Why You Need a Hong Kong Company Credit Card

This article is originally found at here.

Company or thinking about registering one? Do you buy things online too? For your company, not personal. Right.

Then you’ll need to get a business credit card.

First, There Aren’t Debit Cards, Just EPS/ATM Cards

In Hong Kong, they don’t have what we know of as “debit cards”. It would make life a whole lot easier for us though, and I may not even need to make today’s guide post.

A debit card is a card that has the Visa / Mastercard logo on it, and you can buy things online just like a credit card. The difference is it takes that cash out of your bank account that the debit card associated with it.

Nope, not available in Hong Kong, for what reason, I’m not sure.

So you will get a “card” when you get your bank account, but it won’t have a Visa / Mastercard logo on it. Instead it will have no “credit card” logo on the front.

What logos are on it? If you flip it over, you’ll see:

  • EPS
  • Unionpay

Now, EPS is electronic payment system. This you can use to buy things at merchants who accept EPS. This I have only found at shops inside of Hong Kong borders. You then swipe this card and enter your ATM PIN code and they directly debit the cash from your bank account.

UnionPay, this one is a Chinese version of Visa / MasterCard. But in the case of the bank account card you get with the new account, you can’t use this as a “credit card”. Instead, this means you have to find an ATM network that has the UnionPay logo. There is where you can use the ATM to withdraw cash from your bank.

Unionpay network is expanding everywhere, but please keep this in mind and look for ATMs that have it. Also, make sure you turn on the overseas ATM limit, so you can withdraw cash when outside HK. And also make sure you have HKD (Hong Kong dollars) in the checking or savings account. This is because you can’t take cash out of other currencies at the ATM, anywhere in the world. It will always take out from the HKD account (yes, even if you’re in Thailand and have Thai Baht in the account).

OK, well we’re getting in a bit deeper than I planned for the “default” card explanation. Just remember you get this when you open your bank account in Hong Kong, but you can’t use it to buy things online.

Get a Credit Card So You Can Buy Things Online

Yes, so if you open a Hong Kong company and live overseas, you’ll notice later that you can’t buy things online with your bank card. As we just covered, it will not have the Visa / MasterCard logo on it.

Next you will then apply for the credit card, so you can buy things online – in your business name. I’ve met many blog readers and podcast listeners who get the bank account opened, fly back to Thailand, get approved. Which is great. But then they realize a couple weeks later they can’t use the card to do online business.

So if you’re doing business around the world, you’ll need to find a Hong Kong based credit card for our business – as 99.9% likely you’ll need to buy things online.

Related – we have a podcast about getting credit cards for your HK company with Chris Gormley.

The other option. If you have a company overseas for your operations there, you can keep your expenses in that company and on that company credit card. Then keep the Hong Kong company as a trading company, only for bank transfers.

Try To Keep Your Business Expenses Separate From Personal

Another reason you’ll want a Hong Kong credit card is that you have a personal credit card for your own life. Yes, you have a life and aren’t a walking company. That would be weird.

Bookkeepers and accountants hate it when you mix up your personal and business expenses. Governments hate it even more. If you do ever get an inquiry from the Hong Kong IRD (Internal Revenue Department), let’s just hope you don’t. If talking about your business expenses and start whipping out personal credit card statements – watch out. That can be the beginning of a long, long back and forth discussion.

This is another reason why you should get a business credit card. At least, have a separate credit card for your personal expenses and another credit card dedicated only for your business expenses.

The Credit Card Will be in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD)

Whether you like it or not, Hong Kong works in Hong Kong Dollar currency. Sure, the government locks the HKD to USD at about 7.78 HKD/ 1 USD. But when you buy something, you’ll see it on your credit card statement as a HKD amount. Well it will show the USD amount (or whichever foreign currency) on the left column, and on the right it will show the HKD amount.

So yes, you’ll pay in HKD, and then if you have USD in your bank, you’ll need to convert that to HKD to pay the bill. That means you can do 2 foreign exchanges for 1 transaction, the first for buying the goods in USD, and the other for converting to HKD to pay the HKD denominated bill.

While this sounds like a lot of FX exchanges (and spreads to pay banks), this will still help you keep all your income and expenses in 1 company account. Will make accounting and bookkeeping much easier, and keep all business activity in one company.

The other option is, have a credit card in another country and wire money over to pay it. Or have multiple companies in multiple countries and pay the bills from one company to another, etc etc. You get what I mean, that is another overhead and expense.

There Is An Annual Fee, But Can Get It Waived

There is an annual fee for the HSBC card. It’s about 125 USD. Yes, you can get a refund if you call and ask. Just put a reminder to do so!

Points and Benefits

There are points added to the account but nothing like US credit cards. I got like a wallet one time or something. The big benefit I use is the free airport lounge pass at HK airport – take a shower, get buffet, grab a nap. Not sure how often you come through HK international airport?

Main Benefit

What’s the benefit of picking up the card? I’m assuming I’ll get a debit card with the bank, do you use the CC for expenditures to make it easy on accounting? or rack up some nice points for anything?

The benefit of the card is to keep your company expenses in the company accounts. The points aren’t as good as in USA and other countries, but you do get to go to the HK airport lounge free when traveling. There are points but not so great.

Need a Security Deposit

The credit card we recommend is a secured credit card. That means that you need to put a deposit of the matching amount the balance is. The lowest amount if 10,000 HKD (about $1,200 USD). If you want to have a higher balance, you need to have a higher security deposit.

If accepted, they will mail it to your correspondence address 3 weeks after they approve your bank account.

the credit card security deposit: Is that locked into the credit card and I only get it back when / if we close the account? Or does this deposit somehow become ‘available funds’?

The security deposit cannot be for operations. You can get the deposit back by closing the card. After requesting to close the credit card, it will take 60 days to release the security deposit. Which will then post to your HSBC HK HKD account. So keep that bank account open!

The “security deposit” on the credit card itself… I’m not familiar with the mechanics of this. Does this mean it’s a card that you “load up” with cash and have access to the cash you’ve “loaded”? I.E. You put 10k on the card, and can spend that 10k. Or, is the security deposit permanently “held”?

The security deposit will not be able to be used for operations. It is essentially locked in a time security deposit account accruing something like 0.0001% interest. You can get the deposit back by closing the card. After requesting to close the credit card, it will take 60 days to release the security deposit, which will then be posted to your HSBC HK HKD account.

Unsecured Credit Card Is Possible

Don’t want to lock up your cash in a time security deposit? Yea, we understand.

The banks do offer unsecured credit cards – but that application process is a bit more stringent.

