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Choy's podcast - Life and business in Asia

Choy's podcast - Life and business in Asia

By Equasia Media
In this podcast I want to give you inside information about doing business and life in Asia, especially China. Born in the Netherlands, quit my job as a Dutch lawyer to move to Shanghai in my thirties, 6 months turned into 10+ years and now I help and advise clients (and friends) on how to manage business and life through all stages with an unstoppable drive and passion. Currently in Hong Kong for the past 3 years and building further on our company Equasia. My intention is to share, connect and learn together so I will also invite experts, clients and friends to share their stories with us.
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Entrepreneurs family behind the Meraki Hospitality Group
Jean-Michel Offe had an amazing journey so far as a French chef going abroad: from North America, to the MIddle East and then Asia, in charge of teams of 100+ people, opening new Shangri-La hotels (30+ only in China!), publishing books and running the Gobi desert... But I see clearly that he feels most proud of his children, daughter Laura Offe and son Alexis Offe. Against the advice of Jean-Michel, both chose the hospitality industry because they saw the passion, drive and pride their father had for his profession.  Their roads led back to each other so now in this team of 3 musketeers (and also with a wise mother in the background), they started the Meraki Hospitality Group in 2018 in Hong Kong with now a Uma Nota restaurant in Hong Kong and one in Paris and two Bedu's in Hong Kong.  How are they operating together? Laura and Alexis grew up in Hong Kong mostly so how did they experience the European culture when they were there for their studies? Where did the idea for the amazing concept of Uma Nota came from? What were the hard times so far? And as a business coach for others, what are the main problems nowadays according to Jean-Michel?  Learn from this family of achievers who are so generous in sharing their experience as entrepreneurs and notice how they have respect for each other's role and achievements in the team so enjoy listening to this episode! And if in Hong Kong or Paris, try the restaurants as well! As Laura is passionate about sustainability and the community, she is the driving force behind the cooperation the Meraki Hospitality Group has with Zero Foodprint Asia to adopt sustainable strategies and source from a local organic farm. 
December 20, 2021
Bernard Hor, the Southeast Asian entrepreneur
Bernard Hor's journey as an entrepreneur started quite early on by hustling where he could in his own surroundings in Malaysia. This mentality lead to starting several businesses first in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and later in South Korea. As the co-founder and group CEO of Hatio Group, a technology business from South Korea specializing in cloud supply chain & network distribution, he decided to bring these advanced software solutions to Southeast Asia to help to transform and improve the local supply chain, logistics, retail and distribution industry. This is not so easy as he needed to adjust the solutions and the pricing to make it fit with the needs of the entrepreneurs and companies but Bernard is very dedicated and will make it work. What also makes Bernard special is that he is so generous in sharing his experience and life visions he gathered while building up his businesses and starting his family. So listen to Bernard's story and feel inspired! You can reach out to Bernard through Linkedin or his email You can find more information about Hatio through the website. 
December 06, 2021
Entrepreneurs series - 3 Sustainable Start-ups in Hong Kong
In this episode I will be talking to eco entrepreneurs representing 3 amazing sustainable start-ups in Hong Kong who showed their innovative and sustainable products at the ReThink Sustainable business forum & solutions expo held last October 2021 in Hong Kong. While having completely different products, they do have in common that they want to create something good for the world, contribute to improving the environment and reduce waste and pollution. They are: 1. Naman Tekriwal - 21 years old but already a serial entrepreneur! Together with his co-founders he created Breer, a food up-cycling start up that collects surplus bread and pizza crust to brew premium quality local craft beer and already available at 30+ stores in Hong Kong. 2. Martin Zhu (31:20) - PhD student and co-founder of I2Cool, which invented passive radiative cooling paint, a novel energy free and environmentally friendly paint for buildings. The journey started with the goal to invent materials to reduce energy consumption in Hong Kong and after years of lab research, Martin and his partners were in the past months very busy with the commercial side of the painting products and currently talking with big companies who are interested in their product(s). The other co-founders are Shirley Du, Jhonny Lin, Dr. William Lee, Dr. Edwin Tso and Prof Christopher Chao. 3. Noel and Neil Shih (49.54) - two brothers who are going to launch their environmentally friendly Define Clean products in December 2021 after 2 years of a road full of challenges. They invented powder-form cleaning solutions from naturally –derived ingredients which is better for the planet and humans. Define Clean's goals are to reduce carbon footprint, plastic waste, improve hygiene with products that are healthy, budget friendly and contribute to the circular economy. After interviewing all of them, I can say that it is all quite revolutionary and inspiring! If this is representing how the next generation is dealing with challenges, then I feel very hopeful for the future! So let’s hear from these great guys!
November 30, 2021
Interview with Trisch Kirkpatrick and Anouk de Graaff - international business consultants around the globe
Hidden gems who usually fly under the radar: two amazing ladies with tons of experience from working all over the world! Meet Trisch Kirkpatrick and Anouk de Graaff. Trisch is a transformation consultant who has worked in over 50 different countries and Anouk has been all over Asia for the garment industry.  We covered so much in this inspiring conversation: working in emerging markets like Russia, China, Myanmar and Kenia, leaving your safe home country for adventure, dealing with different cultures and countries as the newest leader from outside, getting to know the operations bottoms up to get the best results, the changing garment industry, role models, dealing with problems, how covid change travelling and how countries are dealing with it and so much more. What is crystal clear is that these ladies always have the attitude that they can handle every problem, invest in helping and connecting with people, work hard and are used to expressing their opinions! So enjoy the stories and experience these ladies are sharing with us!  Feel free to reach out to them through Linkedin! 
November 17, 2021
Networking: why and how? With Nerice Gietel, certified executive coach and founder of The Career Lounge
Nerice Gietel, a certified executive coach has more than 15 years of experience in deploying her skills to support others to develop personally and professionally. It is great to have Nerice in my life as a friend as she is constantly challenging herself which is very inspiring plus she has so been through so many transitions that she can relate to many situations. Nerice has been a social worker in London, recruitment specialist and HR partner for a global consultancy in Oxford, a teacher at a Dutch university and now founder of The Career Lounge in Hong Kong. We ourselves met through a network event of the Dutch Chamber of Hong Kong a couple of years ago and since then we share knowledge, experience, network opportunities and friendship with each other. It often comes up that networking and connecting is so important for business, career, personal growth and not to forget: it is also fun! But we realize that it is not easy always to network and that we could maybe help people by giving some tips. So listen to this podcast for some do's and don'ts when it comes to networking! And last but not least, as we believe that there are a lot of connecting opportunities within our social circles, we created our own event where we want to people we know to get to know each other! A mingle and meet with people with different backgrounds! This gathering will take place in Hong Kong on Thursday 2 December at a great location: Café 8, a social enterprise at the pier, on top of the maritime museum which will be open for us exclusively. Everyone is welcome so book your tickets through Eventbrite or contact one of us directly (Nerice or me).
