China's supercomputers

China remains the Number 1 in supercomputers: not only is it home to the two fastest supercomputers in the world, its 201 facilities mean the country also has the highest number of supercomputers. Astrid Oldekop (photo) had the opportunity to visit the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin's Teda Economic Development Zone, which houses Tianhe-1A. Between October 2010 and mid-2011, its 2.56 petaflops made this the first Chinese computer to top the supercomputer rankings. Tianhe-3 is currently being developed, with the prototype due to appear at the beginning of 2018, according to China Daily. This world's first exaflop computer is to perform a trillion operations per second and would be at least ten times faster than the previous record-holder Sunway TaihuLight in Wuxi.

Photos: mdb; last Update 22/11/2017

The path of fragrance

Tea ceremonies, martial arts and calligraphy – these traditional Chinese arts are well known in the West. The "path of fragrance", on the other hand, is nowhere near as familiar. It is however currently undergoing a revival in southern China. One could say that artfully scattered incense powder has become part of the ceremony surrounding Pu'er tea in Yunnan. Astrid Oldekop (photo) completed a seminar on the art of incense-burning at the Fanpu Institute in Kunming, where she learned the theory of the 3,000-year history of this art as well as the use of "scent stamps" to measure time in ancient China. The basis used for all incense products used in Kunming was agarwood from southwest Asia. This is one of the most expensive natural raw materials. In China it is said to have medicinal effects. One kilogram of wood can cost up to 100,000 dollars, depending on quality. In 2013, the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences estimated the global agarwood market to be worth six to eight billion dollars, and growing rapidly.

Photos: mdb; last Update: 17/11/2017

Jingdezhen – the Chinese porcelain capital

Thin as paper, white as jade, bright as a mirror and with a ring like a bell – such is the poetic description of Jingdezhen porcelain. The city in the province of Jiangxi is considered the porcelain capital of China, and is now the venue for a major porcelain trade fair. Ceramics have been produced here for 2,000 years. Astrid Oldekop had the opportunity to witness the wood firing of the traditional Jade kiln of Master Huang Guojun (photo). Today, the city – where even the airport building frontage and the street lamps (photo) are made of blue-and-white porcelain – is home to many Chinese artists like Li Yuduan, and some international ones such as German-Australian Diana Williams.

Photos: mdb; last Update 17/10/2017

China ist der Motor der Veränderungen

Die Automobilbranche erlebt einen Jahrhundertwandel. Die Sinologie verlässt den Elfenbeinturm. Wie die neue Rolle Chinas in der Welt Unternehmen und Hochschulen in Deutschland verändert, darüber sprach Astrid Oldekop mit dem Globalhistoriker Dominic Sachsenmaier und dem Volkswagen-Manager Gerhard Prätorius. Nachzulesen bei Merton, dem Online-Magazin des Stifterverbands. Die Sinologie an der Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen hat im vergangenen Jahrzehnt einen radikalen Wandel durchlebt und steht an der Schwelle zum großen Fach. Jeder der vier Lehrstühle wurde gestiftet. 2016 hat VW 40 Prozent seiner Autos in China verkauft. Nun will man im Konzern Zukunftstechnologien, Märkte und Kooperationen in einem historisch-kulturellen Kontext verstehen und hat die Professur „Modernes China mit Schwerpunkt auf globalhistorischen Perspektiven“ in Göttingen gestiftet.

Quelle: Merton, Foto: mdb; letztes Update: 9.08.2017

Standing room only in Düsseldorf's Kapellstrasse

It is now a year since Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing moved to its new premises in Kapellstrasse, Düsseldorf. This summer, there was a brief new addition to the team consisting of Astrid Oldekop and Larissa Pichler (2nd from the left) when Tianyu Song (2nd from right) from Liaoning joined us for a three-month internship. Song is doing a master's degree in Media Studies in Düsseldorf and is working on her degree thesis which will examine the image China has in the German media. Anna Xu (centre) from Duisburg immersed herself in the everyday life of a media agency for two weeks during her student internship. Graphic designer Sue Yi (right) from Changsha works just a few streets away in her own office and has just returned from a trip across China with Dutch design students.

Photo: mdb; last Update: 12/7/2017

Astrid Oldekop in the pages of Chinesische Handelszeitung

The conference of Chinese doctors of traditional Chinese medicine in Düsseldorf was covered by the German-language business newspaper Chinesische Handelszeitung. Astrid Oldekop chaired events open to German guests and conducted interviews with traditional medics. Chinesische Handelszeitung reported on this. The newspaper is aimed at Chinese nationals in Europe and is published every two weeks with a circulation of 20,000 copies which are sold at railway stations and airports in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg and are also available at Chinese travel agencies, restaurants, supermarkets, clubs and schools.

Source: Huashangbao, Photo: mdb; last Update: 11/7/2017

Structural change in the northeast

Coal region, heavy industry, state-owned enterprises – China's northeast is often perceived negatively. In an address on the WHU campus in Düsseldorf, the German Consul General in Shenyang, Peter Kreutzberger, put these prejudices into perspective and spoke of the ongoing, open-ended structural change underway in the region. "This will be decisive for the economic development of the whole of China," he said. The talk took place at the invitation of the Düsseldorf Sino-German Friendship Society and also served as the kick-off event for the founding of the society's Economics Working Group headed up by Astrid Oldekop. The working group focuses on company visits, expert presentations and the advancement of young talent.

Photo: Martina Henschel; last Update: 7/6/2017

Herbs, acupuncture and pulse diagnosis

At the age of eight, he began his training by memorizing poems about herbology. As hospitals were few and far between in his childhood years, patients went straight to his grandfather's home, where heavy herbal smoke hung in the air throughout the apartment. Li Shusen (pictured 2nd from right) is a doctor specialising in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) following in the footsteps of the previous four generations of his family, and is the author of a standard medical work on pulse diagnosis. The majority of his 200 close students live abroad. In June, he and 120 other Chinese TCM doctors and homeopathists convened in Düsseldorf for a conference which was open to the German public and was presided over by Astrid Oldekop.

