ChinaEU’s little Christmas gift for you

It has been a busy year at the ChinaEU office. Our lean international team has been working on many fronts and traveling around the world almost as much as a certain jolly fellow with a beard and a red suit. Looking back, we are very proud of what we accomplished and sincerely grateful for all your support!

Now it’s the time to be with our families and open presents at the tree. But first, we want to share this summary of our activities with our loyal readers as a little gift and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

EU-China Digital Tourism 

 WeChat launches its service in Europe
ChinaEU brings Chinese Internet Giant to Brussels


WeChat – China’s ‘super app’ developed by Tencent- holds its first presentation of its European roadshow at the Tangla Luxury Hotel in Brussels with the assistance of ChinaEU. Andrea Ghizzoni, Director of WeChat-Tencent Europe, brought attention on the opportunities that WeChat can bring to European businesses who want to tap into the Chinese middle class market. Around 40 representatives from tourism, hospitality and luxury industries across Europe participated in the workshop, including some famous names such as Jil Sander, LVMH, Marriott and Radisson Blu Balmoral. Following the event, ChinaEU has also signed an agreement with WeChat to promote its digital marketing solutions to European brands and tourism suppliers. Find out more here.

Ctrip endeavors to boost EU-China tourism
ChinaEU invited Ctrip to high-level meeting and workshop on EU-China Digital Tourism

Ms. Jane Sie Sun, CEO of Ctrip – China’s largest online travel platform – met with the President of the European Parliament Mr. Antonio Tajani. On her trip to Europe Ms. Sun talked about Europe as a top destination for Chinese tourists, Mr. Tajani congratulated Ms. Sun for her efforts in earmarking Europe as a priority destination for Chinese tourists. ChinaEU is proud to have made such meetings possible and contribute to the 2018 EU-China year of tourism.

On the same day, ChinaEU organized with the CEO of Ctrip a seminar with key members of the European Parliament on digital tools and their possibilities to attract more Chinese tourists during the 2018 EU-China Tourism year.


Amongst the attendees were Special Counselor at DG Grow Mr. Eric Philippart, MEP Ms. Elisabetta Gardini, Welcome Chinese President Mr Jacopo Sertoli, China Channel Co-Founder & WeChat expert Matthew Brennan. Apps such as Ctrip and WeChat and their ability to bring more Chinese tourists to Europe were discussed during the event. Mr. Philippart shared his opinion on visa liberalization. Check out the best moments of the event in this video.

ChinaEU speaks at the high-level conference on tourism
Luigi Gambardella, President of ChinaEU, delivered a speech on the potential of China and Digital


Tourism plays an important role in the EU because of its economic and employment potential. The high-level conference of tourism, organized under the wings of President of the European Parliament Mr. Tajani, was a testament to the EU’s commitment to tourism. Amongst the speakers were H.E. Yang Yanyi, Chinese Ambassador to the EU, and Mr. Zhu Xiaolu, Senior Vice-President of Ctrip. In 2018, the EU-China tourism year will bring huge opportunities to Europe. More coverage on this event on our newsletter!

High-level Cooperation


ChinaEU at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
ChinaEU was honored to be invited to the Belt & Road Forum


Mr. Luigi Gambardella, President of ChinaEU, and Ms. Claudia Vernotti, Director of ChinaEU, were honored to have been invited to the Belt and Road Forum, opened by President Xi Jinping. The event was attended by more than 130 countries, 70 international organizations, and 29 heads of state. President Xi delivered a strong message of inclusiveness: the Belt and Road initiative is open to all countries that are interested in it. Find out more here.

Asia and Europe Discuss Global Connectivity
ChinaEU spoke at the ASEM High-Level Forum.

Both Mr. Luigi Gambardella, President of ChinaEU, and Ms. Claudia Vernotti, Director of ChinaEU, spoke at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Forum on Digital Connectivity. This event, hold in the city of Qingdao, was opened by H.E. Wang Yang, Vice-Premier of China. ChinaEU stressed the importance of big data technology to improve business models, digitize production and upgrade industries. More coverage on our website!

