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10/11/2020  l  Singles' Day and E-commerce in China
November 11 will again be a day of intense online shopping in China. Alibaba’s shopping festival Singles’ Day, also called ‘Double Eleven’, originally started as a shopping festival to celebrate bachelors and single people in general, but has evolved into a commercial highlight. It is now the number one online and offline shopping day in the world, with astronomic sales numbers easily topping similar sales days in other countries. Each year, the shopping festiva...

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29/10/2020  l  China's 14th Five-Year Plan: what to expect?
The 5th plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing from 26 to 29 October. Led by Xi Jinping, the central committee of China’s ruling Communist Party met in Beijing this week to discuss a proposal for national development from 2021 to 2025, China’s 14th Five-year Plan for Social and Economic Development. The Five-Year Plans are a series of social and economic development initiatives is...

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08/10/2020  l  Chinese Government Declares War on Food Waste
Recently the Chinese government launched a new “clean plate” campaign, striking at the heart of dining culture in China. China’s thousands of years of food culture dictates that ordering extra dishes and leaving food behind are ways to demonstrate generosity toward one’s relatives, clients, business partners and important guests. Traditionally, in a group setting, empty plates are seen as a sign of a bad host - suggesting that an insufficient amount of food was order...

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15/09/2020  l  Opportunities in the B2B sector in China
Europe has many great companies, many of them SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and family-owned, and with high quality products or services and advanced equipment or technologies. In B2B-industries, a lot of these SMEs are world leaders in niche industries, successfully exporting their goods to international markets. Examples are companies in sectors such as automotive, agribusiness, environmental tech and sustainability, logistics, food and beverages, life...

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04/09/2020  l  Organic Food Opportunities in China
Being the largest consumer market for organic packaged foods and beverages and the fastest growing organic food market in Asia, China’s organic market offers many opportunities for foreign brands. Unlike other countries which mainly consume organic vegetables and fruit, organic milk dominates China’s organic market because of its nutrition and perceived benefits to the immune system. Together with edible vegetable oils and cereals, milk products acc...

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31/08/2020  l  Update about Travel Restrictions to China for Belgian citizens
On 13 August the Chinese authorities informed Belgium that Belgian nationals holding a valid Chinese residence permit (for work, personal reasons or family reunification) can again apply for a Chinese visa free of charge. Apart from Belgium, Chinese borders have now also been re-opened for citizens from 36 other European countries. This is very good news, especially for those Belgians and their families who were stuck in Belgium in the past half year, not able to travel back to th...

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04/08/2020  l  The Chinese Festival Calendar
The two most important public holidays in China are National Day, celebrated at the 1st of October, and Chinese New Year (also called Spring Festival), celebrated at the end of January or the beginning of February. China’s National Day celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. It kicks off a one-week nationwide holiday called Golden Week, during which hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel and shop. Most traditional holid...

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10/05/2020  l  How to Deal with the Demand for Exclusivity from my Chinese Distributor?
Exclusivity in the past In the past it was simple: no exclusivity is to be granted to any distributor, at least not from the beginning. In those days it was perfectly possible to divide a large country such as China into different geographical regions (for example North, East, South and West). Additionally, a separate partner per distribution channel or per market segment could be identified: for example, if you are active in the food business, you could find another partner for the retail...

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20/03/2020  l  How to Manage Your China Business in Corona Times?
The outbreak and spreading of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Belgium and other European countries is becoming increasingly serious. Meanwhile, China is slowly coming to grips with the epidemic situation. However, in the following 4 to 6 months it can be expected that business travelers to China will only be allowed to enter China when they first go into mandatory quarantine. Consequently, many European companies are struggling how to manage their China business from a distance. For those who hav...

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02/03/2020  l  The joy and challenge of learning Chinese - Tom Horsten
I joined Horsten International in 2016, responsible for sourcing projects, business development, communication and marketing. Therefore, it seems quite logical and obvious that I started learning the Chinese language four years ago. Yet, it is not absolutely necessary to speak, read and write Chinese, as I barely use it in the day-to-day conversations with my Chinese colleagues and I never use it for business discussions. Actually, I like very much to speak and learn different languages. Beside...

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