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    Should I hire an interpreter from the UK or hire one in China for my visit to China?

    This depends on your budget, but it is advisable to hire an interpreter in the city where you are visiting. If you visit more than one city then you can even consider hiring a different one for each location, to save your travel costs. However, the advantage of using the same interpreter for the whole visit is consistency – saving you time in briefing each interpreter.

    To get into the Chinese market, as a starting point, what should I get translated?

    As a minimum, you should consider getting a one-page summary translated about your company, your product or service and your business track record. You can then post the same page on your website. Then you can make bullet points to put into a presentation format.   For China, you need to make sure the Chinese characters used are simplified Chinese not traditional Chinese – traditional is only used in the territory of Hong Kong or in Taiwan.

    There are so many social media channels in China – which one should I use?

    Wechat is probably the single most important channel you should understand first – it boasted an active daily user base of 570 million by the end of 2016. Known as “Weixin” (meaning micro message) in China, it functions like a combination of WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. However, companies can have various types of Wechat accounts, so you need to know about what’s available. Each account comes with different functions and restrictions which you should compare before setting up one that suits your business needs.

    Do our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts work in China?

    No. They are banned in China, along with all Google services including YouTube. Local platforms are by far the best to use and they dominate, with Weibo, Wechat, QQ and Aiqiyi replacing the ones you are more familiar with. Even Dropbox does not work in China. However, LinkedIn does work! If you are looking to reach out to Chinese consumers via social media, then you will need to engage with these Chinese channels and it is best to get the right help.

    What do I need to do about preparing for a business trip to China?

    Translate your business cards into Chinese, and take a lot with you if you are attending a trade show there. Get some marketing and product materials translated into Chinese too if you can. By all means try to set up meetings well in advance – but you must be prepared to accept last minute changes to your schedule. It’s normal in China to make last minute meetings. Make sure you have someone you can brief and who will interpret for you. Finally, always invite your host to visit you in the UK so you can return the hospitality.

    THE “ONE BELT ONE ROAD” INITIATIVE

    What is One Belt, One Road?

    The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (B&R) and The Belt and Road (B&R), is a development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China, the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and the oceangoing “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR). The strategy underlines China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs, and the desire to coordinate manufacturing capacity with other countries in areas such as steel manufacturing. Since it was unveiled in September 2013 the One Belt One Road Initiative has been the most frequently mentioned concept in the Chinese media in 2016.

    One Belt, One Road – a report by CBBC and the FCO

    In September 2015, the China-Britain Business Council released a comprehensive new report on China’s ambitious and complex “One Belt One Road” initiative in partnership with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Designed as a practical guide to where the opportunities lie for UK companies, the report contains succinct chapters on the seven key sectors and 13 major regions to help you understand what the implications are in your industry and where your next steps should be.

    The report is available here

    Chinese Dream中国梦

    The Chinese Dream has been a term popularized after 2013 and used widely in ad outside of China to describe the role of the individual in Chinese society as well as the goals of the Chinese nation. The phrase is closely associated with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi said that young people should “dare to dream, work assiduously to fulfil the dreams and contribute to the revitalization of the nation”.  According to Xi,  the Chinese Dream is about Chinese prosperity, collective effort, socialism, and national glory.

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    Quick Facts

    Population:
    1.4 billion
    GDP (PPP)
    $19.4 trillion
    6.9% growth
    7.8% 5-year compound annual growth
    $14,107 per capita
    Unemployment:
    4.6%
    Inflation (CPI):
    1.4%
    FDI Inflow:
    $135.6 billion
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