Teal Companies of China: A Tour Diary

From November 23 to 30, as part of a joint tour with Rules of the Game, we visited 10 of the best teal companies in China.

From November 23 to 30, as part of a joint tour with Rules of the Game, we visited 10 of the best teal companies in China

Everyone knows American teal organizations like Facebook, Zappos and Airbnb, but what about China? Are there classical teal companies in China or did the model change out there? These are the questions we were trying to find answers to as part of our tour, Teal Companies of China

Day 1
We decided to kick-start our tour by immersing ourselves in Chinese culture in a city that 25 million people call home

Nǐ hǎo, Shanghai! We take a walk across the Yu Garden in the very heart of the city’s central district of Nanshi and climb to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower, the third highest in Asia.

Yu Garden is a heart of the city
Day 2
On this day, we had a tour of CirclePlus and a lecture about Chinese business models by a Peking University professor

Visit to CirclePlus

CirclePlus is a team of professionals that works with other companies to implement self-governance in their organizational set-up. The company’s products include slashme, an electronic platform for targeted self-governance, as well as professional training and specialized consulting services. 

The company’s operations are based on autonomy, skills and target building. 

Afterwards, we met with a private investor, Peking University professor, speaker and author of papers on digital innovation in China.

The speaker has developed projects in real estate, hospitality, banking/financial services, insurance, healthcare, consumer goods, retail, technology, petrochemicals, energy, and infrastructure. He spoke about business models in China. 

Our group during the meeting
Day 3
On this day, we met the representatives of Buurtzorg, visited UQEE Network Co., Ltd and experienced the relaxing effect of Tai chi

Meeting at Buurtzorg

Buurtzorg is a Dutch home care organization that has drawn the attention of the international community with its innovative use of independent nursing teams that provide relatively inexpensive care services. 

Teams of up to 12 members work in small neighborhoods, taking care of people in need of support, and manage their work independently. Each new team finds itself an office of its own, holds meetings and events to get acquainted with the local community and general practitioners, physicians and other professionals. Each team independently decides how to organize their work, distribute responsibilities and create workload.

Buurtzorg is another example of a teal companies of China

Visit to UQEE Network Co., Ltd.

Shanghai UQEE Network Co., Ltd is an industry leader in the field of web game and mobile game development. 

  • The organization has no bosses or leaders, as each employee owns the process he or she is engaged in. All work-related information is shared among all UQEE employees in real time, because there are no departments to divide people in this organization. 
  • UQEE also has a number of experienced game distribution teams, an innovative method of working with games and promising marketing technology. 
  • Since its inception in 2009, UQEE has evolved into a multifaceted enterprise of interactive entertainment that comprises research and development, operation and sales. 

Tai chi workshop

Tai chi is a system of exercises that involve slow, smooth movements, breathing techniques and various cognitive components including focusing, images and multitasking. 

Day 4
We visited Homevalley, the online platform Baixing Internet and the clothing manufacturer UООYАА

Visit to Homevalley

Homevalley has a startup incubator and a college of entrepreneurship that it uses to develop entrepreneurs and startups. The company enjoys strong support from the municipal government of Shanghai and uses a foreign network in Silicon Valley, New York and Seattle. 

Visit to Homevalley

Visit to Baixing Internet 

Baixing Internet is an online platform that offers a database of classified ads. Baixing is the leading website in China specializing in C2C and service listing. 

People’s Network wants to create an ecosystem of classified information businesses as a platform and several vertical business lines.

Meeting UООYАА

UООYАА is a Chinese manufacturer of clothing catering to the new generation, which has more than 80 stores across the country. 

  • In 2014, the company’s management decided it was time for reorganization, and now the structure of UООYАА is based on holacracy management circles. 
  • The company treats employees and consumers as individuals, and helping them unlock their potential is part of UООYАА’s mission.
  • The company’s organizational structure includes emotional exchange sessions.
Day 5
On this day, we visited a company that manufactures China’s most exclusive bags

Visit to How.R.U. (Uhabags)

Uhabags has been making bags for 20 years now, selling 30 million items a year. The company is China’s largest bag manufacturer that works with over 3,000 exclusive shops in the country.

Uhabags works with over 3,000 exclusive shops in China

Initially, Uhabags made bags to be exported to Italy, the UK and the USA, but as the living standards in China improved and people’s purchasing power grew, the company decided to start producing bags for the Chinese market as well. Currently, Uhabags’ three factories employ more than 40,000 people.

Day 6
On this day, we paid a visit to one of the most innovative companies in the world

Visit to Haier 

Haier is a Chinese manufacturer of household appliances employing more than 70,000 people and one of the most innovative companies in the world. 

Haier has: 

  • 29 factories (including the one in Italy) 
  • 58,800 sales offices 
  • 12,000 after-sale service centers 
  • 20 design centers 
  • 10 industrial estates in China, Europe and the USA 

Since 2005, the company has been employing self-governance principles to improve work and manufacture efficiency. 

As part of the micro-enterprise, employees gradually became shareholders, and thus ceased to be employees. This motivated them and improved their self-organization.

 

Using a global platform, Haier entrepreneurs can independently attract all kinds of resources for research and development (funding, human resources, information technology, etc) from around the world.

Day 7
At the end of our tour, we could not help but visit China’s most famous landmark

The Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive landmarks in the world. It’s more than 2300 years old and 8,851 kilometers long.

The Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive landmarks in China

Legend has it that a dragon had shown the workers where to build the Wall. It crawled along the border of Ancient China, and people built the Wall following its footprints. According to some, the shape of the Wall itself resembles a flying dragon.

The landmark is visited by 70,000 tourists every day. 

The tour was an extremely rewarding experience for its participants, bringing them valuable knowledge and many new contacts. 

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Participants’ impressions of previous management tours:
Having already taken part in educational tours, these people are happy to share their knowledge and impressions.
Anton Nesiforov
Anton NesiforovProcess Manager for fruit and vegetable preservation, beverages, and alcohol

On our tour of Germany, we visited the most famous food exhibition, the Green Week, as well as numerous retail chains and enterprises operating in various interesting industries. We have a lot to learn. We must take the best and use it. Thank you, FastForward, for your careful approach to creating this tour.

Alena Nesiforova
Alena NesiforovaUnified Concept Manager for Izbenka and VkusVill

We visited several retail stores in Germany, as well as manufacturing facilities. What we liked the most about the stores we visited was the high quality standards of German retail. Retailers know how to sell high-quality goods at affordable prices, and this is probably the main secret of Germany's retail success. As for production, we were inspired by some of the small family businesses we saw.

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