Reader's Digest > 18 June - 1 July

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Reader's Digest, 18 June - 1 July

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China


Premier Li Keqiang Met with Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab
Published by, 28th June 2016
On the evening of 26 June, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met in Tianjin with Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Klaus Schwab. Li Keqiang expressed that the Summer Davos Forum has played an active role in promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and the world since it was first held 10 years ago. This year's forum carries the theme of 'the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Its Transformational Impact', complies with the development trend of a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial reform, and is conducive to expanding perspectives and accumulating consensus for the transformation and upgrading of all countries' economic structures. Li Keqiang pointed out that as all economies are highly interdependent in the current world, no country can stay out and be immune to the risks and challenges. The increase of unstable and insecure elements in a certain country or a certain region can cause the 'Butterfly Effect', which will in turn exert influence and even an impact on the world economic recovery and the stability of financial markets. This requires all countries to enhance coordination, work together to address difficulties and challenges, safeguard peace and stability, push forward reform and innovation, and stick to opening up and inclusiveness, so as to better realize a robust, sustainable and balanced growth of world economy.

Switzerland to Open 9 New Visa Centers in China
Published by China Daily, 24th June 2016
The Embassy of Switzerland in China is expanding its visa services to more Chinese cities and it will open nine new Visa Acceptance Centers in nine cities from June to July. Chinese visitors to Switzerland and the Schengen region, of which Switzerland is a member country, can hand in applications at more convenient locations and enjoy faster services. This is expected to ease holiday preparations for Chinese tourists traveling to Switzerland this coming summer. The nine cities, in order of opening, are Xi'an, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Kunming, Changsha, Fuzhou, Jinan and Chongqing. The new centers are scheduled to be inaugurated between June 15 and July 15 and will be operated by the embassy's commercial partner TLScontact. The centers are authorized by the embassy in China to accept applications for short stay individual visas and provide administrative support services and biometric data implementation. The expansion of the visa services is another initiative of the embassy to meet the increasing number of Chinese tourists to Switzerland following the opening of three centers in Chengdu, Wuhan and Shenyang in January.

Sino-Swiss Low Carbon Cities Project Launched in Guangzhou
Published by China Daily, 24th June 2016
A new cooperation under the Sino-Swiss Low Carbon Cities (SSLCC) Project, developed between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong province, was inaugurated in on 27 June in Guangzhou. The project's founding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 8 April at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Swiss President Johann Schneider-Amman. The new cooperation between Switzerland and Guangzhou includes the establishment of a Sino-Swiss (Guangzhou) Ecological Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industrial Park in Conghua District and a Sino-Swiss (Guangzhou) Development and Cooperation Center. The project will be implemented over the next six years.

Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland Geng Wenbing Paid a Visit to Swiss Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga
Published by, 21st June 2016
Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland H.E. Geng Wenbing paid a visit to H.E. Simonetta Sommaruga, member of the Swiss Federal Council and head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police. They exchanged in-depth views on Sino-Swiss relations and issues of pragmatic cooperation in a friendly atmosphere. Both sides agreed that the present bilateral relations are very close although still facing some new challenges of cooperation in various fields. Both sides should maintain the close interactions in trade, play a great role in immigration and consular dialogue and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in many fields.

Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland Geng Wenbing Invited Mayor of Davos Tarzisius Caviezel to his Official Residence for Dinner
Published by, 18th June 2016
Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland H.E. Geng Wenbing invited the mayor of Davos, H.E. Tarzisius Caviezel, to the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland for a dinner. Ambassador Geng extended a welcome to Mayor Caviezel for the meeting at the embassy, appreciating his support and help for promoting investment cooperation of Chinese enterprises in Davos, and expressing the wish to facilitate bilateral collaborations in various fields. Mayor Caviezel thanked Ambassador Geng for his warm hospitality and highly praised active efforts and contributions that China’s embassy to Switzerland made in order to propel regional cooperation of two countries. Recently, with the rapid development of Sino-Swiss relations, the government of Davos wishes to recommend their city to China and promote Davos into a Swiss tourist destination for Chinese people. Davos is located in the east of Switzerland, subordinated to the canton of Graubünden and famous for hosting annually World Economic Forum (WEF). With beautiful landscapes, the city is also world widely known as a health and ski resort.
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World Economic Forum Talks on 'Superhumans' and Technology Opens in Tianjin
Published by, 28th June 2016
The World Economic Forum (WEF) met in northeastern China's port city of Tianjin on Monday for the second day of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions with the participation of more than 1,700 business and government leaders from 90 nations to discuss the relationship between science, technology and industry. With this year's theme focusing on the "Fourth Industrial Revolution and its Transformational Impact", the European Research Council (ERC) sent 14 scientists and academics to speak on topics including how to fight drug-resistant diseases and the impact of corporate-sponsored scientific research on medical progress. Other subjects on the agenda include green growth strategies for China's rapidly developing industries and the possibility of creating 'superhumans' through genetic engineering and robotics.

WISeKey Presents its Unique IoT Technology at 10th Annual Meeting of the New Champions
Published by, 28th June 2016
WISeKey International Holding Ltd (“WISeKey”), a leading, Swiss-based cybersecurity company and one of the 2016 New Champions of the World Economic Forum, presented at the 10th Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China, its IoT Cybersecurity technology and partnership with SAP and CyberLink fostering The Fourth Industrial Revolution and its Transformational Impact. WISeKey was originally nominated as one of the founding members of the Global Growth Company (“GGC”) community back in 2007 and over the last 10 years has remained deeply engaged with the World Economic Forum as its GGC Partner and member of the PACI, Cyber Resilience and Global Agenda Council. The World Economic Forum has provided an excellent platform for WISeKey to exchange insights and practices with its stakeholders around the world, which has greatly accelerated the company’s international deployment. WISeKey is currently deploying large scale Internet of Things (“IoT”) digital identity ecosystems and has become a pioneer of the “4th Industrial Revolution” movement launched this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Chinese Authorities Clear a Path for HNA Takeover of Gategroup
Published by, 27th June 2016
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has granted its formal approval for the takeover transaction of gategroup by HNA Aviation (Hong Kong) Air Catering Holding Co. As reported, HNA Group announced on 11 April that it would launch an all cash tender offer for publicly held registered shares of gategroup at CHF 53 per share (USD 54.43 at today’s exchange rates). A public prospectus was duly issued by HNA Aviation (Hong Kong) Air Catering Holding Co on 20 May. On a fully diluted basis, the offer price valued Swiss aviation and travel services giant gategroup at approximately CHF 1.4 billion (USD 1.44 billion). The NDRC approval has paved the way for the deal’s subsequent clearance by the Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, which is expected to be forthcoming, gategroup said in a statement this morning.

HIT Robot Group in Search of Foreign Partners to Explore the Vast Chinese Robot Market
Published by, 22nd June 2016
HIT Robot Group (HRG), one of China's top robot producers, is putting its best foot forward in going global as it seeks foreign partners at Automatica 2016, an international exhibition for automation and robotics in Munich, Germany. During the four-day fair, HRG will display its latest technologies and products, hoping to strike a chord with foreign companies keen on exploring the Chinese market. HRG made the headlines in December 2015 when it formed a tie-up with Switzerland-based medical technology company HOCOMA to produce rehabilitation robots in China, offering the best and most affordable rehabilitation services for local patients. Other existing overseas partners with HRG include ABB and KUKA. "We hope the global leading players will better understand that HRG is their golden partner in the Chinese market," said Wang. "We are also looking for right partners to combine our efforts to explore the huge potential of the market."

