Taditel - CI3 opening ceremony event invitation

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Happy New Year to you!

As you may know, PTL Group, besides providing platform to foreign SMEs in China, has also established a manufacturing incubation platform which hosts the manufacturing operations of foreign SMEs. 

The manufacturing incubation facility is managed by PTL Group’s sister company,CI3 ( Changzhou Initiative Industrial Incubator). This month, CI3 is having a ribbon-cutting event for an inaugural factory opening of its client Taditel. This will be the 7th client that has utilized the CI3 facilities. 

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Preparing for the Year of the Sheep: 15 Tips to Wrap Up before Chinese New Year

Posted by Andrea Cristancho
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The 2015 Chinese New Year is around the corner, and this time we celebrate the year of the sheep. At PTL Group, we start to get busy on preparations and To-Do Lists come in handy. Therefore, we’d like to share 15 tips that could be helpful in wrapping up the Year of the Horse with precision, and welcoming in the docile sheep.

Shanghai Tower

Posted by Josh Morrison
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on Tuesday, 13 January 2015
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After living beside the Shanghai Tower for just over 4 months and seeing the development of such an immense building I decided to share some of its most interesting facts, from an architectural point of view, environmental point of view and of course a business point of view.

Uncertainties in China- Dream Big or Be Averse to Risk

Posted by Vincent Hu
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The concept of “Uncertainties in China” from a business perspective can reflect on uncertainties in several fields, including unpredictable government policy changes, dictatorship of the legislation system, business ethic problems, huge increasingly wealthy population with dramatically rapid consuming trend changes and rocketing e-commerce and social media adoption happening in China. This article mainly focuses on macro-economy trend and SMEs’ market entry strategies.

China GDP Exceeds USA?

Recently, a popular topic is how soon the GDP of China will exceed that of the US. Some analysts even assert that the real GDP of China has closed to or equated with that of the US. The achievement of GDP growth of China was amazing in these past twenty years, so does the discussion about the GDP surpassing expectation prove the China market would keep growing and be a wonderful place to do business? Following MNCs, should SMEs dream big and head towards the China market?

Hosting a website in China – what’s behind the great wall?

Posted by Gloria Poelz
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on Wednesday, 24 December 2014
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In China a website that is hosted locally actually loads quicker than one hosted in a different country. This is because data from abroad needs to penetrate China’s great firewall which might cause such a website to load a few seconds longer. In rare cases it could even happen that a foreign page cannot be opened at all. While this might not be a serious issue for certain businesses it can become a severe competitive disadvantage for content intensive websites such as online stores, where consumers expect to be able to quickly navigate from one product to the next. So why does not everybody just host their website in China?

ChAFTA - The Main Changes

Posted by Josh Morrison
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on Thursday, 27 November 2014
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The much anticipated China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has been signed on 20th November 2014. ChAFTA secures Australia's competitive position with its largest trading partner and lays the foundation for a deeper and stronger long-term strategic partnership.  ChAFTA was also the main point of conversation in the business tour our VP of Sales & Marketing - Arie Schreier - just completed in Australia. The focus was on materializing the benefits of this agreement. Here we list a few of the industries of our interest - Agriculture, Raw Materials, Investment, Trade in Services and Financial Services.

Distributor or Fulfillment Agent? A Tough Choice for Selling in China

Posted by Vincent Hu
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Image source: www.nutritionaloutlook.com


The Easiest Way Doesn't Work

The easiest way to sell in China would be to find a reliable and capable distributor who just buys products and immediately pays revenues.

This easy way faces many challenges, which may lead to companies losing the opportunity to grow their sales in China and end up completely losing market share. In Mainland, the market is separated in many small units rather than a huge integrated market place. The attribute of “Guanxi” in Chinese society also hinders a distributor’s access to all channels. A distributor with roots in Southern China would have very limited or even no presence in Northern China (e-commerce would be an exception). And so, to cover as many regions as possible and diversify channels, the investor should choose several distributors rather than an exclusive one who just covers a limited region or channel. However, once the foreign company starts negotiation with several distributors, the main handicap faced is aligning interest among distributors. Who doesn't want to be exclusive? Sharing the cake might get distributors to look for short-term benefits rather than long-term growth.

Capturing A Billion Customers: The Sales Incubation Model in China

Posted by Michael Wilder
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Not to Be Ignored

As most in the business world would agree, China is one of the most competitive markets on the planet for local and foreign companies alike. In many ways, the country’s economic policies, Five Year Plans and overall top-down leadership out of Beijing are hugely competitive with its counterparts in the West – and in ways, even more forward thinking and innovative. Whether we fear it, hate it or are indifferent to the rise of China, surely those in the global business community would agree that we cannot afford to ignore this ancient culture and increasingly influential super power.

“Tier System” Investments in China: An Overview

Posted by PTL Group
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China’s growth is reflected in numerous cities around the country. From east to west and north to south, many cities in China have experienced unprecedented economic growth during recent years. Consequently, the government created a classification system based on “tiers”.  