First, what’s an unsecured credit card? It is a credit card that most people are familiar with! Its where you apply, and then get a credit line for X amount of money. Say its only $1,000USD. This means that the client can spend a thousand bucks and not pay it back. Sure, it will hurt their credit score and they won’t get approved for another card – but it is possible the bank could not get that money back.

So its unsecured, they don’t have your house, or cash, or other assets to claim (take) if you don’t pay it back.

So in Hong Kong, this is riskier – it’s not USA and they don’t look at your American credit score. They don’t know who you are and if you don’t pay it back, maybe you’ll just never come back to Hong Kong and they’ll have no way to even “mark your account” in a credit system.

This is why it’s more difficult, in general, to get credit in Asia. There aren’t these credit bureaus with established systems like in America.

So you can try to get an unsecured card in Hong Kong – but you should have some kind of track record in Hong Kong. And almost 100% sure you will need a Hong Kong residential address. They just feel safer if you live in the Hong Kong boundaries.

Cancelling Your Secured Credit Card

So, it’s always good to think ahead, to think with the end in mind. So what happens when you want to close the account? I hope you’re not starving and waiting for this security deposit to come back.

It will take 60 days to credit back to your account. Yup – 2 months. So there are ways to speed it up a bit, pay some fines and get it in a month. But still a long time. So you’ll need some patience.

Best to just not expect to be able to use this security deposit for quite some time.

Hope This Helped! Consider Letting Us Help You?

We hope this guide helped you out today. These are questions our banking clients always ask us, so why not share it with everyone.

If you want us to work alongside you through this credit card application process, we have a service just for you! Check it out.

Also, have you applied yet for a credit card? Any issues or questions, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. Let others learn from some of the issues you’ve had!

Tap & Go Prepaid Credit Card in Hong Kong

This is the site:
http://tapngo.com.hk/chi/index.html

In terms of shopping or paying, there is no greater thing than a cashless transaction – it is fast, easy, and accurate in terms of paying the exact amount; it has made online shopping easier, and it is safer. Since Hong Kong banks do not offer debit cards, and you may find credit cards a little too complicated, there’s another option called Tap & Go.

Tap & Go is basically an e-wallet / prepaid mobile MasterCard that can be accessed at your fingertips through your smartphone.

Application for Tap & Go offers 3 plans with different eligibility requirements and features

TYPE A B C
Age All ages 11 years old or above 18 years old or above
Supporting Documentation & Information None valid Hong Kong/Macau identity card or Macau/PRC passport or Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau (a) A copy of your valid Hong Kong/Macau identity card or Macau/PRC passport or Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau; and (b) A copy of your permanent residential address
Account Balance Limit HK$3,000 HK$38,000 (HK$3,000 if aged between 11 and 17) HK$38,000
Daily Aggregated Total Deposit HK$25,000 HK$38,000 (HK$25,000 if aged between 11 and 17) HK$38,000
Annual Aggregated Total Deposit HK$25,000 HK$100,000 (HK$25,000 if aged between 11 and 17) Unlimited
Maximum Account Opening One (1) per Hong Kong/ Macau/ PRC mobile number 1 5

(Source)

How to Use Tap & Go

To use Tap & Go with your mobile phone, your operating system must be iOS 7 / Android 4.2 or higher for you to be able to download the app either from Google Play or App Store.

Once you have downloaded the app, you have to purchase a Tap & Go Card through a designated branch or retailer. The easiest way to acquire a card is at 7-Eleven, which is basically available on almost every corner in Hong Kong.

To activate your account, you will have to link the card with your mobile app. In this step, you will have to submit/upload an identification card using your phone’s camera.

Here are links to more detailed tutorials on how to use Tap & Go:

1. Pay with Tap & Go
2. Top Up / Bank Transfer
3. Withdrawal
4. Paybuddy (Peer-to-Peer transfer)

Tap & Go Advantages

  1. No annual fee
  2. Can be used in 7-Eleven, 1010, csl, etc.
  3. The card is customizeable; they have a limited promo called Selfie-a-Card wherein you can choose any photo to use as the design of your card — it could be a selfie. Cool, right?
  4. Peer-to-peer fund transfer
  5. Discounts at selected stores
  6. It enables you to settle payment anywhere worldwide or online via MasterCard® contactless technology embedded in the SIM or Tap & Go Card

Tap & Go Disadvantages

  1. Fees – $300 cancellation fee if you wish to close your account within 1 year from date of activation, and the refund for the remaining balance takes a maximum of 3 months to arrive. Moreover, if you do not use the card within 6 consecutive months, your account becomes dormant; hence, you will be charged a HK$10 maintenance fee every month.
  2. Unlike a debit card, there is no interest payable on the account
  3. Not many rewards

Tap & Go for Foreigners?

Based on their website, it says that as long as you are aged 11 and above and possess a Hong Kong/Macau identity card, you may be able to open and activate a Tap & Go card. Unfortunately, as per Tap & Go’s terms and conditions, a US citizen may not be qualified to open an account. See below for reference:

1. WHO CAN APPLY FOR TAP & GO

1.1 By activating for Tap & Go, you confirm and declare that you are not a US Person as defined in US Tax legislation or a U.S. taxpayer for any other reason, in particular, (i) you are not a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident or U.S. green card holder; (ii) you do not fulfill the “substantial presence test” in the U.S.; (iii) you are not born in the U.S.; and (iv) you do not have a mailing address or contact details in the U.S

If Tap & Go does not allow Americans to open an account, then that’s another addition to its disadvantages. Overall, it’s far less complicated than applying for a credit card in Hong Kong, so to me, Tap & Go could be a great alternative for cashless and online transactions.

What To Pack For Your China Trip

This article is originally found at: https://www.globalfromasia.com/triptochina/

Planning your first trip to Asia or China and not sure what to put in that backpack?

As I write this, I am unpacking from my USA trip, arriving back to China a few hours ago, so I am just gonna go through what I brought with me!

Took years of figuring this out, and let me first tell you – less is more!

You don’t want to bog yourself down with too many small things that add up to an overweight backpack.

The China Trip Packing List

So I hope you give yourself a few days before your flight to pack. Some items may need you to print, apply online, and other items.

Or,

You’re like a lot of us and packing the night before the flight, after goodbye drinks with your hometown friends.

Well, if you’re reading this, you should be somewhat sober, let’s hope! Let’s dig into the list.

A Good Backpack

I’m not a fan of the roller bags. Having both of your hands free while traveling is a big help.

My friend Fred Perrotta has a product called Tortuga Backpack. I have been using it lately and it saves me money checking bags as it is the max size of a carry on, while also strapping to your back.

