Kaiyan Medical Shines A Light For Innovation In Shenzhen

When it comes to tech innovation in China, Shenzhen is arguably at the center of what is happening in the country. From giants like Tencent in Nanshan and Huawei in Longgang to names like DJI and Baidu, some of China’s leading companies can be found in our city.

Yet, the innovation doesn’t stop there. All around Shenzhen you can find companies making great leaps in product development and leading the way in their markets.

Kaiyan Medical CEO Alain Dijkstra

One such company is Kaiyan Medical. Led by CEO Alain Dijkstra, the company specializes in contract manufacturing of light therapy products such as LED facial masks, teeth whitening, and hair re-growth products. By offering their clients a one-stop solution, they have positioned themselves strongly in a market that is expanding rapidly.

Although they have already been operating for 13 years, when you meet the staff, you get the impression that Kaiyan is a much younger company. The staff talks passionately about their work and their eyes light up when they speak about the plans for the future. Kaiyan may already be 13 years old, but there is a palpable sense that the best is yet to come.

Kaiyan is far from what you might picture when you imagine a manufacturing company in China. Although located in the industrial area of Bao’an, the office atmosphere more closely resembles that of a tech company or a startup.

Kaiyan’s transparent and green office space encourages an open working culture

The office space is wide open with only transparent glass separating the CEO from any other staff member. The hallways are lined with lush green plants and the meeting rooms are decorated with flowers. The staff are smiling and seem relaxed. Locals and foreigners work side by side and a mixture of Chinese and English can be heard spoken. To help everyone unwind there is a pool table and a PlayStation with VR. Strolling through the office are two friendly poodles, which belong to the CEO and have become like the office pets.

The company has come a long way in 13 years. Founded by Alain Dijkstra and his wife Letje Yuan, together they have helped build this company to where it is today. They both reflect fondly on the memories they have.

“I came to China at the age of 13,” explains Alain as he starts to tell his story, “Somehow, I started selling computer mouse using my allowance. At the age of 14, I was selling my first containers from China. At that time, there was no Alibaba so it was very easy to flip containers and make a margin of 100 or 200%. My first deal was selling a computer mouse. I bought it for $2 and sold it for $20, at a quantity of 500.”

It wasn’t until Alain met Letje that he began the business that would later become Kaiyan. For Letje too, it was a brave move to make.

“At that time, I had just finished studying opera singing at university in Sichuan. I met Alain and together we said, “Okay, let’s try to do this business together”. It was not my profession. I had to study a lot to learn more about business. But at that time, there were no teeth whitening products available and I saw this product had a future.”

Kaiyan now employees over 200 people, but back in those early days, it was a much smaller operation. “I was the first teeth whitening manufacturer in China. But in fact, it was just me myself making it and trying to sell one,” said Alain with a smile. It was not long before the team began to grow.

The Kaiyan team together at an exhibition

“In the very beginning, we only had four people in a small office in Huaqiang Bay. Alain was focused on doing the sales while I worked on purchasing, production, shipping, accounting, exhibiting, design, everything,” added Letje.

Letje still remembers that first order and from there they have not looked back. “It took us one year to get our first customer. They gave us a big order so were able to move to a larger building. It was around 400 square meters and we had 7 people. Another year later, we moved again to Bao’an where we had 30 people.”

They remained at that factory for 4 years before switching to the current location. It was during this time that Kaiyan switched their focus from teeth whitening products to light therapy products. At which point, the company started to grow even faster.

“We have been here for 5 years. In the beginning, we had 70 people and now we have more than 200,” reflects Letje.

Today, Kaiyan is a modern company with an innovative work environment. It’s a work culture that has seen Kaiyan win recognition and awards from companies such as Alibaba.

Models showcasing one of the many products Kaiyan produces

“We entered an annual competition held by Alibaba to find innovative companies. We have a factory that is 200 people, but we have almost no salespeople. We always get asked how is it possible to have no salespeople, but have such a big factory. Normally, it’s the other way round. Our approach is to somehow turn our customers into our salespeople. We support them with everything they need and they take your ideas and thoughts and they claim sales for you.”

In fact, James Knight, Kaiyan’s Sales Director, was actually a customer before he joined the company.

