Since the founding of SinaLingua in the year 2000 a lot has happened. Over the years, we are proud to look back to constant growth, together with our clients and partners. But – how did it start, after all? Where do we come from? How did we grow? How have we changed?
The flourishing rice field (2000-2004)
“In the beginning there was China” – at least for SinaLingua. We started out as China experts of cross-cultural trainings and Chinese language classes. Mrs. Zuhui Mao, herself coming from Shanghai, founded our company after having gained cross-cultural experience in the fields of management consulting and import-export business. In the year 2000 a small team, by developing a concept for trainings and conducting the first trainings, started working our rice field. Soon our seed started growing when we made connection to our first big client, and our rice field extended across all German-speaking countries. But also our projects from the fields of culture and business were flourishing at an early stage: Together with organisations specialising in vocational training, such as the International Federation (IF), we have organised courses at colleges in China, where Chinese students and apprentices were taught according to the dual system of vocational education, which also included teaching the German language. The rice field of our early years kept growing, and soon it brought rich harvests and exotic fruit.
From sushi to saffron
In the year 2005, by a particularly huge project – the German Culture Week in Shanghai – we debuted as organizers of cultural events. In 2005 the prelude was the “German Culture Week” which we organised in cooperation with the Shanghai Concert Hall and the Shanghai Grand Theatre – the first event of its kind in China. More than 200 musicians, among them the NDR Big Band, the Heidelberg Bach Choir, the Munich Bach Solo Artists, as well as a Bavarian brass band entertained a fascinated audience. Furthermore, as a first release in China, we presented the silent movie classic “Metropolis”, musically accompanied by the German Philharmonic Orchestra Rhineland-Palatinate.
Of course also the field of our trainings expanded. Starting out from our core competence, China, we extended our competence on other countries in Asia. No matter if the participants in our trainings will rather eat Japanese sushi or Indian saffron, they all will be professionally prepared for the professional challenges waiting for them.
Our rice field kept growing, also by new concepts such as cross-cultural team building, general cultural awareness or “Living and Working in Germany”, which way we extended our international taste. At the same time in 2005 we were planting a new seed in China, by founding a branch in Shanghai. Since 2006 our affiliated company De Han Ling (SinaLingua) Cultural Exchange & Consulting Co., Ltd. has been successfully offering our services also in the field of professional management training in China. We are also at home in the field of investment projects in China. Our exclusive partnership with Jiaxing Industrial Park near Shanghai since 2008 demonstrates our competence and experience in the Chinese business – as well as the trust our business partners have in us.
Worldwide growth (since 2010)
Also in the future we will keep our business philosophy of mediating between cultures and supporting understanding between East and West. Doubtlessly, one of our most recent projects since 2010 has been our official cooperation with the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. As an exclusive provider for the EXPO we developed a cross-cultural further education platform for several thousands of staff members, conducting cross-cultural trainings there, in order of preparing for dealing with guests from all over the world.
One of our highlights in Germany was Asia Day in June, 2010, on which occasion we celebrated our 10th anniversary. Additionally there were 15 workshops where expert lecturers gave extensive insights into the many facets of Asia, lecturing on topical fields such as economy, law as well as cross-cultural matters and languages. Furthermore, specialist media and Asia services providers presented their products. And as people in China do not only like working well but also know how to celebrate well, there was also an appropriate artistic framework programme including a large Asian buffet. The result was an event which was both a physical and spiritual joy.
In the early 1980s the one-child-policy was introduced in China. At the same time the country opened up towards a “market economy with Chinese features”. Today´s junior management knows only this China. Today´s little emperors and empresses do not know the Great Leap Forward or the years of the Cultural Revolution which were a period of hardship and suffering for many. Quite contrary to the senior management, who have been culturally influenced in a completely different way. By a study we analyse what this tension area means for getting along with each other at a company, but also for communication with partners from the West European culture. Today these insights are a crucial element of our trainings.
Also our training business has been constantly growing. We have extended our country-trainings by including all core regions, and meanwhile we have become able to sustainably and cross-culturally serve our clients also locally, in Singapore, India, Russia, Brazil, the Czech Republic and the USA. New special workshops from all fields of management, such as talent management and virtual teamwork, complete our offer.
Over all the years we have not forgot about our roots, just as about our clients and business partners, to whom we express our thanks here! Also in the future we will be on hand with help and advice for them.