Swiss Watch Exports Fall again in May
Published by, 22nd June 2016
Switzerland's watch industry exports fell nearly 10% in May as watchmakers struggle with the effects of last year's Islamist attacks in Europe and a prolonged slowdown in Asia. Watches are Switzerland's third-biggest export sector after pharmaceuticals and machinery. Like other manufacturers, the sector has also been hit by the strength of the Swiss franc, which makes exports more expensive. Exports of timepieces fell 9.7% to CHF 1.55 billion, according to data released by the Swiss customs office on Tuesday. Overall this year Swiss watch exports, which are seen as a proxy for sales, have fallen by 9.5%. Hong Kong and China, two of the world's largest markets for luxury watches made by companies such as Swatch , Richemont and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton , have been particularly hard hit in the downturn. Europe has also been struggling with reduced tourism numbers in the wake of deadly attacks last year, cutting visitors to important luxury shopping destinations including Paris.

More Anomalous Gold Data in Latest Swiss Import/Export Figures
Published by, 23rd June 2016
The latest gold import and export data from Switzerland, one of the few countries to report these flows in detail, as usual open up some interesting insights into global supply and demand. Overall Swiss gold exports rose by around 20% month on month to 177.3 tonnes making the country a net exporter in May. Generally, Swiss gold imports and exports are pretty much in balance given that it mostly imports gold for re-refining and re-export. While gold exports from Switzerland to China and Hong Kong both picked up in May, its principal country of imports was again the United Arab Emirates normally a recipient of Swiss gold, not a provider. Indeed, in another reversal of normal gold flows, the U.K. was again the biggest importer of Swiss gold in May, necessary, we feel, to meet the big demand in London from the principal gold ETFs which vault their gold there.
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Overseas Chinese in Switzerland Gathered for Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival
Published by, 18th June 2016
On lonely festive days, our hearts truly miss our loved ones living far away. Some days before the Dragon Boat Festival, overseas Chinese in Switzerland gathered happily together. They spent a joyful time tasting traditional Chinese food and celebrating the traditional Chinese festival. On 5 June 2016, “EurAsia Info” organized jointly with Tiantan Travel Agency and the Association “Friends of Asia” a Dragon Boat party for overseas Chinese in Switzerland in order to cultivate Chinese traditional culture. This party received strong support from the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland, Huawei (Switzerland) and our compatriots in Switzerland. The organizer had invited Huawei company and KURZ for providing gifts for the lucky draw: the Huawei P9 mobile phone, Swiss army knife and chocolate. Moreover, to make the Dragon Boat Festival even more festive, the organizer has prepared plenty of tasty Zongzi and dozens of delicacies so that every guest could enjoy the feast of Chinese food.
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How to Build University of Applied Sciences?
Published by, 30th June 2016
University of Applied Sciences (UAS) hits headlines recently. The reason is simple. Countries like China and the United States whose higher education systems consist of mostly research universities, are finding it harder and harder for themselves to satisfy their job market demands. It seems that UAS provides a way out. However, learning from another system almost always consolidates the widely known expression ‘easier said than done’. Changing the infrastructure necessitates labor, time, patience, and most importantly, a wholesome plan. For this purpose, swissnex invited Madam Ann-Catherine Lyon, State Councilor and Head of Department of Education, Youth and Culture of the Canton Vaud, Switzerland, to share her experiences of establishing the Swiss UAS system in a workshop at swissnex on the topic of “how to build university of applied sciences’. Present were students from medical schools in Lausanne, deans and professors from local Chinese universities, experts from industries, and government officials.

Invented in China, Made in Switzerland
Published by, 20th June 2016
China is emerging as a global innovation leader. Each year, the country spends more than USD 200 billion on research – second only to the U.S. It generates a remarkable 30,000 PhDs a year in science and engineering, and graduates more university students in the STEM fields than any other nation. The government is placing science-based innovation at the top of their agenda, with priority projects in areas such as brain research, gene science, big data applications and medical robots. Novartis began their commitment to R&D in China ten years ago. And they just opened the doors of new, state-of-the-art R&D center in Shanghai’s Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. This USD 1 billion investment reflects our commitment for the long-term. The CEO of Novartis Mr. Joe JimenezJoe is excited for our world-class team of 1,300 associates to be part of China’s new era of drug discovery. The first epigenetics drug fully discovered by our Chinese scientists will enter clinical trials this year. This breaks the stereotype regarding R&D, as the drug will be invented in China and manufactured in Switzerland. He looks forward to this moment, and to seeing the innovation our team will bring to patients around the world for years to come.
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Engineering / Manufacturing

