#1. Upcoming Event: YA Virtual Session 5 with Jane Jiang
When you think of New Zealand exports, fitness programmes likely aren’t the first things that pop into your mind. But did you know, the NZ-based fitness brand Les Mills has a history of 21 years in China? Over the past two years in particular, Les Mills China has started to expand their reach to focus on Western China, bringing a fresh perspective to the fitness industry there. The company also innovated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and actually increased their customers by using digital solutions.
We are pleased to welcome Jane Jiang, CEO of Les Mills China, as the speaker for our fifth YA virtual session. Since coming on board as CEO four years ago, Jane has been leading a successful change of Les Mills in China from a distribution model to a directly-owned business. We really look forward to gaining insight into how Chinese leadership has successfully impacted a Kiwi business in China! Don't miss out!
Register for session 5 here. See you on Zoom (look out for the link in the registration email), Wednesday 1st July at 3.30 pm NZST!
#2. Business Desk: How is the US-China trade war affecting our businesses?
Asia Media Centre has published a series of articles about how the US-China trade war is affecting actual businesses in New Zealand and Australia, with Vic Uni's Dr Hongzhi Gao interviewing 16 of them.
New Zealand is a small country that relies on larger countries to help build economic growth, with China being NZ’s largest trading partner. While NZ has not been directly targeted by the many tariffs being thrown around, it has still been affected by decreased global business confidence, and increased protectionism in even non-tariffed sectors.
The interview quotes in the article contain a variety of strategies businesses have taken to deal with the trade war, with many taking the "lying low" approach and enjoying the benefits of both markets in the interim. But as Gao mentions, this is easy to say but hard to do, especially in times on a global pandemic crisis. Well worth a read.
#3. Culture Desk: NZ's Media Sector Diversity in Light of BLM
Above: A review of Artwok by Jesse Mulligan
As a long-needed racial reckoning continues in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the lack of diversity of our own media sector is in the spotlight. I laughed at this joke tweet by Mad Chapman, but the lack of diversity in our major newsrooms often leads to harmful outcomes for minorities. For example, I will never forget Labour's infamous "Chinese-sounding last names" saga, which used flawed data to try to blame Asians for our housing crises.
When Labour presented their numbers to NZHerald for the story, Harkanwal Singh, one of the only people of colour in the Herald newsroom saw it as hugely problematic. His white colleagues though only saw a "great story". Its publishing was immensely damaging to Chinese in New Zealand, and two years later, half of Aucklanders still blamed Asians for rising house prices. Even a couple more PoC in the room might have prevented this.
This lack of representation persists in all parts of the media. The Spinoff recently published two great pieces focusing on a couple of sectors. Firstly, Joanna Cho outlined the difficulty that Asian writers experience in trying to get published, with tokenisation from the white literary establishment rife. Secondly, Jean Teng and Charlotte Muru-Lanning (in our article of the month) discussed a similarly blinding lack of diversity in the food media, including the crazy fact that Cuisine magazine's restaurant of the year panel includes only white judges. In a city famous for its multicultural food, that's just not good enough.
Because these things have consequences for ordinary people and businesses. How many great ethnic restaurants have had their customers limited to just those of their own culture, because of the blindspots in our food media? One way you could support Asian eateries is to eat at them. The other is to advocate for systematic change to how minorities are seen and listened to in the media at large.
Read Jean and Charlotte's article here.
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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this newsletter are the sole opinion 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.