As the number of outbound Chinese travelers continues to rise, their trips are getting shorter.

According to a newly published study on Chinese travel trends by IPK International, the average length of international trips by Chinese travelers nearly halved between 2007 and 2014 even as total travelers rapidly increased. Although Chinese tourists spent an average of 10 nights abroad in 2007, that number dropped to 5.5 in 2014. This decrease was powered by short international trips lasting three nights or less, which grew by a staggering 444 percent in that time period, while the number of longer trips declined.


These statistics mean that Chinese travelers are “cash-rich,” yet “time-poor” on their trips—which illustrates how luxury brands must aggressively compete to become worthy of travelers’ limited time. The good news is that 80 percent of international Chinese trips are currently for leisure, and shopping remains a favorite activity.

There are several key ways brands can reach short-term travelers. First, creating a quality experience is key—the report found that Chinese travelers are increasingly shelling out for first-class hotels, with 55 percent opting for luxury lodging and fewer spending on budget accommodations. This means that experiential luxury is becoming a growing priority, and it’s not just hotels, but boutiques that need to respond to this trend.

For luxury brands, a significant presence in top Chinese travel destinations is crucial, and this means they need to look to Asia. Shorter flights make the region a popular destination for Chinese tourists with limited travel time—according to IPK’s study, Asia accounts for 68 percent of all trips by Chinese travelers. This was followed by Europe at 18 percent, Australia/Oceania at 9 percent, and the rest of the world at 5 percent. Brands should also make sure they have a presence in top Asian cruise stops—over the past seven years, cruise participation among Chinese travelers has increased by over 1,300 percent, and these sea-bound tourists are doing serious shopping when they disembark at ports along the way.

With such short travel times, Chinese tourists often conduct significant research prior to their trips—including what products they’ll be buying. To reach these travelers, brands need to have a strong digital presence that makes it easy for them to research store locations and product information before they leave. This includes not only information on the brand’s official website, but a comprehensive WeChat account that offers product descriptions, a global store locator, and customer service live-chat that can address requests regarding any region in the world.


Wanna drive Chinese tourists to your shop? iQubator,based in Shanghai,China, can promote the overseas shops of the international brands through Chinese Social Media and own website to increase awareness of the brands in China.

Don’t hesitate to contact us now !


Fashion find-French Fashion in Shanghai

French Fashion is really a hot topic in China. We came to visit Madame Shanghai (No. 284 South Xiangyang Road, inside Shanghai French Concession) the other day during this hot summer in Shanghai. There iQubator team met Justine, the founder of Madame Shanghai, and also did the interview with her.


Entrance of the shop

iQubator: When did you start your business in Shanghai?

Justine:I arrived in Shanghai seven years ago. But first it was for my school, I was in a business school in France and I came to Shanghai for a two-year exchange program. For two years I was doing international management. I loved Shanghai so much so I decided to stay longer. I worked in foods and hospitality industries first, and then I went on to study Chinese. About two years ago I had the idea of opening this shop. In Shanghai there are many fast fashion chains such as H&M, Zara, but there aren’t many independent designers or smaller brands. Between the mass production fast fashion and the luxurious brands such as Louis Vuitton or Chanel, there is no middle ground. So I opened Madame Shanghai. All the brands I carry in my shop are quite famous in France. You see many French girls dressed in these brands. I wanted to introduce these brands to the Chinese market. The store was officially opened nine months ago.

iQubator: Why did you choose to start a career in Shanghai, China?

Justine: During my first two years of studying in Shanghai, I loved the city so much. When I first arrived, I was only 20 years old, so I feel like I have grown up here in this city. It’s my home now.

iQubator: Where do you find the brands and products?

Justine: When I decided to open the shop, I asked my friends in France to help me select the brands because I was in China for 5 years and I was not aware about the trends anymore! To buy the collections, I go to Paris twice a year, to meet directly with the brands at their showroom, or during fashion fairs.


iQubator: How do you think the brands in your store fit the Chinese market?

Justine: I’m still discovering and learning. When I first opened the shop, I got positive feedbacks from the customers. It’s really popular among the expat community because they know of the brands, and the Chinese customers started picking up and liking it more and more. The brands are French, young, new and colorful.

iQubator: What differences do you find between the foreign and the Chinese customers?

