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News from China
New Zealand's Auckland launches WeChat program to attract Chinese visitors
12th November 2019

 In a first for New Zealand, Chinese visitors to Auckland will have up-to-the-minute information about the region at their fingertips through one of the most popular Chinese communications and social platforms WeChat.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development and WeChat announced on Tuesday the Auckland WeChat Mini Program kicked off.
New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, ATEED General Manager Destination Steve Armitage and a strong contingent of Chinese and New Zealand media and tourism businesses attended the launch.
"As more and more Chinese tourists choose to travel New Zealand as Free Independent Travellers, the Auckland WeChat Mini Program will become an important platform for connecting these tourists with all that Auckland has to offer," Davis said.
"Considering there are over a billion monthly active users on WeChat/Weixin, this is a great opportunity for Auckland to raise its profile and promote its tourism offerings to the Chinese market."
China is New Zealand's second-largest international visitor market following Australia and most valuable in terms of holiday visitor spend. Between August 2018 and August 2019, more than 41,7000 Chinese visited New Zealand. Last year, Chinese tourists spent a total of 1.07 billion U.S. dollars, according to Tourism New Zealand, the organization responsible for marketing New Zealand to the world as a tourist destination.
The 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism was launched with an aim to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the two countries.
The Auckland WeChat Mini Program provides a community-focused digital solution for Auckland's Chinese-speaking community to share their local knowledge, favourite things to do and experience around the region with their overseas-based families, friends and other locals in China.
The ATEED-developed Mini Program, which was first piloted in February this year in Auckland, is aimed at connecting Chinese locals with visitors in a real time, live chat environment.
In partnership with an Auckland-based software developer, ATEED has developed a world-first solution for visitors, publishing user generated content by locals and visitors that highlights their experiences around the region. This innovative, new approach to destination marketing has garnered the attention and support of WeChat, who see the tool offering great value to Chinese-speaking users world-wide.
Armitage acknowledged the number of Chinese FIT visiting Auckland continues to grow and these visitors are moving away from traditional ways of finding out more about places they want to visit.
"Travellers nowadays want recommendations of what to do and where to go at their fingertips and this mini program allows for that interaction between visitors and locals," he said.
The Auckland WeChat Mini Program aims to strengthen ties with the global Chinese community - both online and offline - ensuring visitors have a unique, personalized and memorable experience in Auckland, and in turn, increasing the length of stay, time spent exploring the region and investment in the local economy.
"We saw an opportunity to offer Chinese visitors a more local and authentic experience, connecting local guides with visitors through a real-time chat function. This new platform aligns with our guiding principle of manaakitanga(hospitality) within the Destination AKL 2025 Strategy, in which we strive to provide our visitors with the best experience of Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) from the moment they are considering their travel until they leave," he added.
WeChat Head of Global Marketing Ma Fengming said, "We are so excited to support Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development leading the way in providing cutting-edge, global tourism solutions for the modern WeChat travellers. The Auckland WeChat Mini Program offers travelers a smart and effective way to engage with an online community - to share and connect with relevant, up-to-date destination content in Auckland.
"This innovative platform reflects the power of partnering technology and authenticated peer-to-peer content - we can't wait to see our WeChat consumers make the most of the Auckland WeChat Mini Program."
Tourism New Zealand's first ever WeChat mini programme, a mini website embedded within Tencent WeChat, was successfully launched in December 2018. This innovative tool provides New Zealand travel planning information to users in a new, efficient way.
Source: Shanghai Daily, November 12, 2019
China's Singles' Day sales hit 10 billion yuan in 96 seconds
11th November 2019

 China's Singles' Day sales on Alibaba's e-commerce platform TMall hit 10 billion yuan (about US$1.43 billion) at just one minute and 36 seconds after midnight on Monday.