November 08, 2021
Catching up with entrepreneurs Jaap Pees, Katharina Darisse and Samson Ngov - what happened after a Covid year?
This episode is all about updating you what happened with 3 entrepreneurs I interviewed a year ago (at least)! What can happen in a life or a business in a year, especially considering that the exceptional circumstances are still ongoing: the world is still struggling with the pandemic, something we wouldn’t have guessed when the interviews were happening in 2020!  Dutch entrepreneur in Shanghai, Jaap Pees (my first podcast guest!), Sales expert Katharina Darisse (eps 15) now in Germany and Samson Ngov (eps 7), inventor of Onigiri tell us what happened in the past year and which choices they had to make!  Jaap Pees - Avocado Masters  Katharina Darisse - The Skill Shop Samson Ngov - Onigiri
October 07, 2021
Foreign investment in Dubai vs China
In this episode I have my colleagues Alejandra Esmoris from our Bonnard Lawson office in Dubai and Zach Lichtblau from our Shanghai office to talk about the differences between investing as a foreigner in the two different locations. Alejandra is a Swiss lawyer from Geneva who is located in Dubai since 2016 and joined the Bonnard Lawson team last year. She advises companies and entrepreneurs about corporate legal issues and governance but as a trust and estate practitioner Alejandra also advises about international estate planning and tax planification. Zach is partner of the Shanghai office and living in China since 2005. Zach is very experienced with helping non Chinese companies and entrepreneurs with setting up their business in China. In this interview, we will discuss the environment foreign investors are getting into if they are starting in Dubai vs China. What are the issues that they have to take into account? This becomes more clear and practical in our conversation as colleagues, each with our own expertise exchanging experience with each other.  Alejandra's email is: and Zach's is 
September 28, 2021
Mark Dekker - Dutch architect in China
This episode's guest is Mark Dekker, Dutch architect in Shanghai who has been in China for 9+ years. Mark represented several Dutch architect firms and as director Asia and partner of his current firm, Inbo he is leading the Shanghai office since 2015. Inbo is a multi-disciplinary design consultancy firm with over 200 experts in the field of urban planning, architecture, interior design and engineering and has been involved in many exciting projects all over China. In this interview Mark shares his view about the differences between working as an architect in the Netherlands and China (speed!), tells us about the projects Inbo has done in China and how it is to compete as a non-Chinese architect firm, how things has changed in the 9 years that he is in China, how he integrated the Inbo company culture and values in the Shanghai office, the talent that is available nowadays and so much more!  More information about Mark and Inbo's projects in China click here and you can contact Mark per e-mail 
September 23, 2021
Trademark registration in China - avoiding problems! With Emma Shen, PRC lawyer in Shanghai
We can not warn everyone enough that trademark registration in China is very important. In this episode my colleague Emma Shen, PRC lawyer and intellectual property rights expert will share her experience with you.  We discuss the following: the registration system in China which is based on a first-to-file basis which create opportunities for copycats so filing for registration as early as possible is key the importance of having a brand in Chinese and choosing the right classes the requirements for online selling through the relevant e-commerce platforms avoiding problems with customs, blocking competitors and being smarter than your business partners also in case of “only doing OEM” in China, trademark registration is extremely important some cases we have experienced over the years registration through WIPO Even if you are not dealing in China in any way, it can be very important to register your trademark because you also do not want someone using your brand on the Chinese market without your knowledge and permission. We saw that happening as well and the brand owner had to take legal steps to get its brand back! Registration costs a couple of hundreds USD but it can avoid problems that may costs you so much more! So dive in to learn more about the subject! You can always contact Emma or me to help you further
August 16, 2021
Lee du Ploy, therapist and artist in Hong Kong
You can find Lee du Ploy in the Sun Yat Sen Park every morning dealing with his elderly patients and later in Hollywood park where he does "psychotherapy" for younger people with anxiety issues. All for free. He will tell me why in this interview along with a lot of other stories. Lee has had many lives until now: born in South Africa, student in Paris, PhD in Amsterdam, married to a Dutch leading ballet dancer and having kids, running clinics in London where also the rich and famous came and now in Hong Kong, painting, writing books and helping people. Age is just a number but Lee is almost 80 and I am happy to tap into his wisdom. So listen to this interview (also to hear what "kufungisisa" is and what Joseph Wolpe was about...) to learn from this remarkable man.  More about Lee and his work: Instagram, Facebook, featured by galleries, interviews and articles 
August 12, 2021
Interview with Innocent Mutanga - founder of the Africa Center Hong Kong
Innocent Mutanga from Zimbabwe has had an amazing journey so far and he learned so many life lessons as a political activist in his home country, a homeless refugee in Hong Kong, a student anthropology at CUHK, an analyst at an investment bank and founder of the social enterprise Africa Center Hong Kong. Innocent's story should be shared as often as possible as it teaches us about the possibilities in life, what you can do if you are at the bottom of the society, why it is necessary to rebrand blackness and the human obligation to give back and share where you can.  If you are in Hong Kong, visit the Africa Center at 12/F, 21 Hillwood Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong and attend one of the many events like dancing, playing drums, discussions, networking meals, the book club and so much more! You can see the agenda on  
August 03, 2021
Importing from China - avoiding pitfalls as much as possible
The whole world imports products from China - not for nothing China is called "the world's factory". We (as China advisers) came across so many problems clients had to deal with over the years... unfortunately.. and this is even more pressing with the shortage of materials worldwide, the Covid situation and the rising transport prices.  My colleagues Diogo Garcês Reis and Vanessa Albuquerque discussed the importing pitfalls in another Equasia podcast "Negócio da China" but as that podcast is in Portuguese, I have asked them to come here to talk with me about import fraud and prevention of breach of contract (in English). A quick, practical and very relevant update for those who are not so experienced with importing from China yet and are eager to prevent problems as much as possible!  PS Diogo was already in episode 6 about his career as a professional boxer and lawyer in China and you can listen here
July 19, 2021
DBLA - Murk Muller, Dutch and German lawyer in Berlin
For this Dutch Business Lawyers Abroad episode, I am going to Berlin, Germany! All the members of DBLA are legal experts in the country where we are located but we are also from the Netherlands. We give companies, entrepreneurs and individuals who are not familiar with the local environment the help they need: often legal support but also practical advice about cultural differences or how things are done in that country. In this episode I am interviewing Murk Muller, who had to go to Berlin after the wall came down. Listen to this episode to hear how Murk ended up in Berlin while his initial plan was to go back to the US, why Murk thinks German clients are easier compared to Dutch clients, what he thinks about Angela Merkel and how DBLA started.    Murk's firm is and here is his email Thank you for listening!
