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Me mbe r m aga zi n e f or th e Swe d i sh Cha mbe rs of Comme rce i n Hong Kong an d Ch i na i s sue 3 • 2 017

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Mats Harborn A level playing field is in China’s own interests

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Curt Bergström A new way to learn to speak Chinese

Today’s desires: Luxury brands and going abroad Many middle-aged people in China have prospered due to China’s rapid economic development and they are now reaping the fruits to go abroad and buy luxury brands.


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 www.bambooinasia.com bamboo@bambooinasia.com Art director: Johnny Chan Designer: Victor Dai English editor: Chris Taylor Cover: iStock INQUIRIES Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Room 2503, 25/F, BEA Harbour View Centre 56, Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2525 0349 Email: chamber@swedcham.com.hk Web: www.swedcham.com.hk General Manager: Eva Karlberg Event Manager: Daniel Hartman Finance Manager: Anna Mackel INQUIRIES Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China Room 313, Radisson Blu Hotel 6A, East Beisanhuan Road, Chaoyang District Beijing 100028, People’s Republic of China Tel: +86 10 5922 3388, ext 313 Email: beijing@swedishchamber.com.cn Web: www.swedishchamber.com.cn General Manager: Martin Vercouter Office Manager: Erika Staffas Lindberg Communication Manager: Jaycee Yang Shanghai contact The Executive Center, Level 5, No 159 Madang Road, North Block, Huangpu District, Shanghai People’s Republic of China Office Manager Shanghai: Marianne Westerback Tel: +86 21 6135 7229 Mobile: +86 1368 179 7675 Email: shanghai@swedishchamber.com.cn

CONTENTS

No.032017 06

4

Editorial

6

Opinion: Mats Harborn

8

Focus story: Today’s desires: Luxury brands and going abroad

16

Executive talk: Curt Bergström

18 Feature: Martin Vercouter

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20 Young Professional interview: Jesper Lindquist 24 This is Sweden: Moose hunt 26 Chamber activities in Hong Kong 28 Chamber activities in Beijing

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30 Chamber activities in Shanghai 32 Team Sweden: Ten years of Sino-Swedish CSR cooperation 33 Chamber news

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34 New members 36 The chamber and I: Favourite Chinese and Swedish food 38 Directors and committee members

ADVERTISERS

Thank you!

APC page 35, Asia Perspective page 13, Bamboo page 23, Ericsson page 25

APC Logistics for your immense generosity shipping and distributing Dragon News in China, Hong Kong, Asia and Sweden.

Four Seasons page 31, Handelsbanken page 40, Hellström page 37 Iggesund Paperboard page 27, IKEA page 15, Kinnarps page 39 Mannheimer Swartling page 21, Radisson Blu page 37, SEB page 5 Sino-Sweden Production Technology Center page 2, Swedbank page 29

Iggesund Paperboard for being the proud sponsor for the paperboard cover sheet of Dragon News magazine. Cover printed on Invercote® Creato 220gsm. The Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong and China

DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017 3


EDITORIAL

Kristian Odebjer Chairman Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

Lars-Åke Severin Chairman Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China

From sewing machines to luxury brands Dear Reader, Quick, can you name the “Four Big Things” desired by households in Mao-era China? In this issue of Dragon News you will be served an expose of Chinese consumer culture spanning seven decades, moving China, literally, from the sewing machine to the Louis Vuitton handbag. Chinese “midlife” consumers represent a socio-economic group within which many have benefited immensely from China’s economic growth. They have grown prosperous from a combination of private entrepreneurship and by investing in the property market. They take it for granted that in every avenue of life they will be given a choice to pick whichever product or service that fits their individual preferences. In addition to being largely well off, this group is also tech-savvy. Take for example the area of digital payments. Mainland Chinese consumers who have replaced bills and coins with Alipay and WeChat en masse are arguably more sophisticated in their purchasing behaviour than many European countries (let alone Hongkongers, who remain attached to cash and cheques). In this issue, we tell the story of how interests and attitudes of Chinese people have developed with increased wealth. Here, we need to remember that the “mid-lifers” we shine the spotlight on only represent roughly half of China’s population. Behind them is 4 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

a large group of people, mainly living in the countryside, who are still waiting for the next wave of development to lift them into solid middle-class territory. In order for this wave to arrive, China cannot afford to slow the pace of economic reform. As we ask ourselves what is next for Chinese consumers, we may draw a parallel to the increasingly mature and sophisticated overall Chinese economy. With maturity comes responsibility to respect rules and commitments made. Unfortunately, China has been slow to implement its commitments towards economic reform and a level playing field for all market participants, domestic as well as foreign (see also article by Mats Harborn on page 6). As pointed out in the 2017/18 Position Paper released in September by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, the government has so far failed to fulfil its own promises to grant the market a more decisive role in the economy. Clear and authoritative statements to this effect were made at the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress in 2013, and have been repeated this year in an important State Council pronouncement (“State Council Document No 5”), as well as in major speeches given by President Xi Jinping. In its Position Paper, the European Chamber notes that while progress towards greater market access and a level playing field

has been made in some markets (notably pharmaceuticals), overall the pace has been much too slow. In some industries, like automotive and food products, China has moved backwards, introducing rules that have had the effect of significantly limiting market access for foreign companies. It is our belief that a lop-sided playing field will hurt not only foreign businesses, but also and even more so Chinese businesses and households. Fair competition leads to innovation, which in turn generates efficiencies and increased wealth. China has no real choice but to move in the direction of further and deeper economic reforms in coming years; or it simply will not be able to build the type of sustainable and prosperous society its citizens desire. Our chambers have a responsibility, as representatives of the international business community, to take a clear stand in favour of continued economic reform in China. Not only would such a development be beneficial to our members; it would also expand and improve the offering of products and services available to Chinese consumers. And if there is anything Chinese consumers are craving, it is the widest possible choice. And to answer the question we started with: The four symbols of material success in China in the 1950s until the 1970s were a sewing machine, a bicycle, a radio and a watch.


opinion

China’s protection of domestic industries, as allowed by the WTO accession protocol, now ought to be turned into level-playing field competition, says Mats Harborn, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. TEXT: Mats Harborn, mats.harborn@hotmail.com

A level playing field is in China’s own interests F

ate and my own choice have led me to work and live in Beijing for over 25 years. What has kept me here is a combination of many things, but of course the sense of being part of a historic change stands out the most, including to contribute to the establishment and development of a number of companies in China. Throughout the years I have also been an active lecturer on China matters and have been able to bring an independent view on where China comes from and where it is going. That this has been inspirational to many people has been gratifying in itself. Export and market development is a very long-term process, that to be successful, requires consistency, perseverance and a lot of passion. You need to believe that you will succeed sooner or later and you need to get your team and partners to believe in that too. In a market like China, which is moving from an old development model into something new and more market based, working with regulation and industrial policy becomes core business strategy. Apart from grasping the daily business opportunities, we need to set aside sufficient resources to engage with the authorities and other influential stakeholders to ensure that the regulators write policy that is conducive to open and fair competition. That can only be achieved if they also are convinced that this will benefit the development of China. The key watershed moment in modern China came with the blueprint for comprehensive reform adopted by the Chinese Communist Party Congress 3rd plenary session in November of 2013. In that document China introduced two fundamental principles for reform: 1) Markets shall play 6 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

