The Blog:

China Builds World’s Longest Sea Bridge 6/30/2011

China Opens Jiaozhou Bay BridgeOn Thursday, June 30th, China announced the opening of the world’s longest cross-sea Bridge. The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge connects China’s Eastern port city of Qingdao with the island of Huangdao and is a mere 26 miles long. Bridges of this size don’t come cheap… even in China. The 110 foot-wide bridge required more than 5,000 support pillars and cost upwards of USD $1.5 billion.

The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge took more than four years to build but is anticipated to cut travel time between the two cities in half. Approximately 30,000 cars will drive over this bridge each day.

Maybe they will even hold marathons across it one day… talk about a nice view.

Photo Courtesy of Associated Press

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109th Spring Canton Fair to Begin this Friday 4/11/2011

109th Canton FairHave you finished planning your trip to this year’s Spring Canton Fair yet? The world’s largest international trade show is almost underway. As always, the Import and Export Fair will be held in Guangzhou, the center of China’s trade region China Import and Export Complex. The fair features over 50,000 exhibits spans over two weeks.

Phase I is set to begin this Friday and lasts through Tuesday, April 19th. Products to on exhibition during Phase I are the following:

  • Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Vehicles & Spare Parts
  • Machinery
  • Hardware & Tools
  • Building Materials
  • Chemical Products
  • International Pavilion

Phases II and III will be on the following schedules:

Phase 2: April 23-27, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Consumer Goods
* Gifts
* Home Decorations

Phase 3: May 1-5, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Textiles & Garments
* Shoes
* Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products
* Medicines, Medical Devices and Health Products
* Food & Native Produce
* International Pavilion

Additionally, the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) will be held in conjunction with Phase I and Phase II. Everything from modern home furniture to office and laboratory furniture will be available. Home Furniture will be on display from March 18 to the 21st and office furniture will be available from March 27 to March 30th.

If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t worry there is still time. You need to apply for an “invitation” through the Fair’s website here. Admission is free, but registration typically takes about a week to get your confirmation. Once you receive confirmation, print out the information and take it with you along with a photo ID and a passport photo (or you may take one there).

Spring Canton Fair Location: No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, China.

Other Canton Fair Posts:

2011 Spring Canton Fair Dates & Information
Spring Canton Fair Update
108th Canton Fair Review
China’s Canton Fair – October 2010

Please do not hesitate to post any questions, comments or advice for future fair adventurers below.

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Suzhou Industrial Parks: SND- An Alternative to SIP 11/30/2010

SND Suzhou National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development ZoneAfter doing a post on the Suzhou Industrial Park earlier this month, I found that people have been very interested in the topic. So I decided to write a blog on the SIP’s main competitor, the Suzhou National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone (SND).

In case you didn’t read my earlier post on Suzhou Industrial Parks, I will re-cap some of the main points on Suzhou and then get into the detail of SND. Suzhou, China is located in the Jiangsu Province and is about a two-hour drive from Shanghai. Suzhou proper is also only about 2.5 hours away by car to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport and only about 20 minutes away by train to the Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.

Suzhou is abundant in human resources with over 24 universities and colleges in the region that produce over 500,000 students each year. Suzhou boasts over 15,000 foreign invested companies in many different industries

SND is located in the western region of Suzhou and began in 1990. Initially it was only about 52 km2 (about 32 sq. miles) By 2002, it grew to over 258 km2 (about 161 sq. miles) and is now home to over 1,738 foreign companies and USD 25 billion in FDI. There are over 150 American companies and 160 European companies with facilities in the SND. Over 55 of the Fortune 500 also have a presence in SND.

The most common industries of SND are IT, chemicals, environmental protection, new materials and precision machinery. There are now over 2,000 companies in the molding industry and 10% of China’s sensor revenue comes from Suzhou as well.

Below is a roadmap of what to expect if you are thinking of setting up Greenfield operations in SND. The SND provides free services to encourage foreign investment and assist with licensing, permits and registrations. Below is an approximate time-line of the establishment period that must be take place with the local government:

• Name verification: 1 working day
• EHS (Environmental Health & Safety Division) Pre-approval of environment impact: 5 working days
• EHS Detailed environmental assessment form: 1 week-1 month
• EHS Detailed environmental assessment report: 1-2 months
• Investment approval: 3 working days
• Business license: 5 working days

Below is a list provided by SND of things you will need to obtain a legal business license in SND:

1. Business License of parent company – 2 copies
2. Notarization and certification for the Business License of Parent Company – 2 originals
3. Authorization Letter –  2 originals
4. Credit Status of parent company Issued by Bank – 2 originals
5. Application – 2 originals
6. Application Form of Name Registration – 1 original
7. Environmental Impact Form –  5 originals
8. Application Letter for WFOE Registration –  1 original
9. Recommendation Letter for Directors and Supervisor – 2 originals
10. Recommendation Letter for GM and Deputy GMs – 2 originals
11. Articles of Association – 2 originals
12. Land Transfer/Building Leasing Contract –  1 original
13. Copy of Passports of Directors, GM, Deputy GMs and Supervisor – 2 copies

And lastly, if you are interested in Investing in China, please visit our partner site for more information on Incorporating a Business in China.