I’ve used the belt strap pocket to hold my passport for easy access during airplane check-in. And other times I need to grab my passport in last minute inquisitions.

I’ve also had it where I’ve had one backpack on my back, and another strapped to my chest. Nowadays the front pack is my baby, but that is another blog post 😉

The key is to have a bag that allows you to use both hands while traveling.

A VPN For Online Surfing

I had no idea what a VPN was when I first traveled to China. But once the internet filtering got worse and worse in 2009, I had no choice but to learn.

Newcomers to China will soon find they cannot load Facebook, Twitter, and Google products. There is also a long list of other websites not accessible in China. The reason why, I don’t want to get into today, but the main point is – you need to access these right!

I am a fan of Astrill VPN (you can signup via my affiliate link here). They have somehow kept up with the ever changing Chinese firewall, and only had a couple days where it is slow or not working. I recommend getting the Stealth upgrade. I’m not exactly sure but it works better, and also lets me sync my Dropbox (yes, they block Dropbox too).

Whether you use Astrill or another, just make sure you get the VPN before coming to China! Sure, you can always find a way to get it while inside the great Chinese firewall, but better to have the tools ready to go upon arrival.

Cheap Nokia Phone And A Smartphone

Back in America, I could get by with just 1 phone. Here in Asia, almost all the various countries the average is like 2.3 phones per person. Crazy right?

Why?

First, you can’t port your number over from one mobile service provider to another. Thus people want to keep their old number but switch from say China mobile to China Unicom.

Others want to separate work and personal.

For you, you might want to keep your USA number on. The phone may also have a lock on it from the cell phone carrier you use, such as Verizon.

Another reason is theft. You’re going to be meeting a lot of new people and out and about a lot when you first land in China. Having a “cheap Nokia” or other phone as your Chinese number just helps you keep things simple when traveling.

For example when in Philippines, I have a cheap old Nokia for voice calls using their Smart carrier. For my internet, I have a Globe plan with unlimited surfing, and that is on my Android LG G3 phone. When I go to a restaurant, and people are calling me to coordinate meeting, I only need to answer with my Nokia phone. I’m not as paranoid attracting pick pockets.

There are a lot of use cases for having a cheap unlocked Nokia phone, so pick one up. Best to get it when you arrive in Hong Kong or China, at an electronics market. The cost is about 10 bucks. You can then buy a pre-paid SIM card, activate it, and you’re ready to rock!

Get a T-Mobile Plan Before Leaving USA

T-Mobile has been awesome for the past few years. They have plans that don’t need a contract, which is amazing for in-frequent America visitors like me. Then a couple years ago they went above and beyond allowing international roaming on their phone plans!

The calls are not free overseas, but the internet and text messaging is free. The speed might be slow, as you get the slower band or a “not as good” carrier in the country you’re in, but who cares! It is free and unlimited.

This is another reason why having 2 phones comes in handy. You can keep your USA phone on and use it for internet and texting friends back in America. While at the same time you use the Chinese Nokia phone for calling people in China.

Install Wechat Mobile App

In China nowadays all you need on your mobile phone is an app called Wechat. It is a chat app and more.

The main point is that everyone in China is on it, and it is more important than business cards. At networking events, if people want to keep in touch they scan each other’s QR code in Wechat and add each other. What’s your Wechat? Heard all the time, so by being set up and ready to go from the get-go is a huge help.

You can even start to connect with potential people in China before you move. Going onto Chinese social networks and finding people you’d want to connect with. The best way to keep in touch is to get their Wechat username. It is a closed system so you will not be able to find people in Wechat direct in searching. Instead on English speaking expat websites in the city you are targeting to move to is a good start.

Less “Stuff” = More

One big thing when I moved overseas is that I realized how much stuff we all accumulate. Free t-shirts at events, new clothes for various dress codes. After a couple trips to Wal-Marts (ones in China are massive, and can be an adventure in themselves!) and you’ll have so much stuff it is hard to move!

Less is more. With today’s sharing economy, there will be more networks where you can rent “stuff” that you’d accumulate.

I recommend having standard “uniform” of clothes that you wear on a regular basis. Three to four sets of the same tops and bottoms, to make life so much easier.

Extreme you say? Well, you don’t have to have the exact same sets of clothes, but by not focusing on fashion you will be set free!

Multiple Wallets

Wallets can get out of hand. Especially for those who travel across borders often. Moving to China, you will still keep your USD and credit cards I assume? The question is, do you mix that with your new China financials?

The best way I have sorted through this is to keep multiple wallets. That way I don’t mix up my cash and cards. I put them in a safe place in my apartment, and when I am preparing to travel I grab the wallets I will need during these trips.

SIM cards can go inside too, as well as any special travel documents you use on the road.

Before keeping multiple wallets, I would switch out the cash and cards and put them into a plastic bag or box. But then I would misplace that and dig through all sorts of places until I remembered where I put it. Having dedicated places for your important currency and cards keeps my mind at ease.

Photocopy of Your Passport

While in China, we need to keep our passports on us at all times. Sure, I know who does that?

Well, if you ever do get into an incident – the first thing the Chinese police will ask is for a copy of your passport. If you don’t have one on you, it can become an issue. Though I can say when I had my laptop bag stolen, I reported it to the police and they didn’t require me to have a passport. Some other friends I have talked to that had police officers drive them back to their apartments to get their passport.

Still, the best way is to keep a photocopy with you. This way the police or other government officials who require it in your day to day can see something.

Don’t like to hold paper on you? Sure, another idea is to have a digital copy on your mobile phone. Or synced on your Dropbox account, you can access it when someone asks.

Especially as a newcomer to China, you will be needing your identification a lot. From apartment contracts, banking, and job opportunities, they’ll always ask for it. Best to have a few ways to access your ID on demand.

Chinese Visa

Flying to China and don’t have a visa? Probably not possible, these days when you check into your flight the attendant will check your passport. Almost all passport holders need to have a visa to enter China, even us Americans.

There used to be easier ways to get a visa upon arrival, but nowadays it is best to apply while still in your home country. Are you coming as a tourist or to do business? I suggest playing it safe and paying a bit more for a business class visa.

Once you get it, like your passport, keep a photograph and scanned copy of this China visa. They’ll stick it to a page in your passport. Sometimes companies will want to see your visa when applying to things online. So it is much faster to have it already scanned and in digital form when sending in the documents. I still struggle to this day to scan things while on the road.

Bonus: APEC Card

This is a bonus one, but you will be on a whole new level compared to your other foreign friends in China. Holding an APEC card you can get the full guide here.