China must trust its own industry and its ability to survive in a competitive environment. It is like a parent letting go of its adult child.” a decisive role in resource allocation, and 2) development must now be people-centred. For both of these to happen, true levelplaying fields need to be established with the same set of rules applying equally to all. That itself requires the creation of sound and implementable rules acceptable to all. This has fundamental implications for the role of the government. From having been both player, rule-setter and referee on the field, the government needs to back off as a player. In my work for Scania, we begun to lobby for the revision of the masses and weight standards for heavy commercial vehicles in China already back in 2011. We succeeded, and in 2016 the new standard GB1589-2016 came into force. With it, all transports in China now have to follow strict limits for axle weights, total length, maximum width and height. Why did the authorities listen to us? The major reason was that it helps reduce the negative effects on society that derive from road transport, but also because it helps stimulate competition on a level playing field, which leads to innovation, better service and higher efficiency. As a side effect, this leads to the upgrading of trucks and trailers all over China, which benefits suppliers of high

quality vehicles such as Scania and Volvo. Armed with that positive achievement I am convinced that European companies can contribute much more to China at this critical point in time, in which the economy is shifting toward a development model based on organic growth, sustainable development, quality before quantity and respect for the law. I had already seen how the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China was working from my deep involvement in its Automotive Working Group and I had been involved in writing sections of its annual Position Paper. Therefore, I decided to run for vice president in 2013. This year in May I was elected president. Since then I have, among other things, led the launch of the European Chamber’s Business Confidence Survey and in September the launch of the Position Paper. Both of these are major publications that are used during the year as the foundation for the chamber’s advocacy work. In the newly released Position Paper, the chamber calls on the Chinese leadership to follow through on the public commitments it has made to economic globalisation and openness throughout 2017. It does so against

The EU remains wide open to Chinese FDI, whereas China still maintains many restrictions on foreign investment in its market.” two major backdrops: firstly that European foreign direct investment (FDI) to China has shrunk two years in a row and secondly that the market access regime in China and in the European Union (EU) are non-reciprocal. The EU remains wide open to Chinese FDI, whereas China still maintains many restrictions

on foreign investment in its market. The Position Paper outlines many practical measures that can be taken to establish China as a more attractive destination for investment. It also presents examples of non-reciprocal treatment, such as the areas of strategic technologies and legal services, where Chinese investors currently enjoy far greater access to the European market than Europeans do in China. The fact that this is generating political tensions within the EU increases the need for the EU and China to successfully complete their negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, preferably within the next 12 months. At the same time the chamber argues that moving forward with rapid and comprehensive implementation of marketdriven, economic reforms is very much in China’s own interest. Actually, China has come to a point in its own development phase in which its industry is becoming globally competitive. The previous protection of domestic industries, as allowed by the WTO accession protocol, now ought to be turned into level-playing field competition, so that these companies, through competition, can be made truly successful. China must trust

Mats Harborn, who was born in 1961, has been in China for more than 25 years, both as a student and employee. He is fluent in Mandarin and reads and writes Chinese as well. Harborn has a wide ranging knowledge of Chinese culture and society beyond his business and rich expertise in cross-cultural management. He is married with Ulrika and they have three children: Lovisa, Gustav and Astrid. Harborn started working in China in 1985, when he opened Scania’s office in Beijing. He stayed until 1989, and three years later he was back as the chief representative of Handelsbanken in Beijing. From 1997 to 2000, he was the head of the Swedish Trade Council in China and then, after a few years’ interlude in Sweden, he was back in 2004, responsible for Scania’s operations in China. Today, he is the executive director of Scania China Strategic Office and was, in May 2017, elected president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, where he had been vice president since 2013. He was also the chairman of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China between 2005 and 2013.

its own industry and its ability to survive in a competitive environment. It is like a parent letting go of its adult child. With the press launch of the Position Paper, I said: “The State Council documents No 5 and No 39 provide a solid framework for China to open its markets to the outside world and attract more foreign investment, and throughout this year the authorities have been very clear about what needs to be done. The European Chamber is fully prepared to help turn their commitments into tangible outcomes. We hope that the Chinese authorities will begin the process of implementing marketdriven reforms and establishing a level playing field for all businesses once the 19th Party Congress has concluded.” It is my strong belief and wish that European industry will engage even more in the practical dialogue with Chinese regulators to put in place a regulatory framework that will be conducive to fair and free competition on a level playing field to the benefit of all companies that are responsible for their own P/L without undue external support. b DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017 7


focus STORY

The four seasons of life (3): Midlife

Today’s desires: F Luxury brands and going abroad Many middle-aged people in China have prospered due to China’s rapid economic development and they are now reaping the fruits to go abroad and buy luxury brands. But for “the lost generation” of the Cultural Revolution era things have not worked out so well since they were deprived of the chance of an education. Text: Jan Hökerberg, jan.hokerberg@bambooinasia.com

rom the 1950s to the 1970s, there were especially four symbols of wealth, or material success, in China. They were called the Four Big Things, which referred to a sewing machine, a bicycle, a watch (often from the Shanghai Watch Company) and a radio (usually Red Star or Red Lantern brand). But China went through both the Great Leap Forward between 1958 and 1962 – when everything was collectivised and tens of millions of Chinese were believed to have died of starvation – and the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976 – a period of political and social chaos – before the reforms and opening-up policy started to lead to better lives for most Chinese. Most of today’s middle-aged people in China have witnessed this enormous transformation, even if many of them were only children or teenagers during the hard times. According to the Oxford English

Dictionary, middle age is between 45 and couple of decades. Especially those who took the 65, the period between early adulthood and chance to start an own business after the former old age. People in China that are now 45 paramount leader Deng Xiaoping declared in were born during the Cultural Revolution 1978 that “to get rich is glorious” were in a pole and those who are 60 or above were born position when the country opened up in the just before the Great Leap Forward took the 1980s and let foreign companies in that were country a giant step backwards. eager to find local partners. Many of those who were teenagers during Today, rather than desiring a sewing the Cultural Revolution belong to what has machine or a bicycle, many of today’s middlebeen dubbed “the lost generation”. China’s aged generation has experienced a real great government at that time ordered that every leap forward in its consumption of basic urban household should send at least one of necessities and ownership of housing and their teenage children, preferably students, cars. They are buying luxury brands on their to the countryside to work on farms to learn travels abroad, they live in flats that cost from farmers and workers. Many had to them millions of yuan and they are driving stay there for almost a decade and they were comfortable imported cars. deprived of an education and the right to live with Even if Sweden is not their families. among the most visited But for many other countries abroad for the middle-aged people life Chinese, the Swedish has prospered over the past government agency Statistics The definition of middle-aged

45-65

Even though China has dropped its onechild policy, its birth rate is too low and needs to rise, if the nation does not want to be confronted with a shrinking labour force and a rapidly ageing population. Hong Kong is also struggling with low fertility rates. For this year’s four issues of Dragon News, the Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong and China have chosen, as the magazine’s theme, the four seasons of life: childhood, youth, midlife and old age. We will analyse demographic facts and social trends, and will interview member companies and people representative of these different generations.

Sweden’s figures show that the number of guest nights from visiting Chinese were 25 per cent higher in 2016 compared to the previous year and 59 per cent higher than 2014. “There is a wide range of travellers of different ages visiting Sweden. On average, retired people tend to travel in groups while younger people tend to travel individually. In the summer season, many families travel with

people according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Most desired objects in China from the 1950s to today

1950 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 sewing machine

bicycle

radio

watch

refrigerator

recorder

washing machine

colour TV

electric fan

motorbike

mobile phone

car

smartphone

own home

luxury brands

travel abroad

First, it was the Four Big Things – the sewing machine, bicycle, radio and watch. Then came other desired things such as a colour TV and a motorbike, then came the smartphone and possibilities to own a car and a home. Today, Chinese middle-aged people are more sophisticated.

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DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017 9


focus STORY

An increasing number of Chinese are travelling abroad, such as this group of tourists visiting the Red Square in Moscow.

To get rich is glorious.”