Justine: The Chinese customers are very interested in the quality, they always ask about the materials and the fabrics. They are also very interested in styling. For example, if they find a skirt that they like, they will ask me how they can find a top that goes with it. They are more picky, and they ask more questions. The foreigners are more independent, they don’t ask many questions normally.

iQubator: How do you explain your style?238301517987452014

Justine: I think my style is really French actually! Which means, it is really simple. I love confortable but fashionable clothes. Black is my favorite colors to wear, it is easy to match with everything. This summer, I love jumpsuit, they are really convenient when I don’t know what to wear in the morning!

iQubator: How is the sales going?

Justine: It’s getting better and better. In July it’s a bit slow because many people are on holiday.

iQubator: Through which channels do you promote your store?

535846396854562511Justine: For my foreign customer group, I mainly focus on Facebook and Instagram. And for the Chinese, I have two WeChat accounts. I have a personal account and an official account for my store. I would post articles and interesting sources about my store.


iQubator: Do you have promotions in the store?

Justine: I mainly organize events, and I have a rooftop terrace. Where I gather some friends and customers, and I offer wine onsite. I also participate in the designer market. I just participated one in The Cut last Sunday.


iQubator: What is your favorite piece in the store?

Justine: Can I only pick one?! (laugh) I will pick top three.162452048592468890




iQubator: If you were a color, what would it be and why?

Justine: My favorite color is actually pink… You can see that everything is pink around me, from my pens to my iPhone case! It must be my inner child speaking. I never dress in pink though!

iQubator: What is your soonest project coming up?

Justine: I’m hoping to start some sales and offer some discounts, get the sales going during the slow month.

iQubator: Have you thought of opening up another store or expanding into other cities?

Justine: At the moment, I want to focus on this one and maybe move to a more convenient location. But in the future, of course I expect growth and expansion.



Interview with the designer Fernanda Sung

A few weeks ago, iQubator went to a design market in Shanghai. There, we had the luck to meet the lovely Fernanda Sung, a beautiful, young lady from Brazil. She is a jewelry designer and is quite new to the Chinese market. Not only her cheerful appearance but also her gorgeous designs were standing out in the crowd. We had to ask her for an interview and she was so kind to accept it. This week’s designer talk with Fernanda Sung.

iQubator: First of all thank you Fernanda for coming today! So let’s start with the first question, and let’s start from the beginning.  When did you start to design your own jewelry?

Fernanda: I started designing jewelry when I was still in Brazil. I loved accessories since fernanda products 5I was a kid, and I really liked to work with my hands so I was always doing this kind of stuff. Professionally, during college I majored in accessories and jewelry design. In the beginning I had two other business partners which were my colleagues so we came up with a brand and started to work with a supplier and tried to understand the industry a little bit. We were working together for about 1 or 2 years and then afterwards, when we graduated, I moved to Italy to study packaging design and when I moved back to Brazil, I set up my own brand. After a while, I moved to China to study Chinese. I was working a full-time design related job, but I wanted to go back to my passion so I quit my job and officially launched my own brand.  So I guess on and off, I have been designing jewelry for about 8 years.


iQubator: What brought you to design?

Fernanda:  Since I was a kid, I liked drawing and crafts in general, so I’ve been always doing this kind of stuff. I heard about this jewelry design course when I was applying for college and I decided to just go for it. From there on, I fell in love with designing. Most of the times, I do fashion oriented jewelries but back in Brazil, I used to have more diverse products so I work with local communities  doing crafts and more conceptual. I think a little part of me have always loved design and creative, and there are just so many possibilities. It’s not just about the jewelry, it’s about everything. It’s about the way you see things and present them.


iQubator: Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Fernanda: I guess most of my inspirations come from nature, from Brazil. I think especially for jewelry. I also really like art deco so I had a collection that is in Brazil that was inspired by art deco. I guess for the most part it comes from growing up in Brazil and the closeness that I’ve always experienced with Brazil. I want my collections to send out happy messages that are derived from the nature of the planet and humanity.

iQubator: How do you think your brand fits in the Chinese market?fernanda products 4

Fernanda: Oh wow that’s a tough one. I think adapting is the key. In Brazil, people wear really big pieces and that’s not really what goes on in China; jewelries here are usually very delicate. But one thing I like about the Chinese market is that there so are many people and different styles in China so there’s potential for everything. I’ve been trying to make some products little bit smaller than what they would be in Brazil, add a bit more delicacy in them. Another good thing is that Chinese consumers are quite adaptive as well. Sometimes people want to have a big piece or something that brightens up their day. So in the Chinese market, it’s a constantly learning and changing process.

iQubator: Here’s a more personal question; what do you have in your closet?