Medical Card

What is your blood type? Any allergies?

I want to call this one your “dog tag”. A dog tag comes from military days when soldiers had to hold metal tags as a necklace. It contained their personal information and blood type.

I’d also recommend keeping this card in English and Chinese. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Store it in your wallet or inside your passport and with your passport copy. Laminate it.

Here is the information I recommend

Name:
Date of Birth:
Emergency contact person: (name / phone / relationship)
Blood Type:
Allergies:

Remember, in both English and Chinese.

Let’s put this in perspective. You land in China, you’re enjoying a nice meal. You get ill and pass out. You’re deep in Central China and no one else speaks English. They call an ambulance, and check for your identification on you. They see this laminated card in English and Chinese and know a lot about you, in their Chinese language. The medics are confident not to give you medicine you may be allergic to. You get a blood transfusion with the correct blood type. They contact your mom back in USA with the contact information on you.

Let’s try not to compare that to someone with no ID and all alone in a Chinese rural town.

Sure, you shouldn’t travel by yourself. You can also picture a time you get split up from your friends, lost on a subway, or drunk and wandered off on a pub crawl.

So let’s be smart and keep this kind of medical information on us to make life safer.

Insurance Back Home Covering You?

While on the topic of medical, it is also a good idea to make sure that you let your insurance provider know you’re traveling overseas. Or at least make sure you’re covered while on the road.

Most insurance policies should cover this. But by being proactive and aware of it you will feel much more confident traveling overseas. It also may remind you to have a copy of your insurance policy in electronic format (or print even better) for your travels.

Don’t have insurance? You can pay in cash in China, and of course they prefer that. Minor medical issues are not too expensive, though many of my friends can’t imagine going to a hospital in Mainland China. Hong Kong is much more Westernized. But so are the prices! So I would recommend having insurance if seeking medical attention in HK.

Check our blog post on medical insurance in Hong Kong and China for more info.

Tell Your Banks You’re Traveling Overseas

Here is a horror story for ya. It was my first time in Hong Kong, and maybe my second or third day. I put my Bank of America ATM card into a China Construction ATM and input my PIN. I received a popup that they “ate” my card and to contact my bank.

Horrified, I thought what can I do? It was during banking business hours, so I walked into the branch and waited to speak to a representative. She explained that they cannot access the ATM, and that they would mail the card back to my bank address in America.

What?!?

I rushed back to my friend’s home where I was staying. Hopping onto the internet I contacted Bank of America via chat support. They explained that my card had recently expired and they would mail me a new one. To my USA address! I had couple more weeks in Asia, what could I do?

That is what good friends are for, I was lent money to cover me a couple days, and then had money sent to their bank by bank transfer. And credit cards helped as well for most of the trip.

Scary right?

I have heard other stories similar, and bankers tell me that it’s best to check up on your bank before traveling. They are getting more and more fraud protection in place. They may freeze your account, at least a temporary hold, if they see overseas activity.

So just spend the few minutes – let’s hope not hours on hold – with your bank’s customer service. You will feel more at ease that first trip to an ATM overseas.

Layered Clothing

Predicting the weather seems something even full-time Meteorologists have trouble doing. Hong Kong and South China is always hot, but there are times you’ll need a light jacket, or maybe medium level.

To best deal with the various weather outlooks, I suggest packing so that you can layer up your clothes. Having an undershirt, normal shirt, and then sweatshirt or hoodie helps a lot.

You might have your own style of fashion that is “high maintenance” and may skip over this section thinking I’m crazy. You’ll learn, :). I’ve seen a lot of long term travelers who started out with lugging around their full wardrobe. Yet over time have chosen travel light over carrying clothes.

What will the decision be for you?

So I’ll finish this section off with, stick with your current clothing style. But if you need a shipping container to move from one place to another, it may be hard to have a life of a traveler. It’s a process, so enjoy the journey.

Water Bottle

Attending trade shows in China, you will see rows and rows of factories that make water bottles and tea containers. The first time I seen this I thought “who buys all these?”.

I’m now a happy customer of a wide assortment of water bottles and tea containers. Staying hydrated while traveling is key to staying healthy. Whether you travel to China or not.

The difference with China (and other parts of Asia) from the West is the fact you can’t drink the tap water. Restaurants will serve hot water or tea, never ice water. There aren’t any public water fountains on your trip. So you’re left with buying bottled water (or, juices and sodas which aren’t helpful for hydration) or carrying your own around.

Started out with friends donating them before I took the hint. Filling up from a larger water machine before leaving your apartment or a hotel to start your day will at least force you to consume that much liquid.

What seems like a simple item on this checklist is important. I also have it clipped onto my backpack so that I can keep my hands free. The clip also helps you to remember to take it when you trek from place to place throughout the day.

Items For Offline Blocks

While we are in 2015, there still isn’t widespread wifi in public transportation areas. We need to deal with it by preparing with things to keep our minds busy during those long flights and phases when we cannot access the internet.

We wrote up a full article on offline tools so if you want to do a deep dive on check it out. Here is a short list:

  • Podcasts downloaded to your device (as mp3, not streaming)
  • Kindle, or a couple paper books
  • Google docs, offline mode enabled
  • Zen music to get you in the mode of the moment.

I’m sure you’ll think of your own tools and tricks to stay occupied when without internet. For me, I don’t like the fact that I don’t have internet control if I can be productive or not. I love to control my work productivity, internet or not.

Chinese Apps for Language & Travel Help

We live and die by the smartphone these days. It is the modern equipment of a road warrior and traveler. So leverage this power!

Here are some apps that help me get by in China:

  • Chinese Dictionary

    At first I thought there was no way I could read Chinese. Slowly but surely now I’m up to over 500 characters and growing daily. While it may seem daunting and you’re just in China for a short term trip (so you think!) – you should still prepare and have a Chinese dictionary on your phone. I’m a partner in one choice, Written Chinese’s WCC dictionary is almost completely free and also has OCR functionality so you can scan and translate signs in China on demand.

  • Wechat

    Has its own dedicated section earlier in the article. Still, to re-iterate, there is no getting around using this app if you live in or do business with China. Download Wechat

  • Skype

    Most Chinese factories and business owners who deal with international business will know it and have an account. Consider having a separate account for business and personal. Get Skype

  • Spaxtel

    An easy and low cost way to make international calls, when the Chinese internet sucks (as it often does). Full disclosure, my friend is a founder here, but I am not compensated to recommend this one. Check out Spaxtel here.

There are tons of other apps too, which you will hear about from friends and colleagues once you get into China.