Photo: Ding Jiayi; last Update: 3/6/2017

Everyday photography in the new China

Photographer, contemporary witness, China expert – the German Jew Eva Siao was born in 1911 in what is now Wroclaw, Poland, came to Yan'an in 1940 and died in Beijing in 2001. She spent most of her life in China and, despite seven years in solitary confinement during the Cultural Revolution, retained her love of the country. Her photographic work offers unique insights into everyday life in China during the 1950s (photo). Astrid Oldekop met Eva Siao in the early 1990s in Beijing and had in-depth conversations with her. At the invitation of Soroptimist International, she presented details of these encounters in her talk entitled "My friend Eva Siao" at the Düsseldorf Industrieclub.

Photo: Eva Siao; last Update: 24/5/2017

Digitalisation conference in Potsdam

The Sino-German Conference on Digitalisation and the Smart Factory Revolution saw representatives of 210 Chinese companies exchanging views and opinions with German managers, academics, scientists and decision-makers in Potsdam, and networking with each other at the collaboration matchmaking session that followed. Astrid Oldekop (photo) chaired the conference which was attended by 350 delegates. This probably made the conference the event with highest level of Chinese involvement ever seen in Brandenburg.
It included representatives of large companies such as Midea, Sany, Rolls-Royce and Siemens. The conference was organised by the Potsdam Chamber of Trade & Industry and local inward investment agency Wirtschaftsförderung Brandenburg (WFBB). Scientists, academics, experts and company representatives gave accounts of their experiences and successes in implementing digitalisation processes. Renowned economic and financial expert Xiaobo Wu from Shanghai Jiaotong University, also the head of the largest delegation, spoke for the Chinese delegates. Other topics included IT security, virtual reality, driverless vehicles, geo-information systems and industrial design.

Sino-German Conference on Digitalisation and the Smart Factory RevolutionWFBB

Photo: mdb; last update: 27/4/2017

China Business Calendar: dates to download

Conferences, seminars, lectures, trade fairs and public holidays: all key dates for decision-makers with dealings in China can be found in the China Business Calendar from Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing. It now comes with a handy new feature: with just one click, the dates can be exported to your own calendar.
Is your China event/date not included yet? Simply contact us at

Photo: mdb; last Update: 7/2/2017

Launching into the year of the rooster

Whenever a new zodiac sign approaches, the Chinese are in no doubt: fundamental changes are going to be the order of the day. As the year of the monkey drew to a close, US President Trump questioned alleged certainties in relation to China, while Chinese President Xi positioned himself in Davos as a defender of the global economy. China's State Council promised foreign companies better access to markets, but the markets responded sceptically. The year of the elegant fire rooster heralds radical changes, mindset shifts and fresh opportunities.
Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing wishes everyone a successful and happy New Year full of opportunity!

Photo: mdb/Yi Shu; last Update: 27/1/2017

Embarking on the year of the rooster with China

The Confucius Institute in Düsseldorf chose an unusual programme with which to celebrate its 10th anniversary and the Chinese Spring Festival: Pecha Kucha lectures and a concerto featuring the Chinese ruan (long-necked lute). Astrid Oldekop led the 450 German and Chinese guests through a varied programme in the Henkel Room in Düsseldorf's old town. The motto of Part 1 was 和 – harmony. This referred to the excellent spirit of cultural sharing that exists between Germans and Chinese. Four Pecha Kucha lectures were bookended by dance, poems, music and a tea ceremony. Part 2, under the banner of 道 (Dao), featured ruan virtuoso Feng Mantian, who had flown in specially from Beijing, with an improvisation entitled “Beyond the sound”. Feng Mantian combines tradition and modernity like no other Chinese musician.

Photo: mdb; last Update: 22/1/2017


Marching together into the Smart Factory revolution

Trust, openness, win-win scenarios and a historical opportunity – the first “Sino-German Symposium on Intelligent Manufacturing & Networking of Production Processes” saw politicians, company representatives and scientists and academics using superlatives to describe the collaboration. German and Chinese people want to work together closely on matters connected to the Smart Factory revolution. Business collaborations and joint research projects, in particular, are now set to be sponsored in future. This was the outcome of the symposium which was attended by representatives of BMWi, BMBF, MIIT and MOST. Astrid Oldekop chaired the kick-off event in the BMWi-Aula hall in Berlin. Among the speakers and conversationalists: BMWi-State Secretary Matthias Machnig, BMBF-State Secretary Dr. Georg Schütte, Embassador Shi Mingde, MIIT-Vice President Prof. Huai Jinpeng (Photo), Dr. Markus Kerber (BDI), Dr. Eberhard Veit (Platform Industry 4.0), Dr. Herman Rodler (Kathrein Werke), Dr. Werner Struth (Robert Bosch), Chen Lucheng (Haier Group), Wei Yiyin (CASIC), Lei Yi (CAXA Technology), Dr. Norbert Gaus (Siemens), Prof. Ouyang Jinsong (Instrumentation Technology & Economy Institute), Prof. Reiner Anderl (acatech), Prof. Jürgen Fleischer (KIT), Prof. Xu Aidong, (Shenyang Institute of Automation),
 Yin Libo (Electronic Technology Information Research Institute) as well as Yin Jun (MOST).

Photo: BMWi/Mertens; last Update: 29/11/2016

Trade fair debut – flying our own flag

People veritably crowded to the Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing stand at the Sinojobs Career Days in Düsseldorf. With their China Business Forum Newsletter and China's Business Calendar, Astrid Oldekop and her team provided valuable sources of information for nearly 1.000 Chinese and German graduates and young professionals attending the jobs fair. As part of the lecture programme, Astrid Oldekop spoke on the secret to successful Chinese careers in German companies. She based her talk on the hundreds of interviews she has conducted with this target audience on behalf of various media, and cited the beacons: EY partner Yi Sun, ex-Evonik director Dahai Yu, former Lanxess HR boss Zhengrong Liu, ZF Friedrichshafen supervisory board member Weidong Xu and graphic designer Yang Liu. “I was impressed by the large number of Chinese visitors who spoke outstanding German,” said Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing assistant Larissa Pichler (photo, right). “The number of Germans with good knowledge of Chinese was also amazing.”