Fernanda: Normally, I like to wear a lot of skirts and dresses. My summer clothes are usually very colorful, so I have all these flowery dresses and just colorful pieces. And during the winter I wear all black because it’s so easy, it fits the season and I think it also goes really well with my designs; I try to wear my own design as often as possible. I like to match bright shoes, with a basic outfit. If I have something colorful it also pops comparing to the black color.

fernanda products 3iQubator: Among your collections, what is your favorite piece and why?

Fernanda: Haha it’s hard to pick a favorite one. Currently I really love my new collection, especially the ones with tassels because I love the colors. It’s a very trendy look at the moment.

The previous collection that I really love was my art deco collection that I made in Brazil. They were bigger pieces, there was an onyx stone and they were all gold coated, so it was like black and gold. They were beautiful and it was really a nice experience to work with them because in Brazil I used to have a little different brand purpose than in China. It was nice to have that collection, that is a little bit more special and it’s also not an absurd price for what it is.

iQubator: Are you planning to go back to Brazil in the future?

Fernanda: I don’t think I will live in China forever. Don’t get me wrong, I love China.  But I think the place I’m going to settle down eventually is going to be Brazil since I have my friends and family there. But I actually really like Shanghai so I just want to stay here for some time. I don’t have any plans to go back now. I’m starting my brand here and I’m very excited about where it will go. I want to settle down everything here first, and eventually I will go back to Brazil. It’s a place close to my heart.

iQubator: How do you explain your style?

Fernanda: For the jewelry I like to say they are pieces that whimsical, bright, and happy. And this also relates to my personal style. I always like to make people smile. I like to believe if you’re nice to people, you just smile to them and brighten up their day, the energy passes on forever. Everybody has their bad days and I’ve probably not been nice to someone, but I try to keep it positive and I try to make my pieces also about that. So I would say a little bit whimsical and playful sometimes they have a smart twist, like those animal earrings, that the tails are also the hooks.

I was in China and I was watching this documentary, it was a festival for Brazilian fernanda products 4documentaries and one of the women who was talking, was wearing one of my earrings! And I don’t even know her. It’s just really amazing to know there’s a bunch of people who are going to buy your product and they’re really going to wear it. Because sometimes it’s just an impulse but I want people to wear it every day and become their favorite piece and feel special when they have it. The style is also about that, it’s about feeling special.

iQubator: If you want customers to reach you how should they contact you?

Fernanda: I’m building my website, I’m selling into shops in Shanghai, one of them is called “Hey Jewel”, they are in Huating Lu near Huaihai Lu. They are a jewelry boutique so they sell jewelries from designers from all over the world. They also have a Taobao shop so anyone can find my pieces online. They’re selling the newest collection right now and the animal collection. The animal collection will probably be in other shops soon too because everybody just loves it. So I have these two shops, also people that I meet I add them on Wechat. That’s why I am going to open a Wechat shop as well. So they can reach me through either my website or wechat, or they can find my collections in those two shops as well.

fernanda products 1iQubator: Do you design from home or do you have a studio?

Fernanda: I always make the first piece in my home studio. I make the mother mold by hand and I make it on my own. I like to make the first piece by hand; it adds something special and since the pieces are very organic I don’t like doing it on computer.

I make the first piece and then I have a supplier in Shanghai and they take a mold and reproduce what I’m doing. I also have a few pieces that are 100% handmade. This one, just on production took maybe 2 hours. And you might think, okay, it’s a ring, 2 hours it’s not so much, but if you think there are so many and you have to solder and cut and send it. There are a lot of processes involved. And sometimes I just have to leave the product in salt water and that also takes some time. I prefer to work with my manufacturers; they also guarantee that every piece is going to be the same. And of course I’m very strict about quality control.

iQubator: Was it difficult in the beginning when you came to Shanghai?

Fernanda: Yes. Actually, like I said, I started my brand here after I’d been here for a while but I think it’s always hard to start up a brand even in your own city, your own country and if you’re abroad it’s even more difficult. My Chinese is basic, I can speak. I speak Chinese to the suppliers but there are still some parts of the production where you have to get it right. It’s about everything, my network here is not as good as it was in Brazil, my knowledge and my network with the suppliers is not as good as in Brazil, the words itself, how to explain is different.

