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M e m b e r m a g a z i n e f o r t h e S w e d i s h C h a m b e r s o f C o mm e r c e i n H o n g Ko n g a n d C h i n a


2016 China has built a large number of companies with high brand value. But so far, most of them still rely on their strengths in the home market.


Martin Axelhed Living with the nature


Anna Lindstedt An ambassador with a “sunshine� spirit

Publisher The Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong and China For advertising inquiries, please contact respective chamber’s office The opinions expressed in articles in Dragon News are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Editorial management, design and printing Bamboo Business Communications Ltd Tel: +852 2838 4553 Art director: Johnny Chan Designer: Victor Dai English editor: Chris Taylor

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Opinion: Nils Pihl




10 Focus story: Does China have any real global brands? 22 Executive talk: Martin Axelhed, Fjällräven


24 Feature: Anna Lindstedt, ambassador 28 This is Sweden: Lucia 30 Young Professional interview: Thomas Gaestadius 32 Chamber activities in Hong Kong 34 Chamber activities in Beijing


36 Chamber activities in Shanghai 38 Chamber news: All SwedCham HK founding members 39 Chamber news: Get new talents from the Career Portal 40 Chamber news: SwedCham HK Gala Dinner in Macau


42 New members 48 After hours 50 The chamber and I: Chinese global brands Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

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DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016 3


Ulf Ohrling Chairman Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

Lars-Åke Severin Chairman Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China

The beginning of Chinese global branding Dear Reader, This issue of Dragon News focuses on Chinese global brands and the question of whether China has any truly global brands. The need for global branding is not only about the corporation behind the brand; it’s also very much about the perception of the country the brand originates from. This is very much the case for a brand such as IKEA, a brand that even makes a point out of which region of Sweden it comes from (Småland – a province considered by many Swedes to host the stingiest people), as well as for brands such as Coca-Cola and Harley Davidson, in which the “American dream” is an in-built part. The connection between a brand and its origin can prove to be a challenge for Chinese brands. Does the “Made in China” label still represent doubtful quality and potentially hazardous substances, or goods produced by prisoners or children in factories where health and safety issues are low on the priority list? We think that the China brand has improved in recent years; not least due to China being the producer of most electronics such as iPhones and so on, but also thanks to the fact that companies purchasing from China put pressure on manufacturers in many different ways, such as H&M just to mention one. 4 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

Further improvement of the China brand lies in innovation and processes that are new and different. Innovation has been dealt with earlier in Dragon News and the conclusion was that China displays the potential to become innovative, rather than producing almost identical products as products invented or designed elsewhere and smacking a label on them that is confusingly similar to the foreign (or nowadays sometimes the domestic) competitor or brand leader.

from an internet that is far more developed from a service perspective than anywhere else. Sales on internet, for example, has developed far beyond anything anyone could have imagined just a few years ago. Again, however, such development is purely domestic, with no outside reach. Few people outside China actually understand what is going on and the hurdles to taking advantage of the development for foreign companies is heightened rather than lowered.

We believe that the biggest threat to China’s future as a global brand will most likely, as in many other situations, come from within. Chinese companies are sometimes still lacking when it comes to long-term commitment, while also lacking experience in terms of strategy, branding and marketing. These factors will most likely pose the largest threats. It is simply too tempting to take short cuts, rather than finding their own way, which can make imitation seem a speedy way to success. What China might be considered as inventors of – since invention is not only about products but also about processes and services – is the rapid development of its infrastructure, not least the fast development of the internet. In China, there are currently over 700 million internet users, benefitting

Again, we must ask ourselves whether development, innovation and branding go hand in hand with a less transparent society such as China. The future will tell, but we are sure that we have only seen the beginning of Chinese companies’ global branding attempts. There will be many more to come and who remains strong and established is a question of hard work, good strategy and good advisors, as well as sustainable development within companies and society as a whole. As the festive season is approaching, we would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2017! The first snow has already fallen in Sweden and temperatures have dropped also here in China, making outdoor activities more pleasant, air pollution permitting.

Beijing – a new internet frontier Photo: iStock

Beijing is the best incubator you could ask for, according to Nils Pihl, an internet entrepreneur and behavioural engineer, who also compares Silicon Valley with China. Text: Nils Pihl,

I was born in Sweden in 1986, but I moved here from the internet. Let me explain. As some of you may know, Sweden generates the second highest concentration of billion dollar companies per capita in the world, after Silicon Valley, according to the venture capital firm Atomico. To be fair, Atomico is a Swedish firm and the findings might be a little biased, but according to 6 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

By the time I was 14, as a result of my interest in computers, my English was better than my Swedish.

But inevitably, the internet changed and became more accessible. The great wilderness was tamed and your grandmother got a Facebook account and beat your high score in Candy Crush. The internet is no longer a secret meeting place for entrepreneurial and pioneering minds – but I the city was the best incubator we could have want to argue that Beijing is. asked for – it offered us affordable housing Through a bizarre string of disastrous and food, a network of experienced mentors, circumstances I found myself on a flight to steady access to some of the world’s greatest Beijing in 2009. I was leaving everything engineering talent and access to a vast market behind, and it was the bravest, or most of clients. reckless, thing I think I’ve ever done. Beijing today feels like the internet felt I fell in love with Beijing before I had in my teens – a place where even stepped out of the taxi eccentric, talented and driven from the airport. Having people congregate to make grown up on the internet, the their own rules. Beijing is a alien and foreign felt familiar new frontier. and seductive, and since so The people that come much of my identity was tied The year when Nils Pihl took here, no matter if they move up with my online persona, a flight to Beijing, leaving here from another city in I forgot to feel alien and everything behind: “It was the China or from a different foreign myself. I didn’t feel bravest, or most reckless, country, come here to be part as different as I look; in fact, thing I think I’ve ever done.” of something momentous – I felt an enormous kinship a choice that other people with the people here. Beijing might not understand. They don’t see how we was full of playful explorers. could possibly make the trade-offs we make Maybe it’s no coincidence that one of to live here, but I want to argue that the same the first industries that did well in Beijing’s kind of people that thought I was wasting tech boom was the gaming industry, and that my youth on computers, missing out, and many of the foreigners I met here worked at ultimately hurting myself are the same kind gaming companies. of people that don’t understand why someone As Huizinga realised, nothing is more would come to Beijing. adult, more human, than our childish desire And the people that do come, in spite to play. Our desire to play has taken us out of of all the hardships one might face here, are the mud and up into space. exactly the kind of entrepreneurial people that were my virtual roommates back when I lived And Beijing turned out to be a great place on the internet. b for a start-up, and I have often argued that



ight decades ago, a man named Johan Huizinga had a fascinating idea: He coined the term Homo Ludens, or the playing human, to describe how we as a species seek out challenges because we enjoy them. He argued that the difference between basic shelter like a roof over our heads and complex architecture was play. The idea was that our desire to play provided a surplus on top of our basic survival instincts that over time formed our culture.
The idea that human ingenuity is aided by our desire to play and seek out challenges simply for the enjoyment of solving them is beautiful to me, and has guided me in many of my most important life decisions. I came to Beijing more than half a decade ago, and I have no plans to leave. I consider myself a local – more specifically, a resident of the #BeiArea; a nascent tech community that has brought me together with some of the most interesting, motivated and pioneering people I have ever met. I am grateful for my opportunity to live and work here, but my path here was long and complicated.

identity on the internet, and live life by your own rules. We were a generation of kids that loved exploring and building worlds; we were not afraid of challenges, and we were open to new ways of thinking about identity and community. The internet was a frontier, ours to conquer and tame, a wilderness that we turned into a garden.

“Beijing was the best incubator we could have asked for,” says Nils Pihl.

Nothing is more adult, more human, than our childish desire to play.” them, Silicon Valley generates eight US$1 billion companies per million inhabitants – and Sweden generates a whopping six. But Stockholm and San Francisco have two fundamentally different ways of approaching innovation. Silicon Valley attracts innovators. For almost three decades, tech enthusiasts from all over the world have flocked to Silicon Valley. As much as I love my country of origin’s capital, we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that Stockholm’s cold winter is a harder sell. Sweden has had to generate innovators, rather than attract them. Part of the secret for both Silicon Valley and Sweden has to do with my generation –

people born in the 1980s, and early 1990s, and in a non-trivial way, a large part of it is also “computer games”. If Huizinga was alive today, I am sure he’d be amazed at the cultural forces that this new medium has unleashed. I grew up a gamer. As a kid, I spent hours every day exploring and building new worlds, and interacting with foreign ideas. But back then, like many others my age; I was actively discouraged from using computers by wellmeaning adults. Computers had not yet gained the social acceptance that they enjoy today, and people didn’t see the value of computers – so they certainly didn’t see the value of computer games. Parents worried

about their kids becoming antisocial and becoming unproductive members of society. While many parents were thrilled to take their children to football practice, very few saw the virtue of buying them a new roleplaying game. And this is important to my generation, because it meant that only the most persistent, rebellious and independent people ever made their way onto the internet, motivated by the desire to explore new ways of communicating, new ways of making friends and new ways of playing with each other. Perhaps these people are best described as explorers and innovators? By the time I was 14, as a result of my interest in computers, my English was better than my Swedish. Most of the people I interacted with on a daily basis I had never met in real life. They were people just like me – people that had taught themselves how to access the internet. If you could put down the hard work and weather an unknown and sometimes hostile environment, you could forge a new life and

Nils Pihl is a behavioural engineer, and the CEO of, a big data start-up in Beijing. Founded in 2010, the Traintracks team has been enlisted to build, measure and improve everything from social networks to neural interfaces, and their clients include industry leaders like Sina Weibo, NetEase, Tantan, 6waves, and renowned research institutions like Brown University’s BrainGate project.

DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016 7

Branded Snippets n China’s eagerness to become a global power has now spread to sports. Recently, President Xi Jinping, who is known as a football enthusiast, declared that he wants China to win the football World Cup within 15 years and to become a world football superpower by 2050. This has inspired wealthy Chinese investors to purchase majority interests in established international football clubs, such as Italy’s Inter Milan, Spain’s Granada and Espanyol, France’s Nice and Sochaux and Holland’s ADO Den Haag. In England, all four leading football clubs in the West Midlands – Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers – are now owned by Chinese. This can be seen as a China making good on its desire to mark its footprint on the footballing world and to display its success on the global stage. China has so far only qualified for one World Cup, that was in 2002. China’s men’s team currently sits 88th in the Fifa world rankings, out of 209 nations. The Chinese Super League has been hit by corruption in recent years, with numerous players and officials banned for match-fixing, although efforts have been made to clean up the sport.