The Chinese Tier System

The aim of the tier system is to rank cities throughout China. It is based on economic structural factors rather than size or demographic data. The leading points for this structure are: population size, development of services, infrastructure, cosmopolitan nature and economic growth

The Industrial Incubation Initiative leaped in the summer

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 On August 5, 2014, the Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, Mr. Arnon Perlman, paid a visit to “Changzhou Industrial Incubation Initiative” (CI3) in Changzhou. Mr. Perlman was given a tour of the premises including company visits to Tuttnauer (www.tuttnauer.com) from Israel, and Lytron (www.lytron.com) from the USA; both medical device companies operating in CI3 and producing for the Chinese market. On that same visit, Mr. Perlman together with Mr. Zvi Shalgo met with Changzhou mayor Mr. Fang Guoqiang and Foreign Affairs Office of Changzhou Municipal People’s Government Director Mr. Du Jibin.

Operating and promoting foreign company's internet presence and activities in the Chinese web

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Helen Doron & PTL Group

30 years ago Linguist Helen Doron developed a method for teaching English as a foreign language to young kids, a method that imitates the way in which babies learn their mother tongue. Today, Helen Doron English is an international franchise network in over 30 countries, and has recently expanded into China becoming one of our clients.

In China, Helen Doron English currently operates a total of 18 learning centers in nine different cities. Fortunately, the chain continues to expand and grow in China, mainly due to their executive's large scale and long term strategic attitude. In this context, one of their decisions was to choose PTL Group's local operational management services to support their growing portfolio of English learning centers.

The PTL Group marketing department is operating and promoting the Helen Doron presence and activities on the Chinese web. A conversation with Sara Song, PTL Group's project manager of Helen Doron's online marketing, clarifies how this service model works:

R&D Centers and Incubators and as a Growth Model for Israeli Companies in China

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PTL Group was invited to take part in the first meeting held between the Task Force for China's affairs in the Israeli Ministry of Economics, and a working team for high-tech interests which represents the Chinese government.


How do you benefit from the knowledge accumulated by Israeli companies and Chinese elements in order to promote the activity of Israeli companies in China? That was the main question of a special seminar that was held recently in Tel Aviv.  Among this question and other things, also examined were models of incubators and R&D centers suited for Israeli companies in China.

That was the first meeting between the Task Force for China's Affairs in the Israeli Ministry of Economics led by Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, and a working team for high-tech interests representing the Chinese's government and led by Ren Zhiwu, deputy director-general of the High-tech Industry Department of the NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission). The Chinese delegation included representatives from the local industry and the four industrial parks which were chosen by the Chinese government for the issue of cooperation with Israel.

A cooperative agreement signed between the Israeli and Chinese governments will help support Israeli companies

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In the last five years, we have witnessed the buildup of an Israeli cooperation with the city of Changzhou, Jiangsu Province. PTL Group, which stands behind various Israeli projects in the city, is one of the major driving forces in this buildup.

The agreement, which was signed between the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Science and Technology Department of Jiangsu Province, addresses the cooperation with Jiangsu Province and Changzhou's Innovation Park. Changzhou, which is 50 minutes by high-speed train to Shanghai, is regarded as one of the major cities in China for business activities of Israeli technological companies in the country.

According to this agreement, Israeli companies can benefit from a comprehensive support package, which include bonuses and extenuations above and beyond what was set as standard in similar agreements. This bonus package includes, among other things, tax reductions, unique grants that help to accelerate the start up stage, specific loans and incentives in order to attract more Israeli industrial companies to the park. Israeli companies that operate in the medical sector will benefit from additional assistance in order to obtain the necessary permissions from the CFDA (Chinese Food and Drug Administration).

Matrix opens Nanjing IT training center, a joint venture with PTL Group

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IT integrator Matrix IT unit John Bryce Hi-Tech College and PTL Group have opened new training center in Nanjing in collaboration with the Nanjing Quality & Inspection Center, which authorizes every software product developed in the city before marketing.

The new center in Nanjing is another milestone passed since Matrix's entry into China over six years ago. Matrix started with establishing John Bryce Colleges in Shanghai and Beijing and today serves international clients such as Intel, SAP, EMC, Autodesk, and Adobe, as well as Chinese corporations such as China Mobile and ZTE. To date, John Bryce China has trained over 8,000 senior high-tech engineers. A year ago, Matrix and PTL Group launched a Development Center for Mobile Apps in Changzhou.

The Mobile Internet: A Powerful Trend Accelerating the Modern Chinese Society

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Mobility in China

As we’ve seen over the past two decades or so, the acceleration of emerging hardware technologies and their increasingly inter-connectedness with the internet has truly transformed our planet. Not only are the tools that we use daily for study, business and pleasure evolving at a breathtaking pace, but so are the very definitions of these functions in our lives.

