Opportunities Everywhere in China for the Swiss National Startup Team!

By Frans-Emmanuel Bengtsson, Junior Project Manager and HEC Lausanne Ambassador

2019 is a very interesting and passionate year for the overall innovation ecosystem in China. Amongst the impactful activities was the return of Venture Leaders to China, with its pitching roadshow and taking part in several high-level events across 6 megacities in China!

Venture Leaders China is a unique 10-day business development program to explore the Chinese market potential for high growth Swiss startups. It is an exclusive opportunity to be part of a top entrepreneurial team, accelerate ones’ business growth and showcase Switzerland as a leading country for innovation. Every year, 10 carefully selected high-tech entrepreneurs get a unique chance to give their technology and business a commercial boost, thanks to Venture Leaders.

For the sixth consecutive year, swissnex China was proud to be accompanying a high-quality delegation of top Swiss startups in China for a roadshow that span 10 days and 6 cities. Venture Leaders China 2019 took place from June 25th to July 5th and included business workshops, investors meetings and public events in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Changzhou, Dalian and Beijing. The roadshow offered the startups unparalleled exposure and insight into the Chinese market, along with learning about business opportunities, how corporate affairs work, pitching to investors and getting insights from experts.

The delegation was led by Jordi Montserrat, co-founder and managing partner at Venturelab and Felix Moesner, CEO at swissnex China and was composed of the following startup champions: Daniel Sztutwojner, Beekeeper | Peter Ruff, Exploris AG | Samir Bouabdallah, Flybotix | Dominik Trost, holo|one | Simon Bachmann, IDUN Technologies AG | Yannik Kopp, LORIOT | Marco Pisano, Lymphatica Medtech | Dorina Thiess, Piavita | Alexis Steinmann, Tomplay | Maurizio Migliore, Touchless Automation. In addition, the team could count on Simin Yang and Frans-E. Bengtsson, both from swissnex China, for the organization and the coordination of the trip and events.

Hong Kong 06-25-2019

The Venture Leaders’ 10 day’s journey started off as intensive and dynamic as expected. Freshly arrived from Zurich, the 10 startups kicked off their intense pitching roadshow as soon as they set foot in Hong Kong. The 2019 Swiss Innovation Night taking place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center offered great networking opportunities and paved the way for the many upcoming events.

Alexis Steinman, co-founder of Tomplay pitching in front of a very interested crowd in Hong Kong

Alexis Steinman, co-founder of Tomplay pitching in front of a very interested crowd in Hong Kong

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Once the networking event was over, it was time for the entire team to jump into the bus towards the next adventure: destination Shenzhen!

Shenzhen     06-26-2019

For many of the Venture Leaders, it was their first time waking up in mainland China. This brought even more excitement among the team as they were really looking forward for the upcoming program. During the morning, our startup champions were warmly welcomed at Colibri Technologies (technology-oriented automation company providing simple solutions for R&D) and at DJI (drone manufacturers). They got the great privilege to meet Colibri CTO Dr Liu Shaoming which appeared to be an EPFL alumus! Switzerland is really everywhere!

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The Venture Leaders visiting DJI in Shenzhen

The Venture Leaders visiting DJI in Shenzhen

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The entire team gained great insights from the people they met at Colibri and DJI. After their morning visit to Colibri and DJI, our National Startup team jumped straight into their first pitch in mainland China at the magnificent Shenzhen Stock Exchange building, gaining access to the network of local industry experts and investors.

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The pitching event at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange was very appreciated from the startups as it was the first time that some had the chance to confront themselves to Chinese investors. Moreover, the networking session was very fruitful and great connections were made! Next stop: Shanghai!

 

Shanghai      06-27-2019

 

On the 3rd day of the roadshow, our 10 top Swiss startups were joined by 170+ registered investors and industry leaders in Shanghai: the "Capital of capital" for the Swiss Startup Pitching Night. The dynamic Q&A interaction and networking clearly demonstrated the rich startup funding opportunities in China's wealthiest city!

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As Simon Bachmann, CEO of IDUN Technologies puts it: “We arrived at the venue tired since we had just landed from Shenzhen. However, as soon as we saw the venue, the mood lightened up. The scenery on the stage was amazing and the audience was packed of interested listeners. I particularly liked the couch and how we were all sitting on the stage. This gave the whole event a very relaxed mood.  These two events where my highlights but we had many more promising stops on our incredibly packed journey through China.”

Maurizio Migliore, Toucheless Automation posing with Jordi Montserrat and Felix Moesner after receiving the Venture Leaders Shanghai Pitching trophy

Maurizio Migliore, Toucheless Automation posing with Jordi Montserrat and Felix Moesner after receiving the Venture Leaders Shanghai Pitching trophy

Changzhou   06-28-2019

 

The day started off with the visit of Rieder, a Swiss company producing manufacturing machine for all kinds of businesses. It was very interesting to understand how this Swiss firm established themselves in China and how they perceived the future in this particular market.

Later that day, we had the immense chance to take part into the Swiss Innovation Day, organized by the Changzhou National High-Tech Development Zone CZND. It gave the opportunity to the Venture Leaders to pitch in front of investors & industry experts. Furthermore, next to the Venture Leaders pitching highlight, Consul General Olivier Zehnder & Vice-Mayor Chen Zhengchun gave their addresses, which was followed by a panel on innovation-driven smart manufacturing. Thank you to Jay Jiang and Ryan Zhang from CZND! Next stop: back to Shanghai!

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The visit to the Changzhou innovation park has been one of the most valuable moment of the whole trip. It allowed us to get a real grasp on the potential industrial opportunities for foreign companies in China. The development shown by companies already established in the area is astonishing and the support from local organizations is truly valuable.
— Maurizio Migliore, Toucheless Automation

Shanghai     06-29-2019

We are now back in Shanghai for a morning workshop session where our Venture Leaders team joined industry leaders at Rouse Consulting for a deep dive into some essential topics such as IP & trademark and how to attract venture capital in China. Many thanks to Melvin (Yuan) MEI, Nigel Wong, Haifeng Wang, Ruixing Zhu and Ren Zhanbing for sharing their valuable insights!

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The team enjoyed an activity-free afternoon where many individual meetings with investors were scheduled, resulting from very fruitful pitching sessions previously held. Next stop on the list: World Economic Forum in Dalian!

Dalian          06-30-2019 / 07-01-2019 / 07-02-2019 / 07-03-2019

 

After days of intense pitching, networking, coaching as well as signing deals while roadshowing in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Changzhou, our National Startup Team arrived in Dalian for the World Economic Forum's global meeting on innovation, science and technology!

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Our Venture Leaders spent 3 intense but fruitful days at the World Economic Forum of the New Champions and enjoyed meeting other leaders from everywhere in the world. Great business leads and great networking!

These have been three amazing days at the World Economic Forum and a unique opportunity to present Tomplay to leaders from all around the world.
— Alexis Steinmann Co-founder of Tomplay

On the final evening in Dalian, the Venture Leaders pitched at the Swiss Incubator event during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions. We had the great pleasure to welcome the Swiss Ambassador Bernardino Regazzoni, who gave the opening address, which was followed by Olivier Schwab, WEF’s Managing Director & Jordi Montserrat, Managing Partner of Venturelab.

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This 5th pitching session was the second competition of the Venture Leaders China tour, following the one that saw Toucheless Automation win in Shanghai. The winner elected by the crowd was Dorina Thiess with Piavita. Congratulations!

Next and final destination: Beijing!

Dorina Thiess, pitching Piavita

Dorina Thiess, pitching Piavita

It was very inspiring to see the Swiss Startup Champions giving their pitches at the Swiss Incubator Night in Dalian. Congrats to Dorina Thiess and Piavita! And a big thank you to Jordi Montserrat for moderating the event.
— Lukas Zuest, Counsel & Head China desk @ VISCHER AG
Proud to be representing Venture Leaders and Switzerland at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China, thanks to the work we do at Beekeeper empowering and digitalizing the non-desk workforce. Excited to meet other global leaders and share ideas / experiences on how to make an impact in this world.
— Daniel Sztutwojner, CCO & Co-founder of Beekeeper

Beijing          07-04-2019 / 07-05-2019

 

On the final day, our 10 amazing startups pulled an incredible feat of 3 pitches in 1 day!

Pitch #1 at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business to CKGSB's Chuang investors network.

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Back on the road towards the next pitching location: PnP!

Back on the road towards the next pitching location: PnP!

Pitch #2 at Plug and Play China to investors from Beijing’s dynamic innovation ecosystem.

