'Golden time' approaching for Chinese students in Britain to start business

Updated: 2015-10-26 09:24


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LONDON - For Yao Ting, studying in Britain is more than just going to classes and finishing assignments.

Like many other Chinese students here, he is eager to seize the opportunity to start his own business project as Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Britain, the first such visit by a Chinese head of state in a decade, on Oct 19-23 has ushered in a "golden time" in bilateral ties.

Although the 23-year-old man is still a junior in the University of Warwick, he has already teamed up with other ambitious young talents from British and Chinese colleges to launch an online education platform called AskiNow, which aims to provide quality tutoring for Chinese students studying in Britain.

The idea behind Yao's start-up project is to meet the educational demands of the growing number of Chinese students in Britain. Yao told Xinhua that he believes these students need a customized online tutoring service, through which they can find the best teachers to help them improve their study.

Thanks to the enhancing bilateral ties, an increasing number of Chinese students choose to seek their academic success in Britain. Around 150,000 students from China study in Britain at present.

Besides education, two-way investment between China and Britain has grown rapidly as well. China's investment in Britain has risen at an annual rate of 71.7 percent over the past three years. Last year, Britain's investment in China increased by 87.6 percent year-on-year, the fastest among major EU countries.

Nowadays, China is almost an unavoidable topic in Britain's business circle. The country's business environment has become more friendly to Chinese companies and investors. Students like Yao see that they have a chance to turn their ideas into real business.

"As overseas students, we have witnessed the increasing exchanges between Britain and China in such fields as business, investment and tourism in recent years, and the time has come for us to pursue our own entrepreneurship."

But it is never an easy task to secure investment for a start-up project.

To find investors, Yao and his team participated in several start-up competitions in Britain, which are growingly popular among Chinese students with entrepreneurship visions.

"We participated in start-up events and competitions in Britain and China. We can see that the market in China is more vibrant when it comes to start-ups, while investors in Britain tend to be calm and observant."

After fine-tuning their proposal and honing their business skills, they made it to the final round of a start-up competition sponsored by the government of Beijing's Chaoyang district and held on Aug 15.

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