Teng Bingsheng, associate dean and associated Professor of Strategic Management at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB).

Inter Milan president Erick Thohir (left) cheers with new club owner, Zhang Jidong, founder of the Suning home appliances chain.

Did you know … PHOTO: CKGSB


“While we can see that Chinese companies’ brand value is growing, they remain weak globally. Japanese brands that are doing well worldwide have taken more than 20 years to get to where they are today. Therefore, Chinese brands need at least another 10 years to develop themselves.”

PHOTO: InterMilan

Chinese investors on the hunt for football brands

n … that only 23 per cent of Western consumers could name a Chinese brand, and that only 32 per cent said that they had faith in products that were made in China, according to research by the brand consultancy MillwardBrown?

Chinese mobile phone brands conquer India

n In the near future, will Chinese fast food restaurant conquer the world and compete with global giants such as McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut? According to a report from Bernstein Research and Interbrand, this is a possible outcome – at least for some Chinese chains. There is a lack of global options for quick, cheap, consistent Chinese fast food, the report said, which will underpin demand for restaurant brands like Kung Fu Fast Food, Da Niang Dumpling and GLL Wontons. “The lack of a global Chinese restaurant brand is not for lack of a market: Chinese is among the most broadly appealing cuisines in the world (second only to Italian). Instead the challenge has been a logistical one, as Chinese food defies efforts to systematise the cooking process,” the report said. The three brands mentioned in the report seem to have cracked the code on consistent production, Bernstein analysts noted. Da Niang Dumpling is the only one with international branches due to its franchised model that leverages local area expertise. 8 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

PHOTO: iStock

Chinese fast food could go global

n Sales of Chinese smartphones in India are on the rise due to growing acceptance of brands like Vivo, Oppo, Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo. Xiaomi said recently that India has become its largest market outside China. Xiaomi has become the third-largest smartphone vendor in India’s top 30 cities, with a market share of 8.4 per cent, the company said, citing statistics from market research firm IDC. Vivo, another domestic smartphone brand, also aims to expand its business in India, by tripling its monthly production as well as starting online sales. Data from in August 2016 showed that Chinese smartphone brands accounted for more than 25 per cent of India’s market in terms of shipments by the end of June, up from 19 per cent at the end of 2015. “As China’s mobile phone market is somewhat saturated, it’s a right choice that domestic brands have started to explore the gigantic Indian market, which is full of opportunities as many people in India still do not own a smartphone. Our brands are looking into the future of India’s mobile phone market,” Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent tech expert, told the Global Times.

Four myths about China (4)


Does China have any real global brands?

China has built a large number of companies with high brand value. But so far, most of them still rely on their strengths in the home market. Text: Jan Hökerberg, Bamboo

Interbrand's valuation methodology hen the Chinese telecom requires that at least 30 per cent of a company Huawei brand’s revenue comes from outside its Technologies in March 2016 home market, while MillwardBrown, which announced the appointment combines consumer measures with financial of Lionel Messi, recognised as the world’s data, does not impose such requirement. best football player, to be the company's And building brands abroad is where most global brand ambassador, it was a sign of of China’s giants still struggle. real brand power. The deal was reportedly So the simple truth is that, yes, China worth some US$6 million and was has been able to build highly valuable described as the highest-paid sponsorship brands, but, no, these brands don’t to date involving a Chinese company and a have any real global power yet, with the professional global figure. exception of Huawei and Lenovo. Most “Huawei is establishing itself as a brand of the brand value comes from being a that you want to have an association with. national champion at home. Celebrities that are known worldwide, such For example, Tencent’s WeChat app is as Lionel Messi, [actress] Scarlett Johansson central to how China uses its smartphones. and Henry Cavill [an actor who played WeChat is a powerhouse, with more than Superman] have proven to be worthwhile 800 million monthly active users, a vast alliances,” says Walter Jennings, vice president majority of them in China. However, for corporate communications at Huawei. according to industry insiders, WeChat’s “Our consumer business group is also attempts at global expansion very active in the global have so far been disastrous (see fashion scene. We’re in the separate article). Vogue magazine and on the Alibaba, another brand in catwalks. Such endorsements MillwardBrown’s global Top 20, enhance your own personal Only two Chinese has its roots in China and has profile when you’re using brands qualify on clear global aspirations. It has the phone. It also makes Interbrand’s ranking acquired stakes in e-commerce it relatable to people who of the world’s best companies in India and otherwise may not have heard 100 brands – Huawei Southeast Asia. Today, however, about the brand,” he says (see on 72nd place and e-commerce accounts for less separate article). Lenovo on 99th. than 1 per cent of all commerce in countries such as Malaysia, However, take a look at Thailand and Vietnam, making Alibaba’s the brand consultancy firm Interbrand’s global reach very minimal – even if there list of the world’s best 100 global brands, might be significant growth in the future. and it is easy to conclude that most other In the West, Alibaba is mostly seen as a Chinese big brands still have a long way to stock – and not a brand – after its recordgo. Only two Chinese brands qualify for breaking US-listed initial public offering the list: Huawei at 72nd place – it is also the (IPO) in 2014. 11th fastest growing brand among the 100 – and Lenovo at 99th place. On the other hand, another leading In an article in the Harvard Business Review, “Why China Still Can’t Build global brand consultancy, MillwardBrown, Global Brands”, the authors Willem Smit presents a totally different picture in its and Michael Sorell concluded, in 2010, ranking of the world’s top brands. Among its top 100 brands, 15 are from China with Tencent (11), China Mobile (15) and Alibaba (18) all among the Top 20. The conclusion from this list is also clear – China definitely has a large number of global brands today. Estimations of brand value also differ vastly when the two rankings are compared.


that the main reason China lacks brand power is its business-to-business (B2B) focus. At that time, most of the 34 Chinese companies in the Fortune Global 500 were selling to businesses, and building brand recognition is much harder for B2B firms than for consumer companies. “Given their current position, Chinese brands are unlikely to be dominant anytime soon – even if China’s economy becomes the world’s biggest,” Smit and Sorell concluded. In the 2016 Fortune Global 500 ranking – which measures the world’s largest companies – there are 103 Chinese companies; only the US is performing better with 134 companies on the list. So it is a fact that, today, more than 20 per cent of the world’s leading companies by revenue are from China. Walmart still holds the number one position but it is now followed by three Chinese state-owned enterprises – State Grid, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Sinopec – which have surpassed traditional list-topping corporations such as Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil. Compare this to 2003 when China only had three companies in the Fortune Global 500: Sinopec (53), Baosteel (372) and Shanghai Automotive (461). Despite this quantitative growth, the perception remains that the qualitative development of Chinese companies is lagging. In the area of technology and

Huawei is establishing itself as a brand that you want to have an association with.”

So which is right and which is wrong? An explanation of the discrepancy is that the two firms’ valuation methods differ.

10 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

As China’s economy slows down after more than two decades of unparalleled growth, some observers predict that this could herald the collapse of China and that its political and economic system is unsustainable in the modern world. For this year’s four issues of Dragon News, the Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong and China will analyse some of the myths surrounding China’s future development, such as “China cannot innovate”, “the Chinese model is not sustainable”, “Hong Kong is just a part of China” and “China has no global brands”. Are these myths true or false? Read for yourself to find out.

Walter Jennings, Huawei

DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016 11

product development, Chinese companies are still widely viewed as imitators rather than innovators. In the area of marketing and branding, China is often described as lacking brand power. In the 1980’s, there was a big fear in the western world that Japanese companies were about to out-compete and buy up the rest of the world. Japan’s purchase of The Rockefeller Center, the jewel in the crown of New York real estate, caused hysteria and a lot of anti-Japanese sentiment in the US. Nevertheless, Japanese companies were successful in exporting their brands (Toyota, Honda, Canon, Nissan, Sony, Panasonic and many more) and, in the late 1980s, the South Koreans followed suit. The Koreans stumbled many times on the road to building world-class brands, but they managed to achieve their goals. Take the distinctly Asian brand name Lucky Goldstar, which was cleverly transformed into LG (Life’s Good) brand and huge conglomerates, such as Hyundai and Samsung, which have become more focused. Today, Samsung is a world leading mobile phone brand, despite its Galaxy Note 7 battery-meltdown disaster. However, even if there are similarities between China today and Japan

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Chinese brands are unlikely to be dominant anytime soon – even if China’s economy becomes the world’s biggest.” Willem Smit and Michael Sorell in Harvard Business Review (2010)

and South Korea some decades ago, there are also big differences. While it took the exporting companies of Japan and South Korea many years to build their world-class brands, the pace of globalisation is allowing China to expand beyond its borders at a historically unprecedented rate. Another difference is China’s state capitalism economy, which means that many of its largest companies are controlled by the government. Furthermore, China has a much larger domestic market than its Asian neighbours, and this market is also open for most international companies. Japan and South Korea did not welcome foreign investment in their countries on the scale that China has done. However, even if Chinese companies work fast, are goal-oriented, have learnt from international competition in their home market and have created valuable domestic brands, there are still many roadblocks to them to becoming real global brands. For example, most of them still lack experience when it comes to thinking in terms of strategy, branding and marketing. “Chinese companies undoubtedly face significant internal and external challenges when trying to build or grow truly global brands. These often include the shortage of experienced brand strategists, insufficient appreciation among senior executives of the importance of branding, the business logic of prioritising quick wins over longterm brand building efforts in fast-growing market segments, and the curse of China’s domestic market size,” says Marc Szepan, a senior policy fellow at the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics), in an article on Merics’ website. One way for Chinese companies to acquire know-how about how to position and differentiate a brand is to go the way of mergers and acquisitions. A good example is Lenovo’s acquisitions of IBM's personal computer division, including the ThinkPad brand, in 2005, and of Motorola Mobility, which was acquired from Google in 2014. Today, around 70 per cent of Lenovo’s sales are outside China. Chinese automaker Geely’s acquisition of Volvo Cars in 2010 is another example and so is the home appliances manufacturer Haier’s purchase this year of General Electric’s appliance division in the US. It can, however, also go the other way around. In 2004, the electronics

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Top global brands 2016, MillwardBrown/WPP Rank Company


Brand value (US$million)














































