When the Year of Dragon gets ready to step into centre stage, Crayfish.io founder and CEO, Ting Zhang, embarked on her first business trip to China in 2024. She shares her experience and reflections on the journey with partners, friends and a wider audience.
Jan 19, 2024 Shanghai
Hightlights of the 1st stop of my 1st trip to China in 2024 – Shanghai🤩😇:
1) deepened collaboration with our strategic partner Sinofaith IP Group, in areas of Chinese outbound investment on top of tech commercialisation and China market entry consultancy where we already serve our clients together 👏
2) agreed with the Shanghai team at King & Wood Mallesons about joint events to educate ambitious Chinese scaleups when entering UK and European markets about why it is important to seek expert advice 😁
3) discussed with the Export Support Service team at Department for Business and Trade China and learnt that they are receiving more enquiries from UK businesses and we look forward to continuing our partnership 🤝
Plus, I much enjoyed my stay at Kerry Hotel in Pudong, wonderful view of the financial district, yummy food and nearby, plenty amenities to help me cope with jetlag😂😍.
Jan 20, 2024
Have you been to a Chinese company year-end celebratio🥳🍾? I attended our partner Sinofaith’s gala yesterday and I was so impressed …
First, all the amazing performances were given by its employees in the Shanghai HQ, ranging from creative artists and blockchain engineers to receptionists and company drivers – they are all so multi-talented👍👍!
Second, from how much everyone enjoyed the gala i can see why it’s important to hold such events. People i know at Sinofaith and also those I met recently have been working in the company for years, which is testament to the effecitveness of its company culture in retaining talent. This is much needed in doing business in China due to competition for highly skilled employees.
Then, during the dinner which consists of more than 10 delicious courses, there were lots of teams coming to toast us at the head table so of course I ended up standing up and sitting down constantly …but i wasn’t annoyed at all. Quite opposite, this is a way to show respect from those who come over.
Finally I was surprised there was no official speech from the CEO or other management of the group, but just some warming opening by the MCs, and then it’s all fun and feasts for the eyes and stomach the entire evening!
I even won a travel suitcase from the lucky draw (the smallest prize, with the first prize being a new iPhone 15). well, it seems I have to come to Shanghai soon again as I can’t take the suitcase with me this time😅…
I spent my last weekend in Chengdu, capital of my home province, catching up on sleep and enjoying Sichuan cuisine thanks to the hospitality of my host🥰🤩
notes to the photos, for the foodies😂:
– the little steam buns are blended with octopus ink😀
– the white sticky dough is a my childhood favourite called “ci ba” 粢粑😋 , found in a tiny side-street eatery that sells nothing else.
– I loved the china set at a local restaurant!
The weather was mild and people are busy buying flowers and little golden satsuma trees for the Chinese New Year already in the local flowers market.
Shenzhen – a city which I always enjoyed visiting – a unique combination of modern skyscrapers with very convenient amenities. Perhaps a result of high skilled domestic immigrant workforce and supportive local government who together created this magic cosmopolitan.
I visited BYD HQ’s showroom in Shenzhen last week to learn more about its technologies and products. Here are my findings👇:
1) BYD as an OEM has impressive engineering capability and manufacturing capacity. From the display I can see the group produces more than battery and EV, from mobile phones and laptops to semiconductors. It is widely-known that they even managed to switch their production line to produce face masks from scratch within two week’s notice during Covid. This tight control of supply chain is the main reason why BYD has the unique advantage over other EV makers on cost and stability.
2) BYD’s dedication to R&D and its culture of pursuing perfection in quality was illustrated through their speed in launching new EV models, enables them to lead the market on functionality too. (photo on the bottom left showing the past models). For example, the new U8 model (top right photo) boosts the function to launch drone from its roof.
3) As a Chinese company with global ambitions, BYD seems open to collaborations as I saw visitors from both domestic and foreign businesses in the showroom, all keen to make a deal.
4) The company is obviously proud of its achievements in research which was illustrated through a whole wall of patent certificates, but I also noticed pictures of many outstanding engineers on another exhibition, telling its culture in effective talent management.
A quick post as I finish my 1st China trip in 2024: my last working day was spent in Beijing…
This time I chose to arrive via Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport (bottom right photo), which was spacious yet not feeling too dominating. I was impressed to see it was quite busy already.
Good discussion with my old friend and his investment team in Silk Road Fund about possible opportunities to invest in UK and Europe. I was invited to go back and give a talk in my next trip.
The week ended with highlights in another CNY gala, this time in a Mongolia Tent, although I was not keen to taste the strong spirit served in a horn!
The view from my hotel room (bottom middle) was amazing in the dawn with the street below nearly empty, quite unthinkable for the heart of downtown Beijing.
I will have another post dedicated to more culture elements from this trip so watch this space…bye for now!