It’s definitely a challenge but I’m also enjoying it. Shanghai is a very business oriented city so once you put yourself in this position that you want to make it work, things happen really fast.

iQubator: So we met at the design market, is that how you usually advertise?

Fernanda: Yes, I went on holidays and came back from Brazil. I spent almost 2 months there. So I came back at the end of March and since then I’ve been trying to apply to more and more markets. It’s really nice to get to know people because it’s not just clients, people that go there to buy immediately but there’s also a lot of interesting people that are just curious, maybe they work at a magazine, maybe they are like you (iQubator). It’s really nice. I’m trying to do more and more of this kind of markets to get to meet more people.

iQubator: Do you advertise through other channels as well?

Fernanda: I’m starting to work with social media. But it’s a learning process.

iQubator: If you were a color, what would you be?

Fernanda: Oh god, I don’t know. I never had an answer for ‘what’s your favorite color?’ because it depends. But this time I will choose green, a bluish green kind of similar to turquoise. I also chose it for because it’s a bright, happy and positive color.

iQubator: What are your upcoming projects and plans?

Fernanda: I’m looking forward to experiment with other materials and silver.  Like I have this collection that is not only silver, there are these tassels. Actually in China there are so many interesting materials to work with and I think my next project will be a new jewelry collection with some other material, and silver of course but just trying to explore more varieties. I’m excited.




New Opportunities for Cross-border E-Commerce

In 2014, China’s total number of internet users reached 649 million (CAGR 17.5%) while number of online shoppers grew to 316 million (CAGR 32%), which is roughly the size of the entire US population.iloveshopping

E-Commerce accounted for 10% of China’s total retail sales in 2014 and has been forecast to reach 20% by 2017.


According to Steven Zhong, associate director of PwC Operations Consulting Department, over half of Chinese consumers use e-commerce to shop with overseas retailers particularly for clothing.

ladysittingoncomputerThe Chinese government has relaxed policies on customs and foreign exchange to spur cross border shopping.


Cross-border commerce accounted for 14.8% of China’s total foreign trade in 2014 and is expected to climb up to ¥6.2 trillion (US$ 1 trillion) by 2016. Innovative projects like the cross-border E-Commerce pilot zone in Alibaba’s heartland, Hangzhou, will fuel the development, setting the standard for procedures and supervision of E-Commerce transactions including tax refunds.


The launch of Tariff Free Zone (TFZ, 保税区) is a big step forward of cross border ecommerce in China.

4 characteristics:

  • No Chinese legal entity required for overseas companies
  • Receive sales proceeds in foreign currency
  • Reduced customs duty
  • No income tax




Latest Duty Regulations in China

Duty regulations are changeable in China. As the cross-border ecommerce is becoming more and more popular, the Chinese government also tries to catch up with this trend.

As we all know, there are several types of cross border ecommerce. The first one is sales though a global website, the second one is sales through bonded warehouse and the third is sales through a Chinese website.

In the first two cases, if the imported packages by mail for personal use have a total value of RMB1, 000 or less, or the package only contains 1 article with the exceeding RMB1,000, China Customs uses an “assessed value” approach to impose customs duties.chinacustom

There are 4 ranks of customs duty rates (i.e. 10%, 20%,30% and 50%). And articles having a customs duty payable of RMB 50 or less can be imported free to duty (Personal Parcel Exemption), unless the articles belong to “20 commodities prohibited from duty exemption”, such as camera and TV. There is no VAT for this type of cross border ecommerce.

On the other hand, if the imported package by mail having a total value exceeding RMB 1,000(except for only 1 product contained),it should be regarded as a “general goods”, rather than as an article for personal use purpose. Duty and VAT are payable based on the commercial value of imported goods. The duty rates are based on the HS codes of the imported goods.

Starting June 1, imported goods such as skincare products, cosmetics, sneakers, diapers, and other daily use products will become less expensive as tariffs will be reduced by almost two-thirds in some cases.

Revised taxes on imported goods include: a 7-10 percent tariff on Western clothing goods, down from 14-23 percent; a 12 percent tariff on footwear, down from 22-24 percent; a 2 percent tariff on cosmetics, down from 5 percent; a 2 percent tariff on skin care products, down from 6.5 percent; and a 2 percent tariff on diapers, down from 7.5 percent.

The Ministry of Finance explained the temporary adjustments are intended to stabilize economic growth and stimulate domestic consumption.

