I live in Singapore, but I also love spending time in Hong Kong and Shanghai. My business is global, but my fastest growing market is China and Hong Kong. I have found that people I visit and know tend to love one city over the others.
On a recent trip to Hong Kong and then Shanghai, I met with several entrepreneurs, clients, partners and business associates who all expressed a preference for Hong Kong or Shanghai – even to the extent of never ever even considering Singapore.
To me, Singapore seems like the business natural hub of Asia. They, on the other hand, viewed Singapore is the way that I view KL or Jakarta: Nice to visit occasionally, but not live and work.
I also see Hong Kong and Shanghai in that context too: Great for business, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Everyone has a personal choice for business.
So which one should you choose? Let’s look at various factors that entrepreneurs should look at when deciding where to place their hub in Asia Pacific.
If you can’t get high speed internet in the largest commercial city in the largest country in the world, imagine what it’s like for people in other giant cities in China
I was in Shanghai and Beijing for a week recently and what holds these two locations back for me are two things 1) the internet speed and 2) reliability.
Everyone I meet in Shanghai, for example, complains about the internet speed with or without VPN. The internet is the biggest thing that holds China back.
If you can’t get high speed internet in the largest commercial city in the largest country in the world, imagine what it’s like for people in other giant cities in China. It is the biggest factor against putting your business here.
There is only so much that you can use WeChat for. The internet is still essential for everything from research to email and communications. Without it and with it at such a slow rate your productivity and ability to do any kind of white collar job is effectively decreased.