Chinese innovation in Amsterdam
On 3 July, the well-attended Sino-Dutch Tech Forum took place at B.Amsterdam. The event was organised by Startup Delta, B.Amsterdam and amsterdam inbusiness. It was opened by Zhang Guosheng, the Economic Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Netherlands, together with Prince Constantijn, who is the Startup Delta’s special envoy. Tech companies such as V2 Future, KPN Ventures, Hanergy, and Seedlink all participated in the panel discussion.
The forum in Amsterdam was part of China Tech Day, a travelling delegation of Chinese startups who were exploring the European tech landscape. From 3 - 4 July, the delegation visited business incubators and other companies in the Netherlands. The goal of China Tech Day is to promote the latest technological capabilities that China has to offer. The delegation included about 25-30 Chinese tech innovators from the automotive, fashion, finance, electronics and retail sectors. Together with their Dutch counterparts, they discussed innovative key tech topics such as innovation, funding and the main differences between operating in the Netherlands and China for startups.
The overarching aim of the China Tech Day delegation is to inspire tech companies to innovate and upgrade, by means of international technology exchange and learning. It is an initiative of the Chinese angel investor Geekbang and the Shanghai-based startup accelerator XNode. The Dutch leg of the delegation’s trip was organised by the Holland Innovation Network China, which is an agency within the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs that works with Dutch companies and research institutes to help them explore innovation opportunities in China.
Young Amsterdam: smart and ambitious
There was a great deal of interest in the event, and every seat was taken. The speakers in the panel discussion agreed that the level of tech innovation in China is impressive and that the Chinese market is one of the most competitive markets of today. The founder of XNode, Wei Zhou, said that in comparison to the other cities that the delegation had visited (for example London and Paris), Amsterdam is like “a young guy wearing jeans, being smart and ambitious.”
China is one of the biggest investors in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Successful Chinese companies based here include Alibaba, Huawei, Hanergy, Liugong Machinery, China Southern Airlines, ICBC, CCB, Hikvision, Lenovo, and many others.