James explained how that came to be. “I had a company in the UK. I use to do teeth whitening products and buy from Alain. So oddly enough I was their customer first. Alain asked me to join and handle his sales. I’ve been here for 6 years now.”

James believes that one of Kaiyan’s major selling points is that, unlike most of their competitors, they can do everything in-house. “We do a lot of things in-house, which most of our competitors – specifically our Chinese competitors – wouldn’t do. Take design, for example, we have our  concept designer, he can take it and walk to sales and he can say, ‘I think the customer would prefer it a bit different like this.’ And then he can also go to engineering and say, ‘How’s it going with this? Do you think it’s a good idea?’”

Sales Director James Knight

For a member of staff who is eager to learn, James thinks it’s a fantastic work environment to be in. “So when you have all these in-house you wear a lot of hats. You also become quite skilled, actually. I’m based predominantly in sales, but you can ask me manufacturing questions, you can ask me engineering questions, you can ask me regulatory questions.”

The departments are able to interact so well because of the work environment that has been cultivated. The staff is encouraged to have ideas and management is no barrier to those ideas being heard. James believes that is integral to a company that thrives on innovation and forms part of what makes Kaiyan so successful.

“It comes down to hierarchy, doesn’t it? At this company, everything is quite flat. So if anyone in the company, such as the cleaning lady or the receptionist, if they have an idea, they are more than welcome to escalate that up to engineering or top management.”

Alain and James working together to demonstrate how Kaiyan’s products work

“I think when you are an innovative company and you are a contract manufacturer that works on development, the best idea always wins. So it’s not always about politics or hierarchy. It’s the best idea that wins.”

All in all, it helps create an open and positive environment that the staff really enjoys. Lisa Zhang, from HR, considers it to be a unique work culture.

“I personally like the company culture and working atmosphere. It’s not like everyone is a robot. We have quite a relaxed working vibe. We hold a lot of events too. The latest is for the World Cup. Everyone predicts the scores and whoever gets the most correct wins a prize.”

“We go out for dinner together. Sometimes we order KFC for everyone or we go to BBQ. We have been to the beach and to KTV. When it is someone’s birthday we arrange some flowers and cake for them.”

A meeting room at Kaiyan where the team get together to discuss new ideas

Possibly the most interesting perk is located on the roof of the company. An idea Alain had to encourage the staff to be more environmentally-friendly.

“Our company is not a normal Chinese company. We give our staff some space and some air. On the roof, we have a garden where they can grow vegetables. Everybody has their own space to grow whatever they wish,” explains Letje.

Lisa has been with Kaiyan for 7 years so far. An important factor in staying for so long is that she feels that she is able to grow with the company. And it’s a company that is growing at a fast rate. In particular, in the LED facial mask market.

In recent years, James has seen the perception of the product change and the positive impact it has on people’s lives. “You might be skeptical about light therapy. I was. But there is a lot of clinical evidence out there and over the years we’ve got more and more business. We’ve talked to our customers and they all swear by it. There are people with chronic pain and they are using our products and its helping. It’s really nice to be able to say you are helping people.”

As Alain explains, recent developments in the American and European markets promise an even brighter future for Kaiyan. “Our products are now being recognized by the FDA and the European ISO. Once you have the FDA audit you are allowed to sell these as medical products and the insurance companies have also taken it on. So, if you have back pain, you can actually pay with your insurance to buy our products.”

Alain talks with a visitor to the Kaiyan stand at a show

The company is not only expanding in Western markets. Letje has plans for the domestic market too. “Next year, I will start to focus on the Chinese market. Right now, we have not realized the potential of the domestic market. We currently only see beauty products, but we should be approved to sell medical products by next year.”

A lot has been achieved so far, but Alain is always working on ways to keep Kaiyan moving forward. James set out his CEO’s ambition. “Alain has a goal. He wants to be the biggest contract manufacturer for light therapy products. He wants to be a mini-Foxconn. So essentially, we want to be the biggest contract light manufacturer, and I actually think we are already. But we are still growing and we are getting a bigger market share.”

As Kaiyan expands, both in terms of size and in scope, there are opportunities for the right kind of person to join Kaiyan and make a difference. With the company constantly growing, there are always roles available across the departments, as James outlines.