**Tip** – I recommend downloading and installing these apps while still overseas. Especially if you are an Android user, as Google Play is banned here and it is a lot of hassle to get these apps downloaded inside of Chinese internet. Apple’s App store isn’t blocked, but it is much slower and may test your patience.

Bag Packed? Ready to Go!

So you ready to rock your China trip? Is your bag bursting at the seams? Most of the time many of us realize we have over packed and wished we traveled lighter.

Don’t stress if you forgot something, almost anything is in China! This is most likely where they made it!

Have I missed anything, I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions in the comments below.

Download my China Packing List

Want to have the full list with you when on the road? I have a nice PDF list of items you can download and put on your computer. Bookmarking this page is also helpful – but as we all know – we may not have internet when we most need it!

Marketing Consulting and Training in China

SEO Consulting & Training in China

The company GetGoogleSeo provides SEO/SEM promotion services and consulting services in China (Shenzhen, Foshan, Guangzhou, Beijing)

Marketing consulting in Internet business in China

By ordering consulting for your website and business you can get:

  • Detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the site, evaluation of obstacles preventing its active promotion;
  • A set of clear step-by-step instructions for improving the performance of your site, advertising activity and business;
  • Independent evaluation of the actions of employees or contractor companies responsible for the promotion of your site;
  • Transparent, convenient and understandable scheme for planning and reporting on the promotion of the project;
  • Development of the site development strategy and its implementation with full support.

Why is Internet marketing consulting highly effective?

  • The market for Internet advertising services and website promotion is oversaturated with scammers who speculate fake portfolios and reviews that deceive customers who do not understand the specifics of website promotion.
  • The business owner often does not know the segmentation of the target audience of the business, and does not know how to present the goods to their customers in the best possible light.
  • Each business has unique conditions that should be taken into account – target audiences, product quality, region of distribution, goals and ambitions of owners, availability of resources, competitive advantages.
  • There are a lot of different tools of Internet advertising. For each business it is necessary to form, test and determine its own set of methods for attracting customers.
  • Placing on the site of certain information and functionality leads to an increase in the number of calls and orders, without additional investment.
  • A competently designed website brings the best result in the promotion process, because it is user-friendly, like users, easily solves problems and answers customer questions.

Webpage audit

The analysis of the web-resource should contain an assessment of the convenience and marketing properties of the site (usability, design, content), SEO site history (search for problems), technical analysis (search for code errors). To work on site audit can attract: marketer, SEO specialist, programmer, copywriter, designer, analyst. The result of the work will be a list of problems found and recommended ways to eliminate them, as well as a list of recommendations for the development of the site and its promotion. The cost of site audit from 1,300 yuan, depends on the volume and complexity of the work. The cost of implementing changes based on the audit results is estimated additionally, at the request of the customer.

Independent audit of advertising activities

You can order our expert opinion – an assessment of the actions of an employee, freelancer or advertising agency to promote your site. The object of audit can be:

  • Advertising campaigns in Yandex Direct and Google Adwords
  • History SEO website promotion in the search for given keywords
  • Quality of traffic (stream of visitors) of the site – as far as it’s targeted clients or simply threaded bots, analysis of the link mass of the site
  • Advertising campaigns in social networks
  • Efficiency of alternative ways to attract customers to the site

We will study the reports of the performers, compare the declared and actually achieved results, find the mistakes made by the performers, which led to the negative phenomena, we note the positive results. Also our report will contain a list of recommendations for correcting erroneous actions and improving the settings of advertising, adjusting the promotion strategy.

Individual consultations by WeChat

If you have specific questions on the promotion of your site, or you simply do not know where to start, then we can discuss these issues with a personal meeting on WeChat.  The cost of an individual consultation is 550 yuan / hour *

If you need a series of consultations, discounts are discussed individually.

Individual consultations by Skype

If you have specific questions on the promotion of your site, or you simply do not know where to start, then we can discuss these issues by a personal meeting on Skype. We will do our best to answer the question fully, however we might need additional research or discussion with the team of specialists. Therefore, we recommend that you pre-form the list of questions in writing and send them to us by the mail. Also, if some questions remain unanswered during the consultation, we will find a qualified answer to them later, and we will send it to you by mail or SkypeThe cost of an individual consultation is 600 yuan / hour *

If you need a series of consultations, discounts are discussed individually.Development of an individual strategy for the development of the site, online store.

If you have already launched a ready-made commercial Internet project, and you plan to start its promotion or are already promoting in on your own or outsourcing, we will help increase the efficiency of investments in the site. Based on the experience of our team, and, if necessary, involving relevant specialists in related areas, we will develop a clear step-by-step strategy for your business.

More: Here

Is Hong Kong Right For Your Amazon FBA Business?

 

This article is originally found: here

Are you currently selling on Amazon, in your personal name? Or maybe you have a company in your home country for your Amazon business?

Sales are taking off and you want to start looking global for the right jurisdiction to establish a proper corporate entity.

Then look no further! Today we’ll discuss why Hong Kong is a great place for you to headquarter your Amazon FBA business. Start selling on Amazon US and other global markets from HK and Asia direct.

Note: This is more on the corporate setup side for a HK company and Amazon sales. Check out our how to guide on how to get started selling on Amazon FBA internationally for the business side of it.

Getting Started Selling on Amazon

There are massive courses written on how to sell on Amazon. This guide is focused on setting up your account from Hong Kong, but we also give some general tips on Amazon FBA selling in general to start.

It consists of two parts, 1) Finding a good product and 2) optimizing your Amazon listing once its listed.

Here are a few tools many Amazon sellers use, here are a couple our readers discuss:

  • Jungle Scout – One of the first and most diverse collection of Amazon seller tools out there.
  • AmaChete – a newer, more affordable tool for Amazon sellers.

Try out one that works best for you – to dig through the massive amounts of data to find products that have a good opportunity for you.

Easy To Buy From Chinese Factories

Hong Kong is where everyone setups up their business for their import and export business. It is right next door to Mainland China, without the complexities and headaches that you’d get in the PRC.

So your Chinese factories, many of them, will already have a HK company and a Hong Kong bank account, most likely HSBC HK. You can pay them immediately, no fee, and they will receive the funds almost at the same time.

You can envision one of those drug deals in the movies, or hostage situations. One side brings the “goods” (drugs, hostage, etc) and the buyer brings the cash. Well, in more modern action movies, it’s not a suitcase of cash anymore. Instead its a laptop or a code that sends the funds to their bank account with the press of a button.