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Because one of our ambitions and goals is to bring the ‘plug and play’ in the IoT. This meaning to make it as easy as possible for our customers and users to connect devices and focus on generating business value from sensor data. We work hard to make it possible and it was nice to say it while pitching our solution, in Plug and Play!
— Yannik Kopp from Loriot

Pitch #3 at Swiss Ambassador Bernardino Regazzoni’s invitation. This 8th pitch & grande finale of the 10-day-roadshow was held at the Embassy of Switzerland in the People's Republic of China where Alexis Steinmann, Tomplay won the coveted Swiss Embassy Award – Congrats!

The atmosphere and setup at the embassy in Beijing were the perfect finale to an incredible China tour. Thanks to the whole Swissnex team for the perfect organization and wonderful hosting.
— Dorina Thiess, CEO & Co-founder of Piavita
The venue was of course very extravagant. We had the chance to pitch outdoors in the Embassy Garden in front of a large audience (I think the pictures speak for themselves). They audience was hand selected and personally invited. Never have I ever seen such a high-level audience of relevant contacts at an event. I was contacted by several interested investors and potential partners. It was a blast.
— Simon Bachmann, CEO of IDUN Technologies
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The roadshow ended in the best manner it could possibly have. After a very powerful networking session at the embassy, the Venture Leaders discovered Beijing by night, enjoying a well deserve taste of baijiu before heading towards new horizons. As a matter of fact, some Venture Leaders even extended their stay here in China to meet investors they had previously connected with during the pitching events.

The baggage that we bring back from China is certainly heavier than at the beginning, on a human level, of knowledge and experience.
— Yannik Kopp from Loriot
This roadshow was an excellently organized trip that gave us tremendous exposure and extremely valuable contacts. In these 10 days, not only did we learn from the different people we met during the networking events, but a great added value came from meeting and discussing with the other startups within the team.

Business wise, we now do have a lot of different prospects that we now have to follow up. We have had 5-6 meetings already with people we met at the pitching events. This 10-day trip here in China really helped us to see the different possibilities offered to us to enter the market early.
— Dominik Trost, Holo One

We would like to express our deep gratitude for the strong support of all our partners, especially to Jordi Montserrat and his team from Venturelab who produced extraordinary work with the startups, co-organizing the roadshow with swissnex China. A huge thanks to the Swiss Ambassador in China, Ambassador Regazzoni and his amazing team, our Embassy colleagues Nektarios Palaskas, Jonas Thürig, Chenchen Liu, Yijun William Wu and Tobias Werder for the stellar work they did in organizing pitching events and business meetings, to Andreas Rufer and Winnie from the Consulate General of Switzerland in Hong Kong, to Zhen Xiao and Kuno Gschwend from the Swiss Centers China and to all the other supporting partners that made this journey happen, such as digitalswitzerland, Canton de Vaud, VISCHER, Canton of Zurich, EPF Lausanne, ETH Zurich, Gebert Rüf Stiftung and the Changzhou national high-tech district. A huge thanks also goes to the company that kindly received us, Colibri and DJI, and to the speakers Melvin Mei, Nigel Wong, Haifeng Wang, Ruixing Zhu and Ren Zhanbing for sharing their valuable insights during our workshop at Rouse in Shanghai and to all the other key people who shared their experience and expertise of the Chinese market with our startups.

 

A big thank you to all of you who made this possible!

 

Vielen Danke & see you next year!

Academic Activities Review in July

By Libing Gu, Head of Academic Relations with contribution from Stone Shi, Manager swissnex China Guangzhou Office

A number of delegations visited swissnex China in the past month. Here are some highlights:

EMBA SUPSI China International Outdoor

On July 4th, we welcomed 9 students from the EMBA program of University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI). Danli Zhou, Head of Communications & Co-Deputy CEO of swissnex China presented the mission and activities of swissnex China. He shared with the delegation insights about the innovation landscape and social media in China.  

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From July 1st to 5th, SUPSI EMBA delegation visited Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou, Shanghai and Suzhou, having the opportunity to live a direct on-site experience of the Chinese manufacturing and service industry. While remaining a challenging and complex environment, China offers huge market opportunities, world class expertise in production and supply chain as well as a competitive talent pool. As Chinese economic growth is shifting to an innovation-driven model, China International outdoor program aims to learn about the innovation eco-system in China.

SUPSI EMBA delegation visited Huajian Shoes Manufacturing.

SUPSI EMBA delegation visited Huajian Shoes Manufacturing.

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SUPSI EMBA delegation visited FAIST Precision Technology Co.

SUPSI EMBA delegation visited FAIST Precision Technology Co.

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SUPSI EMBA delegation visited Winnington Metal & Plastic Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

SUPSI EMBA delegation visited Winnington Metal & Plastic Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Sino-Swiss Summer University in Business Administration HEIG-VD

15 Chinese and Swiss students from the Sino-Swiss Summer University in Business Administration visited swissnex China on July 18th. Rahel Gruber, Head of Operations & Co-Deputy CEO gave an introduction on swissnex and its activities in China, followed by a presentation on innovation landscape in China by Frans-Emmanuel Bengtsson, Junior Project Manager - Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The half-day program gave the students the opportunity to have an overview of the innovation ecosystem in China and insights into how culture matters for doing business in China and Switzerland.

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Launched in 2014 by Haute Ecole d’Ingénierie et de Gestion du Candon de Vaud (heig-vd) and Shanghai University, the Sino-Swiss Summer University is a 4-week course delivered to Sino-Swiss engineering and business students with focuses on cross-cultural perspective in doing business and innovation and entrepreneurship in both countries.

Summer School of Confucius Institute of University of Basel

On July 19th, swissnex China received the visit of 19 bachelor students attending the Summer School of Confucius Institute of University of Basel. The students were on a two-week cultural trip led by Prof. Dai Lan, Chinese Dean of Confucius Institute of University of Basel, founded in 2013 in cooperation with East China Normal University.

Rahel Gruber, Head of Operations & Co-Deputy CEO introduced the mission and activities of swissnex China, followed by a presentation on innovation scenario in China with interesting case studies by Simin Yang, Project Coordinator - Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The presentations helped the students have a better understanding of the innovation ecosystem in China. During the Q&A session, they raised a lot of questions about the opportunities and challenges in youth entrepreneurship.

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MSE China Module SUPSI-ZHAW

On July 22nd, 41 students from MSE China Module visited swissnex China. Olivier Zehnder, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai introduced the presence of Switzerland in the Yangtze River Delta. Rahel Gruber, Head of Operations & Co-Deputy CEO of swissnex China presented swissnex and its activities in China, followed by a presentation by Frans-Emmanuel Bengtsson, Junior Project Manager - Innovation & Entrepreneurship on Innovation Landscape in China. The students appreciated the half-day program which provided them with deep insight into the Chinese innovation eco-system and asked many questions about the challenges and opportunities of doing business in China.

In the afternoon session, Prof. Stefan Dingerkus from INE Institute of Sustainable Development of ZHAW gave a lecture on Lean Logistics Management in Manufacturing.

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“MSE China Module - Engineering Practice within Chinese and Swiss Culture” is organized by Department of Innovative Technologies of University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) in cooperation with University of Applied Sciences of Zurich (ZHAW). At its 11th edition, the course gives MSE students the opportunity to live a direct on-site experience of the Chinese manufacturing and service industry, by showing the challenges and opportunities for the Swiss industry to enter the local market and by highlighting the possibilities to successfully deal with these opportunities. It is composed of 4 days in Switzerland and 13 days in China (Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, Changzhou etc.)

The delegation had the opportunity to visit Chinese and foreign owned companies, covering different sectors such as electronics, hardware, medical instruments, machine tools, textile machines, plastics, logistics, etc.

MSE China Module visited Huawei

MSE China Module visited Huawei

MSE China Module visited Xbot Park

MSE China Module visited Xbot Park

MSE China Module visited Ehang Drone

MSE China Module visited Ehang Drone

MSE China Module visited Shanghai East Container Terminal Port

MSE China Module visited Shanghai East Container Terminal Port

swissnex China joins discussion on The Frontiers of Digital Convergence at Zhejiang University

By Mirjam Haab, Junior Project Manager - Science Outreach and Diplomacy

On July 15, the Academy of Internet Finance of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou held its yearly EMBA seminar on Fintech and Blockchain related topics. Zhang Ruidong, the Director and Founder of the Blockchain Labs, invited representatives from the Danish and Swiss Science & Technology Consulates to hold country-specific presentations along with industry experts, professors and other interested parties who covered more technical Fintech topics.

