Archive for the ‘ETP in the Press’ Category

Dublin Chinese New Year Festival

February 8th, 2013 No comments

ETP is very proud to support the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival!

Some really fantastic events lined up, from a Film Festival to the Taste of China (with contributions from

Wish we could be there to enjoy the festivities, but happy to be able to help out from afar. If you’re in Dublin, be sure to check it out!

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PWC Family Business Survey

January 19th, 2013 No comments

Take a few minutes and have a read of the PWC Family Business Survey, an in-depth look at the trials and triumphs, challenges and successes of family and home-grown businesses that keep our economies ticking.

Decision-making is very different when it’s your own money that’s at stake, and as a result family firms tend to have a long-term commitment to jobs and local communities, which gives a significant but often under-rated stability to national economies.

This survey covers a wide array of subjects and areas of business, from the measure of which family businesses drive new products and ideas, to the role government can and should play a greater role in supporting them.

These businesses are making a substantial but under-valued contribution to stability and growth, and we believe governments could do more to offer the sort of targeted support that would make a significant difference.

The report also draws attention to the support structures available, and where often such support is inadequate for smaller businesses. On that note, ETP - our own grassroots company formed to offer SMEs the type of support in Asia often only available to larger firms – gets a mention.

In other markets there is almost no help for family businesses, and in some cases support systems exist, but are under-used, or inadequately publicised. An obvious conclusion to draw here is that family firms need to take responsibility for ensuring that they do their own homework, and make the maximum use of all the resources that are available. An example would be Enter the Panda, which is an Anglo-Irish company based in Beijing, which helps small firms start doing business in China and Asia Pacific.

Whether you are starting a new business, running a successful company, or struggling in this economic climate, this survey is worth a few minutes of your time to draw some perspective on where family businesses and SMEs fit into the world of business, and what we can all do to improve our bottom lines.

Happy reading, and wishing you and your business all the best in 2013.

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Irish Trade and Investment Mission to China

March 28th, 2012 No comments

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the breakfast for the Irish Trade and Investment Mission to China. Hosted by Enterprise Ireland, there were some really poignant speeches from An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton.

Afterwards, I also briefly visited the Tourism Ireland lunch, which was in great attendance by many locals.

It’s clear that there’s a real drive back home to make trade with China a priority, and hopefully this visit from An Taoiseach and the recent visit to Ireland by China Vice-President Xi Jinping are the first real steps towards it.

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Enter the Panda is proud to support the 20th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Irish Ball, Beijing 2012

March 16th, 2012 No comments

This year marked the 20th Anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day Irish Ball in Beijing. With the luck of the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day this year landed on a Saturday, so around about the time everyone back home was lining Dame Street for the parade, we were all dolled up for an event that raises tens of thousands of Yuan for great causes each year.

As well as supporting the Beijing GAA and Beijing Celtics clubs, this year the Irish Ball raised money for two fanastic local charities, Jinde and Care for Children. With over 740 guests at this sold out black (and green) tie event and some incredibly generous silent auction prizes from our world sponsors and friends in Ireland, we have raised a record amount this year and shown the world the charity and goodwill the Irish are famous for.

Enter the Panda is really thrilled to have taken part in this event as a Supporting Sponsor, offering our services for the design and sourcing of all the digital and print material, as well as logistical on the ground support.

Entertainment on the night included live bands flown in from Ireland, traditional Irish Céilí dancers and a local cover band. Special thanks also to our guest of honour, the Irish Ambassador to China Declan Kelleher.

Take a look at a pics of the night below and please be sure to visit the charities linked above.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, or as we say over here 爱尔兰国庆节快乐!

Read more…

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The Irish Times – Business News – December 2011

December 28th, 2011 No comments

The following is an article that was on the back cover of the Irish Times Business News Section, Friday December 23rd 2011. It was interviewed and written by Joanne Hunt. To view the full article on the Irish times website, click here.

Shane O’Neill – Co-founder, Enter the Panda, Beijing

As seen in the Irish Times

“I WAS so sure I’d be back, I didn’t even visit the Great Wall,” says entrepreneur Shane O’Neill of his first visit to China in 2006.

Now a Beijing resident for more than five years and co-founder of Enter the Panda, a company that assists Irish and British SMEs doing business in China, the Dubliner says it was the country’s sense of scale and possibility that drew him in.

“I arrived in Beijing before the Olympics and there was massive development and great hype in the city. It reminded me of Ireland at the start of the boom, but on a much bigger scale,” he recalls.

“I just fell in love with the city and the idea of working here, so I came over and started studying Mandarin.”

Training in film in Ballyfermot College of Further Education, followed by a Fás course in new media and design, had led O’Neill to set up as a freelance web designer and strategist in Dublin. While business was good, he felt the work had become repetitive and so, aged 25, decided to take on a new challenge. Moving to China and learning Mandarin was just that. Read more…

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China Daily European Weekly – Cover Story – December 2011

December 20th, 2011 No comments

The following is an excerpt from a China Daily European Weekly cover story entitled “Little to Cheer About”. It deals with the effects of the economic downturn on consumers, retailers and Chinese suppliers. David Bartram of China Daily spoke with Enter the Panda about our experiences on the ground here in China. To read the full article click here.