Not to correlate drug dealing and buying from factories, but you can be inside their factory for the deal. You finish doing a quality inspection, and whip out your HSBC Hong Kong online banking afterwards. Show them you transferred the funds (spin the laptop around and show the screen). Also you’ll have a reference number on the spot. They can check that same instant. They confirm the funds received, and they let the container ship leave the factory dock.

If you do this from an overseas bank, it would at least be 24 hours or so, and much higher fees. Are you buying from many factories and doing a lot of factories transactions often? You can save a ton of time, fees, and headaches by having a HSBC HK bank account.

Low or Zero Percent Tax

The corporate tax rate in Hong Kong is 16.5%, which is low already in the global index. On top of that, if you can prove you’re an offshore business, you can get a 0% exemption on the earnings you make outside of Hong Kong.

If you’re selling in Amazon USA, then, that isn’t Hong Kong right? Enjoy this offshore tax while also being in a great jurisdiction like Hong Kong. This way you can enjoy the legal protection and corporate image. Best of both worlds.

Amazon Has Overseas Sellers Programs That Make It Easy

Amazon allows sellers from around the world to sell in the Amazon USA marketplace. And now that you can piggyback off their fulfillment operations via FBA (fulfillment by Amazon). No longer do you need the headaches of a warehouse and logistics center in USA.

Buy your products from the factory in China, pay from your HSBC HK bank account, and ship them direct to the Amazon FBA warehouse in America.

Once the sales start to come in, Amazon pays out the sales proceeds every two weeks. Get an account with Payoneer and have the funds sent direct to Hong Kong. Nice and smooth.

Don’t get left behind with others who have more complex business operations. Take it from me, e-commerce was a lot, LOT harder ten years ago. Nowadays, you don’t even need a website, just load up in Amazon and get the sales payments twice a month.

Credit Card + Phone Verification

We have gotten a lot of attention from Amazon entrepreneurs going through the HK setup process, and a good question we received is below:

A problem I see is they’re asking for an international credit card (which my HK company does not have- just UnionPay). How did you do it? some of their support articles and comments from people on the internet seem to indicate they need to verify that you have a phone number in HK too.Alvaro

This is why we suggest people to apply for a credit card at the bank – the same time they go in for a new account opening.

Phone number, people use online numbers like Skype in.

Can Grow Into More Business Opportunities Later

Selling on Amazon is a great business. Lots of people are making good monthly income from. But maybe once you get the sales coming in and the business running, you want to try something else.

No problem, you can leverage the power of this Hong Kong company for your new venture too! You can apply for the many merchant account options and get that connected direct to your Hong Kong business bank account. Open your own shopping cart and pay direct via Shopify or another cloud based shopping cart.

Can You Sell on Amazon USA with a Hong Kong company?

Yes, this is possible. You register your Amazon seller account with your Hong Kong business registration certificate. It will ask you a million and one times if you are American or not. You need to be a non-American to do this – legally. But for those non-USA citizens, this is a great way to connect your Amazon USA sales to your Hong Kong business.

You can then have Amazon send money to your Payoneer or World First account and then receive the funds in your Hong Kong bank directly. With the funds in Hong Kong, you can then directly wire money to your Chinese factory. Often times they have a Hong Kong bank account, such as HSBC, so there are no fees and the transfer happens within seconds.

Talk about fast and efficient! This is pretty close to F2C (Factory to Consumer) – you can also read up a blog post where we discuss F2C

Will I Receive USD or HKD (Hong Kong dollars) from Amazon payments?

The next most popular question is what funds you will receive. Most think they must receive Hong Kong dollars and get hit on the foreign exchange (FX) fees. But there are other options. We discuss this a lot in our member’s forum for client.

Here’s an interesting answer from one of our clients:

There are a couple of companies that can keep your money in USD and have way lower fees than Payoneer. We are looking at OFX right now and also World First. OFX has an office in HK. Looks like that is what we will do. And then link to Hk bank account once we have itGFA Client

Many of our clients have also been using Remitsy as a way to get money into China successfully while banking is pending.

Of course, these policies and fees are always changing, so best to ask these service providers.

Connecting HSBC HK to Amazon

While there have been people saying that Amazon won’t wire to Hong Kong – I have had readers (as of October 2016) tell me that they can add their HSBC Hong Kong business bank account to their account directly.

No 9 digit routing — and few people online say dont use first 3 of the 12 number of your account (say 1st 3 numbers are bank not account number)

After a lot of chats with Amazon seller support, my contact was able to connect his HSBC Hong Kong bank directly, simply by choosing Hong Kong and then using the above trick to get the account number to fit. Others please help update me.

Doing Your Amazon FBA Bookkeeping

So once people get the Hong Kong company setup for their Amazon business, they then ask how do they best balance their accounting books? While there is no difference in bookkeeping for an e-commerce business as there is for any business, there is a setup that many sellers have been using.

This is called A2X Accounting – it is a plugin on top of Xero software that connects automatically to FBA’s database and imports all your sales numbers in. This way you can save time from data entry as well as worrying about “fat fingers” and other issues with humans.

What Do You Think? Ready to Leverage Hong Kong for your Amazon FBA Business?

So I know how stressful it is when structuring your corporation. Or even more stressful it is to restructure and close down a company and move funds and assets to another. But that is the only way we grow and stay competitive.

I’d love to hear any and all comments. Maybe you don’t agree – please share! You should be at a certain level to maintain the upkeep costs of an international business. And also able to come to Hong Kong at least once for the bank account opening. We offer services for Amazon sellers and online business owners who aren’t in Hong Kong to make the process as simple and smooth.

If you like this article and blog, we’d be ecstatic if you’d consider our HKVIP Hong Kong registration package. We will take care of everything from A to Z. We work with a lot of Amazon sellers and will give you pointers and tips we have seen along the way.

Even one of those tips during the setup process could save and make you thousands of dollars, so we hope to see you soon!

Related: Check our full Amazon FBA library for more guides and tools.

CNN: The Sea World Culture and Arts Center opens in Shekou supported by V&A Museum

CNN, published an in depth article about the finished 200 million dollar collaboration with the V&A Museum and China Merchants sitting on the sea in Shekou, Sea World. Just hop on the Shekou Ferry from Hong Kong and it is a short cab ride away.

Shenzhen is fusing design, art and technology in unprecedented ways.