Photo: iStock

Deng Xiaoping, former paramount leader

children,” says Lynn Li, country manager at Visit Sweden in Beijing (see separate article). Finnair’s area sales manager Stan Kwong can also see a trend of increasing numbers of Chinese travelling to the Nordic countries, both from mainland China and Hong Kong. “Ten years ago, a majority of our travellers were European. However, in recent years there has been a shift so that today the majority are Chinese who fly to Europe,” says Kwong (see separate article). Over the past few decades, China’s consumer economy has been powered by the ascent of hundreds of millions of people from poverty to an emerging middle class. Research from McKinsey & Co suggests that by 2022 more than 75 per cent of China’s urban consumers will earn 60,000 to 229,000 yuan a year. In purchasing-power-parity terms, that range is between the average income of Brazil and Italy. Just 4 per cent of urban Chinese households were within it in 2000. China’s consumer economy is projected to expand by about half, to US$6.5 trillion, by 2020 – even if annual real GDP growth cools to 5.5 per cent, below the official target. The incremental growth of US$2.3 trillion alone over the next five years would be comparable to adding a consumer market 1.3 times larger than that of today’s Germany or UK, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group and AliResearch, the research arm of Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company.

59%

The number of increased guest nights of Chinese travellers to Sweden between 2014 and 2016.

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DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017 11


focus STORY

“The Chinese consumer market, moreover, is in the midst of a transformation that offers tremendous new opportunities. Three great forces are ushering in this transformation: the rise of upper-middle-class and affluent households as the drivers of consumption growth; a new generation of freer-spending, sophisticated consumers; and the increasingly powerful role of e-commerce,” it says in the report. These three forces of change will profoundly reshape China’s economy and consumer market. Through 2020, 81 per cent of consumption growth will come from households whose annual income is

1.3

times The projected growth of China’s consumer economy between 2015 and 2020 would be comparable to adding a consumer market 1.3 times larger than that of today’s Germany or UK.

more than US$24,000. Furthermore, consumers 35 or younger will account for 65 per cent of growth. E-commerce will become a far more important retail channel, driving 42 per cent of total consumption growth, 90 per cent of that growth coming from mobile e-commerce. About a decade ago, the Chinese started to become big consumers of luxury brands in a number of different categories such as bags, watches and wine. Many of these consumers are people in the middle of their lives who have managed to

More and more Chinese visit Sweden Most of the Chinese visitors to Sweden are tourists and most of them still travel in groups, although individual travellers are increasing. Visit Sweden, the official Swedish organisation for marketing the Sweden brand internationally, has seen a steady increase over the years in the number of Chinese visitors to Sweden. “The number of guest nights in 2016 generated by Chinese visitors were 323,178, which represents a 25 per cent growth compared to 2015 and 59 per cent more than in 2014,” says Lynn Li, country manager at Visit Sweden in Beijing, quoting figures from the government agency Statistics Sweden. Most of the Chinese visitors were tourists. From January to October 2016, the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing and the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai approved 71,173 visa applications, including 11,443 business visas and 55,844 group and individual tourist visas. The remaining part were family/friend visas. “There is a wide range of travellers in different ages visiting Sweden. On average, more retired people travel in groups while more younger people travel individually. In the summer season, many families travel with children,” Li says. “The majority still travel in groups to Sweden and other areas in Scandinavia, concerning the limited knowledge of destination, accessibility, visa, language and other criteria. However, the number of individual travellers is growing faster, particularly the younger generation,” she adds. In 2015, Visit Sweden started to promote “soft adventures” in Sweden towards Chinese audience and, according to Li, there have already been some very positive results. Such activities include, for example, a seafood safari at Sweden’s west coast, cycling tours, and so on. In 2016, the island of Ven in Sweden’s southernmost province Skåne (Scania) received over a thousand Chinese travellers which was an almost 200 per cent increase compared to the previous year. “We are striving to discover more unique activities and experiences in Sweden to offer to the Chinese visitors,” says Li.

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We are striving to discover more unique activities and experiences in Sweden to offer to the Chinese visitors.” Lynn Li, Visit Sweden

Visit Sweden works closely with Chinese media as well as with influential online travel platforms such as TripAdvisor, Mafengwo and Ctrip. “We are also very active on Chinese social media platforms and we produce quality content that bring forward Swedish destinations as well as its lifestyle and culture to inspire the Chinese audience,” Li says. “We also collaborate with influential Swedish brands to further enhance the national image. This summer, together with Volvo Cars and a Chinese writer/table-setting artist, with the support of Swedish embassy and the consulate, we produced three episodes of a minidocumentary that features Swedish design and lifestyle. The films have been distributed online and each episode has received more than 5 million views,” says Li. Chinese can apply for visa at the embassy and the consulate and Sweden has in recent years also increased the number of visa application centres in China. Today, there are 10 such centres located in Xi’an, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Wuhan, Changsha, Jinan, Chengdu, Kunming and Nanjing.


focus STORY

Chinese in majority on Finnair flights Finnair sees a big growth of Chinese travellers in the leisure segment. Middle-aged people and young adults are the most common age groups among the Chinese travellers on Finnair planes, according to Finnair’s area sales manager Stan Kwong, who is responsible for the Hong Kong, South China, Taiwan and Philippines markets. He has witnessed a trend shift over the past three-four years, with an increasing number of Chinese travelling to the Nordic countries. “Ten years ago, a majority of our travellers were European. However, in recent years there has been a shift so today the majority are Chinese who fly to Europe,” says Kwong. “Corporate travel has always been an important segment for us. In 2015, we were the first airline in Europe to fly the new Airbus 350 which was much appreciated by corporate clients. However, the biggest growth comes from the leisure segment. More and more people are getting used to make bookings online,” he says. When Finnair started a direct flight between Beijing and Helsinki in 1988, the airline was the first Western European carrier to operate non-stop flights between Europe and China. In 2002, Finnair started direct flights between Hong Kong and Helsinki.

Today, Finnair operates 10 weekly flights to Hong Kong, daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai, four flights per week to Chongqing and Guangzhou and three times per week to Xi’an. In 2018, Finnair will also fly three times per week to Nanjing. Finnair has responded to the increased number of Chinese travellers by having Chinese-speaking crew members on all flights to China as well as Chinese-speakers among the staff at Helsinki airport. “We were also the first airline that enabled the Alipay payment function on our flights and at the Helsinki airport and lounges,” says Kwong. Celebrated Chinese chef Steven Liu has also played a major role by creating the menu for business class passengers. The famed judge on MasterChef China uses typical Finnish ingredients cooked in a Chinese style.