New Consumer Rights Law for Goods Return in China

According to a revised “Consumer Rights Law in China”, online shoppers can now return the goods unconditionally for refunds within seven days of purchase but they have to shoulder logistics cost.

It also lists products not suitable for unconditional returns and refunds, such as digital products sold via downloads, audio-visual goods with the packaging removed, bespoke products, fresh and perishable goods, magazines, newspapers and software.




Consumers can seek compensation from online trading platforms if the platforms fail to provide contact details for vendors using their networks. After compensating consumers, the platforms are entitled to claim compensation from the vendors.

Each coin has two sides. As to the cons of ecommerce, the brand needs to establish delivery mechanism, set up goods return option and build customer confidence in the market. Especially Chinese consumers are used to the return policy. According to PwC, Total Retail Survey(2015), Chinese consumers concern more about online purchase returns available in-store(74%) than global range(67%). So if you want to expand your market into China through online channels, it’s necessary to have a returns point in mainland China. Also because of this new policy, the rate of turns increases a lot.

So get prepared before you enter China through ecommerce channels.  iQubator is willing to help any international brands to get familiar with Chinese market and consumers and provide customized services according to your own business plan and strategy.

Fashion Finds in Shanghai

As mentioned in our last post, there are many foreign designers based in China that are hoping to bring a flare of the exotic flavour to the local fashion scene in Shanghai. iQubator wants to give some of these designers the opportunity to reach out to our followers and talk about themselves and their brands and it’s worth taking the time to read what they have said. Meet very interesting and creative designers with us. – This week we had a nice chat with Alexandra Rolfe a British designer with a passion for the 60s, collars and all things vintage. Her and her partner have their own shop which is also her studio space in a lane on Shaanxi Nan Lu, called “Select 18” which is definitely worth visiting. Here you travel back in time to find unique rarities and very special pieces.

select 18

iQubator: When did you start designing your own clothes?

Alexandra: Moving from East London to Hong Kong I soon realized the shopping environment was completely different and I was surrounded by lots of brands and small independent shops which didn’t stock many sizes.  I regularly went back to London to buy vintage clothes to wear in Hong Kong although sometimes I did feel abit out of place! I just couldn’t find clothes that were me.  After many years of travelling in China visiting factories for my job I got a better understanding of production and learnt a lot.  This inspired me to create my own brand for the future.  At week-ends I would take a trip over to Shenzhen where there are some very good tailors and started creating my own designs plus an extra couple of pieces to sell in my boyfriends store in Hong Kong.

iQubator: Did you also study fashion design?

Alexandra: I studied BA Fashion & Textile management, which is the whole fashion business cycle. It starts from design process through to production to merchandising, buying to marketing and in the final year concentrated on management. In my 3rd year we needed to do an industrial placement, which I got at Oasis Stores ( I opted for buying and once graduated I returned to the Oasis as Assistant Buyer and worked my way up before moving to Gap ( ) and later to Hong Kong for a German brand called Colloseum ( )


iQubator:  Did someone inspire your designs?

Alexandra: Frankly a lot of my inspiration comes from the past, as I love the 60’s I am very influenced by Mary Quant. I love collars or any kind of neck details and so did she. Naturally Twiggy was very iconic during this period too. I love typical shift dresses, the shape is easy and classic.  Alexa Chung Is someone I always feel would wear my designs so well, she has a thing for collars and has a very British aesthetic. In general I like her effortless style.

iQubator: Where would you look for inspirations?

Alexandra: I find old cities inspiring, for example Shanghai is full of art deco references, which I would love to merge the details into future collections. A lot of old things captivate me whether it be a building, tiles or even a book.  There is always elements which fuel new ideas.

iQubator: How do you think your brand fits in the Chinese market?

Alexandra: From what I can see fashion demand is veering towards uniqueness.  My style is niche but this important now. I have great customers who get the look and are experimental and are open to try which is great for me.  My brand is very personal to my style and my journey, it’s authentic and now is the right time to share with Chinese girls.

select182iQubator: What do you have in your closet?

Alexandra: I have only dresses from my collection and lots of special vintage pieces, which I have been hoarding for years, even they don’t fit I can’t throw them away!

 iQubator: Only dresses?

Alexandra: I would say 99% are dresses, the odd skirt and blouse but I rarely wear!

iQubator: Even in winter?

Alexandra: Yes (laughs). Of course coats for winter though!  I haven’t worn Jeans since I was at university and I used to wear ‘Cheap Mondays’ the days of being super skinny!

iQubator: What do you carry with you all the time?

