Who’s Who Interview with Ian Jones

Here is out latest Interview with a Local Expat Professional. Mr Ian Jones

Shenzhenstandard:  Tell us a bit about where your from.

Ian Jones: I grew up on a small farm outside of Burnie in north west Tasmania, Australia. We grew crops and raised some sheep and cattle and had a peaceful and pollution free life.   I went to Uni in Hobart and then into the office equipment business when a friend and I bought a small office supplies company. I specialised in Point of Sale systems and moved to Sydney in 1986 to join TEC Toshiba in a senior management role. I spent the next 15 years in similar positions with Fortune 500 companies supplying these systems to major retailers in Asia before relocating here.

Shenzhenstandard: How long have you been in Shenzhen / China?
Ian Jones: I moved to Hong Kong in 2002 as we moved our Asia Pacific headquarters away from Sydney to better support our installed customer base at this end of Asia. Our distributor suggested I live in his newly purchased apartment in Futian so I moved there and a few months later to Shekou as there were no expats or western facilities in Futian back then.

Shenzhenstandard: What business are you currently involved in?
Ian Jones: Currently my friend Dave Jacobs and I operate Xpats Bar in Central Walk in Futian.  My wife runs our new restaurant; The Kitchen in Coco Park and together we have run our expat relocation business, Dial an Angel in Shekou for five years. We keep quite busy with all these companies but enjoy implementing new ideas and seeing the businesses grow.

Shenzhenstandard: What changes have you noticed that affect business in Shenzhen / China, are these positive or negative?
Ian Jones: Now the government has made it relatively easy and low cost for foreigners to open a small business in Shenzhen, I feel a lot of small businesses will be opened by expat entrepreneurs, as in the past one always needed a Chinese partner and this often caused problems.  China will always be difficult to establish and operate a business as the mentality is very different from how we believe things should be done – great patience is needed and many just give up and leave.

Ian Jones: I feel the local government has done a great job in developing the CBD in Futian and with the end of the GFC many foreign companies will move in and I see exciting times ahead for this area – that’s why we have based our hospitality businesses there. I do believe more control needs to be exercised in car parking in the CBD as there are No Parking zones everywhere but nobody pays any attention to them and this stops other people coming in as the traffic congestion is terrible.

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The Contributor

Australian Business man living in Shenzhen for over 4 years. Well traveled in China and the rest of the world (not that anything outside of China really matters when you are inside of China). Currently involved in the Wine industry, but previously involved in Tobacco, Medical and Logistics Industries world wide.

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