March 2023 Issue: Recruitment, Roundtables & E-commerce Rivalries

From the Tiger, to the Rabbit

Welcome to the NZCTA Young Associates Newsletter: a monthly-ish digest of happenings and articles for young people interested in the NZ-China space.

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Welcome to the YA's newsletter, March edition!

We hope you enjoy this month’s articles, courtesy of the lovely authors at the YA. On the menu today is a brief overview of NZCTA YA’s first event for 2023, the Roundtable, which saw young professionals and industry veterans come together to discuss and learn from each other. Below this is an important news item on one Chinese e-commerce business and their expansion into the New Zealand market. Rounding out March’s newsletter is info on an upcoming event on international trade organised by friend and ally of the YA, Southeast Asia CAPE. And, a new TV series on Chinese food in Aotearoa is now available for streaming. Happy reading!

#1. YA is back for 2023! Watch this space to join our committee 👀


The Young Associates are stoked to have begun delivering events for 2023, being fresh off the back of hosting the Roundtable on 29th March! A Patreon-exclusive function held at Buddle Findlay, the Roundtable brought together emerging professionals from our committee and membership with industry experts from our parent organisation, the NZCTA. Topics discussed included - but weren’t limited to - professional development and fulfilment, dealing with challenging managers, and overrated career tips, with attendees both young and old(er) contributing valuable insights. We’re keen to see the Roundtable become a staple event of the YA’s annual offerings to members, so sign up to our Patreon today to make sure you gain access to the next one!

Interested in helping bring events like the Roundtable to life? This is your call to jump on board with our mahi! NZCTA YA will be recruiting for our executive committee this side of June, so keep an eye out for emails and social media posts featuring opportunities to sign up! Positions for young professionals will be on offer across a variety of teams.

#2. Tēnā Koutou Temu / Chinese e-commerce platform enters New Zealand

Temu, the innovative cross-border fashion and lifestyle platform, has launched operations in New Zealand this month, marking a new milestone in its mission to connect customers with affordable products from around the world. The move comes as part of Temu's ambitious growth strategy, aimed at expanding its presence in key global markets and reaching a wider audience of consumers seeking the latest fashion and lifestyle trends.

The expansion to New Zealand reflects the growing demand for cross-border e-commerce solutions in the Asia-Pacific region. With more consumers than ever shopping online for products from overseas, there is a clear opportunity for platforms like Temu to facilitate these transactions and bring together buyers and sellers from different parts of the globe.

Temu was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2022 by its parent company PDD Holdings Inc., which also operates Pinduoduo in China. The platform's growth demonstrates how modern Chinese e-commerce applications are becoming a dominant online retail presence in consumer markets across the world, thanks to their competitive pricing tactics from sourcing products directly from Chinese manufacturers. Temu will no doubt pose a challenge to existing shopping platforms in New Zealand such as TradeMe, The Market, and Mighty Ape.

#3. International trade in a turbulent world: New Zealand’s trade position and trajectory


Our good friends at Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (SEA CAPE) are holding an Asia Forum!

The global trade scene is marked by rising trade protectionism, geopolitical tensions, the war in Ukraine, and natural disasters. New Zealand, despite being geographically distant from the rest of the world, has had its fair share of these challenges. Uncertainty looms large in 2023 and beyond, as the global economy seeks to recover from the pandemic. What does this mean for past efforts, impacts, and the trade trajectory for New Zealand? How has Aotearoa responded? What contingencies have been planned? Join SEA CAPE in person in Wellington or online at 5pm on April 13th for a discussion led by Vangelis Vitalis.

Sign up here! 

#4. Celebrating Chinese-Kiwi culinary traditions

SIK FAH LAH is a 6-piece culinary docu-series celebrating Chinese food traditions in Aotearoa. The name derives from the Cantonese phrase 'Sik Fah Lah', meaning "It's time to eat," a familiar expression in many households. Each episode highlights stories of modern Kiwi-Chinese life through a universal love of food; moreover, the diverse array of Kiwi-Chinese hosts exemplifies the unique experiences of having a hyphenated identity. The sheer vastness of kai shared in this series reflects the various waves of the Asian diaspora in Aotearoa's history, from Otago's gold rush miners to Pukekohe vegetable farmers and fish’n’chip takeaways.

Food is an essential ingredient of human existence and has always played an important role in international relations and diplomatic practice. From sharing a meal to sealing a deal, food has often been used as a medium for showcasing influence, communicating one's culture and identity, and using messages to express friendship. Sik Fan Lah generates greater audience exposure to Chinese customs while also delivering another, higher level of representation by celebrating the diverse histories, origins, and languages encompassing what it means to be Chinese. You can stream the show now on TVNZ+.

Have a piece you'd like us to feature or share? Or an idea/opportunity you would like us to offer? Do you have general questions/comments? Let us know through our socials below!

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Editors: Melanie, David, Chris, Kelly and Wesley

Disclaimer: opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely the views of the NZCTA Young Associates and do not represent the opinions of the wider New Zealand China Trade Association or any of its executive committee.


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