Bay Area Council Blog: China Archive


Council’s China Trade Mission Promises Packed Agenda

Transportation, health care and investment are among the key topics headlining the Council’s upcoming trade mission to Shanghai and Beijing from Nov. 6-12. We’ll be meeting with high-level Chinese business and government leaders, in addition to marking the grand opening of the Council’s Silicon Valley/China Business Accelerator in Shanghai’s Yangpu District. To learn more about the trip and to join the delegation, please contact Bing Wei at

The trade mission follows closely on the heels of a Council-hosted visit to the Bay Area by Mr. Guan Yuanfa, the Chairman and President of Yuangpu Science & Technology Innovation Group Co, a state-owned company that drives innovation for the Yangpu District.



Yangpu Vice Mayor Haidong Tang, Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman and Shui On Land signed an MOU this week to partner on the creation of a Bay Area Science and Technology Park in Yangpu – an important step in our relationship with Shanghai that will make it easier for Bay Area companies to set up shop in China.  The MOU signing and reception were part of a Yangpu District government delegation trip this week to the Bay Area, in which the delegates met with and toured several companies and institutions, including NetApp, Silicon Valley Bank, Stanford, Booz & Company, Glumac and new Bay Area Council member, STUDIOS Architecture.  Thank you to everyone who hosted the delegation and all who attended our MOU signing ceremony and reception.

For more information about the Council’s Shanghai Office and our upcoming Cloud Computing delegation trip to China, please contact Del Christensen at  415-946-8738 or



Last week, the Bay Area Council, in partnership with BayHelix, hosted a delegation to China with leaders from business and academia, centered around the life sciences and healthcare industries.  Members, including Catholic Healthcare West’s Wade Rose, met with top Chinese business leaders from companies including WuXi AppTec, the largest Contract Research Organization in China, and Eli Lilly, starting an important dialogue on the partnership between Bay Area and Chinese companies around the life sciences and healthcare industries.  Also on the trip, University of San Francisco Professor and creator and host of NPR’s Tech Nation and BioTech Nation radio programs, Moira Gunn, launched a new podcast series entitled BioTech Nation China, featuring interviews with several Chinese industry leaders.

Coming up in June, the Council will also be hosting a delegation to Shanghai and Hangzhou focused on cloud computing, a sector growing exponentially in both China and the U.S.  On the trip, delegates will be able to familiarize themselves with China’s new policies and programs designed to encourage U.S. cloud computing companies to expand and invest in China, find new partners and customers, and get to know the key government leaders for this industry.  For more information on this trip or other upcoming delegations on digital media, brownfields and green technology, contact Kristen Durham, Vice President of Global Initiatives at 415-946-8736 or



This morning, more than 125 people squeezed together for breakfast with Vincent Lo, architect of the Bay Area Council’s China efforts, and the Chairman of the Shui On Group and the Yangtze Council.  The consummate gentleman was humbled as always, but gave a riveting presentation on what he sees happening in China in the next few years, especially as shaped by the country’s next “Five Year Plan.”  China has weathered the global recession without a hiccup, and its leaders are focused on turning up domestic consumption.  He pointed out that in the United States, “services” account for about 80 percent of the economy and 90 percent of his native Hong Kong’s economy, but in China’s mainland, it’s only 40 percent.  He predicted that industries like healthcare and cloud computing – both focuses of the Bay Area Council – are likely to skyrocket as the service economy ramps up.  Thank you to our breakfast partner, the Asia Society, and to our sponsors who made the breakfast possible:  Lloyd Dean and Catholic Healthcare West;  Victoria Jones and The Clorox Company; Mark Edmunds and Deloitte; Stacy Magill and Ghilotti Construction; and Jeff Heller and Heller Manus Architects.


Breakfast Discussion with Vincent Lo: A Firsthand Account of China’s 12th Five Year Plan

April 22: Breakfast talk with Vincent Lo

Please join the Bay Area Council and the Asia Society of Northern California for a breakfast talk with Vincent Lo, Chairman of the Shui On Group and the Yangtze Council. Mr. Lo is a visionary land developer in China, leading particularly groundbreaking projects in the areas of urban renewal and historical preservation, and live-work-learn technology campuses.  Mr. Lo is also a strong proponent of region-to-region collaboration, and has been working with the Bay Area Council since our first delegation went to China in 2007.