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This year, the global leitmotif was “The Frontiers of Digital Convergence”. A total of 6 presentations were delivered on various themes, spanning from the newly launched Libra Blockchain by Facebook, its’ motivation and business models evolving from it, over Financial Big Data, how to conduct Artificial Intelligence research and apply it in practice, to Blockchain applications in Supply Chain traceability. Additionally, there were the two country-specific Fintech presentations. The first one covered recent Fintech developments in Denmark and was held by Ran Zhao from the Danish Consulate. The second was held by swissnex China Junior Project Manager Mirjam Haab and covered the Swiss Fintech Landscape, recent developments and an outlook into the future regarding regulatory, economic, social and technological challenges and opportunities.

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This very interesting and insightful morning was then followed by a delicious Zhejiang cuisine lunch with all the participants, where further discussions and casual conversations took place. It was, for example, mentioned how Cryptocurrencies are experiencing some hardship in China and are nowhere soon to be integrated as a means of pay according to some participants. Zhejiang University also has a Fintech program and swissnex China would hope to bring together Swiss Fintech startups with their Chinese peers in order to exploit synergies, learn from each other and create added value for both.

Finally, the event, spanning all morning until the early afternoon, provided the occasion for very enriching conversations about cultural differences and drawing comparisons between sociopolitical and economic issues in China, Switzerland and Denmark. Undoubtedly, the exchanges and presentations added value to an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of digital convergence as well as the Danish and Swiss Fintech landscapes.

We cordially thank Zhang Ruidong for his very kind invite and hope to participate at the event in future occasions again.

Ran Zhao (left), Christina Mark (middle) and Mirjam Haab (right) at the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station.

Ran Zhao (left), Christina Mark (middle) and Mirjam Haab (right) at the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station.

Wonderful Evening in Honor of EPFL’s 50th Anniversary

By Nicola Hofer, Junior Project Manager - Academic Relations

On July 12, swissnex China had the pleasure to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) with Nathalie Fontana (Director of Philanthropy at EPFL) and He Xiang (representing Chapter Head Ren Zhanbing) at its office in Shanghai. EPFL is the most cosmopolitan technical university in Europe and welcomes students, professors and staff from more than 120 nations. EPFL is active both in Switzerland and internationally and focuses on three missions: teaching, research and innovation.

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The full house gathering was the moment for EPFL Alumni in Shanghai to learn about the most important activities around the 50th Anniversary and some strategic developments including EPFL’s very first fundraising campaign. As part of the university’s 50th Anniversary, EPFL has decided to launch the “50-Fifty” campaign, and to focus on its most important community, the student community. The campaign offers philanthropists a unique opportunity to directly empower the next generation of brilliant minds.

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We thank Nathalie Fontana and He Xiang for the enriching and fascinating insights into EPFL’s history and are grateful to have celebrated this special moment with them. swissnex China is looking forward to welcoming you to its next event.

Successful Kickoff of swissnex’s Science Diplomacy Event Series

By Nicola Hofer, Junior Project Manager - Academic Relations

On July 16, swissnex China was delighted to welcome Dr. Jan-Alexander Posth (Senior Lecturer, ZHAW) and Allegra G. Fonda-Bonardi (Chief Officer of Research, DeTao Institute of Green Development) as part of its Science Diplomacy event series. The two speakers compared and discussed their perspectives on ESG compliant investment along China’s Belt & Road. The introduction was delivered by the Science Consul of Switzerland in China, Dr. Felix Moesner.

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Dr. Posth gave a presentation entitled "The Belt & Road Initiative and its potential for an ESG revolution: A network view”. He talked from a networking perspective about the opportunities of China’s epic venture to advance Asia’s and the world’s transition to a sustainable economy. He stressed that the Belt & Road Initiative is associated with high hopes, great opportunities and enormous impacts at the global and strategic levels.

Ms. Fonda-Bonardi spoke on “Drivers of change in ESG marketplaces in China and Europe”. She stressed that ESG remains at the center of investment, public attention and even algorithmic power in both Europe and China. The presentation addressed challenges and opportunities in the information ecosystems that drive ESG’s investments in China and Europe, and proposed ways to make ESG’s information ecosystem more robust and effective in channeling capital toward corporate purpose in the short, medium, and long-term.

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Following the presentations, Mirjam Haab of swissnex China led a panel discussion. The audience asked interesting questions, which were answered just as competently by the speakers.

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We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Posth and Ms. Fonda-Bonardi for their interesting and inspiring lectures. swissnex China is looking forward to its next Science Diplomacy event.

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Bring the Past Time Back or Live in the Future? Re-Thinking Architecture

By Yao Lan, Junior Project Manager - Art-Science

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On July 18th, swissnex China was honored to present a very inspiring event with two ETH Zürich Alumni, Dr. Yifan Wang and Prof. Hao Hua from Southeast University, who gave us a glance at two interdisciplinary research fields of architecture studies.

During the lecture, Dr. Wang shared with the audience her research project about the genius Zayton (Quanzhou) with the architectural anthropological critiques. With reflectively thinking about the space, she mentioned the concept of ‘genius loci’ in global architecture history, explained the traces of a spatial concept that essentially has interacted with Chinese people for a long time.

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The second part of this event is about how computational design and digital fabrication rationalize the architectural design as well as cultivate new imaginations. Prof. Hua regarded the mathematics, especially Descartes’s coordinate system, as a new-old method for design of not only architecture, but also artifacts and sculptures. Based on this insight, he introduced the software that he used for coding infinite series of products.

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It feels like an adventure through the history of architecture in Dr. Yifan Wang’s presentation while Dr. Hao Hua’s talk was about looking into the next era. Combining the past with the future, both presentations have motivated the audience to re-think about architecture. After the insightful dialogue between both speakers and the active Q&A session, the audience continued discussions with the two Swiss linked researchers during the networking reception.

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Home of Drones – Cutting-edge Drone Race Over the Swiss Embassy in Beijing

Guest contributions by Tayan Wagner and Steven Wang, edited by Gabriel Bishop

With a well-established leading position in terms of innovation, Switzerland has fostered fruitful bilateral relations with China in this field. Notably, the Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2014 and the Innovative Strategic Partnership and the High-Level Platform of the Sino-Swiss Innovative Strategic Partnership were established respectively in 2016 and 2019.

These partnerships fall in line with the Swiss tradition that consists in continuously investing in brains, producing smart solutions and adding value by providing cutting-edge products; and so has Switzerland steadily established itself as an innovation pioneer. An example of it can be traced back 50 years ago as Switzerland was part of the moon landing program with the OMEGA Speedmaster, the first watch ever worn on the moon, and it has since never ceased to push the limits and explore new frontiers.

People interacting with the AEROTAIN’s drone.

People interacting with the AEROTAIN’s drone.

Drones represent one of the success areas of the Swiss new technologies. Switzerland is indeed a forerunner in the development of specialized drones, particularly for the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This can in part be explained by the close collaboration between the federal institutes of technology, the industry and the public authorities. More than 2,500 people in over 80 companies in Switzerland now work in digital aviation and in 2017 Swiss Post launched the world's first medical delivery service for business customers in Lugano.

Representatives of Swiss drones companies invited to the Innovation Week.

Representatives of Swiss drones companies invited to the Innovation Week.

The Drone Grand Prix race (DGP) that took place at the Swiss Embassy in Beijing on June 14 showed just how much Switzerland is at the forefront of drone technologies. This collaboration between DGP, swissnex China and the Swiss Embassy caped off the Innovation Week 2019, Home of Drones, an initiative of Presence Switzerland.

Felix Moesner giving a speech before the race started.

Felix Moesner giving a speech before the race started.

A track race designed especially for the occasion was set up over the perimeter of Embassy, going through the Embassy buildings and the Ambassadors’ residence. It consisted of LED and light loops which illuminated the venue and through which the drones flew.

The final gate illuminated with the swissnex China logo.

The final gate illuminated with the swissnex China logo.

The drone race confronted two Swiss and two Chinese pilots for a friendly competition. They were flying the drones with a system called first person view (FPV), which is the most popular commanding method as it allows to pilot a drone as if one was inside of it. The DGP drones can reach up to 200km/h, which can prove to be dangerous for the average drone user who may easily lose control of the device. It takes a great amount of training and expertise to be able to fly the drones with such precision at this speed! On this note, swissnex China would like to congratulate the highly skilled pilots for their outstanding performance.

Four drone pilots from left to right: Wang Jinzheng, Kong Haisen, Michael Husarik, Maxime Guarnero.

Four drone pilots from left to right: Wang Jinzheng, Kong Haisen, Michael Husarik, Maxime Guarnero.