June 30, 2021
Entrepreneur series - Jay Xie from Agency China
Jay Xie is a digital marketing veteran in Shanghai and Hangzhou who is helping European brands to start in China through his company Agency China. With an education in the Netherlands, he understands the mindset of European companies and is therefore able to guide them better in China. Listen to this interview where he shares valuable insights: - I have a very strong belief that especially in the nutrition, food and food supplements and beauty products from Europe have a lot more superior products that can still find great spaces to scale up in the China market - Forget about what you have obtained or achieved back in the outside world or your own ecosystem because all the game rules in China are so different - The target consumer has been changing over the time (…) from post 70’ and 80’ to the millennials, post ‘95 or the generation Z. They react differently to commercials. They are going to become the mainstream target audience and their behavior has a lot of common things such as liking more tailored services And also why foreign brands will remain popular in China, what the entry level for Western brands is in China to test the water, if Chinese consumers pay attention to the sustainability aspect of products and also his experience being an entrepreneur
June 18, 2021
Architect in Asia - Karma Barfungpa
I am honored to have found Mr. Karma Barfungpa willing to share his experience as an architect in Asia. As Asia has changed so much in the past two decades, I was wondering how that is like from an architectural point of view.  Karma has been working as an architect from Hong Kong on prestigious projects all over the world for almost 25 years now. He is a director at Arup, a multinational firm of designers, engineers and architects so he is the perfect guest with the right experience to tell us more about the developments in the past and the current status of the industry. Karma tells us also about the young talent out there, what is happening in China, how sustainability plays a role in his work, his view of European architecture and so much more. Conclusion: it is quite challenging in these times but hopefully in a promising way. So dive with me into this world and enjoy this interesting and inspiring interview with Karma. You can find Karma through Linkedin and Arup
June 09, 2021
Interview CJ Cheung - TV producer & host
Dutch born Chinese CJ Cheung is using his background to create TV shows in Hong Kong and the Netherlands where he informs one culture about the other one. So he made TV shows in Hong Kong about the Netherlands and he is about to launch a TV show series in the Netherlands where he is exploring what it means to be Chinese there.  After working for the Dutch TV for years as producer, presenter, editor and project manager for quite some big TV shows and productions (like De Wereld draait door), adventure brought him to Shanghai and Hong Kong where he discovers how it is to work in a Chinese environment. What insights did he get about himself and about cultural differences? How do you start a career in this industry? Listen to the interview to find out the answers!  See here, here and here for some YouTube clips of CJ's Cantonese show Orange Fuzz, Orange Fever on Facebook and CJ on IG.
June 04, 2021
Entrepreneurs series - the ladies of The Oh Collective
Four female professionals from all over the world and with Asian heritage became friends in Shanghai. While working hard on their corporate careers, they needed to remind themselves that they should also take time to take care of their own wellness. So an idea grew and they took the bold step to start their own entrepreneurial journey and succeeded to launch a daring product amidst Covid time: the vibrator, a product for women made by women just like you! I am so happy to introduce Diana Lin, Simona Xu, Eden Chiang and Winxi Kan and their story to you. In this interview they also tell me how women (and men!) in China think about sexual health and the Oh Collective products, what difficulties they had to overcome until now and so much more! I absolutely love their story and have so much respect for them so listen to this fun interview! You can find the Oh Collective on IG, WeChat and online.   
May 24, 2021
DBLA - Jan Willem de Haan
For this Dutch Business Lawyers Abroad episode, I am going to Barcelona in Spain! All the members of DBLA are legal experts in the country where we are located but we are also from the Netherlands. We give companies, entrepreneurs and individuals who are not familiar with the local environment the help they need: often legal support but also practical advice about cultural differences or how things are done in that country. In this episode I am interviewing Jan Willem de Haan, who became a Dutch and Spanish lawyer to accommodate the business relations between the Netherlands and Spain when Spain joined the European Union. Jan Willem has a very diverse practice where he advises non-Spanish companies with their business in Spain which is quite challenging due to the characteristics of the Spanish legal system. Jan Willem tells us all about it in this episode!  Jan Willem's firm is De Haan Abogados and his email is dehaan@dehaanabogados Thank you for listening!
May 12, 2021
Entrepreneurs series - Michele Bosch from Beconnected
Michele Bosch has been in China for 14 years now and she is managing Beconnected in Shanghai with the offices overseas in Bangladesh, India, Russia and Ethiopia. Beconnected is a textile trading business - a challenging industry! Michele must have been through a lot... I am thinking about changing legislation, decline in demand, relation with suppliers and customers but also the criticism the industry is facing. In this interview we talk about these subjects and Michele also informs us about the role sustainability is playing in the company. So lots of interesting topics: without further due the though lady with a warm heart, Michele Bosch!  Connect with Michele through Linkedin or email:
May 07, 2021
DBLA series - interview with Camila Borba Lefèvre, lawyer in Brazil
For this Dutch Business Lawyers Abroad episode, I am going to São Paulo in Brazil! All the members of DBLA are legal experts in the country where we are located but we are also from the Netherlands. We give companies, entrepreneurs and individuals who are not familiar with the local environment the help they need: often legal support but also practical advice about cultural differences or how things are done in that country. In this episode I have the pleasure to interview Camila Borba Lefèvre, who is originally Brazilian but she spend enough time in the Netherlands to learn fluent Dutch, study Dutch law and became a Dutch lawyer. In 2008 she returned to Brazil and qualified as a Brazilian lawyer. Now Camila has a busy legal practice helping mostly non-Brazilian clients to do business in Brazil, a very complicated country full of opportunities. Camila tells about the legal climate, the business of her clients, changes of Brazil in the last decade, the political environment and so much more! Such a fascinating country! Camila's firm is Vieira Rezende Advogados. Thank you for listening!