ChinaEU at Global Innovator Conference
ChinaEU brought the future vision of 5G value chain up for discussion

In early September, world famous entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and scholars flocked to Shenzhen for the Global Innovator Conference (GIC). Co-hosted by CCPIT, CCOIC, APEC China Business Council and Y-Intelligence, GIC provided a valuable resource integration platform to global innovators. ChinaEU was honored to organize a panel discussion at the event on the Value Chain of 5G, the coming revolution in mobile communications. Key stakeholders including Mr. Francesco Profumo, Former Italian Minister of Education and Research and President of Italian tower company INWIT, Ms. Chih-Lin I, Chief Scientist for wireless technologies at China Mobile, and Mr. Wang Jiayi, Managing Director of 5G Ran Solutions at ZTE Corporation shared their visions on 5G and its practical applications. More details of the discussion and other inspiring speeches at GIC can be found here!

ChinaEU at the World Internet Conference
ChinaEU spoke at China’s most prestigious conference on Internet


Once a year the Chinese government hosts the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. This 4th edition attracted the biggest companies in the internet sector. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, Jack Ma, Chairman and Founder of Alibaba, and Pony Ma, Founder and CEO of Tencent, Baidu CEO Robin Li, JD.com Founder & CEO Liu Qiangdong, Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun, on top of executives of Facebook, Amazon, eBay, LinkedIn etc. were all present. ChinaEU was honored to be invited to the forum and Mr. Luigi Gambardella gave a spirited speech on cultural exchange and the internet. To check out more about ChinaEU at WIC, and see Chinese innovation for the future, go to our website!

The Digital Silk Road Roundtable in the Chinese Embassy in Rome
ChinaEU organized a high-level conference in the Chinese Embassy in Rome

Together with H.E. Li Ruiyu, the Chinese Ambassador to Italy, ChinaEU organized a high-level conference during the festival of diplomacy in Rome. During this conference, important subjects related to the digital leg of China’s Belt and Road Initiative were discussed. Around 100 guests including prominent politicians and business leaders had a lively exchange of their opinions on how to improve Italy-China digital cooperation by means of the Belt and Road Initiative. Leading businesses including ZTE, Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent, as well as Open Fiber, Novari Holding etc. joined the discussion. Detailed information can be found here.

Startups & Innovation Exchange

ChinaEU at Startup Olé
Director of ChinaEU Claudia Vernotti attended and spoke at Startup Olé


Director of ChinaEU, Ms. Claudia Vernotti, attended Startup Olé conference in Salamanca, Spain, and spoke in the discussion on ‘Partnering with Europe: Beyond the EU’. She talked about the opportunities for the European startup community to soft land in China and announced the set-up of a new network to connect the European and Chinese startup-ecosystems. Learn more on our website.

ChinaEU-Y-Intelligence startup roadshow in Lisbon
A collaboration between ChinaEU and Y-Intelligence to link Portuguese startups with China


ChinaEU, together with Y-Intelligence, co-organized a startup roadshow at Startup Lisboa, a major incubator in Portugal. Seven Portuguese projects met with a delegation of Chinese investors and companies including Fosun Group and Hengtong Group who are looking to expand their business in Europe

ChinaEU and niHUB go Dutch

ChinaEU and niHUB went on an exploration of the Dutch startup ecosystem


Claudia Vernotti of ChinaEU and Lucas Rondez, Founder and CEO of niHUB, explored the Dutch startup ecosystem together in order to identify the opportunities for linking it to the Chinese startup ecosystem. They visited over 10 incubators, co-working spaces, innovation centers and venture capital firms. Read all about the visit on our website. ChinaEU and niHUB signed a partnership to work together to introduce innovative European projects to China.

European startups makes it to Fosun’s Global Innovation Competition
ChinaEU Director Claudia Vernotti awarded the prize to the finals of the Global Innovation Competition


Claudia Vernotti, Director of ChinaEU, was invited to deliver the final prizes to the winners of Protechting-InnoStar, Fosun’s Global Innovation Competition, in Ningbo. Three European projects, alumni of Fosun’s acceleration program in Portugal, were selected to join the competition together with other ten Chinese projects. The final winner was a Spanish insure-tech startup. Find out more on our website!

