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17/01/2022  l  Update about Travel Restrictions to China for Belgian citizens
A new year has started, but unfortunately, about two years after the first Covid-19 outbreak, we are not yet able to report to you the good news that you will be able to travel to China again soon, at least not without strict quarantine measures (2 to 3 weeks in a hotel upon arrival in China), regular testing and other stringent measures and administrative hassles. The virus continues to mutate and cause disorder, with the Omikron variant now dominating in Europe and the Chinese government keep...

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10/01/2022  l  Janssen Pharmaceutica as savior of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an
When Belgium approaches medicine and pharmaceuticals, it looks beyond just the health of humans, but also that of agriculture, and even culture and history. Many are familiar with famous Belgian medicine brands like UCB, Solvay, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of Johnson & Johnson, but not as many are aware of Janssen’s contributions to saving Chinese cultural heritage. This lasting company’s commitment to protecting historic sites can be traced to its founder: Dr.&...

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01/01/2022  l  New Regulations for Overseas Food Exporters to China
Starting from 1 January 2022 new regulations have come into effect for overseas food exporters to China. Food companies and brands have to register their company at the General Administration of China Customs (GACC) and may also have to adjust their packaging.   The new regulation was issued to implement provisions of the Food Safety Law on the registration of overseas food production enterprises importing food into China. It extends the registration scope of food production enterpris...

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25/11/2021  l  China‚Äôs environmental policies and its opportunities for Belgian companies
From October 31 to November 12, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Glasgow, Scotland. With China currently accounting for about a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions, all eyes were on China’s climate change policy initiatives.   As an economic and industrial powerhouse, China is burdened with a huge daily power demand. Although China is still heavily involved in broadening its coal-fired power plants, China’s investment in clean energy is ...

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12/10/2021  l  How do Chinese consumers search for products in China?
When western consumers look for a product or brand, we typically search on Google first. Google is banned in China, but there are alternative Chinese search engines, such as Baidu and Sogou. However, most Chinese consumers don’t search for products or brands on those Chinese search engines. Usually, they use their smartphones only and check e-commerce platforms, such as Taobao, Tmall or JD. Other searches are done on social media apps such as WeChat, Weibo, Little Red Book, Douyin, etc.&nb...

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21/09/2021  l  Hoe Horsten International uw ogen en oren kan zijn in China
De wereld is vandaag nog steeds in de greep van de coronacrisis. Tenzij je een geldig werkvisum hebt of om humanitaire redenen naar China reist, houder bent van een APEC Business Travel Card, of een diplomaat of Chinese inwoner, blijft het voor westerse zakenmensen moeilijk om een visum voor China te krijgen. Onze verwachting is dat zakenreizen naar China pas terug mogelijk zullen zijn vanaf midden 2022, of mogelijk zelfs later. Bijgevolg worstelen veel bedrijven met de vraag hoe zij hun zaken i...

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15/09/2021  l  Doing business with China: Sufficient Commitment and Courage Needed!
Translation of the editorial (in Dutch and French) in Fokus International Business by Smart Media Agency. Since mid-2020 the Chinese economy has been experiencing a spectacular recovery, leaving ‘democratic’ countries far behind. As EU entrepreneurs, should we switch to a higher gear in this ‘year of change’ or focus more on our home markets?  Whether you like it or not, if you are active in today's international business environment, there’s a good chance th...

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02/09/2021  l  Update about Travel Restrictions to China for Belgian citizens
The world today is still in the grip of the COVID pandemic. As already mentioned in our previous blog of 15 April 2021 about this topic, restrictions were eased for a specific type of travellers from 23 countries, including Belgium, on 15 March 2021. However, unless you have a valid working visa or are coming to China for humanitarian reasons, or you are holder of an APEC Business Travel Card, a diplomat or a Chinese resident, it remains difficult for Belgian businesspeople to apply for a visa t...

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21/07/2021  l  The Tourism Sector in Corona Times
21 July 2021 is National Day in Belgium. It is a chance for Belgian families to spend time with their families and take a holiday. Summer is the peak season for European tourism. Despite safety and hygiene regulations and additional testing procedures, many Belgians still travel to European destinations. However, many people also choose to stay in Belgium and (re-)discover their home country. According to the results of a survey conducted by a Belgian tourism agency, Belgian citizens are more w...

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09/07/2021  l  Chinese Cashless Society
During the corona pandemic in 2020 we all started using cashless payments in Europe. However, China can already be called a cashless society since a few years. Already in 2018 more than 80% of all payments were made via mobile payment modes, such as Alipay or WeChat Pay. This includes online payments on e-commerce platforms as well as offline payments in shops, restaurants or other public places. Obviously, COVID-19 has boosted mobile payments even more. In China, QR codes are everywhere, and...

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