The race was groundbreaking in many ways. It was the first drone race ever held in an Embassy compound, and the first one to ever take place in the Beijing city center. The event proved to be a big success, with over 1000 guests attending. The race was also live-streamed and attracted over 51,000 viewers across various broadcasting platforms, as well as 1.2 million views on the CCTV-CGTN livestream! This showcase of drone racing, which has become the most popular drone sport among pilots, not only left the audience in awe, giving them a thrill similar to the one that comes with F1 racing, but it further provided new insights on the potential use of drones in different contexts. Drones are indeed a multi-faceted and versatile technology and high-speed flights could be a very promising sector for them. 

Pilots receiving their prices.

Pilots receiving their prices.

External link:

CCTV2 documentary of the drone race:

http://tv.cctv.com/2019/06/16/VIDEh6GUMSY0EP1CvBqSgiCc190616.shtml

Young Swiss Talents Explore the Chinese Innovation Landscape

By Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager - Academic Relations

In the scope of its academic activities, swissnex China often welcomes delegations from Swiss universities. At the end of May, we received two universities in our space and as always always it was a big pleasure to exchange with the dynamic students who came to China with great curiosity.

We first welcomed 20 students from the MBA of the Berner Fachhochschule (BFH) on May 30. They benefited from a presentation about swissnex China and its various activities by Danli Zhou, Co-Deputy CEO & Communications Manager at swissnex China. After a lunch hosted in our office, Peter Bachmann, Executive Director of SwissCham, further presented the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and its scope of action. The day was then completed by the guest lecture of Daniel Eckmann, a Berner Fachhochschule alumnus, who shared his experience doing business in China.

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On the May 31, swissnex China received six highly motivated HESAV healthcare students specializing in fields such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy. This visit marked the end of a study trip at a hospital in Wuxi where they benefited from a two-week interdisciplinary training that allowed them to compare best practices with Switzerland.

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Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO at swissnex China, gave them a presentation of the activities of swissnex China and of the Chinese innovation landscape. This was an opportunity to touch on the topic of medical technologies, which the students are also familiar with and which they get use in their field of practice back in Switzerland, such as orthopedic 3D printers and rehabilitation devices like Hocoma’s Lokomat.

We very much appreciated receiving these two groups of young talents and swissnex China wishes them lots of success in their upcoming professional life!

Fireside Chat with Urs Mattes – Perspectives on MedTech potential in China

By Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager - Academic Relations

On June 4, Urs Mattes came to swissnex China for a presentation entitled Opportunities and Challenges in the Chinese Medtech landscape. His talk was part of the event series called Fireside Chat, a collaboration between SwissCham and swissnex China hosted every few months in the swissnex China space. This format is always the occasion for seasoned Swiss professionals in China to share their knowledge and experience with our community.

Having lived in the region for two decades, Dr. Urs Mattes, Director Asia-Pacific at Cendres+Métaux SA, is a well-established University of Zurich alumnus in China. He has accumulated extensive cross-functional expertise and has been a board member of several medical and non-medical Swiss companies.

After an introduction by Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO at swissnex China, Urs Mattes started off his presentation by painting a portrait of the Chinese healthcare landscape, often referring to other countries, namely Switzerland, in order to highlight its specificities and to put it into perspective. He specifically touched on the question of finding a balance between access, quality and cost in such a system. In his view, some specific challenges that the Chinese healthcare currently faces include the rise of chronic diseases, the absence of gatekeeper to enter the care system, the shortage of specialists and family doctors, the lack of acceptance by the population of community centers and the outbound medical tourism.

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Based on the context he depicted, Urs Mattes reckons that this environment provides a sizeable market with many opportunities for innovation in the field of medical technologies. But he also pointed out some specific challenges that come with it. For instance, it is sometimes very difficult for companies to register a new medtech product to be marketed in China. But if the Chinese market can prove to be risky for foreign medtech companies, there is nonetheless a large potential for growth in this field.

At the end of the presentation, the public, notably composed of UZH alumni, could further interact with Dr. Mattes during a Q&A session and connect during the networking reception which concluded the night. For this edition, we would like to extend a special thank to UZH Alumni Shanghai and SwissCham Shanghai for their collaboration and support.

The swissnex China team looks forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

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Switzerland sets the tone at CES ASIA 2019——#SwissTech Showcases Value Creation through Innovation

By Luca Mondada, Junior Project Manager - Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The #SwissTech Pavilion comprising 22 leading Swiss startups had a dynamic and intense three days of pitching, networking and showcasing their cutting-edge innovations today at CES Asia - the biggest tech expo in Asia! With the largest ever country pavilion to date and featuring the CES ASIA awardees in 6 out of 20 categories, the 2019 edition of the Swiss pavilion at CES ASIA left no doubt as to Switzerland’s Number One position in Innovation. The feedback from all stakeholders was extremely positive, adding value for both startups and partners.

The Swiss pavilion is the largest country pavilion, and it’s recording setting with 6 awards right away! These awards are very rare, and for one country to get six of them is a very big deal.” Gary Shapiro, CEO of CES.

The #SWISSTECH campaign landed for the first time in Asia in a resounding success to a deeply impressed audience with 22 startups from the very best of Swiss deep tech in fields ranging from AI, IoT, AR, Blockchain, Lifestyle, Robotics & Drones and HealthTech.

“With 3 potential clients we are already in discussion about specific projects. So that is a huge success for us. If those key clients will engage with us we will set up an office in China soon.” Jens Henker, CEO of CertX.

The Swiss pavilion was opened jointly by the Swiss Ambassador H.E. Regazzoni and the CEO of CES Gary Shapiro.

The Swiss pavilion was opened jointly by the Swiss Ambassador H.E. Regazzoni and the CEO of CES Gary Shapiro.

Switzerland was the spotlight at several occasions during the show. The ambition of #SWISSTECH was made clear from the start by the welcome addresses from Ambassador H.E. Regazzoni and from CEO of CES Gary Shapiro during the official opening ceremony. Our CES Asia #SWISSTECH team comprising 22 top-level Swiss also had the opportunity to pitch and network with 192 registered industry leaders and potential partners in a personal setting. During their 60 second pitches, the startups had the opportunity to showcase their products.

“CES was a great opportunity for us to confront our app to the Chinese market […]. I have now several meetings scheduled for the next days to come. I may even push back my flight to Switzerland!” Alexis Steinmann, CEO of Tomplay.

In addition to the access to over 1’400 members of the media and 40’000 industry attendees during the exhibition, the startups could meet over 150 of some of China’s most influential investors during the CES ASIA Swiss pavilion pitching night. The startups competed hard for the prize of the night that was awarded together by a panel of judges and the audience.

After three intense days of exhibition, over 100 onstage pitches and countless one-on-one meetings with potential partners, the startups are now either on their way back home, or busy keeping the streak in China with potential partners and investors – in any case, swissnex China wants to thank them for their brilliant showcase of Swiss innovation, and hopes to welcome them soon again in Shanghai.

Switzerland shone with a record number of CES ASIA Innovation Awards in 6 of the 20 categories.

Switzerland shone with a record number of CES ASIA Innovation Awards in 6 of the 20 categories.

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Maxwell Biosystems brings MaxTwo World Launch Tour 2019 to China

By Simin Yang, Project Coordinator - Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Maxwell Biosystems is a startup that took part in the Innosuisse Market Entry Camp for China. This time, Maxwell Biosystems arrives in China with its new product MaxTwo. On May 20, swissnex China supported MaxWell Biosystem with the launch of a scientific workshop where we invited local and international speakers from different fields, such as stem cells, organoids, in-vitro technologies, neuroscience/neuro-engineering, toxicity, safety pharmacology, and drug discovery.

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During the workshop, Dr. Urs Frey, CEO of MaxWell Biosystems shared their Company Overview and MEA Technology Trend.

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Dr. Wei Gong, Application Scientist, shared the” iPSCs for CNS Drug Discovery - Phenotype Characterization and Novel Biomarkers”

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The MaxTwo mainframe is an incubator allowing cells to have a proper environment during recording. It is designed for integration with automation systems. Overall, MaxTwo is a powerful electrical imaging system for drug discovery, safety pharmacology, and iPSC phenotyping applications.

 The event allowed the fascinated audience to learn more about the applications of high-resolution microelectrode arrays and to have a hands-on experience with the MaxTwo product.

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 Company Overview 

MaxWell Biosystems AG is an electronics and biotechnology company based in Basel, Switzerland that provides instrumentation and solutions to advance neuroscience research and accelerate drug discovery. The company was incorporated in September 2016.