ChinaEU signs agreement with Italia Startup
ChinaEU is going to help Italian Startups in China


Italia Startup and ChinaEU have signed an MoU with the aim of building stronger links between the Italian and Chinese startup communities, in particular to support Italian startups to grasp the opportunities offered by the growing Chinese digital market. More info on the website of Italia Startup!

Roadshow of Italian Startups in Beijing
ChinaEU brought a selection of promising Italian startups to Beijing


ChinaEU brought seven Italian startups to the Y-Intelligence Community in the 898 InnoSpace in Beijing. At the roadshow, each startup pitched their innovative projects in areas such human-machine interaction, medical care, environmental sustainability, space science and technology to an audience of Chinese VCs.

ChinaEU hosts Shenzhen delegation
A delegation from the city of Shenzhen was given a tour of the Belgium Startup Ecosystem


ChinaEU hosted a Shenzhen delegation together with Shenzhen Representative Office in Europe and gave it a tour to the Belgium Startup Ecosystem. Three big players in the ecosystem were visited: Startups.be, the one-stop-shop for the Belgian startups aiming to scale up and go global, B.Central, brand-new co-working space and event organizer in the heart of Brussels, and ICAB, a top-tier co-working space, incubator and accelerator for ICT and engineering projects.

Regulatory Study & Exchange

ChinaEU holds session with Chinese digital economy experts
ChinaEU and Chinese experts shared notes on digital economy regulation


ChinaEU legal expert Christian Hocepied, together with ChinaEU President Luigi Gambardella, met with the Chinese experts of the EU-China subgroup on digital economy to discuss about digital regulation. The session was followed by a visit of ChinaEU and CIDF to KU Leuven Center for IT & IP law.

The 11th Digital Regulation Forum in London

ChinaEU hosted a panel in this influential regulatory event for the 3rd consecutive year


ChinaEU attended the Digital Regulation Forum in London for the 3rd consecutive year and hosted a panel discussion to introduce the Chinese approach to digital regulation and give an overview on China’s prolific environment of digital services. Find out what experts such as Robert Pepper, Head of Global connectivity and Technology Policy of Facebook, Lise Fuhr, Director general of ETNO, Roslyn Layton, Advisor to Donald Trump, Tom Griffiths, Creative Strategy Director at London-based digital marketing agency Qumin, Zhao Shuyu, researcher at the Internet Law Center of the China Academy of ICT, Ji Bo, Chief Representative for CKGSB Europe had to say on our website!

Exchanging Best Practices on Data Regulation
ChinaEU takes CAC officials on a fact-finding mission in Europe


ChinaEU hosted a delegation from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on a fact-finding mission in the EU. The main goal was to investigate the General Data Protection Regulation and its implementation. Introduced by ChinaEU legal counselor Christian Hocepied, the closed-door seminar had high-level speakers including Ms. Erika Mann, former head of Facebook’s Brussels office and top lawyer at Covington & Burling in Brussels, Mr. Chris Gow, Head of EU Public Policy for Cisco and DIGITAL EUROPE Board Member, and Mr. Cedric Burton, legal expert of international law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The CAC was mainly interested in the relations and disparities between the EU level and the Member State level.  What did they find out, and what did we offer to them? Find out on our website!

ChinaEU at the Internet Governance Forum
ChinaEU spoke at the global platform on Internet governance

The Internet Governance Forum is the only global multi-stakeholder platform to discuss key aspects of Internet Governance. This year it engaged again a great number of prominent representatives from civil society, industry, the technical community and decision makers, amongst whom Commissioner Mariya Gabriel also attended. This year’s debate shed light on “Shape Your Digital Future! How technologies will impact every aspect of our future society?” An open forum hosted by the Cyberspace Administration of China about the impact of China’s internet policies on digital future drew lots of interest from the audience. Luigi Gambardella had the honor to be invited as one of the panelists. He stressed the decisive role of Chinese corporations in the Chinese digital success story, and the key for him is policies favoring innovation. In the margin of IGF, Luigi also had the pleasure to catch up with Mr. Zhao Houlin, the Secretary General of ITU.

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