Sinojobs Career Days 2016

Photo: mdb; last Update: 9/11/2016


Transcultural Leadership Summit

The Transcultural Leadership Summit 2016 offered CEOs, professors and students from Zeppelin University (ZU) the opportunity to discuss was is meant by leadership in a globalised world and what Europeans and Chinese can learn from each other in terms of management.
Astrid Oldekop shepherded delegates through the programme on both days, chairing panel discussions, conducting interviews, and ensuring the CEOs stayed within their eight-minute time slots when presenting their best-case and worst-case scenarios in their company pitches.
Also attending (photo, from left to right): ZU-Professor Joseph Wieland, Rolls Royce Power Systems-CFO Markus Wassenberg, ZU-Student Tim Schleicher, Ex-Evonik-director Dr. Dahai Yu  as well as Adolf Kloke-Lesch of Sustainable Solutions Network. Additionally: Putzmeister-CFO Dr. Renate Neumann-Schäfer, ZF Friedrichshafen-CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer, Club-of-Rome-Member Prof. Franz-Josef Radermacher, Wagner-CEO Dr. Bruno Niemeyer, Beijing Institute of Technology-Professor Rong Bei and many others. 

Transcultural Leadership Summit

Photo: Maurice Schönen; last Update: 15/10/2016

Calling all Chinese start-ups

October will see the launch of the Düsseldorf/Rhineland digital hub – a project linking start-ups, SMEs and industry together on digital issues. The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is joining municipalities and companies in subsidising a total of six digital hubs. Delegates to the “NRW Up for Business – Digital Projects” forum were of one mind on this: it's a real opportunity for Chinese companies and start-ups too. Astrid Oldekop chaired the discussion in conjunction with Uwe Kerkmann, Head of Economic Development in Düsseldorf, Petra Wassner from NRW.Invest, Torsten Küpper of Huawei and Keming Du of laser technology company Edgewave in Würselen, near Aachen. The Chinese start-up entrepreneur was a student at RWTH Aachen University and worked at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen before starting Edgewave. “The universities are a major plus for the location,” said Du. “8,000 Chinese people are currently studying in NRW. These are potential workers and bridge builders between the two countries.”

Photo: RP/Endermann; last Update: 16/9/2016

The role of education in making locations attractive

“Education is highly valued in China,” confirmed Dongsheng Han, Head of the Education Section of the Chinese Consulate General in Düsseldorf, at the RP China Congress. As a result, the availability of quality schooling for children of Chinese expats is becoming a key factor when choosing a location. During the discussion “Cultural Imports: Chinese Educational Establishments in NRW”, Astrid Oldekop talked to representatives of the Consulate General, the Federal Ministry of Education & Research, the Confucius Institute and Chinese weekend schools about the possibilities and outlook for Chinese educational establishments in NRW. At the same time, Lothar Mennicken of the Federal Ministry of Education & Research reminded listeners that his ministry is working to ramp up “China skills” at Germany's universities and colleges. Although Düsseldorf is an economic centre of gravity for China, no high school in the city is currently offering Chinese as a high school diploma subject – a fact bemoaned by Cord Eberspächer, Director of the Confucius Institute in Düsseldorf, who praised the initiative of the Chinese school in Bonn which is trying to have the qualifications earned at Chinese weekend schools recognised within the German education system. 

Photo: RP/Endermann; last Update: 16/9/2016

Private equity from China looking for European funds

“Chinese investors are imaginative and raring to go,” said Yi Sun, Partner at EY, at regional newspaper Rheinische Post's China Conference, commenting on what was a record year of Chinese investment in Germany and Europe. Chinese investors have been focusing more strongly on Europe and are looking for new sectors. “We're seeing how Chinese private equity is getting interested in European funds.” Yi Sun was a member of the “Investments and M&A” panel chaired by Astrid Oldekop. “NRW is the hottest location for Chinese investors,” added Toni Cheng from lightbulb manufacturer Sengled, whose European HQ is located in Düsseldorf. NRW is currently home to over 900 Chinese companies, with 62 new businesses arriving in 2016 alone. Petra Wassner, head of NRW.Invest, is expecting to see growing interest in the coming years: “This will take the form of classic inward relocations and M&A activity all the way through to venture capital arriving from China.”

Photo: EY; last Update: 15/9/2016

Rheinische Post Congress: China meets NRW 2016

The second China Congress organised by regional newspaper Rheinische Post saw 50+ German and Chinese experts from the worlds of business and politics discussing the future of China, Europe's new China strategy, digitalisation, Silk Road, investment, education and health matters. Astrid Oldekop chaired both days of the event – in German and Chinese – at the Van der Valk Hotel in Düsseldorf. 


Photo: RP/Endermann; last Update: 15/9/2016

University showcases its feminine side

The “Heine Women” at Düsseldorf's Heinrich Heine University are celebrating their anniversary. The Central Equality Commissioner is publishing the anthology “Meine Heine-Frau” (My Heine Woman) for the fifth time. Astrid Oldekop has conducted the interviews with nominees for this ambitious project since 2012, compiling over 40 profiles. The result is a unique snapshot of the female side of the university.

The Heine Women of 2016 are professors, administrative assistants and doctoral students who have looked after refugees in the residential reception facility on campus, or students who are taking responsibility on committees. They come from all faculties and from all age groups – the youngest is 24, and the oldest is 73 years old. Among them are single women, mothers and grandmothers.

The profiles also show that the female view of problems at the university has shifted: Until now, difficult childcare was the prevailing topic; now it is the temporary contracts, especially among non-professorial academic staff.


