What it’s really like in China

杨瑾鸿在广州
Some of my 网友 (online friends) meeting in real life. I had dinners like this in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai.

Greetings from the syENGAGE HQ in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m back after spending just over 2 weeks in 5 cities in China, and I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences here.

My main reason for going to China was to speak at the British Council’s East Asia Education Agents Conference, alongside Sam Flemming of CIC. I’ll do a separate blog post on that later.

While in China, I had several other goals:

  • Talk to some key contacts I’d identified who were part of “NZ Inc”‘s presence in China
  • Get closer to the social media scene in China – including conversations with the two tech giants, Tencent and Sina, and leading agencies
  • Meet some of the online friends I’ve made in the 2 years since I’ve immersed myself in Chinese social media. This was by far the most fun part of the trip!

Apart from  4 days at the Hilton Tianhe in Guangzhou, I spent the rest of my trip staying with friends I’d made on the internet. I’ve been deeply touched by the generosity, warmth and friendship I’ve discovered online.

So, stand by for some insights into both business and culture in the People’s Republic.

Meanwhile, I’d love to know what you want to know about China? Let me know in the comments below.  

6 thoughts on “What it’s really like in China

  • Paul

    Hi Simon, way cool! I’m couple years behind you. Are there Chinese angel investors? Are they interested in here? Is a school JV the future over agents model? What do students want to study here at polytechnic? Are they interested in PTE courses? Do they want immigration opportunities eg thru entrepreneur categories? So many questions!!

    Reply
    • Simon

      Thanks Paul! Great questions.

      1. Yes. 2. Maybe, if they know about us. 3. Interesting… don’t know. 4. Hard to know. They want to get a high paid job because of social pressure, but most students don’t know what they want to study. 5. They tend to prefer universities. More prestige. 6. Hmmm another interesting one!

      Reply
      • Paul

        So, actually lots like us then? Perhaps polytechs a stepping stone to Uni? Mmmm

        Reply
        • Simon

          A lot like us. And of course, these are my generalisations. Polytechs as a stepping stone to uni? I don’t really know… wouldn’t think so.

          Reply
  • john lsi

    Awesome and jealous of your trip to China Simon!!

    Make sure you write a post on what the giants like Tencent, Sina and thealso the agencies see social/digital is heading in their region

    Reply
    • Simon

      Will do, John! 🙂 One thing that surprised me was that the Chinese social media space is on a par, or well ahead of social in the west, even though most people inside China feel that they’re running behind.

      Reply

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