” When I told some friends about my project, they all said to me ‘Harold forget, you don’t speak Mandarin, you’ve never lived in China and you don’t know a single Chinese’ Recalls Harold Parisot, founder of the Chinese Business Club, the first Franco-Chinese business network. Almost ten years after the launch of his club, the bet to increase business relations and business with China has been successful.
Doing business with China, quite an art
The Chinese market is the one that offers the most opportunities to France and that Harold Parisot understood it well. In September 2012, under the impetus of some of his Chinese clients, he embarked on the adventure of the Chinese Business Club. ” In 2012, when I started my own business, I was in contact with foreign investors. And systematically when I met Chinese people, they wanted to meet French politicians and brands. Systematically, it was the same questions. So I told myself that I was going to create a small business club and France-China meeting », Explains the French entrepreneur.
Harold Parisot has therefore built for ten years a meeting place where business and Franco-Chinese network are the key words. For Harold Parisot, China is a market of the future that must be encouraged and not abandoned. It is the colossal windfall of consumers offered by China, which makes it the preferred target for French companies. 1.4 billion potential customers that France can reach in three ways. First, “ via tourism in France, currently 3 million Chinese tourists choose France but in the short term, they will be 6 to 9 million “.
China, a market of the future for France
Second and third, ” via the Chinese in mainland China which can be reached in two ways. Either via e-commerce or via a physical presence. A physical presence represents a lot of time, a lot of money. It’s a tough commitment. Chinese e-commerce is not very complicated, it is not very expensive and it makes it possible to reach more consumers. However, it is imperative to be present on Baidu, the Chinese Google and translate his site into Mandarin », Explains Harold Parisot.
The share of Chinese in France, whether tourism or business, is set to grow in the years to come. The Chinese, unlike the French, who are very modest, have a very simple vision of business; for them, a period of crisis is also a period of opportunity. In the space of eighteen months, several million Chinese have been considerably enriched and who will swell the ranks of potential consumers. For Harold Parisot, things are clear: “ There is a boulevard in front of us, fifteen to twenty years of business to build “.
Prince Albert of Monaco, guest of honor of the Chinese Business Club in 2016
A high-level networking club
The principle of the Chinese Business Club is simple. Each month an event is organized in an emblematic place of the capital around a distinguished guest. The former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy, or even CEOs of large influential companies, such as the CEO of Total, that of L’Oréal, Prince Albert of Monaco or the actress Sophie Marceau, extremely well known in China. ” The guest of honor, whoever he is, is the pretext to bring everyone together. Because with these ten years of experience and hindsight, I have seen very clearly that the more prestigious the guest of honor, the more members come. », Explains Harold Parisot.
This meeting allows, ” an uninhibited business, people are more accessible. This allows members to combine business with pleasure, to do business while having a good time. “. Among the Chinese members, the main investment funds and banks are represented, as well as many companies and party dignitaries (ambassadors, diplomats, consules, mayors, etc.). Stopped during the pandemic, the events of the Chinese Business Club restarted on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in the presence of the President of Huawei France, Weiliang Shi.
Distinguished guests to bring together
He is also one of these prestigious guests who in 2015 will shine the spotlight on the Chinese Business Club. Harold Parisot remembers: “ I started from scratch and at the beginning despite the presence of large families like the Dassault family, the club took time to establish itself. And in 2015, there was a before after. While the club was not very well known, I received Emmanuel Macron as a guest and he was then Minister of the Economy. Many media came and wondered what this club was still unknown to the battalion where the Minister of the Economy was going. “. Since then, more than a hundred companies are members of the Chinese Business Club of Harold Parisot.
The Chinese Business Club thus makes it possible to put French companies in touch with potential Chinese partners and to develop their guanxi. Guanxi, which means network in Chinese, is the cornerstone of business. To be able to do business with the Chinese or hope to export to China, you must have a strong guanxi. This is what Harold Parisot proposes with the Chinese Business Club: to network at a high level.