Pingo Space tests new interest-based learning service for China

Almost 600,000 foreign nationals, excluding nationals from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, resided in China in 2010, according to China’s last national census. That is the potential market for one startup in Beijing who wants to increase cross-cultural interaction in China to bridge the gap between expatriates and local Chinese.

Yunkai Weng, founder and CEO of Pingo Space, had a 12-year career with New Oriental Education and Technology Group, a company providing English education services in China. He says he wanted to change the concept of learning a foreign language by ditching books and socializing outside of the classroom.

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Meet this startup aiming to raise mental health awareness

It’s unclear how many psychiatrists, therapists, and psychologists are working in China. There are 125.2 total mental health workers per every 100,000 people in the United States, but the same statistic is not reported for China in the World Health Organization’s 2014 Mental Health Atlas.

Mental health care can be a sensitive subject in China, as an NPR story from last August puts it, the mentally ill are virtually invisible in Chinese society. From a young age on, Chinese are under extreme pressure to study hard, secure decent jobs and complete the “Circle of Life” by starting a family. If one follows this formula, there is not much room for failure, and ailments like anxiety and depression can go unaddressed for fear it will be a sign of weakness.

A Taiwanese startup with no video production skills honed this message clearly in a video they produced at a 48-hour video production marathon, organized by Beijing Tech Hive, in Beijing this March. Their first video was meant to spread awareness about mental health.

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How JingJobs differentiates from other job boards in China

Inncube, the newly-opened co-working space in Beijing’s expatriate-oriented Sanlitun neighborhood, saw job seekers and recruiters interacting at company booths while some candidates practiced their elevator pitches in four-minute speed-networking sessions with potential employers. At the same time, speakers took to a stage to speak about inspiration.

That was the scene at JingJobs and SCHSAsia’s job fair on a busy Saturday afternoon in mid-March. The event used the mantra, “Gen Y not! Job Fair. Be inspired”. It was JingJobs’ second go at organizing a job fair.

March is the beginning of a recruiting season in China because candidates are exploring opportunities after Chinese New Year once they receive their bonuses, said Samantha Kwok, founder of JingJobs.

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