China Mobile
















China Construction Bank












Ping An




China Life




Agricultural Bank of China




Bank of China






















Source: BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, MillwardBrown/WPP

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firm TCL was a domestic market leader when it formed a joint venture with the French electronics firm Thomson in 2004 and took over the latter’s TV businesses, including its Thomson and RCA brands. But due to a failure to catch up with the worldwide preference for flat-panel TV sets and a lack of due attention to its European business at the early stages, the joint venture quickly became a burden on TCL, which went into the red and later had to close its European factories. Lack of professional brand management can also ruin a brand when entering global markets. The Li-Ning sportswear brand, founded by the Olympic gymnast of the same name, has not had a hit with its line of sneakers despite setting up a US headquarters in Portland, Nike's home town, and poaching a number of international stars to endorse the brand. Li-Ning was also accused of using a logo similar to Nike’s “swoosh” and a slogan similar to one used by Adidas. As one analyst said, “Li-Ning going abroad was a ‘trying to run before you can walk’ kind of thing.” Brand management is not something you learn in a crash course and can practice from day one. Achieving brand recognition in global markets can take many years – even decades. Many Chinese companies aren’t accustomed to spending the time and money necessary to sell themselves in foreign markets simply because they got their start as manufacturers making parts or equipment for another company’s final product. Adapting to the concept of added brand value is a tough mental switch to make. Other top companies have never been in a competitive environment in which branding was important. Many are state-owned enterprises that have been successful due to government assistance in one way or another. Many of China’s industries have been blessed with high growth so that success is a matter of delivering on manufacturing and distribution, not branding. In addition, most of the very large firms in China are content to compete as B2B players, where the value of branding is not obvious. For most Chinese companies, a lot of homework remains to be done when it comes to branding. b

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Best global brands 2016, Interbrand Rank Company


Brand value (US$million)



























South Korea











General Electric



















Fastest growing Chinese brands 2016 Rank Brand


Increase from 2015










China Taiping









Home appliances




Home appliances




Home appliances



China Life









Home appliances


Source: MillwardBrown/WPP

d ii S C o V E r d S C o V E diSCoVEr r European market lifts Huawei Over the past couple of years, Huawei has been making inroads in the global consumer market and is now the world’s third largest smartphone brands.

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share in countries such as Spain, Italy, Poland and Finland, according to data from the research firm GFK. “Huawei’s global strategy can be simplified into two words: ‘the pipe’. We see accelerated growth in terms of the number of people and the number of devices connected online, time spent online, video consumed online, the growth of cloud for corporate computing and the increase in highdefinition video, not just in entertainment. We see ‘the pipe’ expanding significantly. The International Data Group (IDG) forecasts a 15 trillion US dollar market transformation within the next 10 years and Huawei’s strategy is to recognise that growth of ‘the pipe’, whether you carry it, store it or display it,” says Jennings.

In just a few years, Huawei has managed to become the world’s third largest smartphone brand after Samsung and Apple. Huawei, which started its business in Shenzhen 29 years ago as a networks equipment provider, has succeeded in a sector that has seen many companies come and go over the past 10-15 years. “Huawei’s growth as a global brand is quite surprising as it historically has been a B2B company focusing on telecommunications infrastructure. However, five years ago the company separated its business into three divisions. One of them is the consumer business group, which has had The number of countries quite a success in building the brand. In 2015, around the world in we shipped more than 100 million handsets, and which Huawei is present. in October 2016 we had already achieved that


milestone,” says Walter Jennings, vice president for corporate communications at Huawei. Much of Huawei’s success with global consumers is related to the European market. In the past, Huawei’s smartphone business in Europe focused on producing so-called white label products for other European brands – in other words, it provided the phone but could not put its own brand on it. In recent years, however, the company has made a significant push into Europe with its own brand. Huawei has climbed the ranks, surpassing established brands such as Sony, LG and Microsoft. The company enjoys more than 20 per cent market

Since we are a brand inside a large company, we need to be trustworthy, understood, cooperative and open.” Walter Jennings, Huawei

18 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

While several other brands have grown through mergers and acquisitions, Huawei has focused on growing organically. “A large part of our success is the ability to operate as a unit with a unified and strong corporate culture. Huawei is known as a hard place to work at and there are no apologies for that. But Huawei is also one of the world’s largest employee-owned companies. About half of our 176,000 employees in 170 markets are shareholders in the company,” says Jennings. Huawei has gone through three phases of development. In the first decade, the company grew in the domestic China market. Then it entered the developing world, building infrastructure in places that lacked such infrastructure. The third phase was to make major inroads into the developed world. The telecommunications market is fiercely competitive, but Jennings says that Huawei shares the view of Apple, arguing that rather than taking a bigger piece of the cake, companies should make the cake bigger. “At a global management conference, our founder Mr Ren [Zhengfei] asked Huawei’s managers which competitor is most responsible for Huawei’s success. The answer was Apple. If it hadn’t been for iTunes, the iPod, the iPad, Apple TV and so on, there would not have been so much demand for digital services. Apple created new areas and that’s absolutely brilliant. That’s what we also try to do at Huawei – that is, creating new markets that don’t exist today,” says Jennings.


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Syntronic now in Chengdu For many years, Huawei was known as a rather closed and secretive Chinese privately-owned company, but it has now learned the importance of reputation, awareness and transparency. It started to embrace global media relations some five years ago. Since then, the company has drastically enhanced its communications capabilities. “Today, we operate like a public company. We publish annual reports, six-month reports, corporate social responsibility reports and so on. Since we are a brand inside a large company,

we need to be trustworthy, understood, cooperative and open. We are also an enthusiastic supporter of using professional agencies worldwide,” says Jennings who himself has a background in the public relations industry, having worked at agencies such as Kreab Gavin Anderson and Fleishman-Hillard. “I’ve been working 25 years helping multinational companies understanding China. Now, I’m helping a Chinabased company to understand the rest of the world. I find that really attractive,” he says.

Huawei at a glance Founded: In 1987 in Shenzhen by Ren Zhengfei. Turnover: CNY395,009 million (2015). Number of employees: 176,000 worldwide. Business groups: Carrier (59%), Consumer (33%), Enterprise (7%). Markets: China (42%), Europe, Middle East & Africa (32%), AsiaPacific (13%), Americas (10%). Research and development: Around 15% of the revenues (US$9.2 billion) are spent on R&D. Some 45% of staff worldwide work in R&D. High-end mobile phone model: P9 and P9 Plus, featuring cutting edge duel-lens cameras co-engineered with Leica, and an innovative biometric fingerprint technology. Sister brand: Honor, a fully functional smartphone built specifically for the developing world. The base model is priced at approximately US$70.

WhatsApp out-performs WeChat outside China Despite ambitious global brand marketing the WeChat mobile messaging app has not got its breakthrough outside China. Headquartered in Shenzhen, Tencent is one of China’s and the world’s largest internet services companies, with interests in media, entertainment, web and mobile communications, advertising, e-commerce and internet banking. In September 2016, Tencent became the most valuable company in Asia – and the company is also among the top 10 in the world by market capitalisation – that is the value of its shares on the stock market. Tencent is now in the same league of publicly traded tech companies as Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. Tencent took over the Asia title from China Mobile, and e-commerce giant Alibaba is not far behind. Tencent is best known for its gaming applications, its QQ and WeChat social networks and its online ad business. The WeChat app, or Weixin as it is called in China, is a cross-platform instant messaging service that provides text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-tomany) messaging, video conferencing, video games, sharing of photographs and videos, and location sharing. It is also widely

20 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

used in China by companies, both domestic and foreign. Tencent has had high ambitions of making WeChat a global app, but has never revealed how many active users WeChat has outside of mainland China or in any particular country. The combined Weixin and WeChat number of monthly active users (MAUs) reached 806 million in the second quarter of 2016. So the question is how many of these users can be found outside China. In 2013, Tencent launched a big global online and TV advertisement campaign for WeChat that included South American football celebrities Lionel Messi and Neymar and, in India, Bollywood stars. It was not a successful move. Tech in Asia, a media, events and jobs platform for Asia’s tech communities, even called it “a disaster”. WeChat is not even among the top 100 apps in countries such as Brazil and India, despite the ad campaign, and in most other countries WeChat is far behind the Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which both have more than 1 billion MAUs worldwide. Another obstacle for WeChat’s global expansion could be that, in most cases, its centralised servers are located inside China and all data passing through them is vulnerable to surveillance and censorship, according to Internet Monitor, a research project based at Harvard University.

Syntronic now in Chengdu Syntronic establishes a new R&D office in Chengdu now! We will continue to integrate resources and to further establishes enhance our response Syntronic a new R&D rate to customer requirements, office in Chengdu now! We will which will provideresources even more continue to integrate and efficient services to local partners. to further enhance our response This is mission for Syntronic rate to thecustomer requirements, China and wholeeven Syntronic which will the provide more group. efficient services to local partners. This is the mission for Syntronic China and the whole Syntronic group.

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Fjällräven’s CEO Martin Axelhed has lived with the company’s products ever since childhood. With a new brand centre in Hong Kong, he is now preparing for an Asian expansion.

