Written by Yael Farjun, Community Manager, China Business Circles
It’s (still) all about Guanxi
Not so much as the Communes of older times, the current communities in China are much more diverse and surprisingly (or not), a good resource for business.
How is that? Well, if you think about it, most of the business done in China is still based on connections (Guan xi). But in our current and highly-digital world, where China is definitely ahead of many, digital channels are breaking the boundaries. Your ability to meet potential clients, partners or future employees is no longer dependent on your location. It depends more on your outreach in other communities.
How does it work?
Online communities for business are mostly WeChat and Weibo based, and can be as basic as a WeChat group. But you’d be surprised how much is happening in those groups. One of my favorite examples is a photography group I am in, where professional and amateur photographers from all over China are constantly sharing photos for feedback.
You can imagine how beautiful this group is (and busy…), but the group evolved into something bigger than just photo-sharing. Members are recommending shooting-locations, studios, partnerships; referring clients, forwarding job opportunities, and occasionally adding someone to a blacklist of ‘should avoid working with’. You get the picture. A community like that can be powerful.
Another example is a community run by a local accelerator, sharing news and updates about anything-tech in China; Events, open positions in start-ups, roadshows and pitching competitions or hackathons. Founders will test ideas there or look for partners and occasionally someone will offer a special deal for group-members only. Again, it is a great community.
Most communities combine both on-line and off-line activities and even though China is technically back to normal, many of the meetups are still streamed online.
Growing your business
Nurturing partnerships and sourcing for new clients are two things you can easily do in these communities, but that’s not all; keeping an eye on trends, staying updated with news in your field and developing ideas for new products and services, are also important aspects to note. LinkedIn is strong in China, but WeChat is far more practical when it comes to creating connections, so make sure you are leveraging on that too.
Recently, PTL Group has launched a community for “China-professionals”. If you work for an international company doing business in China (or thinking about a China market entry), then this is one community you should definitely join.
We call it ‘China Business Circles’ and we are all about helping you expand your business circles in China. Most of the conversation is taking place on WeChat and WhatsApp groups and occasionally we meet for webinars, fire-chats with experts and when possible, a meet-up.
Five Circles are currently open
- The Business Circle – for sales and business development professionals
- The HR Circle – for HR managers
- The Logistics Circle – manufacturers, import and export managers
- The Finance Circle – for CFO’s and financial managers
- The Partners Circle – on WeChat only, for service providers in China
You can expect routine updates on regulations and changes in policies, real-life case-studies, a safe and professional environment to post your questions and of course, network with peers.
Join the conversation now!
Let us know to which of the circles you fit and we’ll gladly send you the details to connect.