We were the first airline that enabled the Alipay payment function on our flights and at the Helsinki airport and lounges.” Stan Kwong, Finnair

1%

that luxury products are a signal of superficiality, whereas collect enough wealth to realise their dreams. in China the equivalent is only 1 per cent. For the Chinese, Today, Chinese buyers make up almost one-third of materialism is really an indicator of hope for the future. global luxury sales, providing invaluable demand to brands They are not just status projectors, plain and simple, they in every segment. are tools of advancement and the willingness to invest in “In the past, luxury goods were seen as a symbol of One per cent of these types of products is strong, even among the youth.” wealth and status for Chinese consumers,” said Dr Tina Chinese households He gives the example of Starbucks operating hundreds Zhou of the Shanghai-based Fortune Character Institute, a own a third of the of stores in China, even in tier-four cities, and points out that luxury research consultancy, to the New York Times. “Now country’s wealth. this is in a country that drinks tea, not coffee. However, it’s they buy luxury goods for their own enjoyment.” popular because people like to show off that they can afford Affluent Chinese consumers see buying luxury products coffee that is priced higher than in most other outlets around the world. and services not as an occasional treat, but an integral part of their lives. Tom Doctoroff, Asia-Pacific CEO of advertising agency JWT, explores the mind-set of the Chinese consumer in his book What Still, it would be wrong to say that most middle-aged people in China are wealthy. China has one of the highest levels of income Chinese Want and shows how they use material goods – particularly inequality. According to a report from Peking University, the richest 1 luxury ones – to construct an image of themselves. per cent of Chinese households own a third of the country’s wealth. To show others they are moving forward, Doctoroff says in the The poorest 25 per cent of Chinese households own just 1 per cent South China Morning Post, luxury brands are fundamental in China for of the country’s total wealth, the study found. b advancement. “I read an article that said 65 per cent of Westerners think 14 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017


executive talk

In

A new way to learn to speak Chinese After a successful career, Curt Bergström was able to retire at the age of 47. When he needed a new challenge in life he went to China, where he for a decade has been running Sino Matters, a company that offers a completely different method to learn spoken Chinese. TEXT: Jan Hökerberg, jan.hokerberg@bambooinasia.com

2005, Curt Bergström wanted a new challenge in life after a successful career at Intel Corporation and after having given his two daughters a unique multicultural upbringing and also having fulfilled his dream of flying a helicopter. So he moved to China to study Chinese. Besides his native Swedish language, Bergström also speaks English, German, French and Portuguese, so he imagined that learning Mandarin wouldn’t be too hard. “If you study German at the GoetheInstitut, or French at Alliance Française, after six months you’ll be able to have normal conversations with people in the streets, but with my Chinese it didn’t happen. I first wasted half a year at a well reputed Beijing language school. Despite studying very hard, I failed to learn to speak Mandarin,” Bergström admits. Together with his teachers, he started to methodologically analyse the difficulties he was experiencing in order to find something that could bring him spoken Mandarin in a much more time-efficient and stimulating way. Chinese lacks the alphabetic bridge between the written language and the spoken language and he came to the conclusion that the standard teaching method, borrowed from how alphabetic languages are taught, was a very inefficient way of teaching spoken Mandarin. “My private interest in brain research led me to the area of linguistic memory science called memory stability and I was fascinated with a process called spaced repetition, which offered an almost magical way of moving hardto-pronounce Mandarin sentence sounds from short-term to long-term memory,” he says. As a consequence of his findings and encouraged from testing his ideas on himself and his foreign friends, Bergstrom also wanted to help others to learn to speak Mandarin, so in 2006 he founded Sino Matters Ltd and named his new method VIP Mandarin. Ten years later, Sino Matters now has 20 employees and offices in Beijing and Shanghai. “Jokingly we call VIP Mandarin the biggest breakthrough in the 3000-year history of teaching Mandarin,” he says. Bergström was born in 1952 and grew up in Stockholm. For men of his generation, military service was mandatory in Sweden, so Bergström spent a year at the Swedish Army’s Parachute Ranger School, where he “learned to build bombs and blow up bridges.” He quips: “Skills that I found best to leave off my CV.” He says that he has always liked challenges: “Combining what I already have

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Jokingly we call VIP Mandarin the biggest breakthrough in the 3000-year history of teaching Mandarin.” with learning new things has always been a guiding star for me.” His studies at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm led him to internships in the US and Brazil where he learned to speak Portuguese. After he had graduated with a Master of Science in mechanical engineering in 1977, he started his career as an engineer at Scania in Södertälje, Sweden. In 1980, he joined Esselte Studium as area manager responsible for selling educational equipment to technical universities in the Middle East and Portuguese-speaking Africa. The Iran-Iraq war killed Esselte Studium’s sales to its key export market, Iraq, so in 1982 Bergström moved to Chicago to pursue an MBA at Northwestern University. The Information Age was in its early years and Bergström was fascinated by IBM’s new personal computer. “I couldn’t afford to buy one, so instead I bought it in bits and pieces and managed to assemble one by myself,” he says. His interest in personal computers attracted the attention of recruiters from Silicon Valley and after graduating from Northwestern, he was offered a job at Intel Corporation in Santa Clara as a marketing engineer. “These were the days when DRAM chips were still the lifeblood of Intel and the microprocessor revolution, that was about to give Intel its big breakthrough, had just begun,” Bergström recalls. “It was a very intense and competitive environment and I feel lucky to have experienced it first hand. Every time we launched a new microprocessor generation it would rock the PC market,

I wasted half a year at a well reputed Beijing language school. Despite studying very hard, I failed.”

similar to what Apple later did to the mobile industry when it introduced the iPhone.” After a stint at Intel’s telecom business in Phoenix, Arizona, Bergström was re-assigned to Intel’s European headquarters in Munich, where in the late 1980s he was asked to lead the launch of Intel Inside in Europe. After running Intel’s marketing activities in Europe for a couple of years, he retired in 1997. “I was lucky to get Intel stock options very early and with the company’s dramatic financial success and some lucky investments in high-tech stocks, I was able to retire at the age of 47,” says Bergström. “My older daughters grew up in Germany and could only speak German and Swedish. After leaving Intel, we moved back to the US so that they could attend American schools and we settled in the San Francisco Bay area. For my part, I had always dreamt of flying a helicopter and I joined a professional helicopter pilot training programme. When I had my commercial pilot’s license, the school asked me if I would like to handle their international marketing activities in return for being able to fly as much as I wanted. This was a most wonderful time,” he recalls. In 2000, Bergström moved to southern France to give his daughters the chance to learn French while studying for their IB exams. After graduating, the girls started work at universities in Sweden, where they now, aged 32 and 30, enjoy good professional careers. In 2005, Bergström took the decision to move to China to study Chinese. Five years later, he married a Chinese woman with whom he has his third daughter, now five years old. After more then a decade in China, Bergström feels fully settled in and is happy to see his company develop. Sino Matters’ customers are both senior executives from foreign companies and younger executives who want to “future-proof ” their careers with Mandarin. Most recently, Sino Matters was asked by Daimler China to help train Daimler’s full top management team to speak Mandarin. “Our method offers a time-efficient path to spoken Mandarin for people who cannot afford the normal time investment required. We sell results, not teaching hours. If a client is not happy with what we delivered, we don’t send a bill,” says Bergström. b DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017 17


fe at u re The entrepreneur

An entrepreneur at the chamber’s helm Text: Jan Hökerberg jan.hokerberg@bambooinasia.com

SwedCham China’s new general manager, Martin Vercouter, is a young entrepreneur who has a strong scientific background and is fluent in four languages.

It

was more or less a coincidence that brought Martin Vercouter to Sweden when he was 20 years old. After growing up in the Belgian city of Namur in the Wallonia region, he studied chemistry at the city’s university. Then he met a Swedish girl and decided to take a chance and move with her to Stockholm after finishing his Bachelor’s degree. “Even if we went separate ways after a while, Sweden felt absolutely right for me,” says Vercouter, who is 28 years today, fluent in Swedish, and was earlier this year appointed new general manager of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China. In Sweden, Vercouter continued his studies and took a Master of Science in molecular biophysics at Stockholm University.

My strength as a young general manager is that I can bring in some new energy and an entrepreneurial spirit.”

18 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

Science has always been his strength, and so are his language skills – he speaks French (his native language), Dutch, English, Swedish and is learning Chinese. “I didn’t see my future in the laboratory,” admits Vercouter, who had started becoming more interested in entrepreneurship after arriving in Sweden. Therefore, he decided to take another Master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation management at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. This led him to Beijing and Shanghai, where he, in 2013, wrote his Master’s thesis on the financing of social entrepreneurship in China.

Swedes have to start thinking of China as an innovative and technological country.”

