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01/04/2021  l  Report about China's National People's Congress
From Friday 5 March to Thursday 11 March, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) was held in Beijing, also called ‘Two Sessions’. In line with the national COVID-19 prevention and control requirements, the event was mostly virtual and only lasted seven days instead of the usual 10 days.   The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses the annual NPC session as a political platform for major policy efforts and to decide on long-term strategies. This year’s ...

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17/03/2021  l  Blockchain Technology: Opportunities for European SMEs China
‘Blockchain’ is a term that first emerged in 2009 in the context of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is an online digital currency that was first published on the internet in 2009 by an anonymous group or person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. In spite of its first introduction as a support of cryptocurrency, today there is much more talk about the underlying technology known as blockchains. Therefore, the knowledge and understanding we have around this very young technology is evolving at a fast pace. T...

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24/02/2021  l  Opportunities in China‚Äôs 2nd Tier Cities
There is more to China than its major cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen (also called 1st tier cities). Nowadays, 2nd tier cities offer a lot of business opportunities for European SMEs as a manufacturing base or potential consumer market. Although still not very well-known to the Western world, they are key cities in the development plans of the Chinese government. Many of those 2nd Tier Cities have a population of 5 million or more and reports show that consumptio...

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27/01/2021  l  10th Anniversary of WeChat
In January 2021 Tencent’s app WeChat celebrated its 10th anniversary, a decade of influencing China’s online world. WeChat, the Rolls Royce of all China-based apps, started as a copycat version of WhatsApp and is now the number one messaging app in China. Even though WeChat is still a messaging app at its core, it has grown to be much more and indispensable for your daily and professional life in China. The possibilities of WeChat seem to be endless and more funct...

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10/01/2021  l  China-EU Investment Deal a major step towards a more level playing field
During a video meeting on 30 December 2020 the leaders of the EU and China announced that there is an agreement in principle on an investment treaty. The negotiations for this Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) dragged on for 7 years and demonstrate an important innovation: the EU is finally speaking in one voice and is trying to conduct its own business with China, despite the pressure from the US. The EU unquestionably takes a different path from the US, which opts for ...

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21/12/2020  l  EU Companies Should Get Ready for China in 2021
Having suffered through the worst of the outbreak in the first quarter of 2020, the zero-tolerance approach of the Chinese government with strict lockdowns and frequent testing is bearing fruit and has kept the virus under control. The impact of the first quarter was followed by an impressive revival. In the second quarter of 2020, China’s economy grew faster than in the same period a year before – by 3.3 percent – and ...

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09/12/2020  l  Do-it-yourself market research in China
Many SMEs planning to enter the Chinese market have limited resources and decide not to spend too much energy on market research. However, in a complicated market such as China, it is crucial to understand the features, spending habits and needs of your target customers, as well as potentially valuable information about your competitors, their products, services and pricing, distribution channels, marketing, etc. Even a small mistake at the early stage can prove costly further down the line. Th...

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30/11/2020  l  Opportunities in China's 2nd Tier Cities
There is more to China than its major cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen (also called 1st tier cities). Over the last few years, China’s 2nd tier cities have shown a tremendous growth and, although still not very well-known to the Western world, they offer a lot of business opportunities for Belgian SMEs and are key cities in the development plans of the Chinese government. In addition to the many business opportunities and rapidly increasing consumer spending behaviors, the...

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23/11/2020  l  RCEP enters the podium and surpasses both NAFTA and the EU as the world's largest free trade agreement
On 15 November 2020 the ASEAN countries together with Japan, China, South-Korea, New-Zealand and Australia signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It seems ambitious, unifying and game-changing. However, the reception is not warm everywhere and critics warn for too much optimism. This article takes a closer look at the RCEP. Is the deal as ambitious as it looks like? Or should expectations be nuanced and tempered? After eight years of “negotiating with blood, sweat ...

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17/11/2020  l  An insight on Alibaba spin-off Ant Group and its suspended IPO
This article covers a brief overview of what you need to know about Ant Group – an Alibaba spin-off and the most talked-about fintech enterprise of the moment. Who owns Ant? Is it a mobile payment system, or is it more than that? Why are they heading for the stock market? What makes their IPO in both Hongkong and Shanghai a record-breaker? But also, why did it get suspended? And last but not least, we take a look at the future of finance. First things first. In 2004, Jack Ma – found...

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