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British Business Embassy days - China Business Summit

On the 27 July 2012, the China Business Summit brought together British and Chinese experts in areas such as branding, design and understanding the demands of the new global consumer, to the architectural solutions, smart and green technologies that will enable the sustainable cities of the future.

The day was opened by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who set out the UK Government’s commitment to remove obstacles to trade, including by opening eight new embassies in Asia by 2015.

Speakers from leading Chinese and UK companies, including Arup, Legend Holdings, Huawei Technologies, Blue Ridge China and ChinaEquity Group discussed some of the challenges for foreign companies keen to enter China and why very few companies succeed. Their advice included:

  • Make the initial decision very carefully, get in for long term and get the best people you can;
  • Form partnerships and joint ventures with Chinese companies;
  • Work with the regulators in China – they can help foreign companies understand the market and aren’t as difficult as supposed;
  • China is implementing e-commerce, cloud computing and social media. But the current infrastructure in China is very fragile and e-commerce works differently in China from other markets. Don’t rely on others to do e-commerce for you. The penetration of social media engagement in China is difficult to measure, but social networks are breaking down barriers – and will expose any product, instantly.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, also noted that Chinese brands need to raise their profile internationally – currently 83% of people in UK can't name any Chinese brands.

Prime Minister David Cameron and President Hu Jintao agreed in November 2010 to double bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015.


China Business Summit - Future Cities: Living Smart, Living Green


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