While working on his double Master’s, he got an internship at the business incubator Impact Hub and after completing his studies he co-founded a company, Starta Farsta, aimed at empowering young entrepreneurs from the Stockholm suburb of Farsta. “Working with the company was a fantastic time, but after a while we all felt like we needed other challenges in life” says Vercouter, who then applied for and got a scholarship from the Anders Wall Foundation to work 10 months at the Swedish chamber’s office in Shanghai. This scholarship is aimed at boosting the careers of young people in Sweden with proven entrepreneurial talent and some experience. In December, it was announced that the chamber’s general manager, Karin Roos, would leave China and the chamber was looking for a replacement. Vercouter applied, was interviewed by the chairman Lars-Åke Severin and was eventually appointed after having convinced the chamber’s board of directors that he had a strong vision for the job. “I presented a 13-page business plan that included three main goals that complement each other,” says Vercouter. “The chamber must offer more value for their members so that we know that we deliver what they want. We also need to work on our communications and our brand image and we have to structure our organisation to get more efficient usage of our resources,” he says. “Besides,” he adds, “it’s important that the chamber promotes Swedish businesses in China.” Vercouter started his new job in April and spends his time both in Beijing, where the chamber has its head office, and in Shanghai, where a majority of the 260 member companies are located. “I believe that my strength as a young general manager is that I can bring in some new energy and an entrepreneurial spirit. You don’t achieve change just because you think you ought to change, but if you’re not doing anything, then the world outside will continue forward, which in reality means you’re going backwards,” says Vercouter. There are several big challenges ahead. The localisation of management in Swedish-owned companies in China has meant that fewer Swedes are going to China today compared with a few years ago, which has affected the number of member companies. “Many Swedes also still think of China mainly as a country for production and sourcing, while China today is striving towards more high-tech and innovation. Swedes have to start thinking of China as an innovative and technological country,” Vercouter says. So far, Vercouter has initiated a new website for the chamber, a platform for membership and event handling, a new graphic profile and logotype for the chamber and expanded the activities on social media. The chamber has also hired an office manager in Beijing and will strengthen its brand by producing more reports and position papers.b

Martin Vercouter together with his SwedCham China colleagues, from left, Jaycee Yang, Erika Staffas Lindberg and Marianne Westerback.

Martin Vercouter in brief Born: 1988 in Namur, Belgium. Education: Bachelor of Science in chemistry at Université de Namur, Belgium, 2009; Master of Science in molecular biophysics at Stockholm University 2012; and a Master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation management at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, 2013. Career: Co-founder and managing director at Starta Farsta, Stockholm. Assignments such as chairman of Naturvetenskapliga Föreningen (a science association) at Stockholm University and member of the KTH Student Union’s entrepreneurship group. In Sweden, he was also a board director of Högskolerestauranger, a restaurant chain at some 40 Swedish universities and colleges. In 2016, he was awarded the Anders Wall Foundation Scholarship for working at the Swedish chamber in Shanghai. In April, 2017, he was appointed general manager of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China.

DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017 19


young professional interview

Dienastie was founded in 2011 by Swedish designer Jesper Lindquist and started out as a sunglasses brand. Selling the glasses internationally, Dienastie could now more be described as a movement focusing on inspiring people to pursue their true goals in life. TEXT: Emma Berisha, emma.berisha@hotmail.se

Pursue your dreams through sunglasses 20 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017


young professional interview

J

esper Lindquist first came to China back in 2003 to work for a company in Shanghai. During that time, he fell in love with both the city and the country. But after abruptly having to leave he wanted to do anything to be able to move back to China. So, when he got back to Sweden, he decided to study business and economics at Uppsala University. “I thought that the only way back to China was getting a degree. Looking back now, I’m not so sure about that. Some of the best people I’ve met are self-taught,” he says. After finishing his studies, he bought a one-way ticket to Beijing in 2006. However, the past 11 years has not been an easy road to success. “To start a company and brand in a country where you’re familiar with the culture, laws and rules would have been so much easier,” Lindquist says. He has always had a passion for fashion and design so in 2007 he started a company creating bags, but after a few bumps on the road he realised he had to change direction and come up with something new, which happened to be sunglasses. The brand Dienastie started out as a reflection of the selfie trend in Asia. “Everyone was taking selfies so I wanted to come up with a product that could market itself through those pictures,” says Lindquist. Every model of sunglasses starts with something that he sees or does that inspires him. This turns into a painting on paper, which eventually becomes a sketch on a computer. Then he chooses material and colours before finally a new trendy pair of sunglasses is created. Today, he has two business partners and several employees, but still needs to do a lot of work himself. He spends much of his time travelling to various factories to check his product. He really wants to hire more people, but loyalty is essential. “Right now I’m making sure that

In the constant flow on social media you have to stand out.” 22 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

When Lindquist sees or does something that inspires him, he turns it into a sketch, first on paper then on a computer.

Everyone was taking selfies so I wanted to come up with a product that could market itself through those pictures.” everyone I hire is loyal and has the company’s best interests in mind.” Lindquist and his business partners are involved in every step that are made to ensure that every product and picture has the right design and quality. Since Dienastie is mainly being marketed through social media he also spends many hours doing photo shoots, creating interesting pictures that will stand out in people’s flow on Instagram, WeChat and Weibo. “Creating a brand and platform like Dienastie is not only about having a good product, it is also about being good at marketing,” he says. However, marketing your company is not as easy today as it was before, since you always need to be one step ahead and always have something new and interesting to show people. “In the constant flow on social media you have to stand out. Dienastie is all about that, creating a story with every picture,” Lindquist says. Designing sunglasses is not the only goal for Lindquist and his company. They

also want to inspire people by creating a platform for creative heads, showcasing a lifestyle where you pursue your dreams. They are photographers, graffiti artists, DJs, art illustrators, musicians, architects, skaters and more. On Dienastie’s website there are videos of people doing daring things like skydiving and racing cars. Lindquist’s vision is to show people that it is okay to live their life in the way that they want and challenge themselves. “My goal for the future is to expand and reach more people with our sunglasses but also with our platform, daring people to be a part of our Dienastie,” says Lindquist. b

Jesper Lindquist in brief Age: 36. Occupation: Entrepreneur and founder of Dienastie. Hometown: Malmö, Sweden. Lives: Commuting between Beijing and Shanghai. Tips: “Cliché or not – always work hard and never give up.”

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This is Sweden

Scary times for moose The traditional moose hunt in Sweden starts this time a year and some 100,000 moose are killed each year to keep the moose population under control.

The moose’s antlers are used as a trophy. Photo: Maria Emitslöf /ima

gebank.sweden.se

TEXT: Rebecca Netteryd, rebecca.netteryd@swedcham.com.hk

Moose facts • There are approximately 350,000 moose in Sweden. • Each year about 100,000 moose are killed during hunting season in Sweden. • If a moose feels cornered, it sometimes lowers its head and rushes towards people. • There are around 6,000 road accidents involving moose annually.

A full grown moose normally weighs around 200-500 kg.

Upcoming Swedish holidays and important days Below are the holidays, or other important days, in Sweden in the coming months. Sunday 29 October: Daylight Saving Time ends and clocks are turned back one hour. Friday 3 November: Alla helgons afton (All Saints’ Eve, often treated by employers as a half-holiday, with the afternoon off). Saturday 4 November: Alla helgons dag (All Saints’ Day). Saturday 11 November: Mårten Gås (St Martin’s Day, not a public holiday). Sunday 12 November: Fars Dag (Father’s Day, always the second Sunday in November).

