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Event Review: Zoom into China (Session 5)

YA VIRTUAL SESSION 2 - Eastern China: Where NZ Businesses Are Winning, and Where They’re Not

Heading into the fifth session of our  Zoom into China: YA Virtual Series, things are starting to feel a bit habitual… and we love it! We’re glad to be continuing the series; a chance to pop-in for a moment of time and hear from leaders in the NZ-China space, from wherever they are to wherever you may be! 

In the case of our most recent session with Jane Jiang, CEO of Les Mills China (LMC), it was interesting to see a handful of office headsets (hope you enjoyed your lunch break!) and to speak with Jane who herself was Zooming in from Shanghai.  

Jane has been the CEO of LMC since 2016 where she has led the organisation’s transition from a distribution model to a directly-owned business. Over the past two years in particular, LMC has expanded their reach to Western China and introduced new service models including class-only clubs. And in view of 2020’s turbulent COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation was quick to innovate. 

Jane Jiang joined us from her office in Shanghai

A particular highlight was Jane talking about LMC's rapid organisation and launch of a 28 Day BODYCOMBAT Online Challenge, in collaboration with subsidiaries of the Alibaba Group and other platforms. BODYCOMBAT reached over 1 million people within its first two weeks of launch. No efforts (nor time) was spared in pulling the gigantic project together: Jane shared that her team was working 24 hours for 3 days in a row leading up to launch. 

Following some insights into LMC’s brand campaigns (shot provided above^), Jane shared what the organisation is looking forward to:  

  • Increasing their variety of class offerings and club models.
  • Innovating to develop programmes for kids and corporate groups.
  • Seeking new venues, including hotels and offices: “fitness isn't necessarily only in the gym!”.
  • Developing new partnerships, such as a 5g content package with China Mobile’s Migu. 

Fascinatingly, Jane’s outlook on LMC and the type of business they are is multifaceted. She sees LMC as a fitness, recruitment and IP company simultaneously. Hearing Jane speak of her organisation in this light felt like a unique glimpse into what China’s market may mean to an esteemed local professional as herself. 

When asked about her role as CEO and duties, Jane shared a three-part glimpse into her day-to-day:  

  1. Talking with with the sales team to offer clubs solutions.
  2. Training the team on how to offer better services to instructors.
  3. Liaising with industry partners to do a lot of cross brand promotions.

Recently, Jane has also participating in many webinars (shoutout to ours in particular, of course! 😉) to contribute as an opinion leader in the industry.  

Finishing off the session, Jane touched on LMC’s collaboration with NZ brands. With help from NZTE, Jane shared that LMC has hosted an annual Fitness Festival, featuring several NZ brands. Natural and health related Kiwi products are of high desire in China’s fitness sector (although wine, not so much…). 

We hope to extend a huge thank you to Jane for sharing her time and insights with us! Also, shoutout to our own Operations Director, Edward, for the smooth facilitation amid some tech difficulties (sorry about the inconveniences!). Thank you as well to all who Zoomed in with us, we hope you enjoyed the session and look forward to welcoming you back at the next one (hint: book in for 15th July!). 

Did you miss out on attending Session 5? Would you like to watch over Sessions 1-4 in your own time? We’re pleased to announce that all recordings and presentation slides from our YA Virtual Sessions are available to YA Members, so signup for our membership now to join the hub! 

Event review written by Antoine Ellis and edited by Han Li.

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