Photos: Hanne Horn; last Update: 14/7/2016

5 years on: Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing

We are celebrating our five-year anniversary with a change of location: we are staying close to the Hofgarten park in Düsseldorf, moving to new premises at Kapellstrasse 6. In 2010, Astrid Oldekop was in Beijing, preparing to launch the business. Back in Düsseldorf, she opened Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing in 2011 with its three lines of business: editorial work, chairing and MC activity, and consulting. Our first premises were on Jägerhofstrasse, beside the Hofgarten park and situated between the Ministry of Finance and the Goethe Museum, in the immediate vicinity of the NiehausKnüwer advertising agency who developed our CI and is still working for us. What emerged was a dynamic network of China experts, media specialists and consultants. Today, our clients include media enterprises, businesses, universities, municipalities and state authorities. We write, MC, advise and organise conferences. As diverse as our work is – it remains true to our mission: “We’ll help you understand Germany so that Germany understands you.”

Graphic: NiehausKnüwer for mdb; last Update 1/7/2016

ShortSeaShipping Days in Lübeck

The second ShortSeaShipping Days event in Lübeck was held under the banner “From Road to Sea – Short Distance Shipping: a Strong Link in the Logistics Chain”. Astrid Oldekop was MC for the two-day programme. Delegates included the maritime coordinator of the German Federal Government, Uwe Beckmeyer, Schleswig-Holstein Minister of Economic Affairs Reinhard Meyer and 400 guests from the maritime, shipping and transportation industry.

The “right framework for an intelligent traffic mix” was discussed by Reinhard Klingen from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Daniel Hosseus from the Central Association of German Seaports, Dierk Faust from the Lübeck Shipping Agents' Association, Holger Seifart from K+S Transport and Willem van der Schalk from the German Freight Forwarding & Logistics Association.

Astrid Oldekop wrapped things up by discussing new forms of marketing with Inke Onnen-Lübben of Seaports of Niedersachsen, Reinhard Pfeiffer of 3F Kommunikation, Stefan Kunze of Hafen Hamburg Marketing, Uwe Bakosch of Finnlines Deutschland as well as Markus Nölke from ShortSeaShipping Inland Waterway Promotion Centers.

ShortSeaShipping Days

Photo: Guido Kollmeier; last Update: 23/6/2016

4th Düsseldorf China Dialogue: Digitalisation

Digitalisation is changing living and working environments – in Germany and China alike. As a result, the central topic of the fourth “Düsseldorf China Dialogue” was “Digitalisation in Germany and China”. 
This big-name German-Chinese business conference was organised by Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing on behalf of the China Competence Center Düsseldorf. Astrid Oldekop chaired the exchanges between German and Chinese decision makers in both German and Chinese. 
Chinese Consul General Feng Haiyang, Prof Ulrich Lehner, President of Düsseldorf Chamber of Trade & Industry, Head of Economic Development Uwe Kerkmann and Stephan Schneider, CEO of Digital City of Düsseldorf, discussed how digitalisation affects countries, cities and the economy, whether the opportunities or the challenges prevail, what the trends mean for jobs and employment, and what to make of the Kuka Midea deal. “Digitalisation of business processes is questioning existing business models and changing well-known value-add models,” summed up Ulrich Lehner. 
Following a keynote speech by Dr Rüdiger Strack (We.Tel), the second round of discussions focused on visions of the future and real-life examples. Discussing were: Betty Cui (ZTE), Bernd Gross (Cumulocity), Lili Jia (Weyto), Dr. Roland Nolte (VDMA NRW) as well as Rong Xiang (Huawei Technologies).

4th Düsseldorf China Dialogue

Photo: Jörg Hemmen; last Update: 7/6/2016

In China with WHU and CIO Magazine

Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai were on the itinerary of over 20 IT decision-makers who completed the China module of the Leadership Excellence Program run by CIO Magazine and the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management. Astrid Oldekop was involved in designing the module. She accompanied the group as China consultant, offered intercultural training and brought the IT staff into contact with company representatives and “old hand” China experts.
“From business to pleasure: the best laid plans of mice and men”, was the jist of CIO Magazine's title in its coverage of the trip. After all, in China, little happens as planned. Yet anyone wanting to do business globally has to make plans concerning China.
In Shenzhen, the agenda featured visits to world's largest electronics store Huaqiangbei, a fab lab, and the world's leading drone company DJI. In Shanghai, Henkel was concerned with HR issues. At Haribo, Managing Director Wolfgang Kohl and Marketing Director Andreas Tank reported on the fruit gum market in China. At Lohmann & Rauscher, the conversation turned to the right steps to take in the Chinese market. Doris Rathgeber (Body & Soul Clinics) and WHU alumnus Ekkehard Rathgeber attended dinner. Finally, there was a discussion with Clas Neumann of Global SAP Labs Network, Stefan Gilch of Bystronic and AHK representative Christoph Angerbauer. “For me, China is no longer simply a place to outsource things to, but an innovative country on a level with the western world,” concluded delegate Simon Blankenstein of RWE. “In China, it's not 'think big' but 'think gigantic',” said Carsten Priebs of DB Netz, summarising his impressions. “I have realised here that it's not about us Europeans having to get moving – we have to want to get moving.”

CIO Leadership Excellence Program

Photo: CIO Magazin; last Update: 27/5/2016

From competitor to trendsetter

With China investing steadily in research and development, the country is set to take a leadership position in innovation in 10 to 15 years' time, especially in the IT sector, claimed Clas Neumann, Head of SAP Labs, at the wash-up session of the CIO program in Shanghai chaired by Astrid Oldekop (photo). Neumann is expecting companies that are currently competitors in China to be competitors in Germany in a few years. “We should therefore watch China very closely,” the SAP representative said.
In e-commerce and in electronic payment systems, China is already a world leader, and Germany has a lot of catching up to do. In the meantime, it is actually becoming increasingly difficult to fill certain management positions with personnel from China, Neumann reported. “Our focus is therefore increasingly turning to the global labour market.” SAP has 6,000 employees in China, which is around 8% of its global headcount. In discussion with Clas Neumann were Stefan Gilch, China President of Swiss machine tool manufacturer Bystronic, and AHK representative Christoph Angerbauer (photo).

