report 2020 in which Gary Liu of the South China ...
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Why China?

The other day I made a list of why SMEs should do business in China. Here it is: China is ...
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Video Series: How Business Gets Done in China

With the goal of supporting SMEs in developing their own China strategy and engaging in the China market, we have ...
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Sharing and Caring

Some fascinating insights here from The Fashion Law (TLG) on the attitudes of affluent customers in different countries towards privacy and their ...
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60 Years

I turned 60 recently and it really is quite amazing to think about the changes that the world has witnessed ...
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Cultural Interlude

Let’s finish the week with a bit of Chinese culture. Week in China celebrated its 500th issue recently saying: "When we were ...
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Hong Kong’s Security Law

I’m extremely diffident about commenting on Hong Kong’s new Security Law, with all the negative Western media commentary and protests ...
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China Funds overtakes UK

When I led my first study tour of Australian Wealth Management professionals to China in 2005, the local funds management ...
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China is China

Let’s be clear about this. China is China. Nothing has changed inside China (other than a bit more assertiveness towards ...
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Creative Innovation

According to Craig Rispin at last week’s ACSME webinar, we are living on the edge of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’, the ...
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Shanghai Planetarium

When I was a young boy in the late 1960s and interested in space travel, my Mother took me on ...
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Engage First

In yesterday's Innovation in China webinar with Business Futurist, Craig Rispin, for members and guests of the Australia China SME Association (more about this webinar ...
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East-West relations in 1517

Taking a short break from the noise and speculation of today’s global geo-politics, it's interesting to go back in time ...
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Cultural Revolution

I highly recommend this timely, perceptive and intelligent thought leadership piece from my friend and colleague, Dr Poli Tan on ...
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Cultivating Relationships

As we move further into the digital age, with the rise of e-commerce and online marketing, there is a tendency ...
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Intensive Parenthood

Spare a thought for the young mothers of Shanghai who have to navigate the city’s “anxious, status-conscious middle class attitudes” ...
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Ugly Politics

I don’t think anyone would disagree that, being a US election year, 2020 was always going to be about getting ...
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Second Wave

China led the world into the start of the Covid 19 crisis, so I guess it's no surprise to find ...
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Supertall Skyscrapers

There are many ways to track China’s rapid economic progress during the last 20 years but one, in particular, will ...
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Madness in Britain

As a British expatriate living in Hong Kong in the years leading up to the handover in 1997, I have ...
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As safe as the HKD Peg

One of the enduring pillars of global confidence in Hong Kong and its monetary system is the Hong Kong dollar ...
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Blind Boxes

I am grateful to my friends at China Skinny for alerting me to the latest trend in Chinese consumerism, the ‘Blind Box’, ...
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End of “Going Out”?

In my opinion, China’s “Going Out” strategy, which began at the turn of this century and was a significant focus ...
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Innovation in China

I’m so pleased to have persuaded my old friend, Craig Rispin, to present at our next ACSME webinar on 24th ...
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Wuhan declared “Covid Free”

After a massive testing blitz, costing nearly 900 million yuan (US$127 million) and involving 10.9 million people being tested over ...
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Beyond Burgers

The recent announcement from Beyond Meat (a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes, founded in 2009) that they plan ...
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Saving the Poor

Is China a rich country or a poor country? If you listen to the way some people talk about China ...
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A tale of two viruses

For an indication of how much China’s Air Travel industry has grown in the past 20 years, it's tempting to ...
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The challenge of Diversification

The words “Diversification” and “China” are easy to say, and there’s a lot of people all over the world suggesting ...
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TikTok and Zoom

If I asked you to name the two online platforms that have experienced global exponential growth during the Covid19 crisis, ...
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British Passports in Hong Kong

Back in the early 1990s and living in Hong Kong, I was a member of a group of British expatriates ...
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Worst case scenario

Some fairly sobering commentary coming from Beijing this week with the latest headlines saying “China’s economic strategy shift shows Xi ...
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China News

I’m often asked how long it takes me to write my daily China Bites, what inspires me to come up ...
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Saving Face

