Doing business in China is really quite unlike doing business anywhere else in the world. The country offers so many unique opportunities, but with it come equally unique challenges. From setting up a business, working with suppliers, dealing with exports, to handling employees’ visas and contracts. Furthermore, it’s a place that relies on who you know and just as much on knowing how to use that connection.
Being part of a business group can make all the difference. Especially one that really speaks to the business you are doing, introduces you to the kind of people you need to be talking to, and discuss topics that affect you in your daily work. ABNET is one such group; a Shenzhen business group tailored for Shenzhen businesses.
The group is led by Felix, and has around 500 members. Membership is currently free and there are no restrictions on what industry you come from or how many members can be from one industry. They hold two events a month in the Shekou area. For lunch meetups, there are usually around 25 attendees, while for evening events it’s closer to 40 or 50.
ABNET stands out because the group deals with real topics that directly affect their members in their work. At each meeting, there is a guest speaker who will speak about a specialist or topical subject. But the meetings are not just about turning up and listening to someone speak. ABNET events are more personal and interactive than that.
Recent talks have included changes in foreign investment law with guest speaker Sophie Mao of Chibridge Law Firm, a networking cocktail event to discuss changes to China’s Individual Income Tax with Ralph Woodcock of CISI, and a book signing event with Josh Steimle where he discussed how to develop your personal brand. Members have also benefited from the ABNET Training Center which have organized courses on the subjects of business etiquette, digital marketing, negotiation skills, and photography for business.
Often, members will be asked to introduce themselves at meetings while all members are encouraged to bring a business referral for another member, to bring a new visitor to the meeting, and also to arrange to meet another member during the next week. These aren’t requirements per se, but they follow the kind of ethos that ABNET tries to promote.
With Felix recently taking over as president of ABNET, these are exciting times for the group with more changes to come in the near future. If you would like to join Shenzhen’s top business network for expats, check out the contact information below. ABNET is always on the lookout for new speakers also, so if you have a topic you think is interesting for the expat community in Shenzhen, get in touch with Felix.