24 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

Photo: Staffan Widstrand/imagebank.sweden.se

T

he moose is one of the signature animals of Sweden and has been hunted for hundreds of years. In fact, rock drawings and cave paintings reveal that humans have been hunting moose since the stone age. Today, the moose hunt in Sweden is important to cull the growth of the moose population. If the moose population grows too big it would result in more traffic accidents and deforestation. The yearly hunt takes place in the autumn and the time when you are allowed to start hunting depends on when the female moose is in heat. In the southern parts of Sweden, the hunt starts on the second Monday of October and in the northern parts, it starts already on the first Monday of September. Hunters are interested in the meat and the antlers of the moose. The meat is a true delicacy in Sweden and the taste is comparable with red meat, like beef, but with a more gamey flavour. A full-grown moose normally weighs around 200-500 kg, which means that the hunters get 150-200 kg of meat with bones. The antlers, on the other hand, are commonly displayed as trophies. One of the most traditional dishes with moose as an ingredient is älgkalops, which is a stew served together with potato and currant jelly. b


chamber activities hong kong

Photo: Aron Åkesson

“Better paperboard can add another gear to your packaging.” Phil Baggley Technical Service Manager, Iggesund Paperboard

Innovation can be as simple as a better paperboard. Made from virgin fibre, to the highest specifications, it can add completely new properties to your packaging. Which, in turn, may make your products into winners on the market. Why not stop and try Invercote? CARE BY IGGESUND Our care for our customers and their businesses goes far beyond offering two of the world’s leading paperboard brands, Invercote and Incada.

Crayfish Party in Hong Kong n On 15 September SwedCham HK hosted its annual Crayfish Party at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club where we have had this event for seven consecutive years. This year 180 guests gathered to celebrate this muchappreciated tradition, consuming equally many kilos of crayfish. The party continued until way past midnight, with people never seeming to want to leave the dance floor. Thank you to our sponsors SAS, SEB and Daniel Wellington who made the night possible, and of course big shout out to all the guests who made it a night to remember. See you all next year again!

26 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

Get in touch with Iggesund Paperboard Asia at phone: +852 2516 0250, fax: (852) 2516 0251 or visit iggesund.com


chamber activities beijing

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

Crayfish Party in Beijing n Eating crayfish has been a Swedish culinary tradition since the 16th century, but once upon a time it was only enjoyed by the upper class. These days everyone eats crayfish, and it has been a traditional highlight event of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China for many years. On 9 September, the Crayfish Dinner in Beijing attracted about 100 guests at the Royal Garden of Radisson Blu Hotel Beijing. With those fancy yellow and blue paper balls, crayfish balloons, photo frame decorations, a huge amount of crayfish, a tasty buffet food and selected songs, the Royal Garden once again echoed with songs. We would like to extend our thanks again to our Dragon Partners for their huge support to the chamber: Atlas Copco, Handelsbanken, Mannheimer Swartling, SAS, Syntronic and Volvo Cars. Last but not the least, thanks to all the guests for coming and we look forward to seeing you next year!

28 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

Welcome back event n Nineteen leading foreign chambers of commerce joined the Welcome Back networking event at R Lounge, Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel on a rainy Tuesday night. More than 400 participants attended the event and enjoyed a good networking opportunity just after the summer break.


chamber activities shanghai

Crayfish Party in Shanghai n On Friday, 8 September, the Swedish chamber hosted its annual Crayfish Party. Like last year, the party was held at beautiful Käfer next to the Huangpu River. The evening was a success, with wonderful weather, many guests, lots of crayfish and snaps songs. It was a joy to see both familiar and new faces mingle and network during the evening. We would also like to give a special thanks to our corporate guests Swedbank, SEB and Diab, and of course our Dragon Partners: Atlas Copco, Handelsbanken, Mannheimer Swartling, SAS, Syntronic and Volvo Cars.

Nordic After Work with a view n On Wednesday, 23 August, the Nordic chambers arranged the first event after the summer holidays. It was a beautiful starlit evening at Kathleen’s Waitan and around 80 people witnessed the view together. The energy was tangible and everyone seemed to be looking forward to this autumn and what it has to offer. We would like to thank all participants for a very pleasant evening.

30 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017


Team Sweden is a network of government authorities, agencies and companies that all work to promote Swedish exports abroad. In this section of Dragon News, we present information about Team Sweden’s activities.

chamber news

Ten years of Sino-Swedish CSR cooperation

A STUDY ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY DEVELOPMENT AND TRENDS IN CHINA

CSR Centre website Chinese: www.swedenabroad.com/csrbeijing/cn English: www.swedenabroad.com/csrbeijing/en Swedish: www.swedenabroad.com/csrbeijing/sv

T

CSR Centre quarterly newsletter (in English) www.swedenabroad.com/csrbeijing/newsletter To become a subscriber, please send an e-mail with ‘subscribe’ in the subject field to csrcentre.beijing@gov.se

his year marks the 10th anniversary of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) cooperation between Sweden and China. Since the first agreement was signed in 2007 it has been renewed twice. The CSR centre at the Embassy of Sweden was set up in 2010 and is responsible for implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from the Swedish side. The mission of the CSR centre in Beijing is to increase knowledge and implementation of responsible and sustainable business in China and to promote Swedish business in China. One important task is to create opportunities for cooperation through exchange and SECURING SUSTAINABLE GROWTH BY PROMOTING RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS cooperation and to be a platform for Swedish companies and other 倡导负责任的商业 确保可持续增长 stakeholders interested in sustainable business. We work closely with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Swedish companies as well as international organisations. Over the past 10 years, we can see a great development of CSR awareness in China and a large number of different activities have taken place, often in close cooperation with Swedish companies. Examples are seminars, conferences and the publishing of studies and reports. Also, during this time more than 1,000 people have taken part in the CSR training arranged by the embassy and the Ministry of Commerce. The joint Sino-Swedish CSR website has more than three million visitors annually. b CSR website of the Government Offices of Sweden English: www.government.se/sb/d/574/a/232664 Swedish: www.ud/csr

Sino-Swedish CSR website (in English and Chinese) www.csr.gov.cn

For more information about the CSR Centre, please contact us.

CSR中心网站 中文: www.swedenabroad.com/csrbeijing/cn 英文: www.swedenabroad.com/csrbeijing/en 瑞典语: www.swedenabroad.com/csrbeijing/sv

CSR中心季度电子报(英语) www.swedenabroad.com/csrbeijing/newsletter 订阅电子报,请发邮件到 csrcentre.beijing@gov.se ,并在标题栏注明“订阅”。

Source: Mona Loose/imagebank.sweden.se

Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the Embassy of Sweden No. 3, Dongzhimenwai Dajie, Sanlitun Chaoyang District Beijing 100600 P.R. China Tel: +86 (0)10 6532 9790 Fax: +86 (0)10 6532 9792 csrcentre.beijing@gov.se

瑞典政府CSR网站(英语) www.government.se/sb/d/574/a/232664

中瑞企业社会责任合作网站(中英双语) www.csr.gov.cn

意见或建议以及获取更多有关CSR中心信息,请联系。

瑞典驻华大使馆CSR中心 中国北京市朝阳区三里屯东直门外大街3号 邮编: 100600 电话: +86 (0)10 6532 9790 传真: +86 (0)10 6532 9792 csrcentre.beijing@gov.se

Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the Embassy of Sweden 瑞典驻华大使馆企业社会责任(CSR)中心

Cautiously optimistic business outlook The Embassy of Sweden, Business Sweden and SwedCham China release the latest Business Confidence Survey.