 Product Overview 

MaxWell Biosystems’ MaxTwo is a CMOS-based multiwell HD-MEA platform. It has all the capabilities of MaxOne–it captures high-quality signals at sub cellular resolution from long-term culture experiments. Electrical stimulation protocols can also be performed.

MaxTwo multiwell HD-MEA system allows for easy and vibration-free insertion of the multi-well MEA.

 

VR: New Perspectives on Contemporary Dance & Medical Training

By Yiwen Sun, Project Leader - Interdisciplinary & Special Projects 

On the occasion of the Asia Tour of VR_I, a contemporary dance piece in immersive virtual reality, Gilles Jobin, Director & Choreographer of the work was invited to present at the 5th Café des Sciences Lecture, together with Gauthier Dubruel, Business Director and co-founder of UbiSim, the first VR training solution for nurses. Around 50 attendants had the chance to meet with both speakers and network with the professionals in VR field. Nearly 900 audience watched the online live streaming of the talks via swissnex China social media channels.

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Through the talks, Gilles Jobin shared with the audience his encounter with Artanim, the Swiss leading experts in motion capture and virtual reality and how he combines the new technology with his choreography. He revealed the process in making VR_I and the technical challenges in finalizing the project, which brought the audience to think about the turnouts of such work. Switching the perspectives, Gauthier Dubruel introduced his start-up company – UbiSim, and how virtual reality can be used to provide convenient and affordable practical training to health care practitioners. Guests were actively engaged with the discussion on new developments of VR application in medical training and clinical practices.

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Café des Sciences is a new format at swissnex China offering a monthly platform for Swiss Spotlight Scientists and Startups to present their projects and engage with the local community. The lectures are followed by a networking reception and scheduled to take place every third Thursday each month at swissnex China or our partner spaces.

Please stay tuned for our next event on Synthetic Biology at Chronus Art Center and save the date for 20th June.

VR_I in Shanghai - Dancing in Immersive Virtual Reality

By Yiwen Sun, Project Leader - Interdisciplinary & Special Projects 

Organized by swissnex China, VR_I: A Contemporary Dance Piece in Immersive Virtual Reality was brought to the Chinese audience for the first time. Throughout the 8-day performances from 9-12/15-18 May, VR_I has received over 500 spectators at Chronus Art Center, located in M50, the renowned art & design district of Shanghai. The Director and Choreographer of VR_I – Gilles Jobin and his touring team also had their first touch with China.

Pioneering contemporary dance, Gilles Jobin developed VR_I with the leading motion capture technology and virtual reality experts – Artanim, which provides viewers with the unique sensory experience. During the experience, participants can thus interact physically and even communicate with the others. The virtual dancers then come to blur their perception, multiplying, growing to the point of becoming giants or becoming tiny. With these effects of scale, Gilles Jobin addresses the concept of spatiality in a truly original way.

spectators experiencing VR_I at Chronus Art Center, Shanghai

spectators experiencing VR_I at Chronus Art Center, Shanghai

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Roundtable Discussion on the future of Virtual Reality and Contemporary Dance

Link to watch the video:

https://www.zaiart.com/appwrapper_dist/appShare/live.html?id=e4ba428652b44700820efcce04fdadd6

 

On 10th May, a roundtable discussion with experts and professionals in the fields of Virtual Reality and performing arts were held at Chronus Art Center. Around 55 guests attended the event while 6959 audience watched the online live streaming of the discussion.

Dr. Felix Moesner giving the welcome speech.

Dr. Felix Moesner giving the welcome speech.

Roundtable discussion speakers

Roundtable discussion speakers

Moderated by Salar Shahna from the World VR Forum, our guest speakers – nunu kong, Daming Zhang and Roger Yang shared their perspectives and insights on the questions such as how the new technology changes the choreography, how do the audience and the critics perceive such work, how to balance the artistic and economic value and what will be the future trend of Virtual reality in terms of application.

Attendants of the roundtable discussion.

Attendants of the roundtable discussion.

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Gilles Jobin: “Shanghai is amazing!”

VR_I has brought many of the Chinese audience their first unique VR experience with contemporary dance, while the two-week stay in Shanghai left Gilles Jobin and his team unforgettable first impressions of China.

Along with the performance of VR_I, under the arrangement of swissnex China, Gilles Jobin and his team were connected to the local artists, VR experts as well as arts organizations such as Rockbund Art Museum, Power Station of Art and How Art Museum. Different thoughts and inspirations on the new work were emerged during the meetings and visits; potential co-operations between the two parties were established and explored.

VR_I crew with swissnex China staff and the local experts.

VR_I crew with swissnex China staff and the local experts.

Future of Money: Brilliance in Fintech

By Mirjam Haab, Junior Project Manager - Science Outreach & Diplomacy

On April 23, swissnex China had the immense honour to organize for the President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Finance Mr. Ueli Maurer the Future of Money: Brilliance in Fintech event. On the occasion of his State Visit to China, Ueli Maurer attended the Shanghai event accompanied by two delegations of official and financial dignitaries. Among the delegations were the State Secretary, three Ambassadors, the President of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, the Chairmen of SIX and SwissBanking and high-ranking representatives from all sectors of the Swiss financial world.

The continuation of swissnex China’s “Future of Money” series was on the topic: “New Technologies in Financial Markets: How China and Switzerland can benefit from each other”.

President of the Swiss Confederation meets with Swiss and Chinese delegations. (From left: Felix Moesner, CEO & Science Consul of swissnex China, Dr David Chang, Vice President of Shanghai Blockchain Association,   Mr Peilung Li, Founder and Chairman of LUN Partners, Dean Charles Chang of Fanhai International School of Finance, Fudan University, Mr Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF),   Dr Romeo Lacher, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SIX, Dr Daniela Stoffel, State Secretary for International Finance, Mr Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), Prof Thomas Puschmann, Director of Swiss FinTech Innovation Lab, University of Zurich)

President of the Swiss Confederation meets with Swiss and Chinese delegations. (From left: Felix Moesner, CEO & Science Consul of swissnex China, Dr David Chang, Vice President of Shanghai Blockchain Association, Mr Peilung Li, Founder and Chairman of LUN Partners, Dean Charles Chang of Fanhai International School of Finance, Fudan University, Mr Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), Dr Romeo Lacher, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SIX, Dr Daniela Stoffel, State Secretary for International Finance, Mr Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), Prof Thomas Puschmann, Director of Swiss FinTech Innovation Lab, University of Zurich)

After a welcome speech by Wenzhon Jin (CEO of Orient Securities), President Ueli Maurer held the first keynote speech. He addressed two thought-provoking trade-offs emerging concomitant with new financial technologies. The second keynote speech by Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, concentrated on Switzerland as a Fintech enabler and catered some key data on recent developments.

Mr Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation delivers an opening keynote speech, calling for the Sino-Swiss collaboration and mutual benefit in fintech.

Mr Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation delivers an opening keynote speech, calling for the Sino-Swiss collaboration and mutual benefit in fintech.

Mr Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) delivers a keynote speech.

Mr Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) delivers a keynote speech.

 A highly relevant panel discussion moderated by Dr. David Chang (Vice President of Shanghai Blockchain Association) ensued the keynote speeches. The five top-class panellists were Dr. Daniela Stoffel (State Secretary for International Finance), Prof. Charles Chang (Dean of Fanhai Institute for International Finance at Fudan University), Dr. Romeo Lacher (Chairman of the Board of Directors of SIX), Peilung Li (Founder and Chairman of LUN Partners Group) and Prof. Thomas Puschmann (Director of the SwissFinTech Innovation Lab at University of Zurich). Some of the main discussion points revolved around regulatory frameworks, the handling of strictly regulated incumbents when unregulated disruptors enter the market, and how Sino-Swiss synergies could benefit both countries, for example regarding the Belt and Road initiative.

Moderated by Dr David Chang, Vice President of Shanghai Blockchain Association, the panel discussion features topics on current regulatory framework, traditional wealth management industry and Fintech startups.

Moderated by Dr David Chang, Vice President of Shanghai Blockchain Association, the panel discussion features topics on current regulatory framework, traditional wealth management industry and Fintech startups.

 Orient Securities provided the event location in the South Bund area, allowing for a subsequent networking opportunity with a spectacular view of the Shanghai skyline.

The Swiss and Chinese delegations gathered for the networking cocktail reception at the Bund .

The Swiss and Chinese delegations gathered for the networking cocktail reception at the Bund .

Thank you for the close collaboration with the Swiss Confederation, SwissBanking, SIX, University of Zurich, FISF Fudan University, Orient Securities, Blocknology Capital, The Asian Banker and Presence Switzerland.