“Marketing is always needed. To develop our products further, we need to develop more showcasing. So marketing fits into that. I currently do a large percentage of our company’s sales so salespeople are always welcome.

We are really a development company so engineers are always nice to have. I think design is also critical. Our designers are great, but it would be nice to have someone else’s perspective. Possibly a woman’s perspective because we’ve got a lot of men in engineering and design. We do a lot of beauty products so it would be nice to have a woman’s touch.

Fundamentally, what Kaiyan look for in a member of staff is character and integrity. “You should always hire for character. The rest you can teach. What we want to do is to attract good people, honest people, people with a bit of empathy. Being a team player is important. We succeed together as a company.”

Whoever joins Kaiyan in the future, will find themselves entering company that combines the very best of European and Chinese working culture. It’s a place that staff are given space and trusted to do their work and where ideas are chosen, not on who proposed them, but on their merits. At Kaiyan, the staff has the opportunity to learn a whole host of skills and grow with the company as it goes from strength to strength.

Name: Kaiyan Medical
Place Address: Building A, NO 40, Fuxin Street, Huaide Community, Bao’an District, Shenzhen 深圳市宝安区福永街道怀德社区福新街40号A栋
Place Phone:  +86 (755) 82129361

Can You Get a Job from a Hong Kong Company Overseas?

This article is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/workingoverseas/

Do you have a job from a Hong Kong company full time? But living in America most of the time?

When did this insanity start?

Life used to be so simple. We would all stay in our own countries, have our address in the same town as the company we worked in, and pay taxes to that city / state / country.

Nowadays it seems so complex.

But it is awesome. And I get to hear great questions from readers like today’s post.

Let’s share the question here:

(Disclosure: we are not tax professionals, just making a conversation and thought process for your own situation and to ask your own tax professional before making decisions)

Today’s Question

The last two years or so I have been consulting for an American pump manufacturer. Helping them with supply chain and other issues in China, Hong Kong and even Vietnam and India (haven’t been to India physically though).They are now talking about hiring me full-time. It seems that for budget bucket reasons, they want to hire me via their 100%-owned Hong Kong trading company. I would be the first employee there. I really just have one big question set:

How much time would I need to spend in Hong Kong physically to be counted as an employee? And, of course, pay Hong Kong’s beautifully lower income tax rates. My wife and kid are now in California and I would want to spend time with them but if I could do that AND spend time in HK (for the lower taxes) that would be ideal. I am going to be going much more often too — so might as well place me as an employee over there.

Mike – I would really appreciate your time and thoughts on this. Let me know
(Reader’s name removed upon request)

Factors To Consider

As almost all advice, please do you own due diligence. I’m not a lawyer, and am sharing as best to my knowledge and research can provide. Disclaimer, don’t blame me if I am wrong!

Are You American?

I think first question is, are you a US citizen? Believe this will make things more complicated.

Especially if you are living and residing in California, the most expensive state in the United States. They will want your tax income. I believe you are still seen as a California resident, and have to declare this income to the state and pay taxes on it.

Tricky one, as it’s not a US based company.

Where Do You Spend Your Time? Where Do You Deliver The Work / Value?

So, where are you going to be most of the time? Still in California? If you are in USA more than 330 days a year, you fail the exemption status for foreign earned income.

If you are to be outside of America, especially California, for more than 330 days, as an American, this foreign earned income could be exempt from taxes.

But I can’t imagine the US tax department liking you getting paid offshore and sitting at your home office in California most of the time. Make sense?

The Hong Kong Company is Giving Your Proper Employment Contract

They intend to hire you full time, right? So then I would assume you would get an employment contract from them, in Hong Kong.

As an employee in Hong Kong, you would need to then get a Hong Kong ID card. That isn’t a bad thing, it has a lot of perks and advantages. But HK immigration will want the company to see if the company can hire someone in Hong Kong locally first. That is just normal immigration things, Hong Kong is seriously overcrowded and they are getting strict on who they allow to come into the region.

In Hong Kong, to get a job from a Hong Kong company, you’d need to get a proper employment contract as well as a HKID card.

Then, of course as an employee, you and the Hong Kong company hiring you would need to pay the associated taxes in Hong Kong. Which, you mentioned are much lower than in USA and most other parts of the world.