Alexandra: Lipstick. I always have my red lipstick it completes my look.   Apart from that nothing particularly out of the ordinary!

iQubator: So your red lipstick is your favourite piece?

Alexandra: Generally I wear only MAC, I have a new one from them which is called ‘Retro matte’


iQubator: If you were a colour, what would it be and why?

Alexandra: Probably green.  There are lots of different shades of green, which I like to wear and it works well with white collars.

iQubator: What are your upcoming projects or plans?

Alexandra: At the moment I am shaping up my brand and will launch a new name soon.  I came to Shanghai with the first priority to set up the store and this became the platform to sell my collections and understand Chinese customer.  We have been here almost two years now, I have learnt a lot and now ready to take my brand to the next level. I plan to develop as an independant lifestyle brand

iQubator: Are you more focused on having physical stores or online shops?

Alexandra: Online is naturally important here but I would also like physical stores as I want customers to understand the brand from walking into our stores and build an emotional connection

iQubator: Was it hard for you to find this store in the beginning?

Alexandra:  Before we physically settled we did a few pop ups, the last one before we found this space was in XTD which we did for 3 months and was great exposure.  Here a friend introduced us to this location.  We were toying with should we set up on the street front or a lane house.  As this is a really great space we took it and decided we have to work a lot harder on the marketing side.  Its still very central and even we are in the lane, it’s a beautiful lane, which attracts a lot of people and tourists.

select 181

iQubator: Do you have more Chinese customers than foreign customers?

Alexandra: 80% is Chinese, we have a lot from different parts of China also many Taiwanese and Hong Kong

iQubator: So do you manufacture in China?

Alexandra:  Yes only China – I have some good connnections from my previous job, which I co-operate with and a tailor locally to help with small quantities.


iQubator:  How is your average pricing?

Alexandra: Prices range from 600 – 2000 for wool coats

iQubator: Do you have some peak seasons, where you do sell more than usually?

Alexandra: I generally find A/W very good and as soon as the sun comes out summer dresses are snapped up

iQubator: Where do you usually advertise?

Alexandra:  Now we have our official WeChat account, this is the biggest channel for advertising.  Word of mouth is also very good and magazines


We thank Alexandra for sharing her story with us.


“Stuff” by Jasmine at K11 Pop-Up

Shanghai is becoming the fashion hub of Asia. As the biggest city in China, Shanghai never lacks talents local or otherwise. Every corner you turn, chances are high you will meet someone with a unique story; someone to amaze you. That’s just how we felt when we met Canadian jewelry designer Jasmine.jas shop

We found her pop-up store on the basement floor of the famous art mall K11 in Shanghai. You can’t miss it, as the layout of the store and beautiful displays lure you right in. There Jasmine sat wearing a fierce red feather headpiece. It was a vintage French piece, like the others in the shop being sold by a friend.

She stood up to introduce herself, a small and delicate woman that soon exhibits a huge amount of energy. In a pair of burgundy shiny leather knee high boots and a vintage blue velvet dress paired with a pair of dark green tights, something about her outfit makes you want to get to know the owner of this unique look.iqnjas

Jasmine has lived in Shanghai for more than ten years, and she started selling her designs at this pop up shop in December. Among the vintage hats from France and the USA and ornamental preserved flowers, Jasmine and her daughter Nicole sell her handmade and one-of-a-kind pieces. We sat on the chaise lounge while she described her studio in Shanghai, a collective where every artist contributes materials and they all share ownership. Jasmine contributes gemstones and has become a de facto dealer only sourcing directly from mines she acquires each type of gem from the best region. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, she is of Vietnamese and Malaysian origin. Even though she grew up and was educated in a western environment, you can still see the Asian culture influence in her designs. She quickly flips from Russian, to Chinese to English with her daughter and begs off when we asked her how her Russian is. Clearly a multifaceted woman, we asked how she started making jewelry. Working with projects where she can control the process from start to finish is something important to her about jewelry design. “It’s a way to get all this in my head out.” She said to me. Her pieces are each completely unique as the stones she uses are left mostly natural.