 

All in all, the event was a financial extravaganza with first-class keynote speakers and panellists as well as top-level guests. The event was a great opportunity to shed light on the Venture Leaders Fintech program, which will take place in November 2019 in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

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Exploring Digital Media and Innovation in China - Tamedia Innovation Study Tour

By Yingzhen Chen, Junior Project Manager - PR & Communications

As Chinese technological innovation has been growing at an impressive rate in recent years, it has prompted a new wave of new media innovation that is redefining the Chinese media landscape. From April 1-5, swissnex China had the pleasure of organizing a 5-day Chinese digital media study trip for an executive delegation from Tamedia 20 Minuten, for the purpose of better understanding the new media ecosystem in China, discuss and exchange best practices with their Chinese counterparts, and have a deep dive into China’s latest innovations.

Taking part in the program were Marco Boselli, Editor-in-Chief of 20 Minuten, Gaudenz Looser, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of 20 Minuten, Mike Jenke, Head of Product of 20 Minuten and Mike J. Herter, Head of Innovation of Tamedia.

On April 1, the first day of the program, Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO of swissnex China, welcomed the delegation to China and gave a brief introduction to the Tamedia delegation on the research and innovation landscape in China, and what the swissnex China team does to connect the dots between Switzerland and China.

swissnex China team warmly welcomed the Tamedia delegations in Shanghai office.

swissnex China team warmly welcomed the Tamedia delegations in Shanghai office.

Afterwards, two members of the delegation visited Ximalaya (Himalaya), the leading audio and podcast sharing platform in China. The representatives of Ximalaya introduced their innovative audio ecosystem, including its content production and distribution process, podcaster university and business model, and they had an in-depth discussion on content distribution innovation.

Concurrently, the other two delegation members visited Shanghai Daily, the largest English-language newspaper in Shanghai and second largest in China, started its digital platform SHINE in October 1999. The executive representatives shared their respective experiences on digital transformation in the news industry.

Tamedia delegation with the Shanghai Daily editors.

Tamedia delegation with the Shanghai Daily editors.

In the afternoon, the group visited Yitiao, one of the most influential short-video new media in China focusing on lifestyle, fashion and art-focused content, providing daily quality videos and articles and targeting the Chinese middle class. The editors of Yitiao showed their studios, post-production rooms and a ‘kitchen studio’ exclusively for their food channel Mei Shi Tai.

Yitiao’s kitchen studio for its popular food social media Mei Shi Tai.

Yitiao’s kitchen studio for its popular food social media Mei Shi Tai.

Pear Video, the leading information short video platform in China, own its office in Shanghai and Beijing.

Pear Video, the leading information short video platform in China, own its office in Shanghai and Beijing.

For the last stop of the day, the group visited Pear Video, a leading news video platform founded in 2016, with 30k approved freelancers across China and globally, generating 1k videos every week. All the videos are fact-checked and quality-controlled internally. Pear Video recently launched Commonly as its English platform on Weibo.

On the second day, the group was invited to visit the College of Arts and Media of Tongji University in Jiading. The Vice Dean and professors welcomed the delegations and guided them on a comprehensive campus tour. The group visited various research facilities of the college, including fundamental labs and specialized practice labs in animation, interactive media, visual effects and electronic media etc. It was an insightful opportunity for the delegation to establish an overview of Chinese new media ecosystem from the academic side, at one of the first-tier new media colleges in China.

The Tamedia delegation visits the animation dome at the College of Arts and Media of Tongji University.

The Tamedia delegation visits the animation dome at the College of Arts and Media of Tongji University.

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In the afternoon, the group continued their tour by transferring from academia to the latest practices in the industry, to grasp some ideas on how the traditional media dealt with their innovation. Yicai (China Business Network), China’s largest and most comprehensive financial media group owned by Shanghai Media Group (SMG) welcomed the delegations, guided them to their news rooms, studios, product department, among other facilities. Within the affiliate network of Yicai, there are Yicai TV, China Business News, YiMagazine, Yicai New Media Tech,Yicai Global, Yicai Radio, Yicai Forum, Yicai Research Institute, Big Data, Lujiazui Financial Herald and etc.

The Yicai executive boards was presenting Yicai company, the delegations exchanges valuable experiences on traditional media transformation.

The Yicai executive boards was presenting Yicai company, the delegations exchanges valuable experiences on traditional media transformation.

After Yicai, the group visited International Channel Shanghai (ICS), the foreign language cable channel of SMG, which started producing 10 o’clock English news in 1986. The representatives from both companies shared their insights in the new media innovation.

The main television studio of ICS.

The main television studio of ICS.

After exploring the latest digital innovation in the media industry in Shanghai, the group started a new chapter of the tour in Beijing, the capital city of China which is home to many headquarters of technology, media companies and startups. Taking the Renaissance EMU high speed train at speeds up to 350km/h, the delegation arrived in Beijing on April 3 by travelling 1318 kilometres in 4.5 hours.

The first stop in Beijing was the Kuaishou HQ (Kwai on the international market) and Acfun. Kuaishou is the largest social video sharing platform in the world with more than 700 million registered users and more than 100 million daily active users who upload over 10 million videos everyday. Kuaishou encourages users to share their stories in ordinary life. By applying AI and big data, Kuaishou enables machines to have a deeper insight into users, to understand their behaviour data in boosting the video production, understanding and distribution, at the same time presenting a diverse and down-to-earth community. Acfun is a popular Chinese video sharing website among the animation, comic, game and novel audiences, it was acquired by Kuaishou in 2018.

The Tamedia delegations with Kuaishou International PR team at Kuaishou HQ in Beijing.

The Tamedia delegations with Kuaishou International PR team at Kuaishou HQ in Beijing.

The senior manager of Innoway was presenting China’s first Baidu Brain Innovation Experience Center at Innoway in Beijing.

The senior manager of Innoway was presenting China’s first Baidu Brain Innovation Experience Center at Innoway in Beijing.

In order to obtain an image of the China start-up culture and innovation in a nutshell, the group visited Innoway, China’s No.1 Hi-tech landmark of start-ups, created by Beijing and Haidian District. The mixture of investor offices, show-room, start-up cafes and “incubators” located in Beijing’s tech-heavy Zhongguancun. Since June 2014, Innoway has incubated over 1,900 Startups, with more than 222 international ventures. 743 Startups successfully received investments, accounting for 9.104 Billion RMB.  The representatives of Innoway introduced the group about Innoway projects and organized a networking dinner with some startup founders.

On April 4, the group visited the Phoenix International Media Center, the new headquarter and broadcast center of China’s largest private broadcaster Phoenix TV. With the Phoenix Chinese Channel, the Phoenix InfoNews Channel, the Phoenix Chinese News and Entertainment Channel which broadcasts in Europe, the Phoenix North American Chinese Channel, the Phoenix Movie Channel and the Phoenix Hong Kong Channel, Phoenix TV reach audience excess of 360 million worldwide. Wang Shu, the architect of the Phoenix International Media Center, received the 2012 Pritzker Prize for his ballooning torus formed by a twisting lattice of steel surrounded by glass. It was extremely interesting to visit the building while being guided through Phoenix TV’s studios, news rooms and exhibition arena in this artistic pavilion.

The group enjoyed a exciting tour at the Phoenix International Media Center with the Phoenix TV delegations.

The group enjoyed a exciting tour at the Phoenix International Media Center with the Phoenix TV delegations.

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The delegation also visited iQIYI, an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China launched in 2010. The average mobile monthly active users of its mobile app is 565 million, ranked No.1 in the Chinese online video streaming platform, also the No.3 among top Chinese apps. iQIYI’s comprehensive entertainment ecosystem provides users with services including e-commerce, comics, literature, gaming, movie ticket bookings and short videos. The representatives of iQIYI introduced their business, content production and distribution model, IP ecosystem as well as AI-driven technology. By applying technological innovation such AI, Dolby Atmos, 4K and adaptive bitstream, iQIYI built up system on video intelligent creation, production, tagging, distribution, play, monetization and customer service. 

The Tamedia delegation was visiting the iQIYI exhibition wall in iQIYI ‘s HQ in Haidian, Beijing.

The Tamedia delegation was visiting the iQIYI exhibition wall in iQIYI ‘s HQ in Haidian, Beijing.

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Last but not least, the group paid a visit to Plug and Play China in Zhongguancun, to obtain deeper insights into the start-up and investment ecosystem in media-related field. Plug and Play China had built up the largest innovation platform bridging startups, investors and blue chip corporations globally. The delegations exchanged creative ideas on case studies in different industries such as VR and advertising.