Living with the nature TEXT: Jan Hökerberg


hen you walk Hong Kong’s crowded streets, take a bus or the metro, you will most likely spot several people wearing Fjällräven’s iconic Kånken backpacks. So in a way it is not surprising that Fjällräven chose Hong Kong for its first brand centre in the Asia-Pacific. However, the popularity of the Kånken brand was not the main reason selecting Hong Kong, explains Martin Axelhed, Fjällräven’s chief executive officer (CEO). “When we had decided to expand to Asia, we wanted a place with smooth access to northern Europe and where it’s also easy to recruit people that have a background in branding and the textile industry. Hong Kong has all of that and, furthermore, 70 per cent of Hong Kong is countryside – a lot of it country parks – giving Hongkongers many opportunities to enjoy nature and outdoor life,” he says. In September this year, Axelhed inaugurated the new Fjällräven store in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island by cutting the red ribbon, not with a pair of scissors – but with an axe ... “It has become a tradition in our company to use an axe at such occasions as a symbol of outdoor lifestyle,” he says. 22 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

We want to show that we have much more to offer than just Kånken.” Such lifestyle is nothing new for the 40year old Axelhed, who grew up outside the town of Enköping in Sweden, with a family that was devoted to outdoor life. He wasn’t even six months old when he was put on a sleigh in the snow behind a couple of polar dogs. His father was a travelling salesman in Sweden for Fjällräven, so Axelhed has known the company’s products more or less his whole life. He recalls that, as a young child, he wore a green Kånken backpack. Even when he served in the armed forces as part of a ranger battalion in the far north of Sweden, he was allowed by his commanding officer to use new Fjällräven products, such as backpacks, sleeping-bags and camping stoves, for testing purposes in a harsh winter climate. Shortly after Axelhed had started studying economics at Stockholm University, he got a phone call from the legendary founder of Fjällräven, Åke Nordin, who asked if Axelhed would like to take over his own father’s job since he had just left the company. Axelhed had met Nordin several times and decided to take the chance, even if it meant that he had to give up not only his studies but also a relationship with a young woman who was unamused by the idea that her boyfriend would be away for weeks at a time, selling Fjällräven products in northern Sweden. “After a while, I noticed that Åke had big plans for me, since he encouraged me to take on many other duties in the company, not just sales,” says Axelhed. “It was a tough time, though, travelling in the evenings and working by day. When I asked Åke for a raise, he said he was doing me a favour with my salary because if I had more money I would live beyond my means ...” However, Nordin soon gave Axelhed yet more responsibilities – for example in product development and marketing – and the two of them made many trips to Asia together, visiting suppliers. “Travelling with Åke, who was both founder and CEO, meant that we were together the whole time, sharing hotel rooms,

buses, trains, taxis, and so on. During these trips, he related his thoughts about the company’s culture and philosophy to me. Later one day, when we were back in Sweden, he asked me if I would be ready to run the company he had built when the time came. I said yes,” Axelhed recalls.

Kong office and brand centre will be a hub for its Asian expansion. “We want to show that we have much more to offer than just Kånken,” he says and reveals the company’s plans to launch the trekking event Fjällräven Classic in Hong Kong. In Sweden, this is an annual 110-kilometre-long hike spanning five days in northern Sweden that attracts some 2,200 hikers that bring their own tents and camping stoves. “In October 2017, we will organise a similar event in Hong Kong. It will be limited to 50 kilometres so it can be done over a weekend, but still include camping overnight,” says Axelhed.

This was in 2004, the same year that Axelhed married his wife, Annika. Today, the couple have three children: Pontus, 11, Ebba, nine, and Jakob, seven. They live close to nature in a house on the island of Ekerö, a municipality not far from Stockholm City, which offers many opportunities to go cycling, skiing – both cross-country and downhill – The popularity of Kånken is quite exceptional since it is a product that was first and to enjoy outdoor life. launched almost 40 years ago and its squareIn the years prior to that, Fjällräven sized design has been unchanged since. Åke had made several acquisitions and formed a Nordin’s original intention was to create a holding company called Fenix Outdoor. backpack that protected By 2005, the position school children’s backs. Fjällräven CEO became “It has always been a available and Axelhed – bestseller in Sweden but only 29 at the time – was over the past five years we’ve appointed. He is now also The year when the iconic noticed a huge increase in one of three deputy CEOs Kånken backpack was launched. popularity simultaneously for Fenix Outdoor, which in North America, is led by the founder’s son, continental Europe and many Asian markets. Martin Nordin. We haven’t marketed it as a fashion product, During Axelhed’s leadership, both but it has been used by many opinion leaders Fjällräven and Fenix have expanded, with and celebrities, such as the singer Madonna’s more brands and retail chains in Finland children. I think it has become so popular and Germany. Fjällräven has launched brand because it represents Scandinavian simplicity centres, with stores in the US, some European and it is also very ergonomic,” says Axelhed. countries and now in Asia. Fjällräven does “We want to develop sustainable, not own any factories; rather, it buys from functional and timeless products,” he says. suppliers and uses distributors for the sales “Everybody works with sustainability and and marketing in various countries. functionality today, but to develop a product that remains popular year after year is much Even though Fjällräven has had a more difficult. We don’t want to launch a presence in Japan for more than 20 years and product if we don’t expect it to live for at least is also present in South Korea and China, 10 years.” b Axelhed strongly believes that the Hong


Facts about Fjällräven Founded: In 1960, by Åke Nordin in his basement in the Swedish town of Örnsköldsvik. Fjällräven is Swedish for the arctic fox. Annual turnover: EUR459 million 2015 (Fenix Outdoor). Employees worldwide: 2,200 (Fenix Outdoor). Well-known products: The Greenland jacket (first developed in 1968) and the Kånken – pronounced kóng-ken – backpack (from 1978 – the name refers to a Swedish expression for carrying, kånka). Brands: The holding company Fenix Outdoor markets five brands – Fjällräven (backpacks, tents, sleeping-bags, outdoor apparel), Tierra (sweaters, jackets, trousers), Primus (camping stoves, lanterns), Hanwag (boots, shoes) and Brunton (compasses, portable power). Retail: Fjällräven has 16 stores in the US, two in Norway, one in Holland and one in Hong Kong. Fenix Outdoor owns three retail chains – Naturkompaniet, Partioaitta and Globetrotter – that have 60 stores altogether in Sweden, Finland and Germany.

DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016 23

The diplomat

Photo: Regeringskansliet

Anna Lindstedt with parts of her family and friends at the Great Wall.

I got a reputation of being a person who can spread some happiness and optimism in this often almost destructive atmosphere.”

Anna Lindstedt at the inauguration of a Scandinavian centre in Jingdezhen in Jiangsu Province, known as a porcelain capital in China.

An ambassador with a ‘sunshine’ spirit About a year ago, Anna Lindstedt was part of the outcome of the global Paris agreement on climate change. Her knowledge about environmental issues is a valuable experience in her new job as Sweden’s ambassador to China. Text: Jan Hökerberg


hen Anna Lindstedt served as Sweden’s ambassador for climate change and chief negotiator in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) between 2011 and 2016, she was sometimes called “Ms Sunshine” by other delegates because of her positive spirit during the negotiations. “Everybody who has worked with climate change negotiations know that there can be a rather aggressive mood in the meetings in which all countries in the world need to agree. Instead, I tried to always have the ambition to find solutions that would lead to a global agreement. So I got a reputation of being a person who can spread some happiness and optimism in this often almost destructive atmosphere,” says Lindstedt, who in April 2016 was appointed Sweden’s new ambassador to China. On 1 September, Lindstedt took office at the embassy in the Sanlitun area of Beijing, where she also has her residence. Her husband Anders, who is a teacher, and their four children Daniel, 24, Valdemar, 21, Astrid, 19, and Edith, 17, will stay in Europe for the first year, after which Anders and perhaps some of the children will join. Lindstedt grew up in Lund, a university city in southern Sweden. At the university,

24 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

she studied languages, political science, economics and international relations. She holds a diploma of French language and literature from the Sorbonne in Paris and also studied at a school of journalism, not far from Lund. In the 1980s, she worked as a journalist for five years at a couple of regional Swedish newspapers before joining the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1990. Her diplomatic career took her to Indonesia, as second secretary at Sweden’s embassy in Jakarta, and to Islamabad in Pakistan, where she served as first secretary. In 2003, she was appointed ambassador to Vietnam and lived there until 2006, when she moved to Mexico City to serve as ambassador for five years. Lindstedt has always had a passion for languages, which she sees as an important tool to get insight into a country’s culture. “I learnt Bahasa when I lived in Indonesia. In Pakistan, I studied Urdu and I also studied some Vietnamese in Hanoi. Spanish I knew already when I came to Mexico. Now I’ve started to study Chinese, and that is another great challenge,” she says. Her background in Asia and her recent years as ambassador for climate change has given her a wide range of knowledge that will be useful in her new job. “In the climate

change negotiations, we had a close dialogue with the Chinese negotiators and I visited Beijing several times in my job,” she says, citing an example. To work as a negotiator is very different from having an ambassador’s job. Negotiations can be very intense and go on until late at night – or even for 24 hours. There are many power struggles between people with differing opinions. In December 2015, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris finally reached a global agreement on the reduction of climate change, with 196 countries attending. “Having been a part of such an important global agreement as the one which was reached in Paris feels very meaningful – not many people will experience that. It was a tough job, but also very interesting – and a success for both Sweden and the world,” says Lindstedt. “I recently met with Australia’s ambassador in Beijing, who has also worked with the climate change negotiations. We both agreed that if someone has gone through tough negotiations such as these over five years, then you will be able to handle almost everything. So I feel quite prepared for being ambassador to China, which is one of the most exciting jobs a diplomat can have, since it is important not only for Sweden but also for the whole world,” she says.

Having been a part of such an important global agreement as the one which was reached in Paris feels very meaningful – not many people will experience that.” In her new job, it is Lindstedt’s ambition to “keep and strengthen the deep relationship between Sweden and China”. Sweden was the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in May 1950 – 66 years ago. “I will use a strategic approach in my work to find more possible cooperation in areas such as environmental technology and food safety, where Sweden can offer many solutions,” Lindstedt says. “However, we can also learn from how China works with innovation and other issues. It is exciting to be in a country where the development goes so fast in so many areas – for example, within renewable energy,” she adds. Lindstedt hopes that China will continue its economic reform programme, try to solve issues connected to the environment such as

air pollution and transform its energy system from fossil fuels to renewables. “There is definitely a consciousness among the Chinese leaders that the reform process must continue,” she says. b Five ambassadors in 20 years Over the past 20 years, as China has undergone historically unparalleled development, Sweden has had five ambassadors to China: 1997-2002: Kjell Anneling 2002-2006: Börje Ljunggren 2006-2010: Mikael Lindström 2010-2016: Lars Fredén 2016- : Anna Lindstedt

DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016 25

Security in China This is the eighth article in a series about risk and security-related challenges in China, describing a number of actual cases. We analyse the problems, the solutions, and how the problems could have been avoided.

This is an advertisement from PSU.

“The credibility for a management team and, not least, for a brand is all about the ability to prevent and prepare.”


