Chinese Business is built on long-term and partnership relationship. Networking becomes doubly important for building new business relationships, as well as for enjoying social intercourse necessary for keeping one’s sanity while living in a new and different country.
To fill this need, business associations and networking groups organize hundreds of networking events throughout the year. Most of these take place in two of China’s biggest cities, Shanghai and Beijing, which are home to a large percentage of foreign business people working in China.
Let’s look at some of the business networking opportunities in China.
Some of the best networking events are organized by the various chambers of commerce. The largest chamber, the American Chamber of Commerce, organizes dozens of events throughout the year. Many of these take the form of lectures or seminars with guest speakers. Others are “membership mixers” especially designed for networking.
The chambers also organize less formal events such Aussie Drinks, a weekly gathering of people interested in business networking and meeting socially. It’s sponsored by the Australian Chamber of Commerce.
You don’t necessarily have to be a member to attend chamber events — guest are usually welcome.
The Fortune Connection Club in Shanghai (FC Club for short) is part of a global networking organization. They sponsor excellent events in stylish venues such as Shanghai’s Azul restaurant. Examples of typical FC Club events are the Entrepreneur, Business and Finance Social Networking Evenings and the Fashion, Media and Creative Industries Social Networking Evenings.
Another networking organization that puts on good events is the OK, Deal! Club in Shanghai. An example of an OK, Deal! event is the Business Mixer and Social Networking Night which brings together business people, entrepreneurs and head hunters. Attendees must be at least 25 years old and have a minimum of 4 years work experience. The event is held in a 5-star hotel.
Other regular networking opportunities are provided by Green Drinks Shanghai. Green Drinks is mostly for people working on environmental issues, but anyone can come including people from business or government.