Photo: CIO, WHU/Keck, Funk; last Update: 27/5/2016

Shenzhen 2016: Faster, higher, further

Its 40,000 stores make Huaqiangbei in Shenzhen the world's largest electronics chain. “Single-line orders don't get you far here,” said Alex Murawski, the German founder of Noa Labs, commenting on the modest-looking counters. “Order volumes here are in hundreds of thousands.” Murawski founded Noa Labs in the booming city on the Pearl River Delta, a company which refines ideas until they are ready to be marketed. “As a start-up, you have to think globally, otherwise the competition will,” says Murawski. Together with the Noa Labs team, Murawski led the participants in the CIO Excellence Leadership Program through the electronics store and the 'SEG Maker +' fab lab. After lunch in the rotating restaurant overlooking the “fastest-growing metropolis known to man” (Murawski), next stop was DJI. Marketing Manager Tingting He spoke in excellent German about the ten-year history of the drone manufacturer, which now has a 70% share of the world market for commercial drones.

NOA Labs

Photo: mdb; last Update: 25/5/2016

Living and working in Hong Kong

On the “Hong Kong Cultural Tour”, multiple award-winning journalist and blogger Vivienne Chow (photo) showed participants in the CIO Leadership Excellence Program how Hong Kong is set to change in the years ahead, what the West Kowloon Cultural District means to the city, what the lifestyle is like in the former Crown Colony and where the most interesting places can be found. Before the tour, the 20+ CIOs had delved into China's language, thinking, business culture and business etiquette at Astrid Oldekop's “China Training” session. 

Vivienne Chow

Photo: mdb; last Update: 23/5/16

Visit to Huawei in Shenzhen

At the Huawei campus in Shenzhen, two exhibitions showcase current technology and specific future projects: digitalisation, IoT, the cloud and technologies for the 4.5G network as a staging post to 5G. The ride with Carsten Senz and April Zhang (photo) over the green campus in the pouring rain was impressive in terms of both size and internationality. Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has built an exquisite restaurant in an old locomotive, a hark-back to the film “Zhou Yu's train”, with a kitchen staffed by French-trained chefs.
“After the era in which people were concerned first and foremost with technical feasibility comes the time when the focus shifts to the humanities, and we have to think about how we handle the technologies,” said the employee leading visitors through the exhibition. At the CES Asia conference, Huawei President Kevin Ho, who is responsible for mobile phones, draws a very specific image of the future which sounds more like science fiction: in 2035, it is possible that poverty and hunger will no longer be a problem. Ho speaks of a future where children could speak with deceased family members via apps such as WeChat, and where technologies could overcome the limitations of the body.

Photo: Huawei; last Update: 21/5/2016

China Business Forum Newsletter now coming to you from Düsseldorf

The China Business Forum has moved – to the China stronghold of North-Rhine Westphalia. The newsletter will be presented in future by Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing. The newsletter's target audience and aspirations remain as ever: to inform businesspeople in German-speaking countries about trends and news related to doing business with China. The “Must read” section highlights interesting books on China as well as websites and blogs.
Responsible for content is Astrid Oldekop, business journalist and experienced China expert in Düsseldorf. Hans Gasser, founder and editor of the China Business Forum, is responsible for collaborations and partnerships in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
A new partner for the CBF has been gained in the form of NRW.INVEST, the state-owned economic development company, which successfully markets Germany's most populous state in China.

This way to the Newsletter

Photo: mdb; last Update 13/5/2016

Germany's China-events at a glance

The “China Business Calendar” is a new initiative by Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing and an important information service for all who do business with and in China.
Until now, the only information available in Germany was by some associations and interest groups offering information on their own events. 
The new China Calendar from Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing offers the very first overview of all China-related events being held in Germany: conferences, trade fairs, information sessions and seminars. 

Is your China event not included yet? Simply contact us at
This way to our China-Calender

Photo: mdb; last Update 22/4/2016

Honorary professorship for Minister Wan Gang

The Technical University of Clausthal has appointed its most famous alumnus, Chinese Minister of Science & Technology Wan Gang, as honorary professor. Astrid Oldekop was MC at the ceremony which was characterised by a very personal atmosphere. “I am greatly honoured to have been appointed honorary professor at my 'alma mater',” said Wan Gang, clearly delighted. “The skills and techniques used to produce innovations are things I learned in Clausthal,” added the automotive engineer, paying tribute to the university in the central highlands of Germany. “Sino-German Collaborations” were the subject of the ensuing panel discussion involving Dr Georg Schütte, Junior Minister at the German Federal Ministry of Education & Research, Chinese Emissary Embassy Counsellor Prof Dong Qi, Peter-Jürgen Schneider, Minister of Finance in the German state of Lower Saxony, and Prof Thomas Hanschke, Chancellor of TU Clausthal. Wan Gang's daughter Jieni, who is studying piano in Munich, played Mozart, Brahms, and a traditional Chinese piece.
Wan Gang is not the only alumnus of this small university to be well known in China: ten Chinese graduates are currently running universities in their home country, and 20 hold leading positions in companies and associations. There are presently 500 Chinese students among the 5,000 studying in Clausthal. In future, Wan Gang would like to encourage more Germans to study in the People's Republic.

Photo: TU Clausthal; last Update: 10/4/2016

Business Vogue: 5 Questions to Astrid Oldekop

In the current Business Vogue, Astrid Oldekop reveals the difficulties Europeans are confronted with when meeting Chinese, who takes part in China-Trainings and where she got the idea for the Mediapoint Düsseldorf | Beijing. Her claim: "We'll help you understand China, so that China understands you."