Lars-Åke Severin, PSU China

Act preventatively to minimise risk Scandinavian companies tend to just look at opportunities and ignore risks when they do business in China. This can be disastrous for their operations and lead to financial losses.


few years ago, a larger Scandinavian company acquired a Chinese company in Jiangsu Province. As usual in mergers and acquisitions, financial due diligence was carried out and after that the deal was done. However, what the foreign-owned company missed out on was investigating the ownership structure of the Chinese company. After about half a year, the Scandinavian company began to suspect that something was wrong in the relationships between the former owner and some of the leading suppliers. The security consultancy firm PSU China was assigned to do an investigation and found, through an in-depth professional

background search using open sources, that the former owner of the acquired company had ownership interests in the three most important supplier companies. The result of this – after the acquisition – was that the company received less goods than they paid for. Those in the acquired company that received the goods from the suppliers were paid off to hide the fraud in the company’s documents. The Scandinavian company’s estimated loss was between 25 and 30 million yuan before they Lars-Åke could clean up the mess. “If the company had paid just Severin

a half per cent of that amount to make an indepth study of the ownership structure before the acquisition it could have avoided losing all those millions,” says Lars-Åke Severin, chief executive officer (CEO) of PSU China. PSU’s experience of working in the security area in China for 10 years has taught it that many foreign-owned companies’ problems and financial losses could have been avoided if the companies had acted more preventatively to minimise risk. “Scandinavian companies tend to just look at opportunities and ignore risks when they do business in China. It’s totally opposite to how they would normally act in, for example, Russia. There, it’s natural when you do business to also involve risk prevention,” says Severin. He believes that this is

because many generations of Scandinavians have grown up seeing Russia as a threat, while China has been too far away and a country that most Scandinavians have known little about until recent decades. A big part of PSU’s assignments in China are in some way connected with crisis management. It could be disturbances with a supplier, an employee who is guilty of fraud or employees distrusting the top managers who haven’t been able to handle crises in a satisfying way. In most of these cases, the problems could have been avoided, or at least minimised, if the company had acted in a preventive way. It could also involve how foreign-owned companies act when key personnel are visiting China. In general, many headquarters in Europe have a naïve view about China. They send their board directors and executive management teams to China. Since they often have an exaggerated positive view about the business climate in China, they can often easily miss information about the real situation beneath the surface. “To arrange such visits for the company’s key personnel and just focus on

transportation, hotels and restaurants means creating risks that could become disastrous if the company has not ensured access of a security function that include, for example, emergency medical treatment,” says Severin. Because of the traffic jams in China’s big cities, it could take between half an hour and several hours before an ambulance can come and provide qualified treatment. It is also a well-known fact that foreigners are not allowed to be admitted in many Chinese hospitals. Ever since PSU was founded in 2006, the company has provided for its clients special security teams with medical training and qualified emergency equipment. These teams can follow visiting key personnel discretely in the background from when they land until they depart.

These are some conclusions about what a foreign-owned company in China should consider when thinking preventatively to protect its operations. • Risk evaluations of key suppliers and when recruiting key personnel should be carried out through a professional in-depth search and background control. A strategic procurement without careful risk evaluation of shortlisted candidates should never occur. To just trust gut feeling and what other people have said about a supplier or a person is not only foolish but could also be critical for the company. • If a company has not prepared itself well for certain situations – for example, to shut down a facility or terminate a supplier’s contract – it could create totally unnecessary chain reactions that will damage the company’s operational ability. • Do not expose board directors or executive management team members to risks when they are visiting China. Rather, ensure that a special security team with medical training and qualified emergency equipment can discretely be in the background during the visit.

The purpose of preventative arrangements is to minimise risks, both for the individuals and the operations. “These are investments that can really pay off. The credibility for a management team and, not least for a brand is all about the ability to prevent and prepare. The one who has not only the best plan but also alternatives to use will be the successful one in the long term,” says Severin.

Facts about PSU PSU was established in 2006 and is one of the leading security consultancy firms in China, with offices in Beijing and Shanghai. PSU has strategic partnerships in Asia, Europe and the US. We protect our clients’ most valuable assets: people, brands, reputations and business operations. Our support and advice enables clients to manage the security, operational and integrity risks that come with doing business internationally. PSU creates value through preventive strategies and actions. PSU also optimises clients’ businesses by identifying and reducing risk, and by providing support in the form of operational resources during natural disasters, operational challenges and other disruptions to business. Beijing PSU (China) Consulting Co, Ltd B201, North 01 Business Building, No 2 Jiuxianqiao Road Chaoyang District Beijing 100015 PR China Tel: +86 10 5130 5675 Fax: +86 10 5130 5676

Shanghai PSU (China) Consulting Co, Ltd Room 502, Building B, Far East International Plaza, No 317 Xianxia Road Changning District Shanghai 200051 PR China Tel: +86 21 5212 5970 Fax: +86 21 5212 5972

This is Sweden

Let’s celebrate!

The bearer of light There is something very magical about the morning of 13 December – at least if you are Swedish.

Below are some of the holidays, or other celebrated days, in Sweden in the coming months. Tuesday 13 December: Luciadagen (Lucia Day, not a holiday). Wednesday 21 December: Vintersolståndet (Winter Solstice, not a public holiday). Saturday 24 December: Julafton (Christmas Eve). Sunday 25 December: Juldagen (Christmas Day). Monday 26 December: Annandag jul (Boxing Day). Saturday 31 December: Nyårsafton (New Year’s Eve, de facto a holiday). Sunday 1 January: Nyårsdagen (New Year’s Day). Friday 6 January: Trettondedag jul (Epiphany).

28 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

Photo: Lena Granefelt/

Upcoming Swedish holidays

Photo: Helena Wahlman/


s snow is perhaps dusting the rooftops bright white, Swedes gather in the early morning, two weeks before Christmas, to celebrate Lucia – the “bearer of light”, better known in English as Saint Lucy. With a crown of candles in her hair – usually battery-powered for younger children – Lucia and her choir, a procession made up by handmaidens, star boys and little Santa Clauses, bring light to kindergartens, schools, offices and also the national TV channel in Sweden. In the old calendar, the night of Lucia was the longest and most dangerous of the year, as supernatural creatures were believed to emerge from the shadows. By morning, the farmers needed extra strength and several breakfasts were consumed, the first of which was usually a big shot of brännvin – Sweden’s “vodka”. This was followed by the bun that today is known as the saffron-flavoured, cat-shaped “Lucia cat”. The celebrations of today, with a candle-crowned Lucia, began in the castles of western Sweden, in the mid-18th century. In 1927, a Stockholm newspaper elected Stockholm’s first official Lucia, making the tradition popular nationwide. Since then, girls of all ages have competed to become the Lucia of their schools and hometowns. The legend of Lucia can be traced back to St Lucia of Syracuse, a martyr who died in 304, and Lucias of today often wear red silk ribbons around their waists as St Lucia was executed with a sword. Although we have dropped the morning shot of brännvin in our modern version of Lucia celebration, the magical feeling of the Lucia morning is etched into every Swede’s memories. Wherever Swedes go in the world, the tradition of Lucia follows and as the Swedish expat communities grow, so do the Lucia celebrations worldwide. b

Photo: Cecilia Larsson-Lantz/

TEXT: Lina Falk,

On 10 October 1996, Bamboo was founded in Hong Kong, and in 2002, as the first agency of our kind in China, we set up shop in Shanghai. Twenty years on in Hong Kong and 14 years on in China, we’re still here and still going strong. Our services and products have changed over the years but our philosophy – to develop high-quality solutions to satisfy demanding customer needs in branding, marketing and communications – remains the same. Read more at our newly launched website, Bamboo Business Communications Ltd (Hong Kong) +852 2838 4553 Bamboo Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co, Ltd +86 21 6472 9173 BRANDING, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS | CONTENT MARKETING DIGITAL, MOBILE AND SOCIAL | PRINT AND DIGITAL DESIGN | VIDEO | CUSTOM PUBLISHING REGIONAL AGENCY PARTNER | PR, MEDIA AND EVENTS | BRAND MANAGEMENT

In 2013, Will York (left) and Thomas Gaestadius decided to become business partners.

festival was held in major cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Gaestadius’s passion for music led him to open up an underground electronic nightclub called White Rabbit, which was successful until the government decided to shut it down in 2009. This was his first major setback, but he was not yet ready to just hang up his gloves. He went on to open another White Rabbit in Sanlitun, which remained open for one and a half years. He then moved on and opened yet another night club called Haze, while simultaneously dabbling in the meat industry by producing sausages and brewing beer on the side. Amidst all of this, there was always a silver lining for Gaestadius. “I was very close to giving up after Haze, but because I did something on the side that also was my hobby and a passion, it naturally grew into a business. It was different from my previous ventures, and this helped me keep on going,” he says.

Entertaining T Beijing at night TEXT: Stella Sandberg,

Thomas Gaestadius went from teaching to opening night clubs, restaurants and beer breweries in Beijing. Now, the whole of China and even Europe is on the horizon. 30 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

homas Gaestadius first arrived in China in 2004 as a student working on his Master’s thesis. He immediately fell in love with the country, and especially with the food. He was fascinated by all the different flavours China had to offer. By the time he returned to Sweden after writing his thesis, Gaestadius already had his sights set on all the business opportunities that China had to offer. When the university he had worked with in Beijing offered him a teaching position, he immediately decided to take them up on the offer. Although he was working as a teacher, Gaestadius did not stray away from his vision that he would one day be doing something that he loved and making money while doing it. He knew that in order to become successful and find his rhythm in the business world, he would have to first find the perfect business opportunity. But with every opportunity comes hurdles and difficulties that have to be overcome. His first chance came as an event planner as he loved electronic music. He pulled in musicians from across Sweden and other Scandinavian countries to play in a music festival that he organised with friends and with the help of the Swedish embassy. The

In 2013, Gaestadius met up with successful business owner and long-time friend Will York, who had a knack for brewing beer. They decided to become business partners. They started brewing beer on the side, while putting their emphasis on making quality sausages, which led to the establishment of the restaurant known as Stuff’d – it is still, today, doing great business. Having tasted success, Gaestadius went on to broaden his business spectrum by opening a taproom called Arrow Factory to cater for increased customer interest. “Owning a restaurant and a brewery in China is quite different from doing so in other countries – people don’t just come for beers here; they also come for good quality food,” says Gaestadius. He has to cater not only to the tastes of foreign customers but also to those of Chinese, whom he describes as “very loyal”. Earlier this year, Gaestadius and York opened up a new Arrow Factory and restaurant in Liangmahe. With that new business, the partners went from brewing batches of 150 litres of beer to 1,000 litres – a huge milestone for the company. “At the new place, the food and beer are equally important, and there is no emphasising one over the other,” Gaestadius says. Through all the experience he has gained on his journey to success, he is adamant that to become successful in China as a business owner, it is essential to first have a plan and to have thoroughly researched the

“Owning a restaurant and a brewery in China is quite different from doing so in other countries,” says Thomas Gaestadius.