April 14, 2021
GDPR & PIPL - abbreviations that are super relevant for all that are dealing with data!
EU has its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) since 2016 and China issued the draft Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) - what do the 2 have in common? Which companies should take careful notice of this and how? In this episode I found my co-partner Zach Lichtblau in Shanghai and Mr. Ronnen Gaito in Luxembourg willing to discuss this heavy topic in a relatively light conversation. Ronnen explains how in the EU companies were affected in their daily management by the GDPR, what you should take into consideration with cross border transfers and how it was implemented and executed and Zach compares that with the expectations of the PIPL in China.  Ronnen's firm is RJ Gaito Law Firm and Zach's is Bonnard Lawson International Law Firm & Equasia. 
April 07, 2021
Entrepreneurs series - Bas Fransen, founder of EcoMatcher
After a corporate career with decades in Asia and involvement in big deals, Bas Fransen takes a big bold step by deciding to become a start-up entrepreneur. With his third start-up EcoMatcher, Bas combines all his experience with his passion to contribute to a better world by convincing companies to incorporate tree-planting in their organization. In this interview Bas tells about the ambition to plant 1 billion trees by 2023, the ups and downs he experienced and gives tips to those who are just starting their adventure.   Bas' book "Ideas to Fight the Climate Crisis: Sustainable Resolutions for a Business" can be found here and you can reach out to Bas by email  At the end of the interview, I asked Anja Ong, Ecomatcher's ambassador in Hong Kong to shortly explain what companies can do. You can reach out to Anja by email as well:
April 01, 2021
Entrepreneurs series - Interview with Michael G. Ehlert
Michael G. Ehlert is a true entrepreneur with all sorts of businesses in the financial industry. His companies are spread all over the world but have a special focus on Hong Kong. Michael will tell us all about his entrepreneurial journey and his latest passion project: the importance of intrapreneurs. Michael explains in our interview what it means to be an intrapreneur. We also discuss the difficulties entrepreneurs are facing when they are dealing with banks in Hong Kong. So loads of interesting information waiting for you in this interview!  You can find Michael's businesses on - -  -  -
March 24, 2021
Discussion on the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment
With two special guests, lawyer Raquel Garcia-Argudo Mendes in Spain and sinologist Valérie Hoeks in the Netherlands, I discuss the impact and the meaning of the controversial EU - China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. Listen to this episode to hear our different take on the agreement, how it is received in the countries where my guests are located, the political turmoil it has caused and so much more! We are also considering to have a discussion on Clubhouse about doing business in China to exchange views and experience. What do you think?  Contactinfo:  Valérie:  Raquel:
March 09, 2021
Interview with artist Marcel Heijnen
Artist Marcel Heijnen received a lot of publicity with his Chinese Whiskers series - photos of cats in traditional shops in Hong Kong, and mainland China. Reason enough to find out more! There was indeed more, a lot more actually. Marcel is graphic designer, musician, and photographer, he published multiple books in the Chinese Whiskers and the Residue series and had multiple solo exhibitions. He is originally from the Netherlands, lived in Singapore where he had a design studio and art café and is now living in Hong Kong. During this interview, I keep on discovering and learning from his attitude and mindset of being open to new experiences and his creative ways of dealing with challenges and seeing opportunities. So lean back and enjoy the interview! You can find more information about Marcel and his work and books here and he has an Instagram account Chinese whiskers with 34.500 followers so he is also a social media star! 
March 05, 2021
Entrepreneurs series - Godie van der Paal, founder of Kingdom of WoW in Cambodia
Starting a footwear brand with wool slippers in tropical Siem Reap, Cambodia... sounds like a challenge! Not only did Godie van de Paal succeed to do that with her slow fashion brand Kingdom of Wow but she also made sure that it is produced as responsible, sustainable and ethically as possible. In this interview Godie tells about the start phase 6 years ago after a life around the globe in different identities like teacher, policy officer light weapons, policy advisor re Afghanistan, Vice Consul Economic and Commercial Affairs in Shanghai, the choices she had to make and the lessons she learned along the way. Going with the flow in combination with believing in finding solutions to make it work: be inspired by the journey of this amazing entrepreneur!  You can find Kingdom of Wow here, on Instagram and Facebook and Godie on Linkedin. 
February 19, 2021
Interview with Oskar Valles, creator of the book "Dear Hong Kong" about diversity in Hong Kong with co-host Krystle Morris
Oskar Valles came to Hong Kong 9 years ago as a regional finance executive for a multinational corporation but then he changed his life in order to give back to the community. Together with Aggie Lam, he created the amazing art book "Dear Hong Kong" with 200 pages featuring inspiring people from different countries living in Hong Kong with beautiful pictures. Exactly what Hong Kong needs in these turbulent times and as a matter of fact, exactly what the world needs right now: a must have or at least a must read!  Together with my friend and colleague, Krystle Morris, originally from Columbia, we ask Oskar about the lessons learned from creating this piece of art and we discuss the importance of showing society the stories of people around them who at first seem unfamiliar. A perfect mindset to start the new Year of the Ox!  With special thanks to Nerice Gietel who is featured in the book and through whom I learned about this project!  You can get more info about "Dear Hong Kong" here.     
February 08, 2021
DBLA series - Interview with Selma Ören, lawyer in Turkey
For this Dutch Business Lawyers Abroad episode, I am going to Antalya in Turkey! All the members of DBLA are legal experts in the country where they are located but they are originally from the Netherlands. We give companies, entrepreneurs and individuals who are not familiar with the local environment the help they need. Often legal support but also sometimes referrals to reliable relations or practical advice about cultural differences or how things are done in that country. I am interviewing Selma Ören who has been in Turkey for over 20 years. Selma tells us about her early wish to leave the Netherlands and explore the world and how that led to her decision to start a law firm in Turkey. She also gives tips about the best way to deal with the business culture, gives a juicy anecdote and explains how covid-19 actually improved the legal system in Turkey. Also, did you know that the lockdown in Antalya is quite strict as people are not allowed to go outside during weekends and between 9 pm - 6 am weekdays? Hear all about it in this episode! Selma's firm is Ören Law Firm and she also writes a blog in English and a blog in Dutch. More podcast episodes on Choy's world.  Thank you for listening!
