Business / Economy

Chinese students keen to be entrepreneurs in UK

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-27 07:32

Chinese students keen to be entrepreneurs in UK

Chinese students at the Imperial College London to welcome the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Oct 21,2015. Xi praised cooperation between the college and Zhejiang University, a top-notch college in China. [Photo/China Daily]

President Xi's state visit last week has provided impetus to Chinese business startups on campus

For Yao Ting, studying in the United Kingdom is more than just going to classes and finishing assignments.

Like many other Chinese students there, he is more eager to seize the opportunity to start his own business after Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit last week ushered in a "golden age" in bilateral ties.

Although the 23-year-old is still a junior at the University of Warwick, he has already teamed up with other ambitious budding entrepreneurs from British and Chinese colleges to launch an online education platform called AskiNow.

His aim is to provide quality tutoring for Chinese students studying in the UK.

The idea behind Yao's start-up project is to meet the educational demands of the growing number of Chinese students.

"We hope to customize online tutoring service, so they can find the best teachers to help them improve their study," Yao said.

As bilateral ties expand, an increasing number of Chinese students are looking to achieve academic success in the UK. Around 150,000 students from China study there.

Besides education, two-way investment between China and the UK has grown rapidly. The country's investment has jumped at an annual rate of 71.7 percent during the past three years. Last year, the UK's investment in China increased by 87.6 percent year-on-year, the fastest among major European Union countries.

Nowadays, China is almost an unavoidable topic in business circles there. The UK'S economic environment has become more friendly to Chinese companies and investors.

Students such as Yao see that they have a chance to turn their ideas into real businesses.

"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," he said.

But it is never an easy task to secure investment for a startup project.

To find funding, Yao and his team participated in several competitions in the UK, which are popular among Chinese students with entrepreneurial vision.

"We participated in startup events and competitions in Britain and China," he said. "We can see that the market in China is more vibrant when it comes to startups, while investors in Britain tend to be calm and observant."

After fine-tuning their proposal and honing their business skills, Yao's team made it to the final round of a startup competition sponsored by the government of Beijing's Chaoyang district.

They were among the three winning teams selected from more than 200 competitors in the UK, and they will now go to Beijing to participate in the final round, presenting their projects to China's top investors.

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