Tag Archive: China

KUNG FU KAHN: Car-styling kingpin expands his horizons for partnerships in China

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ENTREPRENEUR: One of Bradford’s greatest exports Afzal Kahn

ENTREPRENEUR: One of Bradford’s greatest exports Afzal Kahn


A Bradford man who’s global car-styling company customises vehicles for car enthusiasts, including celebrities, has now contracted an overseas trade specialist to help it create new sales partnerships in China.

Kahn Design, a group of four companies founded by designer and businessman Afzal Kahn, works with some of the world’s best-known car marques. His team specifies, manufacturers and supplies a wide range of styling accessories, from exhausts and wheels to sports seats, interior design and bespoke livery.

Customers can either bring their vehicle – from a range which includes Range Rover, Audi and marques such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Rolls-Royce – to receive personalised styling, or buy a brand new vehicle tailor-made to their specification.

Overseas partner businesses can either buy the vehicles locally and source the required upgrade package through Kahn Design or buy the vehicle ready-styled to the customer’s requirements from Kahn Group which will then export the vehicle.

Now Kahn wants to build a network of partner businesses in China after the success of an initial foothold in the country and he’s taken on Chamber International to do the job for him.

Kahn Design business development executive Alexander Feather said the business has prospered throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America, Africa and the US.

He said: “We are expanding through people's desire to express themselves through adding personalised style to their vehicle. This is particularly true in nations with a strong emphasis on a uniform traditional dress as, through us, drivers apply their individuality through their vehicle rather than their clothing.

“We already have a presence in China but it is a huge country and we wish to develop a network of Kahn Design partners to serve a wealthy elite who love British goods and design. We also want help with marketing and promoting our company there to attract business.

“Accessing the Chinese market could have a major impact on our global sales during the next five years and this is why we have sought help from specialists at Chamber International.”

Kahn Design, has a £20m turnover and 60 staff, many of who speak different languages for dealing with overseas partners, currently achieves about 60 per cent of sales through exporting.

Bradford-based Chamber International’s China affairs specialist Matthew Grandage said: “China's car market is now the most valuable in the world.

“More new cars were bought there than in any other country in 2016 – more than 20 million – and Chinese consumers are also willing to pay much more for their cars than drivers in the UK, especially to own something unique, that reflects the owner's personal style.

“As a result, sales of accessories and auto-styling are booming, and, with China also being Jaguar Land Rover's largest market, it's clearly a very attractive target for Kahn Designs.

"Having already built strong customer bases around the world, their decision to target China through local partnerships is a bold, astute and timely move. Chamber International is proud to be part of this next step in Kahn Design's export adventure.”

Chamber International helps hundreds of new and experienced exporters with a wide range of specialist services to make exporting easier and more cost-effective.

It is the UK’s sole supplier of hand-held, cloud-based business management tool, ‘edge’, which enables companies to access client records, control stock, issue quotations, create trade documents and raise invoices to fulfill export orders from anywhere worldwide by using a smart phone or any web-linked device.

A Taste of Vietnam: Tasty tea is a ‘miracle in a box’

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artichoke flower (800x533)

The 2nd September marks National Independence Day in Vietnam, celebrating the date when the country claimed its independence and sovereignty from France and Japan.

Marked by a national holiday and a day of celebrations, there’s now no better excuse to try some of Vietnam’s speciality teas.

Ask people where the origin of Britain’s most famous drink is and you’re likely to get a reply of either China or India.

Whilst it’s probably true that the first cultivated tea came from China, before the Brits set up farms in India, it is believed the oldest tea trees in the world are from Vietnam where local Hmong people have been picking the leaves of wild trees for thousands of years.

Today, an innovative company called Natur Boutique is helping put Vietnam back on the map for its teas; showing not only why it produces some of the best green tea in the world, but also how we can benefit from some of the country’s other tea drinking traditions.

jpg artichoke tea (375x400)So boil up the teapot and tuck into a steaming cup of Vietnamese tea.

Artichoke tea is a traditional drink of the Lam-Dong highland region in Vietnam, where an abundance of artichokes are grown due to the area’s relatively temperate and mild year-round climate.

Often drunk in restaurants as an aperitif, the cuppa is refreshing, revitalising, delicious and has a pleasing scent.

Natur Boutique’s version, produced traditionally in Vietnam, is the only organic artichoke tea available in the UK.

Drunk not only for its unique taste, the artichoke extract contained within has been shown to have the potential to soothe IBS symptoms, making the drink popular with the millions of people suffering with the condition.

It’s also fantastic for clearing up the skin. Scientists have looked at the effects that cynaropicrin - a bioactive compound in artichoke - has on skin cells and they found two main effects; reduced inflammation and lowering of the production of oxygen free radicals.

Nature Boutique’s Organic Artichoke Tea is available in Holland & Barrett and independent health stores. For further information visit

Please note: Pregnant and breast feeding women should seek advice from their doctors before using artichoke extracts. Artichoke leaf extract should not be taken in the presence of gallstones or other bile duct occlusion, due to its bile stimulating effects.