February 06, 2021
E-commerce and import&export: interview with Simon de Raadt
Simon de Raadt has been in China for over a decade and he became an expert in cross-border trade and logistics from and to China. This expertise also includes deep knowledge of e-commerce, the most relevant sales channel in China.  In this episode we talk about so many relevant topics: the impact of the pandemic on e-commerce, the Chinese eco system, the new VAT rules that will apply in the EU soon, the attitude of Chinese companies going to Europe and the other way around and so much more! Simon speaks often at events, is a podcast host of the China Business Cast, managing partner of MAiNS International and the VP Business Development Europe at HyperSKU. I know Simon quite a while now, cooperated on several occasions and became friends so I am happy to introduce you to Simon! Contact Simon through Linkedin, Instagram @simonderaadt and he is also on Youtube with HyperSKU.
January 28, 2021
Ask Choy anything - what would you tell your younger self?
Arpita Vyas (20), is doing an internship at our Equasia office right now and we often find ourselves exchanging our views about life and career choices. She, like most 20 year olds, can’t wait to get the answers of what life has in stock for her while also having feelings of uncertainty.  I almost forgot as a 45 year old how it felt like to be 20 something so our exchanges were so interesting! Arpita decided to gather some questions from her friends that they wanted to know the answers for, and I tried to answer them to the best of my humble knowledge!  If you are a young person, let me know if you have any other questions. And if you are a rather experienced person, let me know what is the advice you would give to your 20 year old self! Looking forward to reading the responses :) Arpita is a 3rd years student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Apart from her interest in the field of marketing and management, she has recently co-founded a silver jewelry business, Aroha (check out her website at:!
January 22, 2021
Sustainable investing - what does that mean?
Sustainable investing means ESG (= environmental, social and governance). ESG is a hot topic and with all the new realizations we gained due to the pandemic, ESG will become more and more important. This is a good thing as it is meant to assess and rank companies based on environmental, social and corporate governance indicators to select the better sustainable, responsible and ethical investment opportunities. So time to learn more about it! I have invited Mr. Tom Liu from GreenCo ESG Advisory Ltd in Hong Kong that consults listed companies about ESG regulations of the Hong Kong stock exchange, to tell us more about the topic.  Contact details Tom Liu:,, +852 2873 3612.
January 19, 2021
After the race - Joyce Bijl made it and happy to share with us how it was!
It was great to see the attention Joyce Bijl got for the podcast interview in December about her planned fundraising triathlon in Dubai. She was able to finish the race AND to raise an enormous amount for cancer research with the Flying Dutchman team that  was participating with the triathlon from all over the world. Listen to our talk to hear all about it!  Donating to Joyce's cause is still possible but that will end soon ( However, if you want to donate to cancer research, there are still great charities out there. An example is founded by Lianne Grootings Ritzen, someone who impressed and inspired us so much with her positive, strong mindset and the way she shared with the world what she was going through when she was dealing with her illness.   In loving memory of Lianne and my friend Jennifer C. IG: sparkleupyourmind.bylianne IG: joyce.bijl.9  
January 18, 2021
DBLA series - Interview with Marinus Vromans, lawyer in Belgium
For this Dutch Business Lawyers Abroad episode, I am going to Antwerp in Belgium! All the members of DBLA are legal experts in the country where they are located but they are originally from the Netherlands. We give companies, entrepreneurs and individuals who are not familiar with the local environment the help they need. Often legal support but also sometimes referrals to reliable relations or practical advice about cultural differences or how things are done in that country. I am interviewing Marinus Vromans who has been in Belgium for over 25 years. First in Brussels and nowadays in Antwerp. Marinus shares in this interview his rich experience and knowledge of Belgium, the Belgian business culture and the legal system there. He also tells about the pitfalls that are unforeseen by non-Belgians so a must-hear interview if you want to learn more about doing business in Belgium!  Marinus' firm is Sirius Legal and the firm's website is and you can contact Marinus by his email DBLA is
January 12, 2021
Entrepreneurs series - start-ups in Hong Kong
New year and new season! In this episode I have 3 brave entrepreneurs (all French!) in Hong Kong who just started their business. 1. Charles de la Portbarré from Monsieur Butterfly, with his amazing and beautiful products, works with a business structure that is designed to also contribute to the environment; 2. Christine Deschemin from Renewed Edge who launched the first self-hypnosis app in Asia, the UpNow app. Her purpose is to help people live a healthier, happier life and achieve peak performance.  3. Bastien Curry from BC Advisory who took advantage of new opportunities in the real estate industry, is sometimes the lucky and successful entrepreneur who sometimes suffers from lack of sleep. They share with me how they started and how it feels to be an entrepreneur. Listen and enjoy, also to hear about the great discounts from Monsieur Butterfly and Bastien. If you have missed it, you can always reach out to Charles, Bastien or myself directly! Christine will be happy to give away 3 annual subscriptions to the UpNow app to the first listeners who contact me directly. Contact details:  Monsieur Butterfly: and IG: @monsieurbutterflyofficiel  Christine Deschemin: and Linkedin: and Bastien Cuny & BC Advisory: and Linkedin:
January 08, 2021
Interview with Joyce Bijl - Dutch athlete in Dubai
Today I am going off topic for a very good reason: my good friend Joyce Bijl is going to do a fundraising triathlon (swim 3,8km, cycle 180 km and run (walk) 21,1 km) on 9 January 2021 as part of the Flying Dutchman Team to raise money for cancer research. In 2014 Joyce transformed herself as she was tired of being unfit by participating in the Oxfam Trailwalker (100 km run through the HK hills), stepping in the ring for a white collar boxing fight for a benefit gala and finishing a 6 day ultramarathon through the Sahara, the Marathon des Sables. Joyce was unstoppable until cancer hit her in 2018. She is grateful for the treatment she received which enabled her to start to recover and to slowly participate in the races again. Listen to her interesting story and donate to the cause with the following link: The Oxfam Trailwalker: Marathon des Sables: Joyce's contact: Linkedin - and IG - Mentioned book: Taming Tigers by Jim Lawless More info about the leading athlete Maarten van der Weijden:  IG of the Flying Dutchman: the_flying_dutchman_team
December 21, 2020
Interview with Jay Thornhill from Baopals - giving access to online shopping in China for foreigners