The Tamedia delegations were discussing innovative case studies of startups in media and VR industries with the PLUG and PLAY delegations.

The Tamedia delegations were discussing innovative case studies of startups in media and VR industries with the PLUG and PLAY delegations.

swissnex China was honoured and delighted to receive the Tamedia executive delegation, providing them with an overview of the landscape of the Chinese new media and innovation ecosystem and opening a dialogue for potential bilateral Sino-Swiss collaboration. We would also like to express our great appreciation to the companies mentioned above for the warm welcome and their precious time in presenting the companies.

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Towards a “New Innovation” – For a more sustainable society

Photo | GDUT-CNAN Institute, Dongguan University of Technology

Final review | Chen Yihua

Dongguan University of Technology May 9th, 2019

Professor Boer shares with you the future development trend of Intelligent manufacturing.

On the afternoon of May 9, Professor Claudio Roberto Boër from Switzerland brought a unique scientific lecture to the students in the Sino-French lecture hall.

The seminar was based on the theme of - Research and Search: A quest for a "new innovation" for a more sustainable society , focusing on mechanical engineering technology, sustainable development and innovation in today's society, and the frontier and future trends of international advanced manufacturing technology.

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Prof. Boër vividly explained the progress of technology for students in a series of non-traditional manufacturing processes, such as diamond manufacturing and parts manufacturing.

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Professor Boër interacts enthusiastically with the students. At the lecture, the students also circulated two books written and published by Professor Boër. At the end of the lecture, Professor Boër answered the questions one by one.

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This lecture lasted nearly two hours. Professor Boër's speech was close to real life, and the examples were rich. Finally, the curtain came to a successful conclusion with applause. It is believed that after Professor Boer’s lectures, the students have a new understanding of their majors.

The Background of Prof. Boer

Professor Claudio Roberto Boër, Fellow of the International Society of Production Engineering (CIRP), Vice President of the Swiss University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland, Senior Advisor of SwissnexChina, previous Swiss Consul of the Swiss Federal Government Science and Technology Center, and Vice President of the Valorsec Anstalt Advisory Committee.

Professor Boër has 16 years of experience in the Swiss precision and automation industry, including the Swiss ABB Group, the Swiss company Tornos, Charmilles Technology, and 17-years Expert for Swiss Federal Technical Innovation Council. In addition, Professor Boër is involved in writing related books and articles on manufacturing, robotics, extended enterprise, mass customization and sustainable development. He is also the co-founder of the company, focusing on the development of virtual reality technology, 3D simulation technology, specialized production systems and non-profit projects, and promoted the development of more than 10 global projects.

 Since 1991, Professor Boër has actively promoted cooperation between Chinese local governments and European and Swiss agencies to develop more than 15 projects. Teaching courses on manufacturing and sustainable development technology in Chinese universities.

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Legal strategies to adapt to new digital trends – What role for Switzerland?

By Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager for Academic Relations

With the development of new digital technologies inevitably arise new legal challenges that touch on a variety of topics, such as protection from harmful content, ensuring election integrity, personal data protection and data portability. While there appears to be a consensus on the fact that a global framework for these questions is needed, how to shape the new regulations for the digital world remains a real question.

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On April 29, swissnex China had the pleasure to welcome Prof. Jacques de Werra, Vice-Rector at the university of Geneva, who gave a lecture addressing the challenges in setting new rules for the internet and the digital world, as well as the role for Switzerland and Geneva in the global digital policy ecosystem.

The field is broad, the issues complex and there is a great diversity of interests involved. Considering this, the professor expressed the idea that governments, companies and citizens can come together in an agreement to shape the framework they want and need. He further suggested that soft laws, if well-drafted, can be a useful tool for this purpose.

Geneva has long been a hub for multilateral discussions, including those in the field of global digital policy making. In the continuity of this tradition, Prof. de Werra highlighted that Switzerland – as an established trusted neutral platform – is a privileged place for the development of global digital policies and that there is a real opportunity to further utilize this potential to foster multilateral agreements.

As a scholar and Vice-Rector of the University of Geneva, he also touched on the role that universities can play in this process: they can not only be a place for education on the legal questions surrounding digital technologies, but also serve as a forum and an instigator for the debate – thus contributing to the shaping of efficient policies.

We were joined that night by a number of Swiss Alumni, namely from the University of Geneva. People from different industries, including the legal field, university professors and students could extend the debate during the networking reception that capped off the night.

Genevans and University of Geneva Alumni with Prof. Jacques de Werra and Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO at swissnex China (Right).

Genevans and University of Geneva Alumni with Prof. Jacques de Werra and Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO at swissnex China (Right).

We would like to thank again the professor for his valuable insights and for providing such a rich opportunity for University of Geneva Alumni to reconnect in Shanghai.

swissnex China looks forward to seeing you at our future events.

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April, Month of Academia

By Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager for Academic Relations

April was high in academic activities at swissnex China as a number of delegations from Swiss Universities visited us in Shanghai. Here are some of the highlights of the month:

EMBA School of Management Fribourg

The EMBA program of the School of Management Fribourg joined us for a two week long study trip in China. The 13 professionals of the delegation started off with a week of conferences and company visits in Beijing and came to our office on April 8 to kick off a diverse study program set in Shanghai over the following days.

On that day, the delegation was welcome by Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex China, who presented the mission and activities of swissnex China and shared insights about the innovation landscape in China. He then gave the floor to Mr. Peter Bachmann, Executive Director of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Mr. Bachmann shared his expertise on the opportunities and challenges for Swiss enterprises on the Chinese market.

Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul & CEO of swissnex China giving a lecture to the EMBA delegation of School of Management Fribourg

Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul & CEO of swissnex China giving a lecture to the EMBA delegation of School of Management Fribourg

The EMBA delegation from Fribourg further benefited for a few hours from a lecture given by Dr. Heini Shi, Professor of Practice Management at NYU Shanghai. The professor, who has worked in the United States and in Europe, gave an introduction on how to do business in China during a dynamic and interactive session, notably through the presentation of case studies. She highlighted some important factors of success or failure of businesses in China - especially as compared to other markets - by taking the example of two renowned companies.

In the late afternoon the delegation visited CBC Shanghai, before returning to our space where they were invited to attend the FiresideChat with Daniel Heusser . To cap off the day, they took part in the networking reception that followed the conference along with many Shanghai-based Swiss or Chinese professionals.

 

The next few days were just as rich, as the program organized by the academic relations section at swissnex China included numerous visits and lectures. On April 9, they went to the Swiss Center (SCC) located in the Free Trade Zone in Shanghai. This was an opportunity to understand the activity of the Swiss Center as well as the functioning and the potential advantages of such a Free Trade Zone depending on the characteristics of certain companies.

The lectures included presentations by Mr. Nicolas Musy, Founder of China Integrated, Ms. Emmanuelle Roduit, Deputy General Manager of SCC, Ms. Lucky Ding, Trade Specialist at SCC, as well as Mr. Patrick Glauser, Head of Operation & Business Development Migros. The students from Fribourg also visited two innovative companies that have their premises in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone: Tornos & Steinway Asia Pacific.

EMBA delegation of School of Management Fribourg at the Swiss Center.

EMBA delegation of School of Management Fribourg at the Swiss Center.

On April 10, the delegation spent one day visiting GKIC (Great Knowledge & Innovation Community) located in Yangpu District. The morning program was opened by a guided tour of the GKIC Showroom which illustrated the history, development as well as the companies of the area. Afterwards, the delegation visited NEO, the Chinese blockchain company who has recently set-up an office in Switzerland and Inno Space +, one of the leading incubators for entrepreneurs and startups.

EMBA delegation of School of Management Fribourg visiting GKIC.

EMBA delegation of School of Management Fribourg visiting GKIC.

In the afternoon session, the students attended a lecture given by Prof. Ulf Henning RICHTER on Socio and Geopolitical Environment of Doing Business in China, followed by discussions with two China-based Swiss start-up companies Ubisim and VirtaMed, who shared their understanding about challenges and opportunities of Chinese market.

On their last day, April 11, the delegation visited Mettler Toledo, a leading global manufacturer and market of precision instruments and services for use in laboratories and manufacturing. The students visited the production units and were given a presentation on the functioning of the company, thus gaining some valuable insights on team management, quality control and innovation strategies of a state-of-the-art company.

