FansTang Aims to Bridge Gap Between China and Hollywood

As many investors and entrepreneurs know, Asia is currently teeming with business and investment opportunities. Adam Roseman, an investment banker and businessman with experience in the region, recently launched a new project called FansTang. Based in Shanghai, the “hall of fans” aims to provide American celebrities with connections throughout China. According to Roseman, the FansTang data-driven approach is one-of-a-kind. The company specializes in endorsement deals, PR trips and events, and is also producing a daily segment for Shanghai’s satellite network which focuses on Hollywood.

“There was no People Magazine and no Twitter with a common language,” Adam Roseman explained. As a result, Chinese fans had no way of connecting with their favorite stars. “On the other hand, Hollywood stars have demonstrated a clear interest in China. Our goal is to obtain data, whether it’s for them in negotiating film deals or concert promotions, or linking them with the right ad agency. Given the extreme important of China across all these groups, being able to help build relationships with the fans and to activate marketing campaigns is very valuable.”

Roseman added, “We are a data-driven business, and we keep on top of online views, TV and music downloads and other trends every day. We have a better sense than anyone at any given point in time what’s popular and relevant in this market, and it doesn’t always correlate with what’s already popular in the U.S.”

“The key to monetizing China is to understand local Chinese consumers and provide them with what they want, while creating competitive barriers in an area that local Chinese entrepreneurs cannot easily replicate on their own,” Adam Roseman said in an interview. “We are seeing success in doing this because we are bridging the gap between China and Hollywood, not only for our fans but for celebrities as well.”

Roseman explained that FansTang is best equipped to serve Hollywood stars because it combines a thorough understanding of Western culture with Roseman’s extensive experience working in China.

“Chinese business culture and the culture of Hollywood are two very distinctive, strong cultures,” he said. “To be able to cross that bridge, you have to have both patience and experience.”

Asia Leads Investments in Watershed Projects

A new report has revealed that Asia is the leading entity when it comes to investing in and protecting drinking water and other natural resources. The report states that all the region’s countries invested over $8 billion to enhance water security back in 2011.

Conducted by US non-government organization Forest Trends, the “State of Watershed Payments of 2012” study was released last Thursday. It reveals that $7.46 billion were invested in 83 watershed projects in Asia alone.

This approach, known as investments in watershed services, or IWS, considers the natural landscape and the social and economic conditions. These factors often impact the health of the natural environment.

The projects go by other names as well, including payments for watershed services, reciprocal agreements for water, water funds, eco-compensation, benefit-sharing arrangements, source water protection, green infrastructure investments, etc.

Michael Bennett, senior researcher at Forest Trends, explained:

“Growing pressure on limited freshwater resources is one of the factors why there is an increasing trend in watershed investment in Asia and the rest of the world.”

He added that water is especially critical in China, and has a significant impact on their future economic growth.

Asia’s Trade Increases, China Strengthens Relations with Canada

Though the Global Financial Crisis has not been resolved, the increase in Asian trade has encouraged many investors and companies to resume business in Chinese operations.

APM Terminals, for example, the port operations division of AP-Moller Maersk Group, has recently announced it will be continuing its investments in the region following a short pause as a result of the crisis.

Martin Christiansen, the division’s chief operating officer and head of its Asian-Pacific operations said “We are actively looking for investment opportunities in emerging Asian markets such as China, Vietnam and Indonesia.”

He added that a slight reduction of exports from China was to be expected. “The growth rate of China’s container volumes in the future is expected to be lower than the past, particularly China’s export volumes to mature markets such as the United States and Europe.”

Other companies and regions have also taken interest in China’s potential. China’s ambassador to Canada, Zhang Junsai, has stated that the relations between the two countries have improved dramatically over recent months. He continued, saying he expected trade to continue to increase, as well as foreign investment.

“China is playing an increasingly peaceful and constructive role in the world. China has performed very well during the financial crisis and I think all this is seen by the Canadian people that China is making contributions to the world economy,” Mr. Zhang said. “More importantly, China has a huge market. There is a great potential for both countries to develop friendly relations.”

China Pledges Millions to Horn of Africa and Sri Lankan Port

Yesterday, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao promised to put $55.3 million towards food aid in African countries, as they suffer from one of their worst droughts in over a decade.

The offer was made during a meeting with Wen’s Ethiopian counterpart, Meles Zenawi, in Beijing, and the aid wilol be distributed throughout a number of countries in the Horn of Africa. The new donation comes in addition to the $14 million promised last month.

China has been keen on contributing to Africa recently, and China- Africa trade has climbed by 40% over one year, reaching $126.9 billion. Chinese companies have taken a particular interest in African mining, agriculture, construction and forestry.

China is also rapidly developing its trade ties with other countries as well, becoming more involved with India and South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka.

China Merchants Group LTD, one of the primary investment firms in the country, recently invested $500 million in a container port there.

“The Colombo South Container terminal is CMG’s largest investment project overseas,’ Fu Yuning of CMG said. He added that the port will have an annual throughput of 2.4 million 20-foot equivalent units once it is opened. An agreement states that China Merchants Holdings International will manage the facility for 35 years.

“We are aiming to expand business opportunities in South Asia and East Africa through the establishment of the new facility, which will anchor the port of Colombo’s position as a transshipment hub in South Asia,” said Hu Jianhua of CMHI. “We’re also targeting synergy between our home port and Sri Lanka and South Asia at large.”