Hong Kong employment tax rates.

How Will The Hong Kong Company Pay You? HK Bank?

How will this company be paying your salary? I would assume you have to have, or setup, a personal bank account in Hong Kong. Then they would setup payroll and have the funds deposited to your bank account either every couple weeks or monthly.

Will you need to access these funds right away? Will you use these funds to pay for your cost of living in California, USA? If so, I would then imagine you’d have to wire transfer the money from Hong Kong into your American bank account.

That money would then be treated as income in America? You will put those transactions in your personal bank statement. At the end of the tax year you’d have to figure out how to classify that to your tax accountant.

But, to stress, you can’t hide your money in Hong Kong from the US tax authorities anyway. You were never supposed to, but nowadays it is impossible. So you’ll have to declare this income to the IRS and explain that it comes from Hong Kong and that you’re hired by a Hong Kong company.

If you are doing it this way, you’ll be paying monthly bank wiring fee, and then declaring taxes in America as, a sole proprietor? Not sure to be honest.

How Big Is This Company?

The next point to look at, how big is this company? And when I say company, I mean the entity registered in Hong Kong. Doesn’t matter if this company is a massive conglomerate registered in the UK. What matters is how big the company is in Hong Kong.

That means, how much revenue. How big is the “real office” (not a serviced address or virtual office). How many full time staff, located in Hong Kong, and a legal hiring with employment contracts are there. Also, there is a difference between how many local Hong Kong people have jobs as a percentage of how many foreigners have jobs.

Any company that has a lot of locals hired, and is doing a lot of payroll tax is contributing to the local economy. Governments love job creations – for their people.

So these kinds of figures will help in your case as a foreigner in a Hong Kong company.

This is a Local Hong Kong Limited Company (Not Offshore Elect)

I am assuming that this Hong Kong domestic company (as opposed to offshore elect) and paying the 16.5% corporate tax rate on earnings. If you think you can get the 0% offshore election option and you can still get a local job in the company, you’re a bit mistaken.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

If you’re an offshore company, that means you have no local Hong Kong operations. One of those factors being a Hong Kong employee – which you are trying to become.

What’s Your Salary? Above or Below Market Value?

Another thing the Hong Kong government looks at, as well as any government, is it is a fair salary? That means is your salary what a local Hong Kong person would be in this same position? If you’re the director of the company trying to give yourself a lower salary to avoid taxes, may not work.

Other cases are if you give a lower salary to yourself or your foreign staff in exchange for support on the employment visa. Some people are willing to take a lower salary just to be able to stay legally in Hong Kong. But this will also raise flags and be problems.

You need to pay what the market will bear for someone in your exact position, in Hong Kong.

Has The Company Tried To Hire a Local?

Are you trying to use this salary and income as a way to immigrate to Hong Kong? There may be instances where the immigration department wants to see if the company has put out a job advertisement to place this position in the job market. That means, give a chance to the local Hong Kong market to get this job if they are capable and willing to accept that salary level.

You may say, why does that matter, the owner and director of the company picked me! Again, this depends on the case of how hard it would be for the company to find a local person to do the same role as you. Maybe you’re so special that no one else in Hong Kong can do this job? There are of course cases where that is true, especially in computer programming and technical roles. There is a big shortage of supply in the job market for this job speciality.

So if you’re working in a position that is in short supply in the Hong Kong job market, you’ll have a better chance of this Hong kong salary scheme you’re working on.

What’s Your Long Term Goal with this Job?

So you need to ask yourself, you’re living in California, you’re American. Your family is there too, you’ll be flying back and forth between the 2 continents. Where do you want to spend your time?

Do you want to immigrate to Hong Kong? Bring your wife and kids here, go through the education system here? Or is this just a temporary income stream at the current employer. You want to use it to get more cash, save some taxes, and build some international experience on your resume.

Nothing wrong with either case. But of course, if your long term plan is to relocate to Hong Kong, going through these hurdles will be more logical. If it is a short term play, you may re-consider all the paperwork and hassles your employer and you will have to go through.

Do You Need / Care About a Hong Kong ID?