You can’t just bring a bag of money – you have to have a vision and a plan.”

kind of business you want to establish before making any decisions. “You can’t just bring a bag of money – you have to have a vision and a plan,” he says, adding that he would also like to expand his horizons by tapping into the European market. Getting where he is today has not been easy, but he says he never gave up, despite the challenges. By striving for the best at all times, he has emerged as a fixture in China’s business community. With his wife and his newly born daughter Matilda at his side, Gaestadius is now working with his partner on the next goal – to take their beer to every corner of China, and then to Europe. b

Thomas Gaestadius in brief Age: 40. Occupation: Part-owner of Arrow Factory and Stuff’d From: Gothenburg, Sweden Lives: In Beijing Best thing about Beijing: “In Beijing you can encounter food and flavours from all over China.” Worst thing about Beijing: “Beijing is beautiful when there is no pollution.” Favourite beer: The Bitter End rye pale ale.

DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016 31

Hong Kong

What we need to know about China n At a fully booked SwedCham Hong Kong breakfast seminar at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club on 21 September, the 75 guests had the opportunity to listen to two distinguished China analysts as speakers: W John Hoffmann, cofounder and principal of Exceptional Resources Group (XRG) and Willy Lam Wo-lap, adjunct professor at the Chinese University’s Centre for China Studies. The seminar, titled “China Realities – What we really need to know about China”, was co-hosted by six other chambers in Hong Kong. “There are only four things you really need to know about China,” said Hoffmann, elaborating that they are: China’s economic growth, its social cohesion, its relations with Taiwan and China’s international relations. Hoffmann, who is also the co-editor of the book China into the Future – Making Sense of the World’s Most Dynamic Economy (Wiley 2008), said that China’s growth is so important for the global economy that if China’s economy were to collapse tomorrow, no combination of emerging markets would be able to fill the gap. He said that international relations play a major role in China today, with initiatives such as the One Belt, One Road scheme, and concluded that there are now two major ecosystems in the world: one led by the US and other developed countries and the other led by China with all the developing nations. Lam, who recently published Chinese Politics in the Era of Xi Jinping – Renaissance, Reform or Regression? (Routledge 2015) – said that he strongly believed that Xi Jinping will stay as China’s president until 2027, which would mean three terms instead of the normal two. “He has just passed his 63rd birthday and in a Chinese context he is just a ‘spring chicken’,” Lam commented.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club was filled up with guests that wanted to listen to John Hoffmann and Willy Lam.

Helena Helmersson gave plenty of pragmatic advice.

Getting inspired by sustainability issues n On 5 October, H&M’s head of global production, Helena Helmersson, led a truly inspirational breakfast seminar for members of SwedCham Hong Kong. The theme for the seminar was “10 Insights for Sustainable Leadership” and the venue at EQT’s office in Hong Kong was packed with interested listeners, who learned about everything from sustainable leadership to supply-chain management. Helmersson’s seminar was highly appreciated for her inspirational touch and her pragmatic advice on multiple topics.

Innovation and digitalisation n In a time when technology is developing faster than ever, it is crucial to create an innovative company culture and keep up with digital opportunities. Therefore, the Nordic chambers arranged a panel discussion on Digitalisation and Innovation on 2 November, sponsored by Nordea. Hanna Hallin, a former executive director of the Swedish civil society thinktank Sektor 3, led the discussion with a panel of experts from companies utilising modern technologies in creative ways. “What really is creativity?” and “How does the future of digitalisation look?” were two questions among many others that were discussed during the highly interactive session. One of the key takeaways from the discussions was that digitalisation and innovation can positively spur each other. By gradually digitalising operations that were previously undertaken manually, a greater emphasis can be put on creative innovation.

32 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

The panel members were (from left) Torbjörn Dimblad, Sari Arho Havrén, Anita Vogel and Hanna Hallin.



Swedish language classes for Chinese students n For many years, the Swedish chambers in both Beijing and Shanghai have been organising Swedish language classes. This autumn in Beijing, two courses in Swedish have been running – with eight students in total – every Saturday for almost seven weeks. One course is for beginners and one is an intermediate course. The aim is to help the students to use their Swedish as naturally as possible in different kinds of situations, by making their speaking skills more fluent and accurate. The interest has been steady for quite a few years now. The groups, led by the Swedish teacher Annika Ljungwall, are small, which enhances the learning process. And of course, a traditional coffee break (fika) is included in the curriculum.

We are catalysts of evolutionary development ... customer by customer, order by order. Every customer is unique and our role is to make their logistics more efficient in every way, every day. Chinese students are learning Swedish at the Swedish chamber.

Beware of using agents for Sweden visa n On a regular basis, the chamber offers its members a briefing on visas to Sweden and the Schengen area. On an October morning, Andreas Edevald, second secretary at the Embassy of Sweden, visited the chamber and guided some 20 members through news and regulations about applying for a visa to Sweden. Interest in visiting Sweden has increased this year, which can be attributed more or less exclusively to tourism. The embassy had already, over the first 10 months of the year, received more applications than during the whole year of 2015. From May 2016, it has been possible to apply for a Swedish Schengen visa at 10 visa centres all over China. Edevald explained that the embassy’s migration section had initiated an anti-fraud project due to the fact that many false

documents have been detected in the visa process – mainly when agents were involved in the application process. Edevald highly recommended not using agents, but instead doing it yourself – it is not hard but slightly time consuming, he said. Furthermore, Edevald talked about the Bona Fide system – a kind of short track to facilitate the visa application procedure for companies with numbers of staff travelling to Sweden and with an established trust between the company and the diplomatic authority. It is open for all companies but is generally reserved as a service for companies with a certain number of applications.

Andreas Edevald has seen an increased number of visa applications to Sweden.

What the supply-side reform will mean for China

Andrew Polk talks about China’s need of boosting production and cutting overcapacity.

34 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

n The economist Andrew Polk of Medley Global Advisers held a presentation about one of China’s most important recent initiatives; namely its supply-side structural reforms. The original concept dates back from former US president Ronald Reagan’s reform agenda in the US, which he dubbed supply-side reform. The Chinese reforms are slightly different but aim to boost productivity, cut overcapacity and reduce the country’s reliance on infrastructure spending. This is a very welcome reform agenda as it targets increased productivity growth. Polk explained how these reforms are to be implemented and what consequences they will have for the Chinese economy. He also touched upon what implications the US election will have for China going forward.


How organisations can combine efficiency and innovation n On Tuesday 27 September, the chamber invited its members to an interesting breakfast seminar with Katarina Stetler, consultant and strategist at Kairos Future. The theme for the seminar was “Ambidexterity – how organisations can combine efficiency and innovation”. Most organisations see innovation as a key success factor for long-term survival. At the same time, as organisations renew themselves and search for new business opportunities, it is crucial to keep efficiency levels high. That’s where ambidexterity, or the ability to do any task equally well with either hand, comes in. This was a great opportunity to explore the challenges that companies face balancing innovation and creativity with efficiency levels and the audience discussed this topic at length after the presentation finished.

Katarina Stetler talks about being more creative and efficient at the same time.

Improve your collaboration skills

As a senior administrative law judge for the State of California for 25 years Jim Tamm has mediated almost 2,000 employment disputes.

First joint after-work mingle n On Friday 11 November, the first joint after-work mingle between the Swedish Young Professionals and the Swedish chamber saw some 60 people gather in the dimmed setting of The Cannery in Shanghai. After receiving very positive feedback, the initiative looks set to become a regular happening.

36 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

n Close to 40 people from the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the Finnish Business Council and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce came along to an evening seminar on 9 November to learn about the skills necessary for better collaboration at work. The speaker was Jim Tamm, a former judge and an expert in building collaborative workplace environments, with 40 years of experience in the field of alliance building and conflict resolution. This seminar left many people reflecting on their own behaviour and the working environments that they are in, as Tamm asked the audience to reflect and discuss topics together. This seminar was much appreciated and Tamm provided the audience with some useful facts and advice on how to improve their collaboration skills.

Forty-three founding members

The sustainable 13 members

Thirty years ago, these were the founding members of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Founding member company

Company representative

Advokatfirman Vinge AB

Björn Aschan

Aktiebolaget Cellulosa- och Pappersproducenter

Bengt Ek

Allen Chui

Atlas Copco (Hong Kong) Ltd

Thomas Kung

Axel Johnson Corp (Hong Kong) Ltd

Alfred Ip

Cimbria Motors Ltd

Ralf D Seifert

Dobber International Ltd

Kenneth Kwan

Ekpac China Ltd

Leif G Sjöholm

Electrolux (Far East) Ltd

Jan Forssio

Elof Hansson (Hong Kong) Ltd

Rune Svensson

Ericsson Communications (HK) Ltd

Olof Haag


BK Chng

Gadelius (Hong Kong) Ltd

Bengt Arvin


Bo Ekander

H&M Hennes & Mauritz (Far East) Ltd

Ted Wachtmeister

IKEA Trading Hong Kong Ltd

Ulf Ljungdahl

IMAC Far East Ltd

Jerry Engberg

Kamewa AB

Tore Liverød

Kanthal Electroheat HK Ltd

Stig Swärd

Kemklen Industrial Supplies Ltd

KH Kwong

Kinsan Collections Ltd

Karl Engdahl

Kooperativa Förbundet

Henning Johansen

Lawe William (China Trade) Ltd

Lawe William

Marinteknik International Ltd

John Warbey

PK Christiania (Hong Kong) Ltd

Lars Isaksson

Sara Hotel Management (Far East) Ltd

Jonny Jemnemo

Scandinavian Airlines System

Anders Larsson

Scandinavian Far East Ltd

Pedro Ekeroth

ScanDutch Ltd

Rudy Schats

Skandia International Insurance Corp

Lars Wesslau

Skanska AB

Gösta Jansson

SKF Steel AB

Maria Jones

Stabilator AB

Anders N Thelin

SUKAB (China) Ltd

Sylvia Yau Siu-fee

Svecia East Ltd

Wilson Yu

Svenska Handelsbanken

Rolf Magnusson

Swedish Motors Ltd

Christer Agell

Swedish Trading Co Ltd

Torsten Rasborn

Tetra Pak China Ltd

Lars Göran Andersson

38 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

Post your openings and find new talents


ASSAB Steels (Hong Kong) Ltd


Bengt Sjöberg


ASG (Hong Kong) Ltd

The Career Portal offers good opportunities to find and recruit talents. CM

Bo Backström


ASEA Hagglunds (Hong Kong) Ltd


John Kempster


Christer Tullberg


n The Shanghai office of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China moved to a new location on 1 November and is now a proud guest of member company The Executive Center’s serviced office on the fifth floor at 159 Madang Road. Conveniently located, close to Xintiandi, these new premises are intended to offer easier and more spontaneous access to the chamber for all members. Feel free to drop by! Address: 5/F, 159 Madang Road, North Block, Huangpu District Telephone: 021-6135 7260

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong would particularly like to thank the following 13 founding companies that have been loyal members of the chamber over all these 30 years.


