Berlin is hosting an annual event dedicated to boosting business ties between Europe and Asia. For some German companies, it’s a chance to better understand and develop new ways of connecting with the Chinese market.
At the German startup called DONGXii, employees spend a lot of time researching Chinese consumers. Their recently-launched app aims to connect smaller European brands with the Chinese public. DONGXii handles the e-commerce, shipping and marketing for those brands, who are hoping that the "Made in Germany" label will help them win over hundreds of millions of potential customers.
DONGXii's founders lived in China for several years, which they say gives them expertise to help brands who are dealing with an entirely different language, culture and commercial ecosystem.
Trade between the two countries has become increasingly important. In 2015, China surpassed the United States to become Germany’s largest trading partner. Trade value between the two countries is about 180 billion US dollars.
Berlin is currently hosting Asia-Pacific Week 2017, bringing together private and public sector interests from Europe and Asia. For organizers it’s a chance to introduce Berlin’s startup scene to a wider audience, and showcase the work established companies are already doing.
Rainer Seider, from Germany's Ministry for Economics, says some European firms are still not fully prepared for the Asian market. Most people attending the startup fair though are hoping the mutual rewards will help bridge the culture gap.