Shanghai preview


Most expat managers need a strong support network in Shanghai - local partners to teach you the ins and outs of an alien culture; old industry hands to help you navigate an unfamiliar marketplace; or friends whose shoulders you will need to cry on if your plans go awry.

However, for an expatriate manager who has just landed in a foreign country, assembling your support structure can also be one of the hardest challenges you will face. Thankfully, there are many ways to network in Shanghai. You won’t have any problem finding an event to go any day of the week. The need of guanxi has become almost an obsession for local and foreign businessman alike. But don’t confuse this concept with the notion of networking, since it has a deeper meaning and a set of rules. A Chinese stresses the importance of personal relationship for doing business a lot more that we are used in western countries. These networking events aren’t a way to build guanxi; they are only a first step to meeting someone suitable to establish this connection. The development of a good guanxi is slow and expensive, but it improves dramatically the chances of success in any business. Keep in mind that you mustn’t build the relationship just before the deal - it should be already consolidated in that moment - and having a frequent contact is the only way to keep the door open to future business.

You can always join or participate in the organizations listed below.

Expat Groups

One of the best ways to meet fellow expatriates is to contact the myriad of specialized clubs throughout the city. Many are shown in this section. There are over 100 expat clubs in Shanghai. For a full and up-to-date list, look here:

  • The Expatriate Professional Women's Society (EPWS)
    A not-for-profit community established to provide professional, social and cultural support for expatriate women in Shanghai.
  • Dutch Society
    Address: Shanghai, China
    Phone: 6268-8983
    A meeting place for all managers and expats from the Netherlands.
  • American Women's Cub
    Address: Shanghai, China
    Phone: 6856-8695 / 5812-2970
    Female executives from North America can meet to discuss business matters and networking.
  • Canuck Connection
    Phone: 6279 8400
    Contact Canadian Consulate General for information. This organization helps Canadian expats network in Shanghai.
  • Colombians in Shanghai
    All Colombians and their families in Shanghai are welcome. Contact Lizzy (138 1668 7713), Leo (138 1661 5325), Leisa (139 1764 6433 / 5090 9625).
  • Danish Business Association
    Address: Room C,D, 10F, 258 Tongren Lu
    Phone: 8621-6289-8828; Fax: 6219 2711; Email:
    Any person from Denmark can attend these socializing meetings.
  • Filipino Community in Shanghai
    Inviting all Filipinos living in Shanghai to join the only association serving the kababayans. Contact Angelica Laysa Magmanlac (6262 7549 / 139 1811 9175), Jennifer Stilling (130 1282 9151)
  • Finnish Society
    Phone: Peter Mulcahy 6474 4533
    Meet-ups on the last Friday each month at O'Malley's. 5pm. Association for all expats from Finland.
  • The German Center
    Address: 1233 Siping Lu
    Phone: Michael Gotschlich 6501-5100 ext 4001
    Regularly holds events for the German community. German movies every Fri. 7:30pm.
  • German Community Association
    Address: Shanghai, China
    Phone: 6501-5100