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E-commerce in China: Gain entrance into a completely different world

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Every minute 48,000 e-commerce transactions are made online in China

In a keynote speech at the 16th Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, highlighted the differences between the ecommerce industry in China and in the USA. According to Mr Ma, “in the U.S., e-commerce is just online shopping. In China, e-commerce is a lifestyle.” This important distinction in the consumer perspective of e-commerce in both countries is critical to understanding the market. In the U.S. e-commerce is an additional market for companies, next to their offline main business. However, in China, where the infrastructure is not as developed as in the Western world, for some consumers e-commerce is the only way to fulfil their desires.

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan - Part 3

Posted by Tyler Kretzschmar
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This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Part 1 simplifies and summarises the plan, and Parts 2 & 3 will discuss the importance of the Plan for those interested in the Chinese market.

Click here for image source.

What does the Five-Year Plan mean for SMEs looking to enter the China market?

One thing that SMEs must be aware of is the rising cost of doing business in China. One of the implications of higher quality of life in China is increased wages, meaning increased production costs in the manufacturing sector. Some estimates show that the cost of labour has increased by 20 percent annually since 2008. And despite any delays in carbon tax, environmental awareness is sure to come at least partially at the expense of companies as well. These changes correspond to the shift toward high-tech manufacturing, as companies in low-end sectors will likely find it difficult to profit as they have in the past.

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan - Part 2

Posted by Tyler Kretzschmar
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This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Part 1 simplifies and summarises the plan, and Parts 2 & 3 will discuss the importance of the Plan for those interested in the Chinese market.

How has the 12th Five-Year Plan developed since its implementation?

The Five-Year Plan is not set in stone. As a drafted document to oversee social and economic development over the course of five years for the most populous country in the world, a certain level of coordination with local governments through supplementary and supporting legislation, as well as flexibility with the Plan are paramount to its success. As such, some aspects of the Plan drafted in 2011 are today, in 2013, slightly different after re-evaluation.

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan – Part 1

Posted by Tyler Kretzschmar
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This is Part 1 of a 3-part series on the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Part 1 will simplify and summarise the plan, and Parts 2 & 3 will discuss the importance of the Plan for those interested in the Chinese market.

This is an abridged version; for more information on the background and specifics of the 12th Five-Year Plan click here: chinas-12th-five-year-plan-part-1.pdf


Background & Overview

A term synonymous with China’s continuous development strategies, the 12th and current Five-Year Plan breaks from tradition and acts as a milestone in Chinese policy-making;  a shift in the path that China has been on for more than three decades. First approved on March 14, 2011, the partly philosophical and partly strategic programme encompasses a mix of goals, benchmarks and principles for the Chinese top and local government bodies to follow regarding the social and economic future of the country, between 2011 and 2015.

The Philosophy behind the Plan

China may have escaped some of the more drastic consequences of the global financial crisis that affected markets around the world in 2008, however given the globalised nature of the world’s markets, a Chinese economy that is based heavily on exports would undoubtedly suffer if foreign countries stopped importing goods. Economic stability is one of the key goals for Chinese policy-makers, something that cannot be achieved when GDP relies so heavily on demand outside of one’s own borders. In 2011, the US, Europe and Japan accounted for 48 percent of China’s exports, highlighting the need for a GDP base that is less reliant on countries whose economies are struggling.  

Capitalising on China’s growing middle class – estimated to reach 700 million by 2020 – constitutes using a different model than one of growth solely focused on exports and investments. Thus, looking at private domestic consumption as a new primary market feature is imperative in building a stable and well-rounded Chinese economy.

What are the key economic aspects of the 12th Five-Year Plan?

Compared to previous Plans, the 12th envisions more broad based developments in the economy as opposed to simply attaining specific levels of growth. Looking at the future of the country, the Plan’s overarching themes seek to promote sustainable growth and development for a well rounded economy and an improvement in the overall quality of life for Chinese citizens.

Entering the Chinese market: more challenges, more rewards

Posted by Tyler Kretzschmar
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The global financial crisis and the fast growing Chinese consumer market, as well as the abundant wealth available for investment in China today, amplify the growing need to penetrate and operate in the Chinese market. It is no secret that China offers numerous opportunities to expand a business; however what remains a mystery for many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is how to effectively address the challenges of entering and operating in China.

One such challenge is the growing market itself, giving way to an increasing number of competitive local companies. The 12th Five Year Plan that laid the roadmap for China’s social and economic development for 2011-2015 shifted the focus of the Chinese policy makers to the strengthening of China’s dynamic new homegrown companies, referred to in China as Domestic Private Enterprises (DPE), both home and abroad. In 2010, 60 percent of China’s GDP came from DPEs – this is in striking contrast to the 38 percent they contributed in 2005. The fact that GDP is expected to quadruple itself between 2007-2025 also gives perspective into the business threats facing foreign companies in China and in home markets in the next few years.

Furthermore, the 12th Five Year Plan’s goal to increase the overall quality of life for Chinese citizens is creating higher operating costs in some sectors. One example is minimum wage increases (up to 13 percent each year), translating into more costly production in many of the developed manufacturing hubs along the coast. Another is China’s goal of a 40 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 2020, constituting elevated environmental taxes for manufacturers.