At one hour, 26 minutes and seven seconds after midnight, sales on TMall hit 120.7 billion yuan, surpassing the whole first day of sales on Singles' Day in 2016.
Both figures set a new record for the Single's Day shopping festival on TMall, which was first designed by Tmall on November 11, 2009, and has become one of the largest online shopping sprees worldwide.
At the peak, 544,000 orders were created in a second on TMall, setting a new record for peak online traffic in the world, according to Alibaba.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud service provider under Alibaba Group, has launched a self-developed liquid-cooling technology for the processors in its data center ahead of the shopping spree on Monday.
The new tech involves a special liquid coolant function that is similar to soaking Alibaba's numerous processors in cool water. It is part of Alibaba's efforts to promote a more environmentally friendly annual online sales promotion, according to the company.
More than 22,000 overseas brands from 200 countries and regions have participated in this year's shopping spree in China, according to Alibaba.
Sales of Tmall's first shopping festival totaled about 52 million yuan. Alibaba's Single's Day sales reached 213.5 billion yuan last year.  
Source: Shanghai Daily, November 11, 2019
Qiantan the shining gem in Expo area's success
8th November 2019

 The area where the World Expo 2010 Shanghai was held covers an area of 10 square kilometers, including part of the Expo Park, Expo Village as well as Yaohua and Qiantan areas. It has been quickly expanding as a hub of Chinese state-owned enterprises.

As of now, 25 Chinese state-owned conglomerates have registered 55 enterprises in or around the Expo area. China Baowu Steel Group and the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China have set up their group headquarters there while nine large SOEs, including China National Nuclear Corp, Aluminum Corp of China and China Huaneng Group, have established their regional headquarters in the area.
The Expo area is actively supporting large SOEs to leverage the favorable policies in the free trade zone to improve business layout and boost investment in business innovation.
It has helped a number of SOEs to launch financial, energy and global trade subsidiaries in the area.
Among all sections of the Expo area, Qiantan stands out as an emerging business center for both Chinese and global enterprises, with advantages in sports and health care industries.
Qiantan is making efforts to attract more international institutions. In February this year, members of the World Association of Nuclear Operators voted to establish a new branch office and support center in Qiantan.
The Shanghai International Dispute Resolution Center is also located in Qiantan, which aims to encourage more professional legal services providers to start business in the area.
Qiantan, home to the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, is striving to attract global sports companies, event organizers and sports research institutes as it steps up efforts to boost its capacity to hold major international competitions and make itself a well-known mark for the sports industry in Shanghai.
Raffles Hospital Shanghai is in Qiantan International Business District of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. As a joint-venture project between Singapore’s Raffles Medical Group and Shanghai Lujiazui Group, construction of the 12-story hospital was completed in May this year and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2020.
As a key platform for the “Shanghai Culture” brand, the Expo area is joining with partners to accelerate the development of cultural venues, bring more leading groups in culture and performance to the area, and actively foster an eSports industry in Pudong.
Source: Shanghai Daily, November 8, 2019
Chinese experts to join in Notre-Dame restoration
7th November 2019

 Chinese experts will participate in the restoration of France’s Notre-Dame cathedral, it was reported yesterday, following a meeting between the two countries’ heads of state in Beijing.

The 850-year-old cathedral, which was scarred in April after a fire tore through its roof and toppled its spire, was the most visited historic monument in Europe.
Since the blaze, which took 400 firefighters to control, Chinese and French authorities have been in touch about cooperating on restoration efforts, Xinhua news agency reported.
“China has a great deal of experience in renovating ancient buildings affected by fire, especially ones made of wood,” said Chai Xiaoming, director of the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage. “This means we could offer suggestions on how to approach the renovation of the oak-framed roof on Notre Dame Cathedral,” he said.
Citing a document signed by the two countries during President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beijing, Xinhua said Chinese experts will work with French teams in on-site restoration without elaborating.
“China and France will collaborate on the theme and model and select Chinese expert candidates for the cooperative restoration work in 2020,” it said.
The partial destruction of Notre-Dame sparked an outpouring of condolences around the world earlier this year, with Chinese President Xi Jinping calling the cathedral “an outstanding treasure of human civilization.”
Though its stained glass windows, towers, bells and most artworks and relics survived, reconstruction work to rebuild the 13th-century cathedral will take years.
It is only at the end of 2020 that a complete check will allow architects to work out how to restore the cathedral — and no reconstruction is expected to start before 2021.
In addition to Notre-Dame, the agreement signed yesterday will also see France and China collaborate on protecting China’s famous terracotta warriors in Xi’an.
Source: Shanghai Daily, November 7,2019

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