Come hear his reflections on deliberations of China’s 12th 5-Year Plan as a member of the National People’s Congress, directions for China’s economy and innovation industries as a result of the new plan, and how trans-Pacific partnerships like that between the Bay Area Council and Shanghai’s Yangpu District will shape the future of doing business between our two nations.

Date: Friday, April 22, 2011

Time: 7:30 – 8:00 AM Registration
8:00 – 9:00 AM Presentation and Q&A

Location: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 55 Fourth Street, San Francisco

Please RSVP to Blythe Goodell (415) 946-8727

For any further questions, please contact Kristen Durham (415) 946-8736


Bay Area Council Board Member Featured in New York Times

Bay Area Council Board Member Featured in New York Times

Bay Area Council Board member and President of Heller Manus Architects, Jeff Heller, was prominently featured in a recent New York Times article on small and mid-sized American architecture firms working on large projects in China. Jeff, whose 25-person firm is based in San Francisco, is now doing two-thirds of his work in China, including the Eastern Harbor International Tower, the first LEED Gold pre-certified high-rise in Shanghai. Way to go Jeff!

Silicon Valley Bank’s Ken Wilcox to Head China Office

We learned last week that SVB Financial Group President & CEO and BAC Executive Committee member Ken Wilcox, will be taking a Chairman role with Silicon Valley Bank and heading up their efforts in China. SVB has been an important partner for the Council while setting up our office in Shanghai and we look forward to working closely with Ken in China.


Updates from the Bay Area Council China Office

After several years of trans-Pacific collaboration between the Bay Area Council and business and government leaders in the Yangtze River Delta region, we are proud that in June 2010 we were able to open a physical office in Shanghai’s Yangpu District to begin the important work of bilateral trade and investment promotion between our two regions. Through our China initiative, Council staff members both in the Bay Area and Shanghai help small, medium and large Bay Area businesses expand in the Chinese market, while also working to attract Chinese companies and investment to California. Since the opening of the office mid-year, we already have been able to facilitate many major deals between Bay Area and Chinese companies and governments.

The Bay Area Council led two delegations to China in 2010 for members to connect their Bay Area businesses with opportunities in China and to bring new investment to the Bay Area, California and the U.S. In June, the Council’s Chairman Lloyd Dean, President & CEO of Catholic Healthcare West, and approximately 35 other leading executives from the Bay Area spent a week in Shanghai meeting local leaders as well as celebrating the grand opening of our China office. BAC leadership met with Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng, among other notable figures.

As a testament to the clout assembled in our first delegation, the Council was appointed to lead a September delegation to Shanghai and Hangzhou featuring then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, three State of California Cabinet Secretaries and 55 Bay Area Council delegates from 40 companies, representing a combined $179 billion in annual revenue. It was also on this trip that the Council announced its bid to bring World Expo 2020 to Moffett Field.

The Council also supported two trips led by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson – the first focused on promoting opportunities within the NUMMI auto plant in Fremont and the second on sourcing interest among green technology companies in expanding their operations in the Bay Area.

In November, we had the privilege to host Shanghai Yangpu District Party Secretary Chen Yin and his leadership team in the Bay Area. Delegates met with the BAC Board of Directors at Lockheed Martin and senior executives from industry leaders like Kaiser Permanente, Pixar, IBM, Autodesk, Oclaro, Cogswell College, and Silicon Valley Bank. Throughout the year, we also addressed delegations from China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, Sichuan provincial government, Dalian municipal government, Lianyungang municipal government, and other governments and state-owned enterprises.

Across these delegations, the Council supported a number of important MOUs and agreements between a diverse array of Bay Area companies and Chinese counterparts, including:

  • Zap-Jonway – Pilot project for electric vehicles and metering/charging infrastructure
  • Concept Art House – Development of digital arts education platform in Shanghai
  • Pacific Carbon Exchange – Connecting carbon exchanges in California & China
  • Cradle to Cradle Green Products Innovation Institute – Joint development of green products institute in Shanghai
  • Sanuk Mak – Representative office opening
  • Heller Manus Architects – Jeff Heller appointed as Yangpu District senior advisor for urban planning
  • The Cherokee Fund – Partnership on brownfield redevelopment project

The Bay Area Council itself has signed agreements with the China Railway Construction Company and the Shanghai Financial Services Bureau that will serve to further Bay Area economic interests around California high speed rail and the growing venture capital industry in China, respectively.