Meyer Burger Technology Receives CHF 21 Million Order from China
Published by 4-traders, 23rd June 2016
A leading Chinese supplier of solar products and solutions has awarded Meyer Burger another significant contract for the delivery of cutting-edge technologies and equipment for the production of high-quality solar wafers and highly efficient solar cells with a total contract value of about CHF 21 million. The contract includes the multi-award-winning diamond wire saw DW288 Series 3 as well as the technology platform MAiA 2.1 with the industry-leading upgrade cell technology MB PERC. Delivery and commissioning of the equipment will start as of the fourth quarter 2016. Meyer Burger distinguished itself from well-known international competitors by a very high level of commitment and a solution- and customer-oriented working method. The delivery of the equipment will start in October 2016. The customer plans to start producing as of the first quarter 2017.

Wuxi Aviation Firm Featured on Hit TV Show
Published by China Daily, 18th June 2016
Wuxi-based Asian Express Aviation Co has been getting some good attention recently after its Pilatus PC-12 aircraft was regularly featured in the hit Chinese television series Hao Xian Sheng (To Be a Better Man), Wuxi Daily reported. Asian Express only gained its business certificate last April, making it Wuxi's very first general aviation company offering commercial and chartered flights. Its services include trips, skydiving, aerial weddings, crop-dusting and aerial photographs. The company owns a current fleet of 12 PC-6 and PC-12 aircraft valued at CNY 250 million (USD 38 million), which are built by Switzerland Pilatus Aircraft Co, a world-class manufacturer for turbo-prop aircraft and an investor in Asian Express. A staff member said that Asian Express is the biggest aviation company in East China in terms of its RMB 200 million registered capital and the fleet of high-end aircraft. He added that the company will open charted flights to northern Jiangsu and offer special services for high-end business people and emergency medical transport.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

Credit Suisse Plans on Raising Stake in Chinese Joint Venture
Published by, 30th June 2016
Credit Suisse is planning to boost its stake in its Chinese securities joint venture to the maximum permissible 49%, which would make it the first foreign bank to take advantage of relaxed Chinese investment rules introduced four years ago, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The Swiss bank, which currently owns 33.3% in Credit Suisse Founder Securities Ltd, is betting that boosting its shareholding in the business will help put it in a position to win a bigger share of China's burgeoning deals business, the people added. Credit Suisse and Beijing-based Founder Securities formed the joint venture in 2008 to provide services, including sponsoring and underwriting of China's A-shares and Chinese government and corporate bonds. The bank's bigger push in China comes at a time when a pickup in onshore equity and bond issuance in China is helping the nation's home-grown investment banks to grab a bigger share of the fee pool in the world's second-largest economy.

Credit Suisse Brings Digital Private Banking to Hong Kong
Published by, 29th June 2016
Credit Suisse expanded its digital private banking service to Hong Kong on Tuesday with the launch of a new private banking Asia Pacific app. The move is the latest sign that technology is becoming increasingly important for private banking clients who, analysts say, may consider moving banks if they cannot access appropriate digital solutions. “There are two main reasons why players in the private banking sector are looking to make greater use of technology,” said James Lloyd, fintech lead at EY. “Firstly they are looking to automate a greater number of back office procedures to allow relationship managers to spend more quality time with their clients, and secondly, private banks now have to meet new expectations from their customers who ask for a much greater degree of online services than they did in the past.” Speaking at the app’s launch, Francois Monnet, Credit Suisse’s head of private banking for Greater China, referred to a survey from Capgemini Wealth Management that found 83% of high net worth individuals said they were likely to leave a wealth management firm that could not offer an integrated digital and direct channel for all clients. Asia Pacific has some of the biggest and most rapidly expanding wealth pools in the world.