Jay Thornhill is a real example of a success story of a foreigner making it in China as he is one of the 3 co-founders of Baopals, a website for English speaking consumers in China to access Taobao, Tmall and JD. What started as an entrepreneurial adventure between three friends living in the same building, Jay, together with Charlie Erickson and Tyler McNew managed to build a profitable company within a year with no funding and no experience in ecommerce and it’s still growing more than 4 years later. Baopals has often appeared in international news as an example of a successful company with foreign owners, and I read somewhere that over 250 million RMB of merchandise value has been sold through the platform. Baopals even has their own Wiki page!  You can find Baopals on and on WeChat and Jay on Linkedin: and by email:;
December 17, 2020
Entrepreneurs series - Interview with Chris Brown and Tiffany Liang from ReThink HK
It is clear that we have to change the way we live our lives in order to stop how we are damaging the planet. That change can not happen soon enough and the impact should be as big as possible.  My today's guest, Chris Brown wanted to contribute to that change. So 18 months ago, he started ReThink HK and he worked relentlessly on creating the launch of the Sustainable Business Forum & Solutions Expo in Hong Kong. Despite the difficult circumstances caused by Covid19, the expo was a huge success with over 800+ visitors live and online back which took place in October 2020. And now Chris is already busy together with his colleague, Tiffany Liang, a fresh graduate from HKUST with an Environmental, Management & Technology degree and other team members to create next year's event. In this interview I am talking to Chris and Tiffany about their drive to contribute to a better and greener Hong Kong, why this is so necessary and how Chris journey as an entrepreneur started.  You can find ReThink HK: Website: IG: Linkedin: Facebook:
December 11, 2020
DBLA series - Interview with Lodewijk Schlingemann in Russia
For this Dutch Business Lawyers Abroad episode, I am going to Moscow! All the members of DBLA are legal experts in the country where they are located but they are originally from the Netherlands. We give companies, entrepreneurs and individuals who are not familiar with the local environment the help they need. Often legal support but also sometimes referrals to reliable relations or practical advice about cultural differences or how things are done in that country. I am interviewing Lodewijk Schlingemann who has been in Russia for two decades. I will ask Lodewijk to tell us more about his legal practice in Moscow and the Russian (business) culture and ask him about juicy anecdotes or shocking stories and check with him how the atmosphere currently is in this part of the world. Lodewijk''s firm is Juralink and the firm's website is and you can contact Lodewijk by his email
December 07, 2020
Interview with Gerard Morada about cybercrime, email scams, hacking and digital fraud
In the past decade, we handled quite a few cybercrime cases where the culprits aim to establish fraudulent fund transfers. They usually succeed by hacking email accounts, taking over the email correspondence without the parties’ knowledge and give instruction to pay the funds to a bank account that is controlled by the criminals themselves. If the scam is discovered at an early stage and the funds are transferred to a bank account in Hong Kong (also happens if the case has further nothing to do with HK), it is key to immediately inform the local police. Together with the bank, the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit can freeze the bank account and try to retrace the funds (but in many cases, the money is already gone…). The victim should also inform the police at their place of business, the involved banks, the party on the other side, do their own (IT) investigation if possible and stop using the hacked email accounts. Please be warned that these scammers work very diligently: they take over the email correspondence for quite a while, call the victim and impersonate an existing person with an unsuspicious telephone number displayed, pretend to be a bank associate who helps with a (real) software update, convince the victim by using details only known by the inner circle, produce fake invoices and so on. They also have the most advanced equipment and published information show that the number of cases are rising unfortunately which means that these scammers have access to more funds to finance their activities. For this podcast I invited Mr. Gerard Morada to share his experience as a criminal law litigator in these kind of email scam cases. As a Hong Kong lawyer he was able to retrieve some funds recently for a mutual client. We also talk about the variations, the prevention and the way to handle if the victim finds out about the fraud in the hope to warn as many people as possible. You can find Gerard Morada on his firm's website:
December 01, 2020
Entrepreneurs series - Interview Ron Oren, founder of Trips@Asia
Ron Oren is the founder and CEO of Trips@Asia, a travel company with more than 20 years of experience in creating private and custom made adventure tours in Asia for small groups and individuals. Always when we receive emails from Ron as he is a client of Equasia, we dream away about the destinations mentioned in his email signature: Mongolia, Bhutan, Vietnam, Japan, Siberia, etc.  Of course the pandemic hit Ron hard as so many countries closed their borders. From his office in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Ron tells me how he started his travel business, what he did when he received the Covid news, what kind of an entrepreneur he is, how he sees the future now that the pandemic will make things much harder and so much more.  You can find information about at and on IG, FB and Twitter. Feel free to email Ron at
November 20, 2020
DBLA series - Interview with Carl van der Zandt in the US
This is the second Dutch Business Lawyers Abroad episode and in this one, I am going to New York!  Carl van der Zandt has been in the States for 19 years so he is the perfect guide to tell us about the business climate in America with an European view. He tells me why he moved to New York, if he would consider to live in California, how litigation works and how American lawyers can behave during legal procedures, what kind of cultural and business differences his clients are facing, why companies should chose a certain location in the States and so much more! We all have a certain impression of America so it is interesting to hear the story from an insider who can be trusted… Enjoy and thank you for listening! You can contact Carl through and his email: Carl's firm is Wuersch & Gering and the firm's website is  DBLA's website is www.
November 12, 2020
Entrepreneurs series - Ron Efron
Today's guest is Ron Efron who is born as an entrepreneur with a vision. After starting businesses in Israel, he decided in the late nineties that China is the next place to be so he jumped on a plane and started his next entrepreneurial adventure. Ron mastered Chinese and after being active in various industries, he became an expert in providing corporate security solutions to companies across Asia. Ron shares his fascinating journey as an entrepreneur in China over the years and how he continues to develop himself and he tells more about his current company Bluocean Security and the future which may be in Singapore. You can find Ron's company on, Ron on Linkedin - and the podcast is called "Security Asia Podcast".  Enjoy!