The Bay Area Council’s offices in both the US and China are committed to working with our members to promote the economic growth and integration of our two regions through the promotion of trade and investment. We welcome your involvement and direction as we move forward in 2011.

Happy New Year,
Kristen Durham
VP, Global Initiatives



Spring Xing, Director of BAC's Shanghai Office

We are pleased to announce that Spring Xing has been hired as Director of the Bay Area Council’s Shanghai office.  Xing comes to the Bay Area Council from Soufun Holdings, the leading real estate internet portal and home furnishing and improvement website in China, where she was Deputy General Manager of the Shanghai Branch and General Manager of their operations in Hong Kong.  Previously, she worked for the Shanghai Industry Investment Corporation, the Ray White Group, ExxonMobil, and Siemens.  Xing has an MBA from the China Europe International Business School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. In her role as Office Director, Xing will be responsible for managing the Bay Area Council’s activities in China, including attracting Bay Area companies to the Yangpu District of Shanghai, managing communications with government officials and related enterprises, and developing leads among Chinese companies interested in growing in the Bay Area.  The Bay Area Council’s Shanghai office opened in June of 2010 and is located in the Knowledge and Innovation Community in the Yangpu District of Shanghai.

PDF Press Release

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: China strengthens ties to Zap electric carmaker

Santa Rosa’s electric vehicle retailer Zap has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese officials to promote electric cars on the streets of Shanghai.

The company separately announced that it has completed a $10 million down payment for a majority share in Chinese car maker Jonway Automotive. The payment is part of a $29 million purchase agreement first announced in July.

The two developments are part of Zap’s efforts to become a manufacturer and retailer of electric vehicles in China, now the world’s largest auto market.

The memorandum is “the first big deal of its kind,” the result of growing ties between business and government leaders from the Bay Area and Shanghai regions, said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, a business advocacy group. It was fostered in part by a state delegation that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Council led to China in September.

The deal, Wunderman said, signals that both Zap and local Chinese officials understand that neither party can by itself build the charging and battery-swap stations needed to make electric vehicles a practical means of transportation in Yangpu, a district of Shanghai.

“Whether you’re building electric vehicles in the Bay Area or China, it’s going to require a public/private partnership to get it done,” Wunderman said.

Read the story…


San Francisco Chronicle: Zap charging its way in to China’s EV market

Chalk up another one for Zap in the race to enter China’s electric car market.

The small Santa Rosa EV maker has just signed a deal with Shanghai officials to provide charging stations, battery swap facilities and maintenance depots for the city’s commercial Yangpu district.

Zap will also develop a pilot Electric Vehicle Eco-City program involving the use of Zap vehicles in Yangpu’s bus, taxi and government fleets. Sales and marketing offices and R&D centers will be located there.

CEO Steven Schneider was traveling on business and not available for comment Monday, but Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, called it “a major milestone for the Bay Area’s electric vehicle industry.”

Earlier this year, Zap acquired a 51 percent stake in Jonway Automobile, a Chinese car and motorcycle manufacturer, in a $120 million deal approved by the Chinese government in October.

The combined company, called Zap Jonway, is planning to ramp up production next year, primarily at a 3.6 million-square-foot plant in China’s eastern coastal province of Zhejiang. Other assets acquired by Zap include 500 Jonway dealerships across the country.

Connections pay: The deal was first broached during Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s trade mission to Asia in September, which included a stop in Shanghai, where he was accompanied by Bay Area Council executives. The council’s recently opened Shanghai office introduced Zap executives to the right people there and helped negotiate the deal.

“This is a great example of what connecting California innovators with governments and businesses around the world can do,” Schwarzenegger said. “As a direct result, Zap is breaking barriers in exporting clean technology from California to China.”

Read the story…