Another thing, from the email I got – it seems there is no interest in getting a Hong Kong ID (HKID).

A HKID is a pretty valuable thing to have, wherever you are in the world.

As a local resident in Hong Kong, you will get access to the medical system. Sure, public hospitals are not as good as private – but if you’re in a bind, you can always rely on public hospitals taking care of you.

Related: We talk about Hong kong medical options and insurance plans here.

You’ll also be able to cross into Mainland China much easier. Take it from me, as someone without a HKID, my friends who have it zip past me on the borders. If you’re an international business person going between USA, Hong Kong, and Mainland China – you’ll like to get this ID card if you can.

What Do you Think? Get The Job contract in Hong Kong?

So that covers my points. What do you think?

There are other options for how you’re compensated. You can always be an independent contractor and get paid in cash / wire transfer. You’ll file with your US taxes as an independent contractor and your US tax accountant will be able to classify this.

Disclosure, I am not a tax specialist, and this article is a general guideline and free help for those curious on the topic.

Feedback, comments, and hate mail is welcome!

Submitting Great Résumés to Companies on ShenzhenParty.com Jobs Section

you-are-hired-resume-tips

When you are interested in a job at one of the multinational companies posting jobs on the most popular Shenzhen English job board, keep the following advice in mind when submitting your résumé to companies that maybe hiring.

What to Include

Attention to detail goes a long way in landing that next job. Here are some points that will help single to recruiters that you are a job seeker who should be considered.

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Add an Executive Summary

The “résumé Objective” is out and the “Executive Summary” is in. Ditch the objective line and get a nice looking header on your résumé that describes you and add some keywords that also describe you. This is your 2 second elevator pitch to someone reading your résumé.

Include Months and Years you worked

Your work history and education history should be accounted for completely. Gaps in time on your CV raise red flags. Make sure you account for the time. Note that it is typical for Chinese to jump around frequently from job to job. This does not look well in a western managed company’s eyes so it is best if you have a solid explanation as to why you changed so frequently.

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Double the number of ‘%’ and ‘¥’ signs

Be sure to show potential employers that the work you did contributed to the bottom or top line in dollar value terms or percentage terms. Your job should have KPIs and you should be able to write on your résumé how you directly affected those KPIs. The best situation is that every line item on your résumé shows by how much you moved the needle.

Expand Abbreviations

Companies use a lot of jargon and it is best to include full word and the acronym in your CV. The abbreviation may not be the same from company to company or industry to industry and since recruiters put your résumé in a candidate database you want to cover your bases on which search terms might be used to search for your CV.

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Customize your résumé towards the job description

For each job you submit your résumé to you should customize your résumé to the job description of that job. Sending a generic résumé will decrease your chances of landing the job.

Use the same terminology

Use the keywords that are used in the job description. This is the terminology human resources will be using to search their database for candidates and if you use the same terminology they are likely to recognize that you paid attention to the résumé.

Customize your accomplishments towards the job

Go line by line through the job description and make sure that to the best extent possible your job description has points which complement the job description and requirements. Take out unnecessary points that do not relate to the job description. Remember less is more.

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Interests

Put some interests at the bottom of your résumé but try to put interests where you accomplished something such as “organized running club in my school”

Spelling & Grammar

Correct spelling is of utmost importance. Make sure you use spellcheck and grammar check in the English version of Word this function is invaluable.

Use past tense for your job experience and accomplishments.

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Punctuation

Make sure you do proper English punctuation. In Chinese punctuation does not have spaces after it. In English spaces are required and if I see a résumé where the candidate has not put spaces after punctuation I am unlikely to hire them because their English skills are probably not up to snuff and they don’t have an attention to detail.

You can use our language exchange section to find someone to practice your English with and even maybe get someone to proofread your résumé.

Files formats

Your résumé should be submitted in the following formats
– PDF (.pdf)
– Word (.doc or .docx the later lets the employer know you are using the latest version of Office)

Do not submit your résumé as an Excel document. This lets the employer know you are using an online Chinese résumé portal and are not customizing your résumé for the specific job. Your résumé will not stand out and I have never seen a résumé that does not have punctuation and spelling errors when submitted in Excel.

submit-resume

Additional resources

Happy Shenzhen job hunting.

 

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