November 09, 2020
Start-ups in Hong Kong
3 Different entrepreneurs in Hong Kong who just started their business. The 3 of them work in different industries, are in different stages of their entrepreneurial careers and come from very different backgrounds but they do have one thing in common. They all started their businesses from scratch with a new view of servicing the needs of a society which is not the one they grew up in. They came up with a creative idea and started to work on the launch. So admirable! In the one-on-one interviews, I get the chance to ask Ruben de Bie, Madelon van de Ven and Camille Faylona about their business.  One of Ruben's businesses, Grass - infused water can be found at (also on FB and IG). Ruben mentions the following books: Capital from Thomas Piketty and the Dutch book Fantoomgroei from Hendrik Noten and Sander Heijne; Madelon is founder of PLNTY which you can find  on (also on IG);  Camille Faylona is founder of Campfire Crates and the products can be found on  She also mentions the Founder Institute ( You can also find them on Linkedin.
October 21, 2020
DBLA Series - Poland - doing business in Poland: interview with Remco van der Kroft
Today we are going to Poland for an interview with Dutch lawyer, Remco van der Kroft. Like me, Remco is part of the Dutch Business Lawyers Abroad Association and he is an expert when it comes to helping non-Polish companies navigate in Poland. Curious about doing business in this part of the world, then listen to this episode!  You can find Remco van der Kroft on Linkedin: and his firm's website  You can find more information about DBLA on 
October 09, 2020
Interview with Pascal Coppens - author, keynote speaker, sinologist and technology entrepreneur
Pascal Coppens is the author of the book "China's new normal - how China sets the standard for innovation". Pascal tells me in this interview why he wrote this book, gives examples of innovation and technology development in China, why he became a sinologist in controversial times and how he sees China's position and reputation in today's world. Interesting, familiar but also new views on complicated China!  You can contact Pascal through where you can also buy his book.
September 23, 2020
Entrepreneurs stories - Gerd Lindemann
Gerd Lindemann is the owner of Holtrop & Jansma B.V. established in 1960 and currently the largest specialist for advanced industrial air purification in the Netherlands. Gerd, originally from Austria who moved to the Netherlands for love, took over in 1996 and was able to take the company to the next level by obtaining ISO and other certifications and starting a company in China in 2006. It is important for Gerd that his company is contributing to a cleaner environment. Gerd shares with us how he became an entrepreneur, how he gets his strategy ideas, what difficulties he faced in the 25 years that he has been an entrepreneur and specifically how his China business took off. Gerd's company: and linkedin profile:  
September 08, 2020
Increasing sales in challenging times - Interview with sales expert Katharina Darisse
With the ongoing pandemic, many are facing challenging times: dropped sales, unemployment and limited business development opportunities. But ... it is also an opportunity to step up and reorganize yourself and your business: find new ways and invest in your organization and your talents. In this episode I discuss these challenges with someone who is completely focused on training people how to increase sales and improve customer services. What can we do right now during the Covid? What is the secret behind improving the numbers of your business and so on. My guest of today knows all about it! Katharina Darisse holds a Business Management Degree and has been in sales for over 15 years. She worked in a variety of sales and business development roles for the luxury hospitality industry such as the Ritz-Carlton hotel company in Beijing, Toronto and Shanghai. In 2017 she started her own company with the name that says it all: The Skill Shop. With her company, Kat offers learning experience around sales and consults clients on sales related projects. In these challenging times, Katharina has spent the last months on creating virtual workshops and customized online learning programs to help her clients to up-skill their teams. You can reach out to Kat through her website and Linkedin Enjoy this show! 
August 31, 2020
Interview with Stuart Gietel - Basten - Professor of Social Science and Public Policy at HKUST
The work of Stuart Gietel - Basten, Professor of Social Science and Public Policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,  is focused on population and policy issues in Asia with a special attention to low fertility and population ageing. He has received several research grants to study demographic change and public policy (like fertility preferences in Beijing and Taipei).  It is very interesting to hear his story of how he became a scholar, to learn more about the influence of culture on population composition and refreshing to talk with someone whose conclusions are based on data in this time of biased news reporting.  Stuart is very active and passionate on Twitter - Information about his books ("Why demography matters" and "The population problem in Pacific Asia") can be found on Amazon (for discounts, you can contact Stuart directly). 
August 19, 2020
Closing down operations in China - not so fast!
In this podcast Hugo Muller, co-owner of Equasia and I address what some entrepreneurs are unfortunately facing right now during the pandemic: should they close down their business in China? What should they take into consideration and what hurdles would they face if they decide to do so? Find out what Hugo has to say about it in this recording.  Should you have a more specific question related to your situation, please reach out and we can advise you further or even address it in the podcast.  Find us on and  
August 05, 2020
The legal representative
Chinese limited liability companies need to appoint a legal representative. In this podcast I will tell you that why this is the most important position of the company and what you should do to optimize a healthy environment in this respect.  Please let me know topics and questions you would like me to address in a podcast episode! I would really like to talk about something that you would like to know more about. You can reach me through and Linkedin.  Thank you so much for listening! Choy Yiu Chan
July 17, 2020
Entrepreneurs stories - Long Au
Today's guest is my friend and client Long Au. Long's family escaped Vietnam in 1979 as boat refugees when he was just a baby. Now in his early 40's, he is a successful entrepreneur who started his business in the automotive industry in Qinhuangdao, Hebei. After 10 years, he sold his shares, started new ventures and moved back to Canada with his family (he is married to my long time friend Alina). His China adventure is still not over as he is going to start a new project again in Tianjin. Always traveling, always super alert and energetic, always focused: I am curious to learn from Long how he managed to build his business and what mentality you need to succeed.  Would be happy to receive your comment, feedback or questions! You can reach me through or on Linkedin.  Thank you so much for listening! Choy Yiu Chan
July 03, 2020
The future of Hong Kong
Hi everyone,  In this podcast I will talk about Hong Kong and its future. A lot has happened in the past year here and people ask me what to expect. I discussed this with 3 people separately who were born and raised here: Andrew Tsang is a young lawyer, Jackson Lam is a serial entrepreneur with a daughter and Suki Ng is currently studying in London. How do they see the future in Hong Kong and will that influence their decision to stay in Hong Kong? Listen to find out more! You can always contact me through or Thank you for listening and also grateful if you leave me any comments or remarks.  Choy Yiu Chan
June 18, 2020
Entrepreneur stories - Valérie Hoeks
In the entrepreneurs series, my today's guest is Valérie Hoeks. Valérie and I go way back as we met in Shanghai in 2006. Fast forwarding to 2020 where Valérie is a seasoned sinologist with 20+ years experience, helping her clients with their China strategy through her company, China Inroads. I find Valérie very inspiring because she is passionate, knowledgeable and adventurous with so much respect for people and the Chinese culture. So I want to share her wisdom as entrepreneur and as person with as many people as possible. I hope you enjoy the interview!  You can connect with Valérie through or and her company website is  You can connect with me through or FollowChoy on Facebook. Thank you so much for listening!  Choy Yiu Chan Disclaimer Please note that the information in this show is to share general information and can not be considered as professional advice
June 16, 2020
Reasons to set up an entity in China
Hi everyone! Welcome to my show. In this episode I will talk about reasons to set up a company in China. Incorporating a company in China is not easily done so the process should only be started for the right reasons. Listen for my take on this.  You can always reach out to me if you have any questions!