Read the full article

Welcome Dr.Xu,TCM & Acupuncture Master to Join HarMoniCare SZ

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Twenty years ago, with a piece of silver needle, she stepped into United States of America as an ambassador for Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, where she had made exceptional efforts to promote Chinese culture and TCM to the people from all over the world.
20年前,一个柔弱的女子,拿起了银针,在异国他乡大洋彼岸弘扬中医精神,在美国宣传中医针灸,并逐步改变了许多美国人对中医,尤其是针灸的印象, 使很多美国人和来自世界各地的朋友热爱上了中医文化。

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Acupuncture, hailed as Magical Needle of the East, marks the tide of TCM. As the quintessence of China, it has been gaining a great influence and popularity around the world and creating many medical miracles .
针灸被誉为“ 东方神针”, “ 指尖芭蕾 ”, 针灸是中医的最高境界。自古以来针灸创造了数不清的医学奇迹,针灸是国粹,现已申遗成功,现在全世界越来越多的人喜欢运用针灸治疗和养生。GQQRN4CSIZ_)02(_)}H694V.png
With full passion for TCM,Dr. Xu has been engaged in TCM and acupuncture for over 30 years. As the apprentice of He Puren, the Chinese Guru of acupuncture, she systematically mastered the clinical application of ‘He Shi San Tong Therapy’. Besides, she also perfectly captures the spirit of “Tung’s Extra Points” after learning from Yang Weijie, a leading authority of acupuncture in Taiwan.
许娟主任,酷爱中医针灸事业,从事中医针灸工作三十余年。中国著名针灸专家国医大师贺普仁教授的入门弟子,系统的掌握了“贺氏三通”的临床应用。跟随台湾针灸泰斗杨维杰教授学习掌握了“董氏奇穴”的临床应用。捕获.PNG
During the 10 years in USA, Dr.Xu successfully treated many complicated cases of all races. She even won the awards of  ‘Recommended Doctor’ by Mayor in Redondo, California and ‘Honorary Citizen’ by Mayor in Monterey Park. Her story had been reported by a series of American media.
在美行医十年,曾治疗过各种族裔的病人。获得美国加利福尼亚州雷东多市长推荐医生奖状、蒙特利公园市长授予名誉市民奖状,其事迹曾被多家美国媒体报道。
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After coming back to China, she served as the director in Oriental Institute of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and devoted herself to clinical teaching with foreign postgraduate students. She is active in TV shows and lectures.
回国后曾担任北京中医药大学东方学院、河南新乡医学院三全学院的讲课和临床带教,带外国留学生、研究生。曾担任中医康复科、针灸科主任,多次上电视台、电台讲座,发表论文数篇。
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  In USA

Dr.Xu excels in Gynecology(ovary,uterus and mammary gland, menstruation, infertility, prenatal and postpartum recovery); Pediatrics(hyperactive child syndrome,cerebral palsy, infantile convulsion and malnutrition ); Some pain diseases(paralytic stroke, facial paralysis, allergic rhinitis, obstinate insomnia, vertigo and sub-health conditioning). With rich clinical experiences and the effectiveness in treatment, Dr.Xu is well received by patients from home and abroad.
许娟主任擅长针药并用治疗疑难杂症,如妇科(卵巢、子宫、乳房疾病、月经病、不孕不育、产前产后的调理);儿科(小儿多动症、小儿脑瘫、小儿惊风、小儿疳积);疼痛性疾病(中风、面瘫、过敏性鼻炎、顽固性失眠、眩晕、亚健康调理)。临床经验丰富,疗效显著,深受中外患者的好评。

Nowadays, Dr.Xu joined Shenzhen HarMoniCare Women & Children’s Hospital, the first international hospital with JCI in Shenzhen. As the head of the TCM department, she shared that an international TCM club will be set up soon to offer a platform for friends from different countries to communicate regularly.
活跃在国际舞台,她正在为中医针灸事业做出积极的努力和贡献,“医生的天职是治病救人”是她的座右铭,更多的为患者解除疾苦是她毕生的心愿。如今,许娟主任加入了深圳和美妇儿科医院,作为中医科负责人,她表示将打造一个和美国际中医俱乐部,为深圳来自全世界的中医爱好者提供一个跨文化的交流平台。

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Place Name: Shenzhen HarMoniCare Women & Children’s Hospital 深圳和美妇儿科医院
Place Address: Nantou Ancient City, No.12018, Shennan Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen 深圳市南山区深南大道12018号南头古城旁
Place Phone:  English:(0755) 3391 9139 / Japanese/Korean: (0755) 3391 9125/ For emergency: 18025381584 / For cooperation: Cosmo , (0755) 3391 9136

Marriott Encourage Millennial Hoteliers’ Voice

Beijing – 11 December 2017 – Marriott Greater China Business Councils and its Junior Business Council (JBC) held ‘I Am A Hotelier’ Marriott Millennial Speech Contest Final at Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel. More than 80 audiences attended the contest include 16 Marriott general managers as a panel of judges came from Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Sanya, Shenyang, Hangzhou and Chongqing.  12 finalists completed impressive speech during the contest and Charlie Fan from Sheraton Sanya Resort won the first prize.

“The speech contest aim to arouse the pride of millennial hoteliers, give them a voice and to cultivate them a professional mindset. The Councils created JBC to develop future leaders by proving mentoring opportunity and we hope to discover more rising stars of Marriott”, said Angela Pan, the Guidance Team Member of Marriott Worldwide Business Councils, Greater China.

“Today people who are sitting here have a common title– Hotelier, we are the same. But there must be something different between generations. We would love to understand the younger generation and to inject creativity for hospitality industry”, Angela continued.

Millennials are regarded as a generation extremely rely on high-tech, however, when it is said that hotelier is ranked at the top list of jobs most easily substituted by robots, a young hotelier stated in her speech – “From my personal experience, I claim that Artificial Intelligence can only provide passive service after the guest has made a clear request. In contrary, we hoteliers are committed to providing personalized services beyond our guests’ expectations”, said Fann Zhang, the second prize winner.Marriott Greater China Business Councils, perpetuating Marriott culture and lead cross-brand strategy of the company, were formed by General Managers from 268 properties in 82 cities and represent 16 brands within Marriott portfolio. JBC is established as part of the Councils to emphasis the company’s core value ‘Embrace Change’ and to pioneer millennial projects.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,200 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 125 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

