2016 Year in Review

ChinaSF Builds Roadshow

ChinaSF organized the inaugural ChinaSF
Builds Roadshow from September 18th to
23rd. The five-day Roadshow brought 23 real estate professionals, including developers, architects, investment experts, lawyers, and executives, from the Bay Area to Beijing,Shanghai and Shenzhen. Delegates represented such companies as Cushman &Wakefield, Colliers International, Polaris Pacific, Lennar International, Woods Bagot, Vanke, Gemdale and East West Bank;additionally, Daniel Sider represented the City of San Francisco’s Planning Department. Each Roadshow event included a forum and networking opportunities; forum topics included land-use, entitlements, design management and construction procurement, capital markets and financing, repositioning and managing assets, and the U.S. real estate market. Delegates networked with over 200 guests representing Chinese real estate professionals, investors and developers in the three cities following each forum. Additionally, delegates received a guided tour of Gemdale’s Shenzhen technology park, and attended dinners hosted by Gemdale, LivAll, and Smart House Library.

The Beijing forum was held at the U.S. Embassy, where Deputy Chief of Mission David H. Rank delivered opening remarks. The Shanghai and Shenzhen forums were generously hosted at theLangham hotels in each city. ChinaSF’s co-host, the Chinese Real Estate Professionals Association (REPA), was instrumental in supporting the Roadshow. ChinaSF is also grateful to its sponsors Pacific Eagle, Great Eagle, Langham Hotels, East West Bank, Lennar, Cushman & Wakefield, and Colliers International, for supporting the Roadshow’s goal of fostering relationships and understanding between the Chinese and San Francisco real estate market.

Oceanwide Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

On December 8th, ChinaSF helped celebrate the groundbreaking of the Oceanwide Center, which will be San Francisco’s second-tallest building and the largest development in the Transbay Center upon completion.  The Center, located at 1st and Mission Streets, will include offices, condominiums and a five star hotel.  The building is named after Oceanwide Holdings, a Beijing-based real estate firm with over 10,000 employees worldwide.

During his speech, Mayor Edwin M. Lee highlighted how the project will bring $130 million in funding for city programs, including $44 million for affordable housing.  Supervisor Jane Kim added that funding from the project will help revitalize San Francisco’s Chinatown.  ChinaSF had been working to recruit Oceanwide to San Francisco since 2014.

Moutai Day Celebration

In November, ChinaSF helped Kweichow Moutai Group, China’s largest manufacturer of Chinese wine, celebrate the first anniversary of Moutai Day in San Francisco.  Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Kweichou Moutai General Manager Li Baofang led the festivities while sipping the famous liquor.  ChinaSF also signed an MOU with Moutai Distillery to expand their presence in San Francisco.  Guizhou Maotai, known as the “liquor of diplomacy and friendship,” is the official wine of China, and has been included in toasts during state visits by President Nixon and Obama.

Shanghai Lingang Overseas Innovation Center Opening

In November, ChinaSF helped the Shanghai Lingang Economic Development Group kick off its entry into the U.S. market by unveiling the Shanghai Lingang Overseas Innovation Center at 755 Sansome Street in San Francisco.  Mayor Edwin M. Lee, China Commercial Consul Yihang Yang, and Chairman of Shanghai Lingang Economic Development Group Holdings Guohua Yuanparticipated in the unveiling ceremony.  

Chengdu Food Festival

On November 19th, ChinaSF partnered with the People's Government of Chengdu to host the 2016 Chengdu Culture and Food Festival at San Francisco City Hall.  The Festival kicked off the Silk Road Chengdu Spirit Week, which celebrated San Francisco and Chengdu's Friendship City relationship and continued partnership.  Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Chengdu Vice Mayor Fu Yonglin delivered remarks, followed by a tea ceremony and face-changing performance by tradition Sichuan opera artists.  World-renowned chef Martin Yan, star of the television show Yan Can Cook, and 10 master Chengdu chefs prepared a gourmet Chinese meal.  Chengdu, traditionally known for its spicy food and proximity to the giant panda, is home to one of China's hottest burgeoning tech communities.  

"Breaking Ground" Report Launch

ChinaSF, in conjunction with Asia Society and the Rosen Consulting Group, partnered on the first comprehensive report focused on Chinese foreign direct investment in real estate: "Breaking Ground: Chinese Investment in U.S. Real Estate". The report aims to help policy makers, business leaders, and the U.S. general public make sense of the recent boom of Chinese capital flowing into U.S. real estate, and its impact on regional economies, local job markets, and even national security. This landmark study received significant media attention, including references in the Financial Times, Forbes, POLITICO, Reuters, Yahoo! Finance, WNYC, among others.
ChinaSF partnered on the report's U.S. launch events in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., and its China launch events in Shanghai and Shenzhen, where Darlene Chiu Bryant attended to discuss the report's findings.

Various China Events

ChinaSF co-hosted and partnered on many events in China this year.
In April, ChinaSF held a roundtable discussion at East West Bank to discuss venture capital funding in the Bay Area. Over 20 companies attended the event.
In June, the ChinaSF South China representative, Hannah Sieber, spoke about the role of co-working and incubation spaces at a China Real Estate Professional Association (REPA). The event, attended by over 100 companies, was focused on the role of commercial real estate in supporting growth in the technology industry.
In November, ChinaSF's Shanghai representative, Alex Moss, spoke at the TechCode Al Forum in Beijing. Alex discussed the San Francisco municipal government's approach to supporting the local tech community with mayors of Silicon Valley cities and Chinese municipal government officials in front of an audience of 200. Just a few years old, TechCode is one of China's fastest-growing incubation networks with 12 incubators across five countries.
China SF also partnered with Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) on a research paper focused on trade and intellectual property in China. The two organizations will be conducting research regarding China-US business and trade policy and the business lobbying of companies in China on free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation. In June, ChinaSF supported a delegation of students and professors to Beijing and Shenzhen and facilitated meetings with key companies and government agencies to enhance their research.

ChinaSF Staff Additions

In August, ChinaSF brought on a new Program Manager for its Shanghai office, Alex Moss.  A native of Piedmont, Alex was a summer intern for ChinaSF and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.