Alfa Laval (Hong Kong) Ltd

New chamber office in Shanghai

n The Career Portal at is a unique possibility for the Swedish chambers’ member companies to find and recruit talents. Launched in 2016, in conjunction with the Swedish Career Fair, it is curated by the Swedish Young Professionals. Submission of postings is free of charge for our members – simply contact Office manager Marianne Westerback enjoys the new premises.

Jenni Tinworth

DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016 39


party of the century! W

hen the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong was planning its 30th anniversary it said that turning 30 requires the party of the century! So, on 19 November more than 200 members of the chamber and distinguished guests travelled to Studio City in Macau, to celebrate SwedCham HK turning 30 years. Inspired by James Bond’s secret missions in Macau, the theme was evident: Casino Royale. The evening started out in the beautiful French Garden, where a culinary experience began in the environs of the the impressive Studio City Hotel. The cocktails were an art of their own, with drinks from Ganjal created by the Swedish bartender, or “mixologist”, Oskar Johansson. They were all shaken, not stirred, of course ... The guests also enjoyed canapes from Carelian Caviar and champagne sponsored by MIQ Logistics. After cocktails, incredible cheese from Almenäs Bruk and arcade gun-gaming, the dinner took place in the Grand Ballroom. Restaurateur Björn Frantzén truly lived up to his reputation as a Michelin 2-star chef. The five-course dinner had an awesome touch of Swedish culture (seared scallops topped with spruce shoots was a hit with diners). Looking like Mr Bond himself, with a glass of martini in his hand, Antony Phillips did a marvellous job as MC. Guests who were experts on SwedCham trivia and knew their Bond movies enjoyed gifts from Daniel Wellington, Helen and Arne Lindman, Baumgarten Di Marco and Skogsberg & Smart. When the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest winner Måns Zelmerlöf and his band took to the stage the ballroom transformed into a concert and the dance floor became crowded with singers and dancers. After encores and even more dancing, the nightclub Pacha offered an after-party with drinks and vickning (midnight meal). The party lasted until the wee hours and some guests even saw the sunrise. A huge thank you to our generous sponsors, who assisted in making the evening as fantastic as it was. Special thanks go to Diamond sponsor SAS for flying Måns Zelmerlöf and the band across the globe. A great thank you to H&M, Pear & Carrot, Scania and Greencarrier for being amazing Golden Eye sponsors. We are truly grateful for our Quantum of Silver sponsors: Swedavia, Volvo, Asian Tigers, Ericsson, Handelsbanken, Envac, Nordea Private Banking, IKEA and House Hunters. Last, but definitely not least, we would like to extend our warmest appreciation to Kristoffer Luczak and his team for all the help at Studio City. We are already looking forward to turning 40 and to invite you all again! b 40 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016 41




AWA Asia Room 901, 9/F, The Lee Garden One 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Tel: +852 3959 8880 Web:

About us AWA Asia is part of the Awapatent Group, an intellectual property focused firm which is more than 100 years old and has 16 offices worldwide, including China (Beijing), Hong Kong, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. In February 2015, the Awapatent Group expanded its footprint to Asia, through the launch of our twin Asian offices in Hong Kong and Beijing. Awa Asia knows the value of protecting your ideas, brands and innovations. To enable your business to effectively compete and thrive, we safeguard your most valuable assets by asserting and defending your intellectual property rights. In both Hong Kong and Beijing, we can handle all aspects of IP portfolio management directly before the Hong Kong IP Department and China Trademark Office. Chamber representatives Camilla Ojansivu Underhill Intellectual Property Specialist/BD Manager Email: Ai-Leen Lim, CEO and Principal Counsel Email:


About us CellMark Medical offers a hassle-free trading platform for global entrepreneurs in the medical industry. Our digital trading platform helps medical device manufacturers and distributors identify the right partner, stimulating growth and profitability in a highly competitive market place. CellMark Medical also increases the transparency between manufacturers and end users, giving unprecedented insights into market needs and ultimately benefiting product management and the development of new products.

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About us Bringing new and antiques together, Antique Scandinavia is a Hong Kong-based e-commerce company catering to the Chinese market. We import and deal in items from the early 16th Century all the way up to the mid-1900s. Antique Scandinavia was born out of a shared passion for antiques by the founders Stefan and Casper Oldén, Anthony Greenwood and Johannes Källström. The team has a genuine and life-long expertise of valuing, buying and selling of antique pieces and art from European sources. Among our customer base are famous auction houses, such as Bukowskis, Stockholms Stadsauktioner (one of the oldest in the world), Christie’s, Lots Road London and Criterion Auctions of London. Chamber representative Casper Oldén, Asia Manager Email:


CellMark Medical Unit 2101, Windsor House 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2837 9811 Web:

Chamber representative Alex Wong, Vice President, Business Development APAC Email:

Antique Scandinavia Unit 408B, Lippo Sun Plaza 28 Canton Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: +852 3955 1171 Web:



Ripple Effect Consultancy Limited Room 701, Wah Yuen Building 149 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852 9151 0135 Web:

About us Ripple Effect Consultancy is a Hong Kong-based digital and business solutions company providing a range of services to advance companies’ growth and manage change in this fastmoving, complex and connected world. Bringing together 47 years of combined experience, Ripple Effect offers five core services: digital solutions, business solutions, market intelligence, change management and business enablement. Additional services include media and content distribution representation, technology and products representation, marketing communications, PR and event marketing. Chamber representatives Jens Wernborg, Co-founder Email: Gushi Sethi, Co-founder Email:

1 2

Swedish banking in China We feel at home in the Chinese market and want you to feel the same. It’s a large and fastgrowing market. As a result, more and more Scandinavian companies need banking solutions, such as cash management, financing in local and foreign currencies, trade finance and treasury solutions in China. We’ll help you – bringing our 25 years of experience of business in China. If you have the opportunity, please visit us in Shanghai where we’ve been located since 2001.

Swedbank Shanghai Citigroup Tower 601, 33 Huayuanshiqiao Rd, Shanghai, China +86 21 386 126 00

HONG KONG INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS >>> Tom Sigerhall Email: Tel: +65 9628 2331

Fredrik Edström Email: Tel: +852 5641 9770


Danske Bank A/S Beijing Representative Office 28/F, Fortune Financial Center, No 5 Dongsanhuan Zhong Road Chaoyang District, Beijing, PR China Tel: +86 10 6596 9176 Web: About us Representative office for Danske Bank in Beijing. Chamber representative Yangguoyi Ou, Senior Representative Email: Mobile: +86 185 1373 0137

FESCO Adecco Human Resources Service Shanghai Co, Ltd 5/F, Jiu Shi Podium Building, No 28 South Zhongshan Road Shanghai 200010, PR China Tel: +86 21 6358 9999 Web:

IONOTE Electronics (Dong Guan) Ltd No 6, Lingdong 3rd Road, Lincun Industrial Center, Tangxia Town Dongguan, Guangdong Province 523710, PR China Tel: +86 769 8729 0991 Web: About us Headquartered in Stockholm, NOTE is a leading northern European manufacturing and logistics partner with an international platform for manufacturing electronics-based products that require high technology competence and flexibility throughout product lifecycles. IONOTE in Dongguan is the largest NOTE unit globally. We produce both circuit boards (PCBA) and final electronic products based on customers’ specifications. IONOTE has the following certifications: ISO9001, ISO14001, OSHAS18001 and medical certificate ISO13485. Combining these qualifications and our flexibility with volumes and deliveries, we can service a very broad range of customers efficiently. Our customer base mainly comprises industrial companies but we do manufacture some high-end consumer electronics as well. Chamber representative Marko Kotonen, Managing Director Email: Mobile: +86 139 2294 5664

Prime Cargo (Shanghai) Limited Room 908 Spring International Plaza No 699 Zhaohua Road, Shanghai 200050, PR China Tel: +86 021 5231 7807 Web:

About us Human resources business process outsourcing services, corporate outsourcing, dispatching, recruitment, employee welfare services and HR-related service fields service.

About us Prime Cargo is an international logistics solutions provider. We provide regular LCL, FCL, air and rail services. We merged with Mitsui-Soko in 2014. We have our own bonded and nonbonded warehouse.

Chamber representative Patrik Ruiz Arbeloa, Account Executive International Sales Email: Mobile: +86 182 2156 4296

Chamber representative Kevin Liang, Sales Manager Email: Mobile: +86 186 1658 0411

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Prorector AB Kungsvägen 26, SE-191 45 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 8 5946 9020 Web: About us Prorector AB is a Swedish company based in Stockholm, Sweden, with subsidiaries in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Prorector focuses on selected products for lifestyle, health and performance and has developed a progressive web-based e-shop technology to market-proven sports and health products under own brand in the Asian and European markets. We have tied two of the world’s major sport profiles: Jan-Ove Waldner and Anders Limpar. J-O Waldner´s sporting success is globally unparalleled and his popularity in China is unique. Anders Limpar is a well-known footballer from the Champions League with many fans around the world. Chamber representative Tommy Sundqvist, CEO Email: Mobile: +46 733 70 08 00


Solar Plus Technology 4/F, No 1805 Dongliu Road Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province 310053 PR China Tel: +86 138 5809 8170 Web:

About us Solar Plus Technology is a specialised solar energy company. We install and operate our infrastructure of solar panels on your rooftop. By choosing Solar Plus Technology, you can reduce your environmental impact without any negative consequences to your balance sheet or cash flow. Chamber representatives Ola Persson, CFO Email: Mobile: +46 705 17 92 27 Jianping Zheng, CEO Email: Mobile: +46 705 19 14 78



