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London technology companies in China forging new links

By Wang Mingjie in London | | Updated: 2017-09-21 00:47

Eight of London's fastest-growing tech companies are in China this week in a drive to forge stronger trade links and win new business.

The mission, which will end on Thursday,was organized by the Mayor of London's International Business Programme and will take the entrepreneurs to Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong.

The businesses are among the most innovative technology companies in the United Kingdom's capital and are involved in fintech and the medical and educational sectors.

Among them are, Boclips, which describes itself as the world's largest video library source for education, Medical Realities, a virtual-reality teaching and training platform for medical students, and Opportunity Network, which connects CEOs and business leaders with potential mergers and acquisitions.

Rajesh Agrawal, London's deputy mayor for business, said: "China is the fastest-growing large economy in the world and is emerging as a tech and innovation powerhouse. It makes perfect sense for these companies to visit the country and develop closer ties. London and China already have an excellent trading relationship and I wish these eight companies the best of luck as they look for new trade and investment opportunities."

Lucy Stonehill, CEO of BridgeU, a platform that uses data to guide students and teachers in their choices related to university and careers, said developing a strong presence in Asia is crucial to the company's mission of helping young people bridge the gap between school and the future.

"As a London-based start-up, we have been able to establish a significant footprint in the wider region, thanks to the help of our partners and investors," Stonehill said. "I look forward to continuing this overseas expansion with the help of the Mayor's International Business Programme."

China and the British capital have longstanding business connections, and the amount of Chinese investment into London has increased more than 10-fold since 2006.

According to London's official promotional agency, London and Partners, Chinese investors committed 180 million pounds ($244.3 million) to the capital in the first half of 2017, more than double the amount from the same period in 2016 (53 million pounds).

The four-day trade mission to China is the latest overseas visit organized by the Mayor's International Business Programme, which aims to help the capital's high-growth firms break into new international markets or grow their existing operations overseas.

Meanwhile, Think Asia, Think Hong Kong, a series of events promoting the city port as an entry point to Asia for British business, started in London on Wednesday with a dinner attended by the special administrative region's chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, and other high-ranking politicians.

Seminars will take place all day Thursday. The event was organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

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