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2011 Spring Canton Fair Dates & Information 11/24/2010

The 2011 Spring Canton Fair will be here before we know it and if you are planning to attend Asia’s largest import and export fair you will need to do some planning. If you have never been before, here are the basics for getting into the fair:

First, you need to get “invited” to attend, so you apply for the invitation through their portal here. After reviewing your application, which takes about one week typically, you will receive your invitation and confirmation number. Make sure to print this out and bring with you to the fair on your first day. Once at the fairgrounds, you will need to allow about 30-40 minutes for the registration process, in which you are administered your pass (you will need a passport photo or you can take one there for a few dollars). Once you have your pass, you can use this for as many years as you want (as long as the photo is still valid). Oh, and admission is free! Now you are good to spend time wandering through the 50,000 plus exhibits over the 15 day span of the fair.

2011 Canton Fair Essential Information:

When is the 2011 Spring Canton Fair?
Phase 1: April 15-19, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
Phase 2: April 23-27, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
Phase 3: May 1-5, 2011 | 9:30-18:00

Where is the Canton Fair held?
China Import and Export Fair Complex
No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, China

Which phase are you going to check out?

Phase 1: April 15-19, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances
* Lighting Equipment
* Vehicles & Spare Parts
* Machinery
* Hardware & Tools
* Building Materials
* Chemical Products
* International Pavilion

Phase 2: April 23-27, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Consumer Goods
* Gifts
* Home Decorations

Phase 3: May 1-5, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Textiles & Garments
* Shoes
* Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products
* Medicines, Medical Devices and Health Products
* Food & Native Produce
* International Pavilion

Fun Fact: 2010’s Spring Session brought in over $34 Billion (yes, with a B) in business turnover.

A more detailed breakdown of the types of products in each phase can be found at The Canton Fair’s website.

Also a nice promotional video is posted on their site if you want to get excited about going: Video

2011 Canton Fair

A brief overview from the 2010 Fall Canton Fair:

Date: Phase 1: October 15-19, 2010
Phase 2: October 23-27, 2010
Phase 3: October 31- November 4, 2010
Venue: China Import and Export Fair Complex
Sections: Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances/Lighting Equipment/Vehicles & Spare Parts/Machinery/Hardware & Tools/Building Materials/Chemical Products/International Pavilion
Consumer Goods/Gifts/Home Decorations
Textiles & Garments/Shoes/Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products/Medicines, Medical Devices and Health Products/Food & Native Produce
Exhibition Space: 1,130,000 M2 (More than 200 football fields combined!)
Number of Booths: 57,136 standard booths
Business Turnover: coming soon
Number of Overseas Buyers: 200,612
Number of Exhibitors: 23,599 exhibitors

Source: http://www.cantonfair.org.cn/en/index.asp

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New China Map Resource 11/22/2010

China Map - Sichuan

China Map - Sichuan

Our company’s partner site, Understand-China just released an extensive online library of high quality China Maps. The easy to navigate, organized gallery highlights China with maps on everything from municipalities, special administrative regions, and special economic zones. There are more than 25 maps highlighting the top FDI regions. View the full China Map Gallery here

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St Regis Shanghai Hotel Review: Just OK. 11/16/2010

The St Regis Hotel in Shanghai wasn’t quite what i had hoped it would be.  I checked in after a long flight from Los Angeles, and I knew when I found myself getting my own bags out of the trunk of the taxi at 10pm Sunday evening that this St Regis was not going to live up to the St Regis quality that you expect from properties that bear its infamous name.  I booked the room largely due to my love for St Regis properties in other geographies, and the rate – at $225 USD per night I thought I was getting a great deal on what i expected to be a GREAT hotel in Puding district in Shanghai. After checking in and heading to my room I was again disappointed to find that the room was a pretty standard “upscale” hotel room that you would find in most major cities in Asia.  And that was the problem.  When I book a room at a St Regis (especially in a city like Shanghai), I expect it to WOW me.  Maybe I’m just spoiled from staying at some of the Regis’s nicer properties, but i was slightly disappointed nonetheless.

With all that being said, the room was nicely decorated and the bathroom was well sized.  The bed however was somewhere in between hard and kind of soft – not exactly what I’m looking for after a 15 hour journey.  Breakfast in the morning is “served” in the primary restaurant, which unfortunately feels like its located inside the main section of the lobby itself.  The food was average at best.

Ill wrap up this review by noting that the staff are all very friendly and helpful.  Head to this hotel if you get a good rate.  Otherwise I would look at one of the other Starwood properties in the city.

The search for the great (and reasonably priced) Shanghai Hotel continues….if anyone has any additional feedback or hotel suggestions i would love to hear about them!