Photo: Business Vogue; last Update: 5/4/2016

The year of the monkey begins

Grand Spring Festival Gala at the Savoy Theatre in Düsseldorf: compèred by Astrid Oldekop and Ding Jiayi. It was standing room only as 80 artists walked onto the stage: dancers, musicians, kung-fu fighters and music bands. Astrid demonstrated the “repelling the monkey” Taichi move in her ball gown, and Ding sang from Phantom of the Opera. The monkey Lele drew the prizes in the grand raffle. 
2,800 Chinese now live in Düsseldorf, said Mayor Friedrich Conzen. Deputy Consul General Tao Lili spoke of how the Chinese Consulate General was opened in Düsseldorf in 2015. Dr Cord Eberspächer and Deng Xiaojing from the Confucius Institute in Düsseldorf were delighted at the steadily growing interest. Dieter Boening reported that the Düsseldorf Sino-German Friendship Society (GDCF) is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and Wang Yaozhen was delighted at the large number of members of the Association of Chinese Scientists and Students in Düsseldorf.
金猴吉祥! 金猴如意!多拿红包!各个猴赛雷!All the best in the year of the monkey!

Photo: VCWS; last Update: 5/2/2016


Education ministry's country strategy for China

The new China strategy of the German Federal Ministry of Education & Research features close partnerships and the creation of broad expertise in matters related to the country. At her ministry's China Day on Wednesday, Education Minister Johanna Wanka presented her first country strategy to around 300 representatives from universities and the worlds of science, research and education. Astrid Oldekop acted as master of ceremonies throughout the day.
Attendees included Federal Minister Johanna Wanka, Li Xiaosi, Chief Executive of the Chinese Embassy, ​Björn Conrad from ‪Merics, President of the ‪Fraunhofer Society, Prof Reimund Neugebauer, Prof Hiltraud Casper-Hehne from the Georg August University in Göttingen and Clemens Daeschle, COO of the ‪SAP Labs Network.
Astrid Oldekop then discussed the future of Sino-German relations with representatives from the worlds of politics, academia, science and business.
China is already the country for which the ‪German Federal Ministry of Education & Research spends the most funds on collaborations. The new ‪China strategy will provide a framework for the ever-more complex collaborations and partnerships in ‪‎education, research and innovation during the period 2015 to 2020.

BMBF China Day

Photo: BMBF/Michael Reitz; last Update: 28/10/2015

Sino-Swabian moon festival in Augsburg

“Xi Jinping's new normal – what is still normal in China?” was the motto for the first Sino-Swabian moon festival in Augsburg. Astrid Oldekop was master of ceremonies in the afternoon, discussing the impact of the stock market crash, the devaluation of the renminbi and economic slowdown with seasoned executives with dealings in and with China. “The next three years are not going to be easy for China,” said Jörg Wuttke, President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, who had flown in specially from Beijing. Nevertheless, he said there is no alternative to the country. Wuttke, who is also BASF's top representative in China, discussed the opportunities and challenges facing German companies in China with Gottfried Wanzl, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Wanzl Metallfabrik, Hannelore Leimer, Honorary President of the Swabian Chamber of Trade & Industry and CEO of the family business Erhardt + Leimer, and Herbert Deniffel, General Manager Alpavit of the Champignon-Hofmeister group of companies. The conclusion reached was that China remains important across all industries. There is no way around it.

Photo: Ruth Plössel; last Update: 6/10/2015

3rd Düsseldorf China Dialogue: Marketing

Chinese consumers love brands – especially home-grown German brands, and now Chinese brands are also conquering European markets. And because a strong brand is an important key to success, “Marketing in Germany and in China” was the topic of the third DÜSSELDORF CHINA DIALOGUE. 
This big-name German-Chinese business conference was organised by Medienbüro Düsseldorf | Beijing on behalf of the China Competence Center Düsseldorf. Astrid Oldekop chaired the exchanges between German and Chinese marketing experts in both German and Chinese.
After the powertalk between Düsseldorf's head mayor Thomas Geisel, Chinese general consul Feng Haiyang and head of trade fair Werner Dornscheidt, Dr. Niklas Schaffmeister (globeone) gave a keynote speech followed by a lively panel discussion with Cao Hui (ZTE), Toni Cheng (Sengled), Jeroen de Groot (Metro Cash & Carry China), Clarissa Holm (Metadesign) and Xu Bu (Ferghana).

3rd Düsseldorf China Dialogue

Photo: Jörg Hemmen; last Update: 8/9/2015

Rheinische Post: Fresh winds blowing from China

The close economic ties between North-Rhine Westphalia and China were the topic of regional newspaper Rheinische Post's “China Day” attended by the Chinese ambassador to Germany, Shi Mingde, China's Consul General in Düsseldorf Feng Haiyang, NRW Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin and numerous representatives of German and Chinese companies. 850 Chinese companies are now in NRW, 330 of them in Düsseldorf alone.  Astrid Oldekop chaired a round-table discussion on Chinese investments in Germany. Discussing were (from left to right): Petra Wassner (CEO NRW.invest), Zhang Min (CEO Shanggong), Cao Hui (Deputy CEO ZTE Deutschland) and Uwe Kerkmann (Head of Economic Development Office Düsseldorf).

China Congress 2015 

Photo: Rheinische Post/Andreas Endermann; last Update: 4/9/2015

Demographic change in Asia and Europe

In 2015, the Asia Programme of the International Journalist Programmes Association (IJP e.V.) gave eight journalists the opportunity to research, work and immerse themselves in another culture. The four German journalists went to Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia. The four Asian scholarship holders came from China, Hong Kong, Bhutan and South Korea.
Astrid Oldekop acted as volunteer Project Coordinator for the IJP Asia Programme in 2015. At the launch conference in the former State Council Building in Berlin (ESMT) in early May, the focus was on demographic change and pulled together many different perspectives to offer a truly global perspective.
Those taking part in the 2015 IJP Asia Programme were from the following media: regional public service broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, Radio Bremen, Der Spiegel, Blog Weekly from Beijing, Joongang Daily from Seoul, Kuensel Newspaper from Bhutan and the South China Morning Post from Hong Kong.
The program was supported by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, the German Federal Foreign Office, Siemens, Allianz, the Goethe Institute, and the host Berlin editorial offices of Tagesspiegel, tageszeitung and Die Welt.

