The IPA has announced that it is postponing its two upcoming missions to China until later in the year, in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The decision follows advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) against all but essential travel to mainland China.
The first of the IPA’s missions was originally due to take place 2-6 March. This is a UK Advertising Export Group (UKAEG)-partnered trade mission to China joint with DIT. It comprises of a networking and speaker engagement programme with leading China brands and coincides with the Shanghai International Advertising Festival (SHIAF), which itself will be pushed back. In light of this, the IPA is currently discussing alternative dates, the most likely of which are 4-8 May (TBC).
Says Janet Hull OBE, Mission lead and Director of Marketing Strategy: "The purpose of our China activity is part of a wider UKAEG initiative to continue to promote UK agencies to Chinese brands and to help UK agencies set up in China. This has been a ten-year undertaking so far and one which we believe has and will benefit our members, because in 2019 we signed our first Memorandum of Understanding with the China Advertising Association (CAA). Despite current plans being postponed, we are looking forward to getting back to China later in the year. In the meantime, the opportunity to enter the SHIAF Awards still stands, with details available at shiaf.org."
The second IPA China mission to Shenzhen and Beijing, originally outlined for mid-May, is centred around developing a greater understanding and forging stronger links with the key players in the Chinese tech arena. Companies lined up include WeChat/Tencent, Huawei, ByteDance, SenseTime, Baidu and more. Alternative dates in early autumn are now being considered.
Says Nigel Gwilliam, IPA tech mission lead and Director of Media Affairs: "From being leaders in 5G deployment and the largest ecommerce market in the world, to their AI capabilities and the rapid rise of their strategic emerging technologies, the global significance of China in the tech space is irrefutable. We are therefore much looking forward to meeting the leading businesses in this arena later this year including WeChat, the superapp at the heart of Chinese smartphone lifestyle; Bytedance, owner of TikTok and the world’s most valuable start-up and DiDi, the Chinese uber that’s bigger than uber, and more."
If you’d like to find out more, contact Nigel directly.