Ever since we started piloting study tours in 2018 we’ve been toying with the idea of having a separate brand for such services. While in our early tours we sometimes referred to them as ‘ChinaTechTrips’, we continued to offer them under the ChinaTalk brand name.
When Covid hit the world and China kept its borders closed for almost 3 years, we had to shelve our tours and it was only a few months ago that we could consider offering them again. This re-start seemed like a good time to make a few changes.
Being a formal tour operator comes with a lot of requirements and legislation. In the past, we noticed that offering tours as one of the services under the ChinaTalk brand complicated things administratively. For instance, tour operators need to insure their solvability so travelers can be guaranteed to get their money back in case of a bankruptcy of the operator. But this meant ChinaTalk also needed to insure all its non-travel revenue.
Furthermore, the tours tended to be ‘buried’ a bit in the large amount of content we share on this site.
To simplify things administratively and give the tours more visibility, we have spun them off to a sister company called ChinaTechTrip. While we will continue to share news about tours on ChinaTalk, ChinaTechTrip will be the primary brand and chinatechtrip.com the primary communication channel.
ChinaTechTrips organizes study & inspiration tours around the theme of digital innovation in China. Our primary focus is on topics like e-commerce, new retail, apps, grocery delivery, etc.
Our tours combine theoretical lectures in the morning with ‘city safaris’ in the afternoon. During these excursions into Chinese cities, travelers experience the things we learned in the morning in real-life settings. We sometimes include company visits in our programs, but avoid the ones that are little more than PR talks. We aim to have tour participants understand and experience Chinese digital innovation themselves instead.
Besides offering our own program, like in the upcoming study tour for Focusplaza, we also co-develop tours with clients that have wishes for specific themes or have certain company visits they want to include in a tour.
Our clients are companies/organizations that want to offer their members, staff or customers better insights into the digital world in China. We have identified three main reasons for professionals to participate in our tours:
- Some companies want to enter the Chinese market and sell their products to Chinese consumers. They have a need to enhance their knowledge about the digital landscape in China, which is like a parallel universe to ours.
- China is several years ahead of us in areas like e-commerce, new retail, super apps, etc. Even if you are not planning to sell to Chinese consumers, you can still get inspired by China’s unique business models and take tons of ideas back home.
- Chinese internet companies have started to expand beyond their own borders. Just think of the immense success of TikTok and fast-fashion e-tailer Shein. And this is only the start. In September 2022, China’s third biggest e-commerce company successfully launched ‘Temu’ in the US. It has already expanded to several European countries. This creates both opportunities and threats for western brands, platforms and retailers. ‘Know your enemy’ and gain competitive knowledge on our tours.
If one or more of these reasons appeals to you, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can tell you if there are tours you could join or we can explore the possibilities of organising a tour for your stakeholders.