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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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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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