Phone :  +86 (22) 2627 8888  Address:  Phoenix Shopping Mall, East Haihe Road, Hebei District, Tianjin  (Near ‘Eye of Tianjin’)

Bottom Line:  Brand New (2008).  Very good place to stay.  Great location.  Breakfast is OK.

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China Jet Battle 11/16/2010

China Airplane industry

Today there was an article in the Wall Street Journal announcing China’s newest big jet orders. The first 100 orders were announced for a jetliner set to compete with Boeing and Airbus. The C919 was unveiled at the Zhuhai air show in Southern China.

The C919’s maker Commercial Aircraft Corp. has not released exactly how many planes have been ordered nor the price of the single aisle, 160 aisle jetliner. This project marks a long-time coming initiative that China has been working towards. Beijing rates the development of a large passenger jet up there with its space program in terms of pride.

Both the United States and other countries’ suppliers are working on the C919. GE and Safran SA won a $10 Billion deal to make the engines.

Fun Number Facts I thought I would throw in:
-Passenger stats through 2010 are up 18% from 2009 to  200.7 million passengers.
-Boeing estimates that China will need 4,330 new planes over the next 20 years.
-China is set to be the 2nd largest plane market in the near future.
100– the number of announced orders thus far for the C919
2014– the expected year for the C919’s 1st flight
2016– The expected year of delivery for the first C919’s (only mock ups at this point)
$480 Billion- Estimated market size for the aircraft manufacturing marketing in China over the next 20 years
102 – The number of planes ordered from a C919 competitor, Airbus, this month in China

Full Article

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Business in Tianjin? 11/6/2010

The Holiday Inn Tianjin Riverside Hotel really surprised me on a recent trip.  I checked into the hotel today after a long journey from the US.  A very nice, new, modern hotel located right on the river.  Fairly easy access to the Tianjin Railway Station which is convenient for anyone taking the high speed train to/from Beijing.  As you may or may not know, Holiday Inn Hotels in China are nothing like Holiday Inns in the USA.  In China, it is a luxury hotel chain comparable to Westin’s, Hyatt’s, Marco Polo Hotels, etc.  The only thing you have to watch out for are some of the locations that are older and are starting to age.  This one however, was in great shape.  The rooms were large and the Hotel is centrally located – convenient for most of downtown Tianjin.  Note:  If you are headed to TEDA – you may want to explore other options.

Phone :  +86 (22) 2627 8888  Address:  Phoenix Shopping Mall, East Haihe Road, Hebei District, Tianjin  (Near ‘Eye of Tianjin’)

Bottom Line:  Brand New (2008).  Very good place to stay.  Great location.  Breakfast is OK.

Trip Advisor Link

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Headed to Asia World Expo? Hong Kong Sky City Marriott just works. Just watch out for the Typhoons :) 11/4/2010

On a recent trip to Hong Kong I decided to book a room at the Hong Kong Sky City Marriott Hotel.  I was coming in late on a Thursday evening last month and needed to be at the Asia World Expo for a Trade Show the next morning.  The hotel is located adjacent to the Asia World Expo and a 1 minute drive to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA or HKG).  I couldn’t have made a better decision – I got a great rate (especially for a nice Hong Kong Hotel).  They have a complimentary shuttle from the arrival hall to the hotel which leaves every 15 minutes and the journey takes all of 80 seconds.  The rooms were great.  In the morning you can almost roll out of bed and hit the Asia World Expo Building which is connected by an elevated walkway from the lobby entrance.  The only thing I had to watch out for was the Category 5 Typhoon Magi which was headed my way the day I arrived.  Fortunately for me the storm headed north and missed HK the following afternoon.

After my stop at the Expo I had to head to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon for a few meetings.  I took the train into the city from the World Expo station – couldn’t have been more convenient.  I was in the city in 25 minutes, connected to the MTR and i was at my meeting.

Bottom line:  If you need a hotel for a trade show or exhibition at Asia World Expo Hong Kong, the Sky City Marriott Hotel just works.  As long as you don’t NEED to be downtown in the evenings, I would even recommend staying here for non Expo trips.  You just cant beat the price in HK.

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Meeting Points at Beijing Airport (PEK) 11/3/2010

I always run into trouble when trying to explain where to meet at Terminal 3 in Beijing’s new Capital Airport (PEK), so I’ve created a simple guide that I wanted to share with the world.  For those of you who are flying in from overseas or are traveling in from a domestic location (Air China Flights ONLY), you will be arriving at the new Terminal 3.  This terminal is quite massive – I have been told it’s the largest continuously air conditioned space in the world.  As such you can sometimes find it difficult to locate the person meeting you at the airport when you arrive.  I have landed at Beijing to find hundreds, if not thousands of people waiting in the arrival hall – making it nearly impossible to find who you are looking for.

International travelers will need to go through Immigration, then take the train to the Baggage Claim and Customs area.  The map below provides 2 great meeting points after the exit form the baggage claim area into the arrival hall.

Domestic travelers (remember only Air China Passengers – other airlines still arrive into the old airport) do not need to clear immigration or customs – after exiting baggage claim you will proceed directly into the arrival hall.  

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