Unlocking AI Business Opportunities in China: Insights from Start-up & SME AI Innovators

webinar| 29 January 2024

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The artificial intelligence market in China presents significant opportunities for European SMEs to leverage and benefit from. With the increasing adoption of AI technologies and the Chinese government’s support for innovation, the market is expected to grow rapidly. AI encompasses a diverse range of application scenarios. AI can be used in customer service, data analysis, personalisation and recommendation engines. It also has potential in marketing and advertising, natural language processing (NLP) applications, supply chain and logistics optimisation, and more. These expansive scenarios can give SMEs opportunities to optimise their operations, enhance efficiency, and deliver high-quality products and services.

Moreover, AI enables companies headquartered outside of China to conduct business remotely, tapping into the Chinese market without necessarily requiring a physical presence. The accessibility and versatility of AI technologies also make it possible for SMEs to take advantage of market opportunities, as the barrier to entry is not prohibitively high.

This video is a recording of a workshop organised on 25 January 2024 by the EU SME Centre and European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. Watch this webinar to better understand the AI market in China and how European SMEs can position themselves strategically to capitalise on existing opportunities. Gain practical insights from SME peers on how they integrated AI into their businesses, and learn the legal considerations to be mindful of when implementing AI technologies.

Video chapters


– EU SME Centre and European Chamber activities

Exploring AI market opportunities in China for SMEs

– Multilingual solutions powered by AI

Panel discussion: Integrating AI into your business

– Practical insights from SMEs

Legal considerations of AI implementation

– Regulatory elements to keep in mind

Speakers and panellists
Alvaro Montoya

Alvaro Montoya is an engineer of telecommunications from Barcelona (Spain). Living in China for 13 years he has worked in many tech companies such as Microsoft. In 2018 while studying a MBA program in Tsinghua University he founded Akkadu.ai, a real-time AI subtitles software supporting 90+ languages, helping thousands of users communicate and understand global meetings, lectures and webinars.

Cyril Drouin
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Strategy Officer, BeyondBorderGroup

Cyril Drouin is the CEO & CSO for BeyondBorderGroup. He is based in the Shanghai office. BeyondBorderGroup is a “route to market” cross-border platform platform between China and the rest of the world. Cyril has more than 20 years e-commerce and digital marketing experience in China and in Europe, with local and international companies relying on his expertise. Cyril helps them to succeed in either optimising or creating their digital & e-commerce presence in China and in Europe.

Cyril is the former CEO of Publicis Commerce China and Chief Digital E-Commerce officer for Publicis North Asia, leading the practice on Google, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, Tmall, JD, WeChat and social media. Cyril has helped successfully launch or grow over 20 major brands in the past 5 years. He has successfully cooperated with GSK, Nestle, Ferrero, Kering, Mondelez, Sanofi, Bacardi, Heineken, Siemens, Beiersdorf, and Moleskine, to name a few. Cyril has been a juror for multiples advertising festivals such as Adfest, DMAA International Digital Marketing Award. Cyril is an experienced well-respected speaker and trainer at various digital and eCommerce conferences. He hosts high-level training sessions about the Chinese e-commerce and digital ecosystem in China and around the world. Cyril is teaching e-commerce and digital marketing to executive MBA students. Cyril holds a Master’s degree in IT & Mathematics. A French native speaker, he is fluent in English and has a good command of Chinese.

Tanya Van Gastel
Co-Founder, the Multiverse AI

Tanya Van Gastel is co-founder of the Multiverse AI, whose mission is to empower individuals to represent themselves authentically and effectively in the digital world. For her expertise on emerging technologies, she’s been quoted in Forbes, BBC, Wall Street Journal, and China Daily, among others.

She has been a keynote speaker for many events, including at the European Tech Commission and Festival of Licensing. Tanya Van Gastel spent 7 years across Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen working at tech brands OnePlus and OPPO, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, and a cross-border startup accelerator. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics, and speaks fluent English, Chinese, French, Dutch, and German.

Lorenzo Cappannari
CEO & Co-Cofounder of AnotheReality

After an international career in enterprise companies, Lorenzo Cappannari co-founded in 2015 AnotheReality, a Metaverse simulation and entertainment company of which he is now CEO. He is also TEDx speaker and author.

Zheng Zixi
CEO, SupplyOn Asia Pacific

Ms Zheng Zixi lived in Germany for decades and joined SupplyOn Headquarters in 2006. In 2018, she was appointed CEO of SupplyOn Asia Pacific. She is involved in planning the supply chain systems of large manufacturing international enterprises such as Bosch, Continental, Siemens and more.

She has more than 15 years of experience in supply chain management. She has expertise in cross-cultural communication, business development, customer network development and supply chain processes with her industry knowledge and international perspective.

Flavia Cusaro
China Consultant for AnotheReality

Flavia Cusaro, with almost 15 years experience in China, has a deep understanding of the Chinese business environment and approach. She currently cooperates with technological firms abroad and helps them to understand the Chinese market as well as to find the best strategy to tap into new opportunities.

Riccardo Verzella
Senior Associate, D’Andrea & Partners Legal Counsel

Riccardo Verzella, a qualified Italian lawyer, currently holds the position of Senior Associate at D’Andrea & Partners Legal Counsel, Shanghai Office. Since 2021, he has also been concurrently serving as a Lecturer in Italian Civil & Commercial Law at Nanjing University.

Riccardo Verzella graduated with honors in Law from the University of Teramo (Italy) and undertook a visiting student program at the Koguan Law School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He continued his legal education by earning an LLM in Business & Company Law from LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome. With a professional journey spanning over 7 years, he specialises in cross-border issues, including Corporate/M&A, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), and Labor Law, across China, Italy, and Vietnam.

Mr. Verzella is an expert of personal information protection compliance in China, specifically on the intricate landscape of cross-border transfers. He has also actively contributed as a speaker in various roundtables addressing Personal Information Protection compliance in China.

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If you sign up today you’ll be able to

  • Access to tailored advice through our Ask-the-Expert tool
  • A library of over 200 publications
  • Practical business tools
  • A network of trade promotion and business support partners
  • A comprehensive database of service providers with contact information