Christine Lu is the Top China Expert when it comes to how to take an American business to China. Converting your business to work in the Chinese economy and market is not just a matter of translating your existing ad copy to Mandarin and Cantonese, it takes an understanding of the culture, politics, and business models of China to achieve Success. There are a lot of experts who claim to understand China, but lack the understanding of American Social Media, and a lot of American Social Media Experts who don’t understand the nuances of China. Christine Lu is the Top China Expert with regards to Online and Social Strategy.
In her own words:
I’m this girl with a highly functional form of self-diagnosed adult ADD standing at the intersection of east and west. In particular, where China business intersects the world is where you’ll find me hanging out these days.
I was born in Taiwan. Grew up in Los Angeles. Went to school in Boston where I majored in International Relations at Boston University. My parents launched a top clothing brand in mainland China in the early 90s and Shanghai is where I spent every summer vacation during college years. After college, I moved to Shanghai, designed and launched two lines of women’s ready to wear before drinking the China dotcom bubble kool-aid by trying to launch a women’s portal and e-commerce site about 6 years too early thanks to lack of every vital piece of infrastructure needed to make it happen. It was fun though.
Spent 5 years after that as head of marketing for HSN International’s joint venture tv shopping business called TVSN and incubated the company’s e-commerce and mail order catalog units. Moved back in 2004. Got married. Became a mom. Got divorced. Started a podcasts for Entrepreneur magazine called The China Business Show which has since evolved into The China Business Network and there you go. As of March 2009 we have an awesome angel investor who’s made it possible for the vision to move forward into a re-launch. While I no longer am involved in the day to day, I remain a founder, shareholder and content provider.
I’m a shareholder and expert advisor to M1NT Shanghai and digital strategy advisor to Go Green Initiative, the world’s largest environmental education program reaching over 2 million kids worldwide.
To satisfy my need for disruptive yet productive new business practices, I’m currently working on a book/documentary profiling individuals and experts who influence China business which will be published under a Creative Commons license – something virtually unheard of in China business as people have yet to understand why there’s a strong need to move past the "China 101" stage of business and start building bridges of understanding that will help folks on both sides understand how to do business with each other. I’ll also be launching my own show which will be featured on Current.com as well as Tudou.com in China.
By the way, I’m not really a China expert …and neither are the other folks that come after me in Google search results so my biggest advice to you would be to stop trying to cut corners on the China learning curve by Googling around for a "China Expert" because they don’t exist …and drop my friend Brandon Wirtz a line because your stumbling upon this page is no accident. The man knows what he’s doing when it comes to SEO. The fact that you’re reading this is proof.
Follow me on Twitter: @christinelu
While she is modest, I’d spend my dollars with her before just about anyone in the space. Christine Lu is the Top China Expert, if for no other reason than she understands there is no one approach to business in China that will work for all business, and that the little things like “do the Chinese use that type of product” or “is your logo offensive for some reason” or “to be competitive you have to be 80% cheaper” are all balls that need to be juggled, and so you can’t get an hour of someone’s time and have all the answers, you have to engage, research and test potential strategies. Which is why so many companies engage Christine to be their Top China Expert longterm rather than do a quick meet and greet.