China - More than a Market

The German Chamber of Commerce in China, Shanghai, together with the Bertelsmann Stiftung and supported by the German Consulate in Shanghai, have started the initiative "More than a Market". In 2016, the inaugural "More than a Market Awards" will be given out for exemplary social projects of German companies in China.

“Promoting values, taking responsibility and building trust are the requirements to make this world a fairer, more human and more peaceful place”, says Liz Mohn, Vice-Chairwoman of Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Executive Board. China is Germany’s most important business partner in Asia. “China would not be as successful as it is today without foreign companies,” asserts Liz Mohn, “the same applies for German companies: They would not be as successful as they are today without China.” The exports to China account for two percent of Germany’s gross domestic product. Today, 5,000 German companies are active in China. The initiative “China – More than a Market” offers them a platform to develop strategies to grow roots in Chinese society. As Titus von dem Bongart, Charman of the German Chamber of Commerce, explains, “to deepen the roots of German business in Chinese society by leveraging the asset of ‘social values made by Germany’ and creating added value for both German companies and Chinese society“.

Group photo, conference in Shanghai, March 2015

Bertelsmann Stiftung has gained valuable experiences within its initiative “Companies for the region” for more socially engaged companies in Germany, started eight years ago. More than 1,600 companies are involved in this initiative, which offers the annual award “My Good Example”. Now it can pass on these experiences to China.

The initiative in China was started in March during a conference in Shanghai, jointly organized by Bertelsmann Stiftung and the German Chamber of Commerce. Leaders of major German companies discussed the importance of social involvement in China. They came to the conclusion that sustainable success in China is not possible without taking a long-term perspective and engaging with Chinese society. This conclusion was confirmed by the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s mapping study „More than a Market“.