Doing business in Sweden? Skovdal Nordic 2/F, No 23, Shaanxi South Road, 39 Lane Shanghai, PR China Tel: +86 186 1637 3815 Web: About us We are a large photo/video company with a permanent staff of 32 visual craftsmen. All of our photographers possess different key skills, enabling us to always be able to put together the perfect team to fulfil the needs of our clients. At Skovdal Nordic we produce film and still photos. During the last decade, we have acquired substantial visual expertise in film and photography – commercial as well as corporate – and in both the public and private sectors. Chamber representative Thomas Mikkelsen, Co-owner and Chief Photographer Email: Mobile: +86 186 1637 3815

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Vikland Stockholm AB Room 603, Block 7, Bridge 8 No 458 Jumen Road Shanghai, PR China Tel: +86 21 6151 1217 Web: About us We focus on the sales of Vikland branded products as well as the brand development of Vikland here in China. Chamber representatives Junlin Ye, CEO Asia Pacific Email: Mobile: +86 139 1668 8869 Daniel Chi, International Sales Director Email:

banking and finance company law and corporate finance distribution and agency law property lease law china desk environmental law corporate reconstructuring eu and competition law maritime and transportation law real estate and construction law employment law mergers and acquisitions insurance intellectual property marketing and media law international law energy and investment law it and telecom litigation and arbitration private equity

Lawyers you want on your side

Af t e r h ou r s n Ceramics Handmade in China At The Pottery Workshop on 180 South Shaanxi Road, Marcus Lindell is busy at the wheel six days a week, as he works to further perfect his craft. Pottery had already appealed to him as a child. After coming to China for a visit, and eventually ending up staying, he decided to return to his early interest. He says his inspiration comes from diverse sources and he mixes them to taste. Interested in the results and want to buy some pieces as Christmas gifts? Feel free to contact Lindell on Instagram – MarcusPottery. Address: 1A Lane, 180 Shaanxi Nan Lu, Shanghai. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Phone: +86 21 6445 0902

Diamantis Koukouvinos can treat muscle pain, neck pain and sore backs.

n Health A Swedish naprapath in Shanghai Diamantis Koukouvinos is a Swedish naprapath who is practicing Medical Manual Therapy (MMT) at Subconscious Day Spa’s branch at Dagu Road in Shanghai. Subconscious Day Spa has four different spa branches in the city, offering a range of services from MMT, various kinds of massage, and nail and spa treatments, as well as yoga classes. Medical Manual Therapy (MMT) is a kind of treatment for musculoskeletal disorders. The treatment is based on Western medicine from a biomechanical viewpoint, which means that the muscles, joints and bones work in a synergistic way. Koukouvinos treats patients with joint or muscle pains, neck pains and sore backs using a range of different treatments such as therapeutic massage, stretching and trigger-point therapy, depending on the patients’ problems. As Koukouvinos is currently also studying traditional Chinese medicine, specialising in acupuncture, he is only available for appointments on Sundays. For more information, booking and opening hours please visit

As a child, Marcus Lindell already had interest in pottery.

n Fashion Colourful Swedish socks in Shanghai Happy Socks, which was established in Sweden in 2008, has opened a small shop at City Plaza (Jiu Guang), featuring a wide selection of their funky and colourful Swedish socks.
 Address: City Plaza, 4/F, 1618 Nanjing West Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai Restaurateur Björn Frantzén (left) and head chef Jim Löfdahl serve a mix between Nordic and Asian cuisines.

n Restaurants Gastronomic ambitions at Restaurant Frantzén In mid-November, chef and restaurateur Björn Frantzén opened his first permanent restaurant outside Sweden. Frantzén’s Kitchen in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island is a modern bistro with influences from both Nordic and Asian cuisines. À la carte dishes with gastronomic ambitions will be served to up to 36 guests in a stylish and relaxed Scandinavian environment. To ensure a top quality experience in Hong Kong, Jim Löfdahl will be head chef for Frantzén’s Kitchen. Löfdahl has previously occupied the same role at Restaurant Frantzén in Stockholm’s Old Town and was part of the team that garnered two Michelin stars there. Address: 11 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Happy Socks offers socks for men, women and kids.

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The chamber and I Are there any real Chinese global brands? In this issue of Dragon News, we focus on the question of whether China is on its way not only to become the world’s largest economy but also to create top worldclass brands. So far, international surveys have shown that general international knowledge about Chinese brands is low. However, since our members are where everything is happening, we thought that we might get their views on the issue. These were the questions raised: 1. Do you know any Chinese brands that you would consider a global brand? If so, which one(s)? 2. Do you think that China within the next five to 10 years will be able to repeat what Japan and South Korea have done, that is to create a large number of top global brands? And below are the answers. Zinser Zhao Syntronic, Beijing 1 “There are quite a few global brands now like Huawei, ZTE, Haier, Lenovo, Gree, Air China, ICBC, China Mobile, Tsingtao, Weibo and so on ...” 2 “Yes, I think so.” Carol Cao Radisson Blu Hotel, Beijing 1 “I would say Lenovo, Huawei, Xiaomi, Haier, BYD and also Tencent and Alibaba. I haven’t counted stateowned companies.” 2 “I believe so. China’s cheap labour era ended in recent years and its woken up to the importance of productivity and innovation. It is also important for the country’s economy and development that enterprises invest heavily in research and development. It is also important to focus on policy for infrastructure, education, etc. All this will lead to innovation-based products and brands.” Pontus Karlsson Happy Rabbit, Hong Kong 1 “Xiaomi, OnePlus, Alibaba, Geely, WeChat, Huawei, Lenovo and Tsingtao.” 2 “Yes and no. I believe they will be able to create top global brands, but more through acquisitions of talent and business than building them from scratch.”

Tomas Larsson Kairos Future, Shanghai 1 “Brands like Huawei, Lenovo, Alibaba and DJI have a strong presence in developed markets. Other companies are active in developed markets through brands that they have acquired or taken a majority share in, such as Geely with Volvo, Sany with Putzmeister and Xiaomi/Ninebot with Segway. A third category of brands are strong in developing markets but not yet in developed markets. This category includes Haier, Midea, and Xiaomi.” 2 “China is not following the same path as Japan and South Korea, but I would be surprised if China has not created a number of global brands within the next 10 years. China is very well positioned to take advantage of a global trend in which hardware represents less and less of a product’s value, while more and more of the value comes from the information that is generated when the product interacts with its users and surroundings – areas such as smart health, smart homes, and smart cities. This trend means that things that used to be in the physical domain are increasingly in the domain of information where new logic and business models apply. China is very strong in manufacturing and has strong internet companies that understand business models that operate according information logic. So I expect to see Chinese global brands to emerge in the intersection between hardware and IT.” Christian Eklund Nordic Water, Beijing 1 “That would be Huawei, Lenovo (although not really … originally they were IBM laptops) and Li-Ning.” 2 “No, it seems they are more keen on buying companies outside China instead of building new brands. In fact, I found the first question difficult. It took me a while to think of any famous Chinese brand. Too many companies are stateowned or indirectly linked to the state in some way, so there might be more political issues than building a brand for these companies. There are fewer genuine private companies and they have a tough task to convince the world about their famous Chinese brands without being accused for copying, stealing ideas and bad quality.” Jimmy Bjennmyr Handelsbanken, Hong Kong 1 “Huawei, Lenovo, Alibaba ...” 2 “Sure, why not? But I do think Chinese brands have such a large domestic market to focus on that they don’t necessarily will need and/or want to compete and expand globally, as brands from other countries might have to. Something else we might see more of is existing global brands being bought by Chinese companies.”

Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China

DIRECTORS OF THE BOARD Ulf Ohrling, Chairman [Mannheimer Swartling] Karine Hirn, Vice Chairman [East Capital] Anders Bergkvist [Stora Enso] Paul Bergström [Ericsson] Jimmy Bjennmyr [Handelsbanken] Katarina Ivarsson [Boris Design Studio] Pontus Karlsson [Happy Rabbit] Patrik Lindvall [Dairy Farm-IKEA] Per Ågren [APC]

DIRECTORS OF THE BOARD Lars-Åke Severin, Chairman [PSU] Joakim Hedhill, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Beijing Chapter [Handelsbanken] Lucas Jonsson, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Shanghai Chapter [Mannheimer Swartling] Hans O Karlsson, Treasurer [Ericsson] Birgitta Ed [Six Year Plan] Daniel Karlsson [Asia Perspective] Robert Lindell, [Elektroskandia] Per Lindén, [Scandic Foods Asia el Scandic Sourcing el Scandic Far East] Peter Rosta [Business Research] Peter Sandberg [Microdata] Mikael Westerback [Handelsbanken] Niina Äikas [SEB] Karin Roos, General Manager

50 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2016

NEXT OFFICE - ACTIVITY BASED WORKING Show me your workplace – and I can say how you feel! OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the fact is that according to an up-to-the-minute study, there is a major correlation between your health and what your office is like. Shanghai Showroom: Room 101-102, Building A, Rainbow Centre, No. 3051 HeChuan Road, Minhang District, Shanghai, PRC 201103 T: +86 21 6409 0703 E: W:

The worst conditions are those in either very small workplaces, or alternatively large, open landscapes - in both cases a marked increase in absence due to illness can be observed*. The explanation for this is thought to be the lack of small private spaces where you can escape to make a phone call or to have the chance to work for a while in pease and quite. So, where do people feel best, both physically and mentally? A pronounced improvement in health can be observed in those workplaces where there are activity-based solutions, where employees always have options for how and where they want to work. However, somewhat surprisingly, the classic office cubicle does not seem to work particularly well. The reason is thought to be that sitting alone in a confined space makes it impossible to avoid phone calls or incoming e-mails there is no question about who they are intended for. Many people experience this as highly stressful. In comparison with activity-based workplaces, there is also much less efficiency - fully 14 percent lower. Would you like further information about what Kinnarps can do for you? We have a tailor-made solution called Next Office™ - Activity based working. * The study was conducted by Superlab

Jimmy Bjennmyr Head of Corporate Banking Hong Kong Branch

Mikael Westerback Head of Greater China and General Manager Shanghai branch

Florence Chan Senior Account Manager Hong Kong Branch

Johan AndrĂŠn Deputy Head of Greater China and General Manager Hong Kong branch

Shanghai – Mikael Westerback +86 21 6329 8877 ext 888, Pontus Gertell +86 21 6329 8877 ext 848

Dragon News - No.4, 2016  

Dragon News is a member magazine, published by the Editorial Committees of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Swedish Cham...

Dragon News - No.4, 2016  

Dragon News is a member magazine, published by the Editorial Committees of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Swedish Cham...