Slowing things down and seeing things from a macro perspective, my view of western economies is that they: were all ...
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Jane Thomas (1937-2020)

When I was young (in the 1970s) my mother, Jane Thomas, used to say to us that, when she retired, ...
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German Pivot

There’s a tendency to focus only on the US-China relationship these days (now referred to as “the G2”), and forget ...
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Making up is hard to do

What would you do if you posted something sensitive on social media and, in the process, upset one of your ...
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Owning HSBC Shares

When I lived in Hong Kong in the late 1980s, everyone I knew owned HSBC shares. In those days it ...
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Take the CQ test

Last Thursday, we held our first national ACSME webinar on the topic of Cultural Intelligence (“CQ”) which attracted a lively ...
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Life in Beijing 100 years ago

Here’s a nice, gentle and stress-free way to end another exhausting week of lockdown and geo-politics. I came across this ...
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Coffee Wars

The coffee market in China is really heating up. Who would have thought it would become such a keenly contested ...
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First Movers

Being a few months ahead of us throughout this Covid period, China is a good source of clues, indicators and ...
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Disneyland re-opens in Shanghai

In another sign of life returning to normal in China, and a light at the end of the tunnel for ...
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The Circus comes to town

On top of all of the other social and economic disruption caused by Covid19, it's especially unfortunate that, at the ...
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Good news from Hong Kong

I’ve been heartened to hear the good news from my friends in Hong Kong about the reducing number of Covid ...
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Cultural Intelligence

If there’s one skill we all need to master as we navigate the challenges and opportunities of living in the ...
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The Lost Art of Diplomacy

The lost art of Diplomacy

Here in Australia, we’ve created a firestorm of public opinion on our relationship with China following a decision by our ...
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Early Signs

The early indications suggest that the May Day long weekend holiday in China has been a reasonable success so far ...
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Planting and Reaping

As we look back over another difficult week of coronavirus lockdown, I’d like to ask you to reflect on the ...
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Human Progress

In my lifetime, there’s been one human achievement which, in my opinion, stands out above all others, and that was ...
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The Politics of 5G

If there’s one thing we really need right now, it's 5G. Just imagine how much better those zoom calls would ...
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Collective v Individualistic

It's a tough time to be the leader of a western democracy. Having been elected by being friendly, popular and ...
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A big test for democracy

All around the world, western political leaders are trying to find the right balance between ‘authoritarianism’ and ‘totalitarianism’ (which is ...
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Momentous times

The inspiration for ‘China Bites’ was Seth Godin’s daily blog on 31/10/18 (incidentally, my daughter’s birthday which seemed like a ...
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Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Growth of Online Education

I don’t need to tell you that online learning and ‘edtech’ is one industry that is going to benefit greatly ...
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Learn by doing

From my old friend, Mandy Zhang, Operations Manager for The Leadership Group in Beijing (in lockdown at home since 29th January 2020): ...
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Focus on your people

From the Head of a multi-national reinsurance company in Beijing who has been running her team from home for the ...
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Everyone doing their best

From Renee Hodgkinson in Beijing (in lockdown at home since 28th January 2020): Work - with working from home, a ...
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Lessons from those who have already been through it

Over the last week or so I’ve received a mountain of feedback from friends, colleagues, clients and business leaders in ...
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Creativity and Confidence

From my old friend, Dr Xisu Wang in Beijing: “In Beijing we are following the Government’s advice and have stayed ...
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Locked down in China – a colleague’s perspective

In recent days I’ve been thinking about how I can continue to fulfil my promise to China Bites readers to ...
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Huawei says “Let’s Talk”

It’s good to see a major chinese company on the front foot in Australia, touring the country to meet and ...
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The Online Education Boom

One of my favourite quotes from former US President, John F Kennedy is: “the Chinese use two brush strokes to ...
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Workers wearing face masks rope a container ship at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China February 11, 2020. Picture taken February 11, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

The Boom after the Bust

Successful long term investors know that the time to invest in any asset, stock or market is during a time ...
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School Days

