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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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05/07/2021  l  Football in Belgium and in China
These days, Belgians are passionately watching the EURO 2020 football championships. The Belgian national team has top players in leading international competitions, which are followed by an estimated 300 million football fans in China. Many of them wonder: how is it possible that a small country, such as Belgium, is so much better at football than a huge country, such as China? Belgium only has 11 million inhabitants and is currently ranked 1st in the FIFA world ranking. Chi...

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01/06/2021  l  SIAL China 2021: Business as Usual
Despite COVID-19 is still hurting large parts of the world, Asia's biggest food and beverage exhibition SIAL China took place in Shanghai from 18 to 20 May 2021. The three-day event hosted more than 4500 exhibitors from over 30 countries and regions. Due to the pandemic the 2020 edition had to be postponed until September 2020, but the 2021 edition took place as planned.  The pandemic is largely under control in China. Demand in the country is slowly getting back on track and the Chinese e...

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27/04/2021  l  Report about the virtual trade mission to Hainan and outlook to the Hainan Expo in May
From 24 to 26 March 2021, the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) and Voka Mechelen-Kempen Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI) organized a 3-day virtual trade mission to Hainan. During the first two days, the participating Belgian companies had the chance to learn about the beneficial policies of the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP) and get information about the China International Consumer Products Expo (or Hainan Expo), to be held from 7 to 10 May 2021. A...

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15/04/2021  l  Update about Travel Restrictions to China for Belgian citizens
Starting from 15 March 2021, the Chinese government announced new ‘relaxations’ for foreigners to enter China. Foreigners from dozens of countries, including Belgium, are able to enter China again, but only if they have been inoculated against Covid-19 with a Chinese-made vaccine. This can be either the full two-dose course of a vaccine or a single-dose vaccine at least 14 days prior to the application.   Additional alleviations have been announced as follows:  For...

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