June 09, 2020
Entrepreneurs stories - Samson Ngov
In the entrepreneurs series, my next guest is Samson Ngov. French architect and now an entrepreneur who is working relentlessly on his invention Onigiri with the aim to help families live a better and healthier life. As the launch of Onigiri will be this year, I am witnessing Samson working non stop on his passion project. We talk about what we can expect from Onigiri and how Samson targets his goals which enables him to be part of exciting projects in different countries in Asia. Samson also gives the listeners of the podcast discount on Onigiri! From 1 June to 1 August, you can get a pre-sale discount of 30% on your first Onigiri on with the coupon code “Choypodcast”. You can reach out to Samson through Linkedin - You can listen to our interview on Anchor: Apple podcast: Spotify: Google podcast: Breaker: Pocket Casts: Radio Public: Disclaimer Please note that the information in this show is to share general information and can not be considered as professional advice
June 02, 2020
Interview with Diogo Garces Reis - professional boxer and lawyer in China
One of my goals with the podcast is to connect, share and inspire and with this interview with my amazing colleague Diogo Garcês Reis I nailed it. Look, listen and learn from him. What seems impossible is possible as Diogo is a Portuguese lawyer and a professional boxer in China. We talk about his boxing experience in Portugal and China in combination with his work as a lawyer and his upbringing and values.  You can connect with Diogo on IG: @diogogarcesreis and linked in Thank you for listening and I would be happy to receive your comments, remarks and/or questions! Contact me:  
May 29, 2020
Hiring staff in China
Episode 5 is online! In this podcast I inform you about the employment agreement in China - what are the things to pay attention to when you are hiring staff. You can listen on Anchor: Spotify: Google podcast: Breaker: Pocket Casts: Radio Public: Thank you for listening and you can always reach out to me if you have any labour issues in China.  Disclaimer Please note that the information in this show is to share general information and can not be considered as professional advice
May 28, 2020
Covid19 around the world
Messages from friends over the world with an update how Covid19 affected their lives.  With thanks to: Carl van der Zandt in New York, US  Simon de Raadt in Shanghai, China Camila Borba Lefèvre in São Paulo, Brazil Cengiz Orhan in Bali, Indonesia Hui Cai, Singapore Hao Lin in Melbourne, Australia Krystle Morris in Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR Mike in Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR Elenita Schotborg, in Belgium  Stay safe and stay healthy!
May 25, 2020
Entrepreneur stories - Jaap Pees
Hello everyone!  Today’s guest is Dutch entrepreneur Jaap Pees. Although Jaap is relatively young, he is experienced in different industries. He imports fruit into China and he is an oil broker in Rotterdam. I will talk to him about his life while living between the Netherlands and China, cultural differences and his experiences as an entrepreneur.  Inspiring books and people Jaap mentions: Brian Tracy - Wim Hof - David Goggins - Can't hurt me: master your mind and defy the odds  Hal Elrod - The miracle morning Erik Bertrand Larssen - Hell week: seven days to be your best self Napoleon Hill - Think & grow rich For more information about Jaap:   For more information about me and my organizations:, and  Disclaimer  Please note that the information in this show is to share general information and can not be considered as professional advice
May 22, 2020
The do's and dont's of doing business in China
Hello everyone!  In this podcast I give you 5 do's and don'ts of doing business in China. I hope you apply them because it is better to prevent problems then to have to solve them..   I realize that tip 1 (traveling to China) is not possible at the moment as China closed its borders for foreigners due to Covid19 and it is uncertain how long this situation will last. Instead, you can make use of the opportunity to build through online channels or engage people in China who you trust to check for you. Stay safe and healthy!    If you like the podcast, leave a review and subscribe please! You can also always reach out to me.   You can contact me through Please see our websites of my 2 organizations: 1. - the law firm (Shanghai) and 2. - the corporate advisory firm (Hong Kong and Shanghai). For more information about me you can check out  Disclaimer  Please note that the information in this show is to share general information and can not be considered as professional advice. 
May 21, 2020
Trailer - introduction
Hi everyone! Welcome to my podcast! Happy that you are listening to me! This is the show’s trailer so let me introduce here who I am and what the show will be about. I am Choy Yiu Chan, a business advisor in Asia. In this podcast I want to give you tips about doing business in Asia and specifically China. My intention is to share, connect and learn together. My expertise is based on being educated and working as a lawyer for a big law firm in the Netherlands. After a couple of years, I needed a transformation and when I was in Shanghai for the first time,  I felt the buzz of the city screaming for me to come back.  So in 2006 I packed my stuff and quit my job to move to Shanghai without knowing anyone there. It resulted in a stay of 10+ years! I teamed up with my business partners and now as the Equasia Group we have offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong where we advise our clients about their business in Asia. I will interview entrepreneurs, experts and advisors I know so we can share experience and connect with each other to benefit together. So if you want to know more about doing business and in particular doing business in Asia with a focus on China, you came to the right channel! Disclaimer Please note that the information in this show is to share general information and can not be considered as professional advice. More info Please see our website and for more information about my organizations. For more information about me check out and @choyyiu
May 18, 2020