“There has certainly been a notable tightening of the purse strings this past year,” says Shane O’Neill, co-founder of Enter the Panda, a company that helps connect overseas businesses with Chinese manufacturers. “But from the retailers, distributors and small business owners we’ve dealt with, their focus has been on cutting costs without reducing the overall quality of their products.”

This will come as welcome news to Europe’s consumers this Christmas. One way consumers are looking to save is by doing their Christmas shopping online. In Ireland, 82 percent of shoppers will do at least some of their Christmas shopping online this year, spending an average of 155 euros ($205) each, according to research by Visa Europe.

“China has always provided online retailers with opportunities to undercut the bulk distributors,” O’Neill says. “To add a competitive edge, some online retailers now want to deal directly with factories in China. This gives them access to an infinite range of goods and services that allow them to develop new and exciting products for their home market.”

As well as online retailers, the economic slowdown this Christmas offers low-budget retailers in Europe an opportunity. High streets across the continent are seeing an increasing number of low-budget stores appear, and many source a lot of their goods from China.

Read more…

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A Christmas Greeting from ETP in China

December 20th, 2011 2 comments

Can’t view the YouTube video above? Try the Tudou video below! Read more…

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Settling Magazine – “Into the Unknown” – October 2011

November 10th, 2011 No comments

The following is an article we wrote for Shanghai’s Settling Magazine about our experiences launching ETP in China. It was published in October 2011 and covered three pages of their ‘City Business Focus’ section.

Into the Unknown – Finding Our Feet in Beijing

Starting a new business anywhere is tough. Having the idea and motivation to get started is a big step, but as anyone who has attempted it will tell you, it takes time, persistence, stress and often luck. Starting a small business in China takes something else entirely.

Settling Magazine - Into the Unknown - Page 1

Settling Magazine - Into the Unknown - Page 1

On Our Own

Coming from Ireland – though hardly a ‘nanny state’ – it’s fair to say I was coddled as I took my first steps into the world of business. Particularly during the boom years – before the Celtic Tiger became known as the Celtic Kitten – there were excellent tax incentives for small business owners and banks were ready and willing (perhaps overenthusiastically in hindsight) to offer loans to entrepreneurs. Today, fabulous organizations such as Enterprise Ireland still exist, helping young businesses network and develop trade and commerce.

I’m not sure what lessons learned in Ireland could have prepared me for trying to launch a business in Beijing. Certainly as a foreigner in this great city, there is no available support, no obvious guidelines and no clear information about setting up your business. You really have to dive in, head first and blindfolded, and figure out each problem as it hits you in the face.

Read more…

China Daily – Cover Story – August 2011

August 29th, 2011 No comments
China Daily

China Daily - Cover Story - August 2011

The following is an excerpt from a China Daily cover story about Entrepreneurs, written by David Bartram. To view a cropped version of the original article, click the image to the right.

An understanding of the local business environment is often what is lacking from young entrepreneurs and SMEs who want to do business with China rarely have an idea where to start.

In 2007, Dave White and Shane O’Neill, a British engineer and an Irish designer respectively, spotted an opportunity to create a business that offers help to these very people.

“I met Shane and we got into a discussion about the problems foreign companies have when they come to China to do business,” White says. “We found that especially those companies on a limited budget weren’t being offered much support, particularly from the Chinese government side. “While the EU Chamber of Commerce offers a helpdesk, we found there were limits with what they could help people with. We decided we could help by actually representing foreign businesses ourselves.” Read more…

CBB Focus – Featured Column – June 2011

June 27th, 2011 No comments

The following is an excerpt from a featured column in CBB FOCUS. You can view an image of the original piece below.

Enter the Panda Ltd. is a collaboration between a British engineer and an Irish designer. Our concept for ETP was born in 2007 when a discussion about solving the challenges faced by small businesses in China led to the realization of natural crossovers between our two disparate industries.

The idea to combine our business and project management skills towards a common purpose came from an understanding that Western SME’s need trusted respresentation here in China at affordable prices.

This representation includes design and branding, research and development and quality management without clients having to shift focus away from their day-to-day and core business activities.

Travelling to China to check an order or to manage product development is time-consuming, expensive, and, without local knowledge, often fruitless. In the UK, Ireland and Europe, development services are very costly, so having them managed overseas with easy access to other supportive services makes financial and logistical sense for the typical Western SME.

For us the highs are simple – the satisfaction of helping reaslise a client’s concept an dmanifesting it to a finished product they are entirely happy with. The lows are the pace at which SMEs are getting the support they truly need to grow and develop.

After all, the major influences in technology, social and lifestyle innovations of the recent past have stemmed from SMEs. They are an invaluable resource that should be nurtured and not underestimated.


CBB Focus - Featured Column - June 2011

CBB Focus - Featured Column - June 2011