Under the auspices of Chairman Wang Shi, Shenzhen General Chamber of Commerce (SCC) initiated three international business tours on April 20, 2015, namely SCC Meets Seattle, SCC Encounters Milan, and SCC Touring Paris. On the SCC Meets Seattle tour, 70 Shenzhen entrepreneurs spent 8 days in Seattle and San Francisco visiting 10 world-famous companies, including Microsoft, Boeing, Apple, Intellectual Ventures, and Starbucks plus 3 prestigious higher-education institutions, i.e. the University of Washington, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and California Institute of Technology (Berkeley). On the tour, they signed cooperation agreements for 6 projects and met with quite a few American dignitaries in politics or business. They were highly welcomed by the local business community. For the participating entrepreneurs, this was a fruitful tour for seeking knowledge and going beyond their current achievements.
The charismatic city of Seattle has become a magnet for Shenzhen’s tech behemoths.
Shenzhen, which was a tiny fishing village a couple of decades ago, has grown into China’s most enterprising city. It is now home to 40% of the stellar brands in the country’s private sector, and it is renowned as the country’s capital of innovative tech as well as its cradle of private firms.
Shenzhen never foresaw that it would follow the same trajectory of growth as Seattle. Both cities rely on small and medium-sized enterprises as their main sources of vitality. And they have similar entrepreneurship and traits.
The business tie between Shenzhen and Seattle dates back to the 1980s, multinationals sprouted up in both cities. Shenzhen entrepreneurs crave to know how Starbucks was born in a small storefront and how Amazon took off from a single office. They expected the tour to give them a glimpse of Seattle’s true ethos. Shenzhen and Seattle have similar genes, be they for a green economy or tech innovation. The rendezvous was like one between friends who wished that they had met earlier.