M

ore than 100 Swedish companies took part in the latest survey by Team Sweden in China, which aims to map out the business landscape in the country. The results are overall cautiously optimistic, with seven out of 10 companies expecting higher revenues in 2017 compared to 2016 and less than 10 per cent expecting a drop. Regarding the current business climate, 42 per cent of the respondents are either satisfied or very satisfied, and eight out of 10 expect the conditions to be equally or more positive during the three years to come. Differentiation through innovation, cost competitiveness from efficiency and an increasing focus on digitalisation and e-commerce are the Swedish companies’ main strategic priorities in the near future. Despite this overall optimism, the lack of a level playing field with domestic competition and a perceived shortage of skilled labour top the list of challenges faced by the responding companies. The complete report can be found at www.swedcham.cn/publications b 32 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

Welcome, Erika! Sofia Norén

n Erika Staffas Lindberg is the new office manager at SwedCham China. Recently, she has been working at the Embassy of Sweden and has been the head of communications at the Swedish Young Professionals. Erika has Bachelor’s degrees from Lund University in political science and economics as well as in Chinese language and literature. She has a background in marketing and communications and has been working for four years as editor and head of communications at MotKina.se, a community for Swedes with an interest in China and in the Chinese language.

Welcome, Sofia!

Erika Staffas Lindberg

Welcome, Rebecca! Thank you, Eric!

Rebecca Netteryd

n SwedCham Hong Kong is happy to welcome Rebecca Netteryd as the new communications and Young Professionals coordinator at the chamber. Rebecca recently graduated from Stockholm School of Economics with a Bachelor’s degree in retail management and has received the Carl Silfvén Scholarship that enables her to stay one year at SwedCham Hong Kong. Rebecca is looking forward to the opportunity to meet new people, work in an international atmosphere and to face new challenges that will give her the opportunity to develop and grow. Eric Åhlberg has recently left Hong Kong and moved back to Stockholm to pursue his studies. The Swedish chamber would like to say thank you to Eric for your dedicated work at the chamber and we wish you the best of luck.

n Sofia Norén is our new Anders Wall Scholarship recipient and she joined our team on 1 September. Sofia, born and raised in Borås, Sweden, has studied economics and social anthropology at Uppsala University and at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. Her main interest is within the rapid digitisation process underway in the world and the possibilities it entails. In 2015, she founded the consulting firm Handelsforskarna i Borås AB together with associate professor Malin Sundström. The clients consist of companies and organisations that are facing new challenges and opportunities due to changes in customer behaviour as a result of digitisation. Sofia has also worked with, among others Mat.se, Vasakronan, Cervera and Unionen.

New scholars at Uppsala University n This year, two new students have been awarded the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong’s scholarship for Master programme studies at Uppsala University 2017-2019. Peili Guo can be seen in the picture together with programme principal Anders Malmberg and the Uppsala alumni and long-time Hong Kong resident Niklas Olsson. Peili is going to study computational science. Missing in the picture is the other scholar, Chi Lam Chan, who is going to study information systems. SwedCham Hong Kong congratulates them and wishes them good luck with their studies. From left, Niklas Olsson, Peili Guo and Anders Malmberg.

DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017 33


new members HONG KONG ORDINARY MEMBERS >>>

CHINA COMPANY MEMBERS >>>

Personal

BIMobject Corporation Suite 4, 12/F, Cyberport 2 Cyperport Road Hong Kong Tel: +852 3618 5805 Web: www.bimobject.com About us BIMobject is a game changer for the construction industry. Manufacturers use BIMobject to promote and deliver their products directly into BIM processes, enabling their products to be selected and generate a real improvement in sales. The marketing and presales services associated with the cloud are channelled and integrated, through specialised software, into CAD/BIM applications to create a business-to-business communication across the globe.

Yogiboost Franchise AB Adelgatan 9, SE-211 22 Malmö Sweden Tel: +46 733 30 35 39 Web: www.yogiboost.se About us We are a Swedish family business that owns and operates the popular frozen yoghurt chain Yogiboost. Chamber representative Ludvik Engler Georgsson, CEO Email: ludvik@yogiboost.se Mobile: +46 733 30 35 39

Chamber representative Simon Cai, Executive Business Director Asia

Blueair Asia Limited 7F Grand Millenium Plaza 181 Queen´s Road Central Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852 3511 6561 Web: www.blueair.com About us Established in 2016, Blueair Asia operates its regional headquarters in Hong Kong. Located in proximity to our 10 markets in East and South-East Asia, we provide instant support to our local markets to reinforce their business growth, as well as strengthen Blueair’s brand image in the region. Blueair air purifiers are currently distributed in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia. With the belief that clean air belongs to everyone, Blueair Asia also acts as a business development unit to explore new market opportunities to bring clean air solutions to other Asian countries. Chamber representative Jonas Holst, Director

HONG KONG INDIVIDUAL MEMBER >>> Gustav Lindgren Email: gustavlindgren0@gmail.com

34 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

Tel: +852 9669 3179

1

Beckers Room1808, T2-B Wangjing SOHO No 1 Futongdongdajie Chaoyang District Beijing 100102, PR China Tel: +86 150 1133 1901 Web: https://beckers.se

About us Beckers offers down-to-earth and solution-oriented users an extensive range of reliable solutions and a simple and inspiring journey from idea to end results. Through the painting, Beckers provides users with a sense of creativity and satisfaction with good results. Chamber representatives 1 Li Ling, Chief Editor Email: ling.li@tikkurila.com Mobile: +86 150 1133 1901 Du Yawei, Director Supply Chain Email: yawei.du@tikkurila.com Mobile: +86 134 6672 1131

CHINA ASSOCIATE MEMBER >>> Jan Bengtsson Apt 27E, Ambassy Court, Tower 2 Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai 200031 Email: jan.bengtsson@nio.com Mobile: +86 187 1780 4406

We offer personal logistics; simplicity, precision and reliability for our customers, and that means personal attention and service, because business relationships are about people.

www.apclogistics.com


T he chamber and I

What is your favourite food? Living in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong means that there are endless opportunities to discover restaurants with different types of exciting cuisine. We asked some of our members what type of food they love, and whether it is Chinese or Swedish. This was our question: What are your favourite Chinese and/or Swedish dishes? And here are the answers.

Alexander de Freitas MPS China, Shanghai “I eat a lot of Chinese food and it’s difficult to choose a favourite, but maybe mapo doufu, a real classic. Recently I’ve been enjoying the Yunnan food at Slurp! (at Wulumuqi Road/Wuyuan Road), every dish I’ve tried there has been really good.”

Filippa Bätjer Young Professionals, Shanghai “I really like Sichuan food and one of my favourite dishes is the cold noodles – it can never go wrong. Apart from Sichuan, Yunnan cuisine is also one of my favourites and I can recommend Middle 8 in Hong Kong Plaza on Huaihai Road. It’s quite hidden in the shopping mall but definitely worth a visit.”

Sofia Norén SwedCham China, Shanghai “Since I’m relatively new in China I am still exploring the Chinese kitchen. However, I really enjoy dumplings, especially the black truffle dumplings at [the Taiwanese restaurant chain] Din Tai Fung.” Rebecca Netteryd SwedCham, Hong Kong “My favourite Swedish dish is tacos and, as you might know, the dish has its roots in Mexico. In Sweden, we make our own mild version of it and it has become one of the most appreciated dishes – both for children and adults. I think that there is no better way to start the weekend than to have a so-called “Taco Friday” where you gather all your friends and enjoy the meal together. “In China, I love dim sum meals. If I am in charge of ordering, I will probably order dishes that consist my favourite ingredient, truffle, for example, dumplings with truffle – that’s always a good choice.”

36 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

Kevin Yeung Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), Hong Kong “Dim sum is my favourite Chinese dish because it means that we always gather with friends and family. I also like eating ice cream and strawberries in the Swedish summer. I just like it because it was the first dessert I had when I went to Sweden.” Jaycee Yang SwedCham China, Beijing “I really like Swedish food, especially Swedish meat balls, and stuffed eggs with shrimps that you eat during Swedish festivities.”