Following on from yesterday’s China Bites on the topic of “Diversity”, please forgive me for indulging in this opportunity to ...
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Mega-cities in China

I don't need to tell you that, in 1980, China looked very different to the way it does today. It ...
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Changing of the Guard

If you needed any more evidence of the increasing influence of Asian countries as we head deeper into the Asian ...
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Digital Refugees

It’s well known that one of China’s biggest challenges is the “ticking demographic time bomb” of its aging population. China ...
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Tea or Coffee

The growth of Starbucks in China, a country known for its obsession with tea (‘all the tea in China’) is ...
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People and Productivity

It’s generally accepted that building an economic super-power involves expanding your population and increasing productivity. Jim O’Neill, who invented the ‘BRIC’ acronym back ...
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Adventure Tourism

Whilst its generally known that Chinese tourists are generally seeking different holiday experiences from westerners (who are more likely to ...
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Cultural Cringe

When I grew up in the UK in the 60s and 70s, I remember British people complaining about the spread ...
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How to communicate in china 3 top tips by david thomas

Boost your communication skills in China with 3 simple steps

Anyone who has had any experience of doing business in China will tell you that, despite common perceptions and assumptions, ...
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Source: Lowly Institute, The Interpreter

Fear and Greed

If there’s one country that has got itself into a bind in trying to figure out where it sits in ...
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BRICS Summit 2019

Last week’s BRICS Summit, the 11th since the first BRIC Leaders Summit in 2009, appears to have been different from ...
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China Market up 31%

It’s always dangerous to make predictions, particularly when it comes to Stock Markets, but I do recall saying back in ...
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Chrionexfleckeri1350

Singles Day 2019

Another Singles Day and another record for the Alibaba Group which, according to ZD Net “has amassed a record-high total ...
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Accuracy before distance

As I was hacking my way around the golf course last Sunday, it occurred to me that doing business in ...
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Buy China?

I’ve been saying for a long time that the decision by MSCI (whose indices make up global investment benchmarks adopted ...
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Ease of Doing Business

Perhaps you’ve already noticed, and if not I’d like to bring this to your attention, that China is making various ...
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Xiaomi in China

When it comes to smartphones in China, you are probably familiar with brands like Huawei and possibly Oppo (who, amongst ...
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Ageing China

It’s well known that China has a major ageing problem. According to the National Health Commission, at the end of ...
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Opening the gates

Perhaps you’ve already noticed, and if not I’d like to bring this to your attention, that China is making various ...
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Teenagers

Perspective is important and, amongst all of the commentary about the role of China in the world today, and what ...
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Fake Trade Deal?

I don’t think anyone was fooled by the announcement last Friday that the US and China had resolved their differences ...
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India China Summit 2019

I had to search quite hard to find details of last weekend’s meeting between the leaders of the two most ...
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Go to China in 2020!

As we hurtle towards the end of another frenetic year, and with the inevitable pre Christmas rush coming up to ...
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Made in China 2025

In this engaging opinion piece by former SCMP staffer, Tom Holland “Beijing’s Made in China 2025 Plan isn’t dead, it’s ...
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Under the Radar

I’m not sure if you know this, and I certainly didn’t but, according to Katie Howe in The Diplomat, “for ...
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PPP Projections

Whilst China’s economy is expected to overtake the USA to become the largest economy in the world in 2027 or ...
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Hong Kong Oligarchs

The term “oligarch”, defined as “a small group of people having control of a country or organisation” is often used ...
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Social Credit

I’m often asked about China’s “social credit system”, a plan to implement a national ranking system for Chinese citizens and ...
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Laying new BRICs

While our eyes and minds are diverted by the US-China Trade War, President Trump’s twitter feed, conflicts in the Middle ...
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Bragging Rights

It may come as a surprise to many people, and it did to me the first time, but the Chinese ...
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Jack Ma – the Face of Modern China

Of all the billionaires in the world today, it would be hard to find anyone as universally popular and widely ...
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Eradicating Poverty in China

While we’re all focused on the opportunities arising from China's affluent middle class and the ultra rich, it’s pleasing to ...
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