EMBA delegation of School of Management Fribourg during their visit of Mettler Toledo

EMBA delegation of School of Management Fribourg during their visit of Mettler Toledo

In the afternoon, the students were received in the Shanghai office of Eiger, a full-service law firm with Asia Pacific and Greater China practice strengths providing counseling and assistance in corporate, commercial, dispute resolution and intellectual property matters. Mr. Xu Tian welcomed them and gave a lecture on how to register a company in China and on the legal protection of intellectual property that arise in this context.

swissnex China was delighted to receive and accompany this enthusiastic team of young professionals from Romandie and we wish them the best in their future activities.

HESAV – Haute Ecole de Santé Vaud and Ecole – and Ecole de la Source

On April 26, swissnex China was delighted to receive a group of ten highly motivated nursing students from HESAV and la Source. Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex China provided the delegation with special insights into innovation in China and what the swissnex China team does to connect the dots between Switzerland and China.

This stop in Shanghai concluded a study trip of three weeks spent in Jiangnan University, in Wuxi. During the time in Jiangsu province the nursing students learned about different practices of Chinese Traditional Medicine as it is widely administrated in the current care system.  Coming to swissnex China was a chance for the young talents to complement this knowledge by discussing the innovation landscape in China and Switzerland and comparing best practices. Notably, the talk included topics like robotic and AI technologies that are gradually introduced to assist their work.

We very much appreciated receiving in our space these students who came full of curiosity, as well as Carlos Masias Valdes and Christopher Gueniat who accompanied them. We would also like to thank HEIG-VD, Etat de Vaud, and CHUV, as well as Anne Catherine Lyon, Chantal Ostorero, and Maxline C. Stettler for the invaluable support!

Nursing students of HESAV and la Source during their visit at swissnex China.

Nursing students of HESAV and la Source during their visit at swissnex China.

IEMBA ZHAW

In the afternoon of April 9, 14 IEMBA students of School of Management and Law, Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) visited swissnex China.

Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex China presented the mission and activities of swissnex China and shared insights about the innovation landscape in China. The students asked many questions about intercultural management, challenges of IPR protection as well as the most important elements that will influence the success of business in China.

Presentation by Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul & CEO of swissnex China

Presentation by Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul & CEO of swissnex China

Mr. Olivier Zehnder, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai gave an introduction about Sino-Swiss relations and Swiss presence in China and Shanghai, followed by a guest lecture given by Prof. Dr. Han Zheng, Innovation and Entrepreneurship expert.

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Han Zheng

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Han Zheng

After the rich afternoon program, the delegation attended a networking event with Swiss expats in Shanghai organized by swissnex China.

Composed of business leaders and young professionals with strong leadership potential all over the world, the IEMBA delegation of ZHAW embarked on a field trip to China to get in-depth knowledge about doing business in the most fast-growing economy. swissnex China wishes them a successful trip in China!

 

HFW Bern & Swiss Education Fair 2019

swissnex China also participated in two events in collaboration with Swiss Business Hub. On April 16 came a delegation from HFW Bern to swissnex China for a series of presentations. The lectures were given by Mr. Olivier Zehnder, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai, Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex China, Mr. Danli Zhou, Co-Deputy CEO and Communication Manager of swissnex China, and Mr. Leo Peng, Senior Trade Officer at Swiss Business Hub.

Presentation by Danli Zhou, Co-Deputy CEO and Communication Manager at swissnex China

Presentation by Danli Zhou, Co-Deputy CEO and Communication Manager at swissnex China

On April 13 and 14, swissnex China was present with a booth at the Swiss Education Fair 2019 in Shanghai and in Chengdu.  We represented the Swiss public institutions of higher education, answering people’s questions and presenting the variety and the quality of the curricula as well as the excellency of swiss academic research.

Libing Gu, Project Leader for Academic Relations and Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager for Academic Relations representing the Swiss Public Institutions of Higher Education at the Swiss Education Fair 2019 in Shanghai.

Libing Gu, Project Leader for Academic Relations and Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager for Academic Relations representing the Swiss Public Institutions of Higher Education at the Swiss Education Fair 2019 in Shanghai.

25 years in China – The successful journey of the Swiss Architect Daniel Heusser

By Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager for Academic Relations

Every few months, SwissCham and swissnex China invite a seasoned Swiss professional based in China in the scope of an event series called the FiresideChat. This interactive format is an opportunity to share experiences and practices, notably on the topics of setting up a business or settling in China as well as on many related cross-cultural considerations.


On April 8, 2019, we had the pleasure to welcome the Swiss Architect Daniel Heusser. After graduating in architecture from ETH Zurich, Daniel Heusser has worked as senior architect and project manager in China for 25 years, first in the role of the Vice General Manager of a Sino-Swiss Joint Venture company for Architecture and Urban Planning in Shijiazhuang and Beijing, and from the year 2003 onwards as founder and managing partner of Virtuarch in Shanghai.

Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO of swissnex China, welcoming the guests.

Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO of swissnex China, welcoming the guests.

He took the opportunity of the chat to reflect on his journey and his learning experience since he arrived in the Chinese context of the 1990’s. He was able to highlight the challenges he faced, first in the establishment of the joint-venture and then in taking the big plunge of swimming on his own when he founded his own company in 2003.

He was further able to touch on a number of aspects, including the managing of Virtuarch, laying out strategies as well as planning and overlooking well designed projects, stressing the importance of trusting his gut feelings to prevent problems and having the flexibility to adapt – and to readapt – to ever changing circumstances.

Mr. Daniel Heusser, presenting his journey, sharing insights on how to build a successful business in China and answering questions.

Mr. Daniel Heusser, presenting his journey, sharing insights on how to build a successful business in China and answering questions.

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Daniel Heusser’s key to success can hardly be summed up in a few words. Nonetheless, on that evening it appeared that without denying his “Swiss way”, he managed to grow by being receptive to and learning from a “Chinese way”, which is a point he expressed when answering questions during the Q&A session that followed his speech.

For the occasion, our community was joined by a delegation from the EMBA of the School of Management of Fribourg, and all the guests were able to further exchange and connect during the networking reception that followed.

On this note, we would also like to thank ETH Zurich and the ETH Zurich Alumni Chapter for supporting the event.

The swissnex China team looks forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

MAS ETH MTEC Delegation Explores China Business Landscape

By Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager – Academic Relations

On March 11th, swissnex China had the pleasure of receiving 33 ETH Zurich MAS MTEC students, along with Prof. Stefano Brusoni, Xavier Mundet Ciriza, and Daniela Stocker.

Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO of swissnex China, welcomed the participants and introduced the higher education, research and innovation landscape in China. This was followed by an overview of the mission and activities of swissnex China.

Mr. Michael Lehmann, General Manager at sim (Selective International Management Shanghai), gave a lecture to the students, sharing his expertise on the many aspects of doing business in China. He presented the students with different practical cases that served as the base material for a workshop which they conducted throughout the week.

After having lunch all together in a nearby restaurant, the students split into smaller groups in order to work and reflect on the selected cases.

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The entire delegation returned to swissnex China on Friday, March 15th. On this occasion, the different groups from the delegations shared and debated their conclusions from the workshop. Their proposed solutions and models were inspired by the various visits and presentations from which they had benefited during the previous days.

Presentation of swissnex China by Dr.Felix Moesner

Presentation of swissnex China by Dr.Felix Moesner

The MAS ETH MTEC delegation with Michael Lehmann(left) and Dr. Felix Moesner(center)

The MAS ETH MTEC delegation with Michael Lehmann(left) and Dr. Felix Moesner(center)

Indeed, during the study trip, the delegation had the opportunity to visit different companies such as Bühler, Ctrip and Roche.

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One of our team members accompanied them on one of these visits, to the Ctrip headquarters in Soho. There, the participants were able to discover the operations of an innovative company in the field of online travel service. They received a presentation about the functioning of the company and its strategies both for the Chinese and on the international market. The visit was concluded by a enriching Q&A session.

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To wrap up this enlightening program, Mr. Olivier Zehnder, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai, invited the delegation for a networking reception at the Swiss Residence on Friday evening. They had the chance to connect with select members of the Swiss community residing in China, mainly from ETH Zurich alumni community in Shanghai, and the night was full of fruitful exchanges.

swissnex China was delighted to receive the delegation of the MAS ETH MTEC program, a team composed of dynamic professionals who came to China to acquire new perspectives, knowledge and strategies in the field of management, technology and economics. Thank you to Michael Lehmann, sim for his presentation as well as Prof. Stefano Brusoni, Xavier Mundet Ciriza and Daniela Stocker for the amazing pool of talents. We look forward to welcoming them again next year!

Mr. Olivier Zehnder, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai, welcoming the delegation at the Swiss Residence

Mr. Olivier Zehnder, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai, welcoming the delegation at the Swiss Residence