Accurate China Insight: How many people from Ireland are living and doing business in China?

As a Chinese language student studying in Beijing in 1989 I recall when all 8 members of the Irish community living in Beijing were evacuated by the Embassy to the safety of Hong Kong, following the June 3rd / 4th massacre in Tiananmen Square. It was a time when down in Shanghai the view from ‘The Bund’ (Wai Tan) across the Huangpu River to Shanghai’s Pudong district offered little more than a jumble of old low-rise warehouses, residential units and farming lots. Foreigners were few and far between. Living in China was considered at best a hardship posting.

Accurate China Insight - Irish population in China

Now, following the establishment in China of close to 150 Irish-owned business operations led by Glen Dimplex, CRH, Treasury Holdings, PCH and Kerry Group, etc, an influx of teachers from Ireland to teach English, and Irish graduates attracted by the growing range of job opportunities on offer to Irish candidates, the number living and working in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) has increased to at least 3,000 Irish citizens (Source: http://www.thepost.ie/themarket/china-in-your-hands-54873.html), an estimate, based on the numbers of citizens registered with the Embassy in Beijing and Consulate in Shanghai, and the volume of consular business (including passport applications, other document applications and consular assistance) conducted.

However, this number is likely to be at the low end of the spectrum simply because:

  1. there is no obligation on Irish residing in China to register with the Embassy and Consulate; and
  2. many Irish scattered across China in cities such as Hangzhou, Urumqi, Changchun, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Tianjin and Xiamen, etc., probably haven’t registered with the Embassy or Consulate.

The total number of foreigners living in China at the end of 2010 was about 600,000 people according to the latest Population Census. According to the Xinhua News Agency:

the top three home countries of the foreigners were the Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States and Japan. Among the foreigners living on the Chinese mainland, 56.62 percent or 336,245 were males and 43.38 percent or 257,587 were females”.

Note: The Embassy and Consulate are restricted in law in how the citizens register is used and cannot make it available outside the Embassy and Consulate. The more people who register with them the more accurate the estimate can be.

Sources:
The Sunday Business Post-

http://www.thepost.ie/themarket/china-in-your-hands-54873.html

Xinhua-

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-04/29/c_13851456.htm

Accurate China Blog http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=1whhJh5C+5Y=

Niall O’Reilly

Accurate Ireland – China Product & Business Development (Export Sourcing Import) Consultancy

Tel: +353 1271 1830 / +86 15257194468

http://www.accuratelimited.com

The subtle Irish art of winning Chinese hearts and minds: Irish Pub culture takes off in China

The subtle Irish art of winning Chinese hearts and minds: Irish Pub culture takes off in China
China Government officials and businessmen enjoying the craic with pints of Guinness in O’Donoghues Pub Merrion Row Dublin

Hooley’s in Guangzhou; Danger Doyle’s, The Volunteer, Paddy O’Shea’s and PJ O’Reilly’s  (and quite a few more) in Beijing; Delaney’s and Dublin Jack’s in Hong Kong (and quite a few more); Druid’s Irish Pub in Yantai;  O’Reilly’s in Ningbo; The Shamrock Irish Pubs in Ningbo, Hangzhou and Chengdu; Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub, in Nanjing; Mulligans in Shenyang; The Irish Pub in Xiamen; O’ Malley’s Irish pubs in Changsha and Qingdao; The Speakeasy Irish Bar in Taipei (and quite a few more); Irish Bar, Macau; Green Molly in Xian; The Ennafort Irish Pub in Jinan, Back Garden Irish Pub in Guilin; The Dublin Irish Pub in Tianjin, The Toucan Irish Pub in Wuhan; The Harp Irish bar in Chongqing; McCawley’s Irish Pub in Shenzhen….. (have been doing a bit of research on the topic!! Unfortunately, I’ve only visited about half the pubs on the list)

There’s probably double, or even triple the number of Irish Pubs on Mainland China, in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, especially if you include the hotel chains: All spreading the word that Ireland has a friendly, relaxing and fun-loving culture, whether it’s good music, the perfect pint and good food, in a clean atmosphere: All Irish pubs in China are true Ambassadors of Irish culture.

What’s particularly noteworthy is the fact Irish pubs have been opened by pioneering Irish businessmen and women who have lived on Mainland China, in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau for a long while. They know their stuff and all the gossip about what’s going on in their area. Chinese businessmen and women who have lived and studied in Ireland are also opening Irish pubs as well.

What an excellent source of business intelligence for all businessmen and women from Ireland looking to development business in China.

A role for Irish Government agencies / Embassy of Ireland in Beijing?

Sure.

  • Draw up a full list of Irish Pubs in China
  • Promote the creation of an Irish Pub in China association
  • Encourage initiatives supportive of Irish business interests

For example, encourage the Irish Pubs in each city could set aside a Meeting Room for Irish businessmen and women to host business meetings with Chinese clients during office hours, not just to drink, but to savor the atmosphere. The rooms could be sponsored by an Irish business, or Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, IDA Ireland…

With 50% of China’s population moving into its cities, and 160 cities in China with populations of over one million people, to use the business jargon that Irish Pubs offer “compelling growth” potential for their shareholders, and for the development of Irish business interests in China is an understatement in the extreme.

The “there are no strangers here only friends” mindset associated with Irish Pub culture is clearly becoming a potent weapon in winning Chinese hearts and minds over to genuinely Irish culture, and more.

A seisiún (music making session) at The Blarney Stone Irish Pub, Dongping Road, Shanghai
A seisiún (music making session) at The Blarney Stone Irish Pub, Dongping Road, Shanghai
A seisiún (music making session) at The Blarney Stone Irish Pub, Dongping Road, Shanghai
A seisiún (music making session) at The Blarney Stone Irish Pub, Dongping Road, Shanghai
China Government officials and businessmen enjoying the craic with pints of Guinness in O'Donoghues Pub Merrion Row Dublin
China Government officials and businessmen enjoying the craic with pints of Guinness in O’Donoghues Pub Merrion Row Dublin

Niall O’Reilly

Accurate China Business Services

“Helping Ireland’s Business Do China Business”

http://www.accuratelimited.com

Tel: +353 1271 1830 / +86 152 5719 4468