Hotai Motor to Buy Zurich's General Insurance Assets in Taiwan
Published by, 19th June 2016
Hotai Motor Co., the sales agent for Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. in Taiwan, has agreed to acquire Switzerland-based Zurich Insurance's non-life insurance assets in Taiwan. A board meeting held by Hotai Motor on Friday approved the deal in which the car vendor will spend NTD 6.4 billion (USD 198 million) to acquire a 99.73% stake in Zurich Taiwan's non-life operations. The deal will involve more than half of the NTD 11.7 billion in cash Hotai Motor had as of the end of March, but because the company is financially sound and has stable income, the acquisition should not hurt the company's finances, said Hotai Motor spokesman Hsieh Fu-lai. According to Zurich Insurance, Hotai Motor won the right to buy the Swiss firm's non-life insurance business in Taiwan after "a rigorous bidding process aimed at ensuring that the rights and obligations of customers will be safeguarded and fully protected." The acquisition adds Zurich Insurance to the list of foreign insurance firms that have pulled out of Taiwan since the global financial crisis in 2008.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Lindt Launches 'Shop-in-Shop' Concept in Hong Kong
Published by Douglas Yu,, 27th June 2016
Passengers at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) are now able to pick and mix their favorite Lindor chocolate for the first time, thanks to the recent partnership between Lindt and DFS. Lindt calls the concept it has brought to HKIA’s duty free confectionery sales area a “shop-in-shop”. The shop stocks a range of Lindor chocolate as well as Lindt’s travel exclusive best sellers that display on a wall feature. On top of selling Lindt power brands at the location, the shop also features a bespoke space designed for live demonstrations of confectionery craftsmanship. Upon coming back from TFWA Asian Pacific Exhibiton & Conference in Singapore last month, Lindt told ConfectioneryNews Asia remains very dynamic in regards to the confectionery market. Prior to Hong Kong, Lindt introduced similar shop-in-shop concepts to the airports in Singapore, Macau, Manila, Hainan and Kuala Lumpur. Lindt said the only challenge comes in aligning airports’ requirements with those of the retailers and the company’s brands. 

Global Chocolate Market Report: 2016 - Major Players are Nestle, Lindt & Sprungli, Hershey and Barry Callebaut
Published by, 22nd June 2016
"Global Chocolate Market" analyzes the development of this market, while focusing on some key regions like the U.S, the U.K, China and Switzerland. Major trends, growth drivers and challenges faced by the industry are discussed in detail in the report. Four among the major chocolate market players namely, Nestle, Lindt & Sprungli, Hershey and Barry Callebaut have been profiled along with their key financials and strategies for growth. Future trend in the global chocolate market has been forecasted by combining SPSS Inc.'s data integration and analysis capabilities. Regression models have been created by employing various significant variables that have an impact on the market.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

Roll Out Design for CHEERS Wine Stores
Published by, 30th June 2016
CHEERS is a Swiss company that sells imported wines in branded, fully-owned and franchise stores all over China. The brand’s philosophy is to be fresh, dynamic and different from all existing wine store concepts. CHEERS had an existing store identity design concept that needed to be further improved and is now implemented in all new stores in China for a standardized, strong brand impact. 5 Star Plus Retail Design provides branded retail design, as well as consulting and project management services to international luxury and designer brands wishing to enter, expand or redefine their presence in the Chinese market.

The Latest IIT Trends and Challenges Affecting Foreign Employees and their Employers
Published by, 23rd June 2016
In the past few months, PwC has seen tax bureaus in major cities across China taking stricter efforts to tighten the tax compliance requirements and tax collection on China Individual Income Tax (IIT). These efforts include implementation of new measures over the administration of non-taxable fringe benefits and new tactics against those who failed to report their offshore payroll. The new measures and tactics target foreign employees working in China and have been successful in recovering some tax revenue loss – it is likely that they will be adopted widely in other cities across China in the near future. In this issue of News Flash, we will share with you our observations on these new measures and tactics as well as recommendations for companies and foreign employees on how to manage their tax exposures, such as ensuring they have the proper contractual and supporting documentation and complying with additional registration requirements.
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