After chatting with us, she patiently showed us most of her designs in the store. We were in awe of the craftsmanship and all her designs carry a personality. In the times of fast fashion, we are always looking for something unique to stand out from the rest, and Jasmine’s jewelries are exactly that. If you are in the neighborhood, don’t forget to check out her shop. There’s no better time than now to discover some new styles.

jasmineTo contact Jasmine send her an email at or give her a call at 135 2460 8707

Client Highlight: NPS Shoes

NPS Shoes is an independent, family-run business manufacturing hand-made Goodyear-welted footwear in the county of Northamptonshire, England.

Established in 1881, they have a proud and distinguished heritage in footwear manufacturing. Today they specialize in manufacturing both men’s and lady’s Goodyear Welted boots and shoes 100% Made In England. These are produced on behalf of brands and wholesalers alongside their own brands: Solovair Classic, Heritage and Country.

In 1881, five men banded together to form a co-operative in the village of Wollaston called the Northamptonshire Productive Society (NPS) Shoes Ltd. Luck was with them from the outset as they managed to secure an order for army boots from the Government, an order which would sustain them for the first year. As industrialization spread through England during the late nineteenth Century, demand domestically and abroad for high-quality boots steadily increased. Accordingly, NPS enjoyed rapid growth. NPS moved into private family ownership in 2006 but has continued to maintain its independence and high-quality standards which have secured a reputation with retailers and discerning customers as a premium product.

NPS continue to remain true to their ideals, combining over 130 years of tradition, the latest technology and materials, in order to produce high quality footwear. To maintain this undisputed quality, the products will always be Made in England from start to finish.

For more information, please visit their main website at or contact them in either English or Chinese:

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9 Steps to Setting up a Business in China

First step is to understand China and that it is not just one market. Learn about China, but don’t think a book about “how to do business in China” will ever be enough. China is the country of contrasts where almost any answer can be as correct as its opposite

Buy a market report or hire a consulting company. Although if done in large enough extent this can offer good insights, it is often extremely expensive and the answers still very theoretical. To save both money and time, it is recommended to jump to step 3 directly.

Start up a company in HK and get a virtual office in China (phone number and address). Companies like Regus or Servcorp offer this, and new companies like iQubator complement these services with virtual assistant services depending on your needs.

Move to China, send a representative over or hire someone local in China to do the required research. This is often much cheaper than doing it from overseas because of the cost of living and salaries and it also offers a much better insight. This can be done either the traditional way  through local consulting companies and serviced offices, or through one-stop-shops companies that offer you toolboxes to do it yourself. An example is the HK and Shanghai based iQubator that offers an incubation-like service.

Build your guanxi (business network) in China and get a deeper understanding. These things are recommended to be done before starting up a company. IQubator offers all tools needed for this from office solutions, virtual offices, virtual assistants to recruitment, hiring, visa services, HR, accounting and local invoicing. Basically everything you need to start up directly.

Since 2010 it is possible to receive payments online through cross-border payment systems such as Alipay, Tenpay, 99bill and others. iQubator can help translating the website, adapt it to the market and integrate the payment systems in it. Together with the local representative you have a fully operational business in China that you can use to try out the market and further develop your network.

After about 3-6 months of research, network development and trials it is time to incorporate the company. Many people think a Representative Office so called Rep Office or RO is the first step. Actually, through tool-box companies, or Business Support Offices, you get much more than a RO can offer at lower cost and low risk, since you can cancel the contract at any time. The best way to go is a WFOE, Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise.

Choose your registration agent. This can either be the company that you have conducted theresearch and trials with, or hire more people through the company to assist you. Normal cost for a WFOE registration ranges from 5,000 Euro for a consulting company to 15,000 Euro for a manufacturing company. The minimum investment needed also varies between 50,000 Euro to 1 Million Euro, both depending on the type of business license but also depending on what other licenses you would like to apply for later on. You just need to pay in 20% of the capital during the registration, you get up to 2 years to pay in the rest. An important thing to keep in mind is that it takes 3-6 months to register a company (compared to 1-7 days in HK) and it takes even longer to close it down. Be therefore sure before starting such a venture and rather stay longer in the incubator than taking unnecessary risks.

Once your company is registered and you have your own offices, you should be counting on having at least 3-5 employees, but you can still outsource the operational services such as HR and Accounting for a monthly fee. When you receive your business license you can officially begin business in China in your own name. You do though still need to wait a while for your tax license and special accounting computer and invoice machine from the government before you can issue Fapiao (tax invoice). The fapiao is often the main reason to choose a business support office that also can help you with these kind of issues, since most local businesses will not wish to do business with you unless you can offer fapiao.