Renfeng Zhao Kreab, Beijing “I remember once when I visited the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi. There I ate an ice cream made of moose cheese on a plate made of ice. It was a fantastic experience!” Ulf Ohrling Mannheimer Swartling, Hong Kong “Chinese favourites: Fried pork dumplings; because they are yummy, especially if dipped in soy sauce with plenty of chilli (I don’t really enjoy the usual vinegar). “As for a Swedish favourite; it is very hard to answer, but super fresh langoustines home-cooked directly when my go-to fisherman has landed them because it is then Swedish summer and you enjoy them in the company of old friends – or potato pancake (raggmunk in Swedish) with fried salted pork and lingonberries because it is a world-class dish and the dish of my home province, Östergötland.” Casper Oldén Antique Scandinavia, Hong Kong “Jīng jiàng ròu sī, or as we like to refer to them, “Chinese tacos”, is one of my favourite Chinese dishes. They combine the familiar feeling of home, “Taco Fridays” is about as Swedish as it gets, with great Beijing cuisine. It’s sautéed shredded pork in sweet bean sauce. It’s main ingredient is pork tenderloin, stir-fried with sweet soya paste to season the flavour. The dish is served with shredded leek and doupi (dried tofu layer) to wrap. “Meatloaf (köttfärslimpa) is the real essence of Swedish homely cooking. Typically served with potatoes, gravy, fried onions and lingonberry jam with a side of boiled broccoli. Eating this dish has become somewhat of a tradition whenever I go back home to Sweden. It’s the go-to dish while stopping at Dinners along the E18 when driving from Arlanda Airport to my home town in Karlskoga, Värmland.”

Doing business in Sweden? 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


DIRECTORS AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong DIRECTORS OF THE BOARD Kristian Odebjer, Chairman [Odebjer Fohlin] Karine Hirn, Vice Chairman [East Capital] Patrik Lindvall, Vice Chairman [Dairy Farm-IKEA] Anders Bergkvist, Treasurer [Stora Enso] Karin Brock, [Daniel Wellington] Jimmy Bjennmyr [Handelsbanken] Katarina Ivarsson [Boris Design Studio] Petra Schirren [Ericsson] Per Ågren [APC] CREATIVE SWEDES Pontus Karlsson, Chairman [Happy Rabbit] Filip Bjernebo [South Lane] David Ericsson [VOID Watches] Anders Hellberg [Boris Design Studio] Alexis Holm [Squarestreet] Katarina Ivarsson [Boris Design Studio] Anna Karlsson [Boris Design Studio] Johan Persson [C’monde) Mikael Svenungsson [M2 Retail Solutions] EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Per Ågren, Chairman [APC] Jan Hökerberg [Bamboo] Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Kristian Odebjer [Odebjer Fohlin] Ulf Ohrling [Mannheimer Swartling] Johan Persson [C’monde Studios] Peter Thelin [Today Group] EVENTS COMMITTEE Jimmy Bjennmyr, Chairman [Handelsbanken] John Barclay [Primasia Corporate Services] Karin Brock [Daniel Wellington] Cyril Fung [Cyril Fung & Associates] Daniel Hartman [SwedCham] Ove Joraas Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Calle Krokstäde [DORO] Jenny Myrberg Rebecca Netteryd [SwedCham] Casper Olden [Antique Scandinavia] Magdalena Ranagården [BlueWater]

38 DRAGONNEWS • NO.03/2017

FINANCE COMMITTEE Anders Bergkvist, Treasurer [Stora Enso] Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Anna Mackel [SwedCham] MARKETING COMMITTEE Patrik Lindvall, Chairman [Dairy FarmIKEA] Lisa Boldt-Christmas Daniel Hartman [SwedCham] Anders Hellberg [Boris Design Studio] Katarina Ivarsson [Boris Design Studio] Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Linda Karlsson [Happy Rabbit] Johan Olausson, [Bamboo] Rebecca Netteryd [SwedCham] Johan Persson [C’Monde] Ingrid Reinli [Boris Design Studio & IMIX] Sophie Sophaon [Kreab] MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE Karin Brock, Chairman [Daniel Wellington] Anders Bragee [Handelsbanken] Caroline Ergetie [House Hunters] Daniel Hartman [SwedCham] Katarina Ivarsson,[Boris Design] Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Fredrik Nyberg [MIQ Logistics] Ulf Sundberg [SEB] SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE Alexander Mastrovito, Chairman [Scania] Anders Bergkvist [Stora Enso] Lisa Boldt-Christmas Sherman Chong Cheryl Hall [Nilorn] Hanna Hallin [H&M] Daniel Hartman [SwedCham HK] Jens Helmersson [QuizRR] Karine Hirn [East Capital] Stefan Holmqvist [Norman Global Logistics] Erik Moberg [Stadium] Kristian Odebjer [Odebjer Fohlin] Magdalena Ranagården [Blue Water] Jeffrey Siu [Envac] Björn Wahlström [Current Consulting] YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE Daniel Hartman, Chairman Josefin Cheung Rebecca Netteryd Sofia Wigholm Jenny Zeng

Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China DIRECTORS OF THE MAIN BOARD Lars-Åke Severin, Chairman [PSU] Joakim Hedhill, Vice Chairman [Handelsbanken] Lucas Jonsson, Vice Chairman [Mannheimer Swartling] Peter Ling-Vannerus, Treasurer [SEB] Curt Bergström [Sino Matters] Anders Henningsson [Mastec] Daniel Karlsson [Asia Perspective] Per Lindén [Scandic Foods Asia] Felicia Lindoff [Beijing Beigen Beigen] Anna Löfstedt [Volvo Cars] Niklas Ruud [Konecranes] Martin Vercouter, General Manager [SwedCham China] Mikael Westerback [Handelsbanken] BEIJING CHAPTER Joakim Hedhill, Chairman [Handelsbanken] Curt Bergström, Vice Chairman [Sino Matters] Per Hoffman [Ericsson] Sören Lundin [Delaval] Kevin Rogers [Elanders] Claes Svedberg [AB Volvo] ZZ Zhang [Sandvik] Emma Berisha [Young Professionals] David Hallgren [Business Sweden] Maisoun Jabali [Embassy of Sweden] Martin Vercouter, General Manager [SwedCham China] SHANGHAI CHAPTER Lucas Jonsson, Chairman [Mannheimer Swartling] Anna Löfstedt, Vice Chairman [Volvo Cars] Mette Leger [Grow HR] Lisette Lindahl [Consulate General of Sweden] Claes Lindgren [IKEA] Daniel Melin [New Wave] Niina Äikas [SEB] Andrea Staxberg [Business Sweden] Martin Vercouter, General Manager [SwedCham China] Marianne Westerback, Office Manager [SwedCham China]


Anders Anders Bragée Bragée Anders Bragée Corporate Corporate Account Account Corporate Account Manager Manager Manager

Shui Shui Yim Yim Chin Chin Shui Yim Chin Senior Senior Trade Trade Finance Finance Senior Trade Finance Manager Manager Manager

Johan Johan Andrén Andrén Johan Andrén General General Manager Manager General Manager Hong Hong Kong Kong branch branch Hong Kong branch

Florence Florence Chan Chan Florence Chan Senior Senior Account Account Senior Account Manager Manager Manager

Jimmy Jimmy Bjennmyr Bjennmyr Jimmy Bjennmyr Head Head of of Corporate Corporate Head of Corporate Banking Banking Banking

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Dragon News - No.3. 2017  

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.3. 2017  

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