Always consult your doctor or health advisor before using herbal tea products, especially if pregnant, lactating or using specific medication or suffering from a medical condition.

China bans fasting in Ramadan

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muslims praying (800x327)

Civil servants, students and teachers in a predominantly Muslim region of China have been told they are not allowed to fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The customary ban, which also orders restaurant to keep normal opening hours, was imposed by the Chinese Communist party which is officially atheist.

Despite 58 per cent of the population in the Xinjiang region calling themselves Uighur Muslims, they

A notice on a government website in the central Xinjiang city of Korla read as: "Party members, cadres, civil servants, students and minors must not fast for Ramadan and must not take part in religious activities.

A notice posted last week on the website of the state Food and Drug Administration in the county added: “Food service workplaces will operate normal hours during Ramadan.”

The move, which has been slammed by rights groups around the world, has been around for a number of years.

Dilxat Rexit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress, said it only adds to ethnic tensions already existent in China.

“China's goal in prohibiting fasting is to forcibly move Uighurs away from their Muslim culture during Ramadan,” he said.
“Policies that prohibit religious fasting are a provocation and will only lead to instability and conflict.”

Beggar on board: Teen manages to stowaway on long-haul flight

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FALSE INFORMATION: Social media site Sina Weibo allegedly spread misinformation to its users which sparked viral hashtags about begging in Dubai

FALSE INFORMATION: Social media site Sina Weibo allegedly spread misinformation to its users which sparked viral hashtags about begging in Dubai

A teenager from China - who stowed away on an Airbus passenger jet flying from his home country to Dubai – decided on the daring feat because he wanted to start a new life as a ‘professional beggar’.

The 16-year-old boy, known simply as Xu, said he did it because he had heard online that beggars in Dubai could make 470,000 yuan (around £49,300) a month.

He had managed to remain undetected onboard a huge Emirates A380 plane in Shanghai - hiding away in the cargo hold for the entire nine hour journey, until he was discovered and arrested by Dubai police when he reached his destination.

China's state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported that a translator appointed by prosecutors said that the teen had jumped over a fence at Shanghai airport and climbed into the cargo hold while a security guard's back was turned.

His story has sparked debate in China over misinformation in the media - as Xu is believed to have read on social media that beggars in Dubai could make nearly £5,000 a month.

Average annual wages in China are around 5,000 Yuan (approximately £3,000).

It is believed the youngster was inspired by the trend and decided to take a stab at the great aeroplane adventure.

A hashtag on a Twitter-like website called Sina Weibo - one of the most popular social media sites in China – has since gone viral saying: #DubaiBeggarsMake470000YuanMonthly.

Some users praised Xu for his bravery and moxie – others slammed the media for spreading rumours about the riches that Dubai had to offer.

The translator confirmed that the teen had ‘risked his life’ sneaking into Dubai.

The translator added that Xu, from Bazhong in the Sichuan province, had accepted his arrest because he'd heard that Dubai prisoners were “treated very well”.

The Chinese consulate in Dubai has sent staff members to meet with him.

A statement by the airline said: “Emirates can confirm that on 27th May, a stowaway was found in the cargo hold of flight EK303 from Shanghai to Dubai.”

China’s ‘goal’ is in sight

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SUPERPOWER: Members of the Chinese national football team pose for a group picture in 2011

SUPERPOWER: Members of the Chinese national football team pose for a group picture in 2011

Country aims to become global force in football by 2050

China wants to become a ‘world football superpower’ by 2050 and aims to get 50 million of China's 1.357 billion children and adults kicking the ball by 2020.

Another aspiration the country has is by 2020, they would like to have at least 20,000 football training centres and 70,000 pitches in place.

President Xi Jingping is a big football fan and has said previously that he wants China to win the World Cup over the next 15 years.

While China shines at the Olympics and Paralympics, the country has only every competed in one edition of the world’s biggest football match - in 2002 - but the Chinese Football Association is planning to do a lot more than just qualify over the next few years.

The men's team was number 81 in the world in a ranking released by International Federation of Football Association, also known as FIFA, on April 7th, 15 places higher than the rankings from late March.

The rise was aided by a 2-0 victory over Qatar in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match, a victory that helped the squad narrowly avoid elimination.

The women's team was ranked No. 12 in the world by FIFA as of March 25th.

The plan was published by the Chinese Football Association (in Chinese) on Monday.

It sets out short, medium and long-term targets, including ensuring there is one football pitch for every 10,000 people by 2030.

The men's football team should become one of the best in Asia, while the female football team should be ranked as a world-class team, by 2030, the plan said.

By 2050, the report added, China should be ‘a first-class football superpower’ that ‘contributes to the international football world’.

The documents states that in the next five years, China will produce two to three first class football clubs. The number of registered referees is expected to double in the next five years.

The sport has been hit with corruption in recent years, after 33 players and officials were banned in 2013 for match-fixing.