German-Asian Journalistic scholarship

Photo: IJP; last Update: 30/6/2015

Chinaplas trade fair gets underway in Guangzhou

Alternating between Chinese and English, Astrid Oldekop acted as master of ceremonies at the product launch of Arburg's “Freeformer” in the German pavilion at Chinaplas in Guangzhou, together with virtuoso saxophonist Denise Engelhardt. The programme of events featured 49 shows over four days. Most of the shows ended with around 100 members of the audience streaming onto the stage. “Freeformer” is an innovative system for industrial additive production of complex geometries using water-soluble support structures. "A revolutionary kind of Freedom. 一种史无前例的革命性自由!"

ArburgDenise Engelhardt

Photo: mdb; last Update: 22/5/2015

China community for Germany/Austria/Switzerland

The China Business Forum is a communication and networking platform for German-speaking countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – and China. It offers business owners the opportunity to network successfully and provides them with the necessary information for their China business. It is supported by highly respected companies and media partners in Europe and China. Astrid Oldekop has been editor-in-chief to the China Business Forum since 2015, which publishes a regular newsletter.

China Business Forum

Photo: CBF; last Update: 30/4/2015

China evening at Health 3.0

Among those attending the Health 3.0 congress in Düsseldorf were Chinese Consul General in Düsseldorf, Feng Haiyang (photo), and Petra Wassner, Managing Director of NRW.Invest. 
Astrid Oldekop was master of ceremonies at the evening event, chairing discussions with the inventor of the 3D bio-printer, Prof Xu Mingen (Hangzhou Dianzi University), Prof Rainer Sibbel from the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and China consultant Christian Fromm. The focus was on the following topics: The Chinese pharmaceutical market: a somewhat quirky billion-dollar market? Sino-German partnerships in the healthcare sector. What are the prospects for exporting our medical expertise? Transplant innovation: the first 3D bio-printer in China.

Health 3.0

Photo: Health 3.0; last Update: 15/4/2015


Hamburg summit with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

Standing room only at the press conference launching the “Hamburg Summit 2014: China meets Europe”. The first day of the Sino-European summit conference focused on the mutual perceptions of China and Europe, the future of the Chinese economy, Chinese investment in Europe and urbanisation. Day 2 of the conference dealt with trade relations, environmental and brand issues, and the role of China in the world. The climax was the banquet with speeches by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the President of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz, and Germany's Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Astrid Oldekop chaired the press conference at the start of the event. Participants in the discussion were: Chen Fei, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Germany, Dr Stefan Sack, Vice-President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, and shipowner and former President of Hamburg Chamber of Trade & Industry, Nikolaus Schües.

Photo: IHK Hamburg; last Update: 11/10/2014

Hamburg Summit 2014: Greater Chinese investment

The Hamburg Summit is the leading Sino-European economic conference. In 2014, the guests of honour were Premier Li Keqiang, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Germany's Foreign Minister, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The two-day conference was attended by politicians and businesspeople from China and Europe. Astrid Oldekop chaired the press conference at the start of the event as well as a panel discussion on “Ever-increasing Chinese investments – opportunity or challenge”. 
She discussed this with Dr. He Linbo, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity 
Investment Department, China Investment Corporation (CIC), Dr. Margot Schüller from the GIGA Institute of Asian Studies, Song Hailiang, Vizepräsident der China Communications Construction Company und Chairman von Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, Sun Yi, Partner at Ernst & Young, Dr. Richard Weber, President of Eurochambres, Zhang Xiangui, CEO of WISCO International 
Tailored Blanks.

Photo: IHK Hamburg; last Update: 11/10/2014

Salzburg: Learning together from history

Astrid Oldekop was guest on a panel at the Salzburg China conference “Spuren. Suche. Verständnis” (Looking. For clues. Understanding) along with artists and philosophers to discuss what – if anything – Europeans and Chinese can learn together from history. The historian and writer Philipp Blom presented the European perspective. Yang Jiemian, Vice President of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS), spoke from a Chinese viewpoint. Also taking part in the discussion were Austrian artist Xenia Hausner and the Chinese holder of the Leibniz Professorship in Hanover, Li Wenchao.

Photo: Stiftungsinstitut für China-Europa Beziehungen; last Update: 26/9/2014

Sino-German Economic Forum in NRW

China and North-Rhine Westphalia can look back on a booming trend in economic cooperation. NRW businesses have been investing heavily in China for decades, and in return NRW has become the number one investment location in Germany for Chinese companies. The Sino-German Economic Forum in NRW was held on 18th June 2014 on the occasion of the visit of Governor Li Xiaopeng of Shanxi Province.  Astrid Oldekop led delegates through the programme with its high-calibre participants and chaired the individual panel sessions. 
Attending were Prof. Eberhard Sandschneider of the Free University of Berlin, NRW-Economic minister Garrelt Duin, Vice-minister for development and reforms of the Shanxi province, Cheng Zeye, Wang Weidong from the Chinese general consulate in Frankfurt as well as Dr. Günther Horzetzky (State secretary in the NRW-Economic ministery), Ulf Reichardt (IHK Cologne), Ute Berg (Deputy mayor City of Cologne). Discussing were: Petra Wassner, CEO NRW.Invest, Oliver Emons of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, Wang Qing, GM of Shanggong Europe Holding, Wang Wei of KPMG, Erich Berger, Ribeka-CEO, Dr. Reinhold Both, CEO of CFT compactfiltertechnis, Frank Grunert of Bayer Materialscience, Stefan Schmitz, CEO of RS associated architects as well as Alexander Hoeckle, CEO International IHK Cologne. 
The focus was on technology, urbanisation and the environment.