Hilton Adds Idyllic Hot Spring Retreat to Chinese Resort Portfolio

Nestled in the scenic Fuli Nankunshan Hot Spring Healthy Valley Hilton Huizhou Longmen Resort opens its doors to global travelers and relaxation seekersHUIZHOU, China and MCLEAN, Va. – December 30, 2017 – Set amidst the natural splendor of one of south China’s most picturesque destinations, Hilton Huizhou Longmen Resort is now welcoming travelers to experience the ultimate in relaxation and hospitality in the region. The resort boasts modern interiors, a variety of fine dining options and is the first Hilton property in China to feature natural hot springs that guests can enjoy at their leisure. “Rich woodland scenery and unique geothermal resources make Huizhou one of the most attractive travel destinations in southern China,” said Sean Wooden, vice president, brand management, Asia Pacific, Hilton. “With Hilton’s world-class hospitality and upscale offerings, travelers can relax in total comfort, fully immersing themselves in the natural beauty surrounding the resort.”The resort, located in Yonghan Town of Longmen County, is secluded from the hustle and bustle of city life while still providing easy access to travelers from across the globe. The resort is a scenic, 80-minute drive from Guangzhou or Baiyun International Airport, and is an easy trip from the Pearl River Delta cities such as Shenzhen, Dongguan and Foshan.“The opening of Hilton Huizhou Longmen Resort represents an important expansion of Hilton’s resort footprint in southern China,” said Qian Jin, area president, Greater China and Mongolia, Hilton. “The introduction of this upscale resort represents our commitment to developing properties that appeal to both business and leisure travelers in the country’s most impressive and sought-after destinations.”

Hilton Huizhou Longmen Resort’s 366 guest rooms and suites are designed to complement and enhance the floor-to-ceiling views of the crystalline rivers and lush hillsides that surround the property. Many of the hotel’s suites are equipped with in-suite hot-spring pools, making it easy for guests to soak in bliss without interruption. The resort’s 24-hour fitness center with the latest generation of Precor® cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as an expansive, outdoor swimming pool, helps ensure that guests will be feeling at their best during their travels.The resort features an abundance of versatile function space, separated into 11 rooms, including the impressive Grand Ballroom, a modern and upscale venue equipped with the latest conferencing technology. The resort’s dedicated team is on-hand to help plan any event – from corporate seminars to social gatherings – down to the last detail. 

The hotel features six signature restaurants and bars, providing excellent selections for any palate:

  • OPEN, a casual restaurant for all-day dining, serves a variety of international cuisines. Diners can order à la carte or enjoy the restaurant’s sumptuous buffet.

  • YUXI invites guests to whet their appetites with an array of contemporary Cantonese specialties, expertly prepared by its renowned Cantonese head chef and his highly trained team. The restaurant offers open seating as well as seven elegant private dining rooms.

  • NODU features an international selection of individually prepared dishes and noodles for enjoyment in a social atmosphere.

  • Lobby Lounge serves Chinese tea, aromatic coffee and pastries – perfect for a special moment with family and friends.

  • MEI BAR beckons to those who enjoy sitting back with a signature cocktail or whiskey, and maybe even a fine cigar.

  • Pool Bar is surrounded by an outdoor garden, creating the perfect environment for light fare and poolside beverages.   
  • Private rooms to sing karaoke or play cards are also available for booking.

Hilton Huizhou Longmen Resort is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to use nearly any combination of Points® and money to book a stay, a members-only discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, which Hilton Honors members can use to check in and choose their rooms. To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Hilton Honors® members can earn 1,000 Bonus Points® per night at the best available rate for stays completed by March 29 2018.

Hilton Huizhou Longmen Resort is developed by Guangzhou R&F Properties Co., Ltd., and managed by Hilton. It is located at Fuli Nanunshan Hot Spring Healthy Valley, Yonghan Town, Longmen County, Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China, 516870. For more information, or to make a reservation, please visit huizhoulongmenresort.hilton.com or contact the hotel at: +86 752 588 0888.

The Art Of Making A Suit By Tailor Tom Bespoke

When we picture a man in a suit, we see James Bond in his black tuxedo in Goldfinger or Don Draper sporting a grey suit during a sales pitch in Mad Men. You can be quite sure that neither man bought their suits off the rack or some tailor who gave them a business card on the street.

They wear the kind of suits that are made by Tailor Tom Bespoke. Having learned his craft over six years working as a pattern maker for prestigious New York custom tailors, Michael Andrews Bespoke, Tom started his own tailors a little over two years ago.

Tailor Tom Bespoke prides themselves on being a traditional tailor that offer 100% custom and handmade suits. Every step of the process is tailored to the customer’s requirements from taking the measurements, preparing the basted fit, allowing for any adjustments, to the final finished suit.

A fine suit begins with the fabric. While tailors in Luohu source the cheapest local material for their suits, Tailor Tom offers only the finest wool, silk, cotton, linen and mohair from Italy and England. Adorning the shelves of his tailor shop are books of fabric from such renowned names as Marzoni, Ariston, and Caccioppoli.

When tailoring a suit, there are countless facets and circumstances to consider. What occasion is the suit for? What time of year will it be? If it is a wedding, is it being held indoors or outside? Will the suit be used on the one occasion or regularly? As you listen to Tom roll off a list of questions he will ask his client, it becomes clear that he is a man who sees things from every angle and plans for every eventuality.

His encyclopedic knowledge is displayed when asked to advice on some hypothetical clients. For shorter gentleman, he normally suggests to wear a one button jacket to create an impression that they are taller. Clients who have a little extra weight should stay away from checkered patterns and look for striped designs that give an altogether leaner appearance. When he is working with his Chinese customers, he warns them against using brown material as it is unsuitable against their skin tone. For weddings, he recommends the groom to wear a navy suit to complement the bride’s white dress.

Tom will ask these questions during the first meeting with the client. After an appointment is booked, Tom will talk with them about not only what suit they want, but also about themselves. He takes the measurements and together they will check the fabric. Around two weeks later there will be the basted fitting. If the fitting goes smoothly then the suit can be put into production and be ready within the hour. If some small adjustments are required then a further fitting can be scheduled.

For those planning to wear a suit for a wedding, Tom also offers free of charge to change the lapels of the jacket afterwards so that the suit can be worn on more than one occasion. After all, it would be a shame to wear such a suit only once.

No tailored suit is truly complete, however, without a pair of handmade shoes to go along with it. As Tom shows a choice pair of brogues, it’s clear that just as much careful craftsmanship goes into the shoes as does the suits.

Whether you are planning on being dressed like James Bond at a wedding or wish to turn up to the office looking like Don Draper, Tailor Tom Bespoke will help you tailor your next suit to the occasion and your personality.

Every piece of clothing is handmade by the tailor, including the passion of the tailor for the advanced customization industry, and the temperature of the fingertips.

Address: RM 1201, International Mayors Communication Center, No.55, Shizhou Road, Nanshan District (深圳市南山区石洲中路55号国际市长交流中心1201。白石洲地铁站C出口)

Website: http://www.ttbespoke.com/

Email: 18898731186@139.com

Tel: +86 18898731186

Wechat: 18898731186