Photo: NRW.International; last Update: 18/6/2014

Chinese Consulate in Düsseldorf

On his first visit to Germany, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, visited Berlin and Dusseldorf. As a gift to the North Rhine-Westphalian capital, Mr Xi announced the opening of a Chinese Consulate General in Düsseldorf. It will the fourth Chinese Gerneral Consulate in Germany.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister, Hannelore Kraft,  said in her banquet speech in the Interconti-Hotel of Düsseldorf,  that North Rhine-Westphalia and China were natural partners in environmental technology, energy efficiency and urban development. Chinese President Xi called Düsseldorf 'an economic hub' and quoted Heinrich Heine’s 'Winter's Tale'. The German poet, born in Düsseldorf, described in it 'the desire for a happy and fulfilled life' - a dream shared by Germans and Chinese alike, President Xi said. 

In Duisburg, the Chinese President witnessed the entrance of the Yuxinou-freight train. This new Silkroad connects Central China with North Rhine-Westphalia in 16 days by train. China's First Lady attended a Chinese class at the Burggymnasium in Essen.

Photo: Michael Ruhland; last Update: 31/3/2014

Labour market conference for media and the arts

Astrid Oldekop discussed international projects with Prof Sascha Lord of SME polytechnic “Fachhochschule des Mittelstands (FHM)”, Prof Dr Christoph Schmidt, Academic Director at German public service broadcaster Deutsche Welle, DW Academy, and Ute Maria Zankl, Director, People Strategy at SapientNitro. Kate Maleike of Deutschlandfunk (German Radio) was in the chair. 
The media sector owes important momentum to international projects and co-productions. People from different countries of origin are working together. How are these differences productive? When do frictions arise? And: how can education programs prepare people for the international labour market?‪ #‎amk14

Photo: mdb; last Update: 14/2/2014


2nd Düsseldorf China Dialogue: Innovation

Innovation is the key to growth – in China and in Germany. The second DÜSSELDORF CHINA DIALOGUE, presented and chaired by Astrid Oldekop on 11th December, saw German and Chinese decision-makers discussing how innovations come about in a globalised world and what Germans and Chinese can learn from each other. Attending the event were: Toni Cheng, CEO of Huawei Technologies Germany, Christian Daume, General Manager of the Haier Europe R&D Centre, Prof Reinhart Poprawe, Vice Chancellor of RWTH Aachen University and NRW Innovation Prize Laureate of 2011, Stephan Schneider, Vodafone and CEO of Digital City Düsseldorf, Yi Sun, Partner at E&Y, Dr Tilo Weiss, Henkel Adhesive Technologies, Weidong Wang, Manager of the Trade & Commerce Unit at the Chinese General Consulate in Frankfurt, Prof Ulrich Lehner, Chairman of Düsseldorf Chamber of Trade & Industry, Prof Andreas Meyer-Falcke, Düsseldorf City Counsellor.

2nd Düsseldorf China Dialogue

Photo: Emanuel Bloedt; last Update: 11/12/2013

Agricultural Bank of China in Continental Europe

China’s third largest bank has opened its first branch in Continental Europe with an exclusive gala dinner in Frankfurt’s Palmengarten. As a consequence, the Agricultural Bank of China reinforces the presence of Chinese banks in the German financial metropolis, strengthening the position of the city in the battle for Yuan trade. Astrid Oldekop hosted the Gala evening, which was attended by ABC-president Zhang Yun, the Chinese General Consul in Frankfurt, Wen Zhenshun, and representatives of the ECB and other banks, as well as representatives of the state of Hesse and members of Frankfurt’s city council.

Photo: Andreas Fischer / Philipp Reimer; last Update: 18/11/2013

Invest in Ningbo

The city of Ningbo is promoting itself to German investors in Düsseldorf. Mediapoint Düsseldorf | Beijing will be facilitating and chairing the event which is to take place at the Düsseldorf Hilton Hotel on 19th September. The event is held in collaboration with AHK China, Düsseldorf Chamber of Trade & Industry and the Düsseldorf China Competence Centre. High-ranking representatives of the Ningbo municipal authority and the city’s industrial estates and businesses are expected.
Ningbo TV

Photo: mdb; last Update: 19/9/2013

Too hungry? Too satisfied?

At the European congress of Soroptimist International, Astrid Oldekop facilitated and chaired a podium discussion for an audience of 1,400 women from over 50 countries on the topic “Too hungry? Too satisfied? What can we do about it?”. Taking part in the discussion were Diana Bracco, head of Expo Milan 2015, Selina Juul, initiator of the Stop Wasting Food Movement, Professor Werner Kloas, “Inventor of the Tomato Fish”, and Dr Ingrid Wünning Tschol from the Robert Bosch Foundation.

Photo: Regine Peter; last Update: 14/7/2013

1st Düsseldorf China Dialogue: Qualified Personnel

The "War for Talents" determines the business of every company in Germany and China.
Because the right employees are crucial for the success of any company, the slogan of the first DÜSSELDORF CHINA DIALOGUE was "Qualified Personnel in Germany and China". Being the prelude to the German-Chinese eventseries, high-class Chinese and German experts and practicians discussed within this Exclusive in Düsseldorf, about how to find, bind, motivate and qualify the right employees. Also present: China's ambassador Shi Mingde, IHK President Ulrich Lehner, Head of ICBC in Frankfurt ChenFei, TÜV Rheinland, Chief Human Ressource Officer Thomas Biedermann, DCC Chief Executive Officer Robert Cao, Mercuri Urval-Senior Director Michael Schäfer, Grohe-Chief Human Ressource Officer Michael Mager, DAAD representative Susanne Ott and Personal Director James Xie of Huawei. This high-level Chinese-German business conference is held regularly in Düsseldorf. The event is designed and conducted by MediaPoint Düsseldorf | Beijing on behalf of Düsseldorf's China Competence Center. The event is facilitated and chaired in both German and Chinese by Astrid Oldekop. During the first dialogue event, the Chinese Ambassador Shi Mingde stated that Düsseldorf had overtaken Hamburg as the Germany’s top Chinese location. Düsseldorf’s Head Mayor Dirk Elbers praised the huge growth of Chinese businesses in the city.

 1st Düsseldorf China Dialogue

Photo: Jörg Hemmen; last Update: 26/02/2013


Düsseldorf | Beijing
Astrid Oldekop

China Business

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