Monthly Archives: August 2017

Alibaba, Tencent & China’s Data Tech Revolution 12 Oct 6pm

Join us for a ringside view of how the internet and entrepreneurship in China have created global success stories such as the phenomenon that is Alibaba, and Tencent, China’s massively successful value-added ISP and developer of WeChat.

Our guide to this fascinating topic is Duncan Clark, OBE and Chairman of BDA, China, an investment consultancy company founded in Beijing in 1994 which today has a team of over 100 professionals. Prior to BDA, Duncan worked as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in London and Hong Kong.

Duncan is an expert on the internet and entrepreneurship in China where he has lived and worked for almost 25 years. He is also the author of ‘Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built‘ which was selected last year by the Economist as a ‘Book of the Year’  as well as being shortlisted by the Financial Times/McKinsey ‘Business Book of the Year’.

A UK citizen who grew up in England, the US and France, Duncan is a former Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China. In 2013 he was awarded an O.B.E. for services to British commercial interests in China.  A graduate of the London School of Economics, in 2016 Duncan was appointed as Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE’s new Institute of Global Affairs. Two years earlier he was invited as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University where he co-founded China 2.0, an influential research initiative and forum at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In his portfolio of work and service he holds the following positions.

  • Global Trustee of the Asia Society in New York
  • Independent director of Bangkok Bank (China) in Shanghai
  • Trustee of the UK charity/international board of San=Fransisco based NGO WildAid
  • Business angel investor to, among others, App Annie, and Radish Fiction

For fascinating insights from one who has witnessed at close quarters these developments, join us on Thursday 12th October 2017 in the Auditorium of the University of Edinburgh’s Business School from 6pm till 7.30 for his talk and Q&A.  A networking drinks reception will follow.


Please – reserve your seat for this talk here.


This talk is presented in partnership with the China Britain Business Council



Chinese Language Autumn Term Classes from w/b 25 Sept

In addition to our usual evening class programme this autumn we are offering a short, day time course running for five weeks. Chinese for Travellers runs on Tuesday mornings from 10.00-12.30 and is ideal for those planning to travel in China – or for those who want to try learning some simple Chinese without a longer term commitment. 

For full details of this and the wide range of evening classes on offer please visit the autumn course webpage where timings, pricing and how to book are all outlined.

China, Taiwan and Hong Kong @ Fringe 2017

Once again there is a wide array of artists, performers, and shows from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.  We highly recommend the first two listings (which are our own projects) but encourage you to scroll on through our date order listings to discover music, theatre, dance, puppetry, spoken word, circus and more – all bringing unique flavours from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to the Edinburgh International Fringe 2017.

Liu Zhenyun
, winner of the Mao Dun prize for literature, will be in Edinburgh on 12th and 13th August.  He will speak at the Book Festival at 12.15 on the 12th August about his novel I Did Not Kill my Husband On Sunday the film of this book entitled I Am Not Madame Bovary will be shown at the Filmhouse at 14.30 following which there will be a Q&A with Liu.  Bookings via Book Festival and Filmhouse.


A dark dynamic physical theatre piece from the National Theatre of China. With powerful visuals and almost no dialogue Luocha Land follows a central character through a world where the laws of good and evil have been reversed. The 12 strong cast blend elements of Chinese Nuo opera, puppetry and physical theatre with original music.
2-12 Aug@ 17.50 venue no 34 C Venues


Inspired by one of Pusongling’s Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, The Cricket is a story of metamorphosis told as a classical dance drama. In the Ming dynasty and emperor obsessed with cricket fighting taxes his people heavily. A boy becomes a cricket to save his family.
2-19 August @ 14.35 Venue 34 C Venues

The Venerable Bird’s Eye View – a stunning cross-cultural performance without spoken language Three actors are transformed into birds and trapped within a cage – the human world. In this new life they must express their emotions and needs, and explore gender to forge a new, human identity. Artocrite Theatre create a multimedia experience bringing intense physical expression together with contemporary music. 2-10 Aug @ 22.10 venue no 41 C Venues c-primo

Taiwan Season: Ever Never In this theatre piece airport and airplane become vehicles where past and present collide; places of real and remembered, love and regrets, happiness and sadness, and loved ones and themselves. Following Co-coism’s guiding principle of cooperatively-devised theatre, Ever Never draws on the experiences of playwright Feng Chi-Chun and the rest of the creative team.
Aug 2, 4-6, 8-13,15-20, 22-27 @ 16.25 Venue 22 Dance Base

Taiwan Season: Heart of Darkness fuses instrument, voice, body, drama, ritual and environment with traditional and folk elements, symbolic objects and contemporary theatre to explore the inner self and attempts to understand women who are slowly forgotten. Long hair symbolises a woman’s pathway through life. Time shrinks in her shadow. Aspiration, expectation, fear, secrets & ambition lay hidden deep inside.
Aug 2-6, 8-13,15-20,22-27 @ 15.15 Venue 26 Summerhall

In Taiwan Season: The Backyard Story let your imagination run as the jackets, shirts, dresses and trousers make friends and form relationships, reflecting those between parents, children and others. Taiwan’s first black-light object theatre company, Puppet Beings Theatre, seek to summon back the innocence of childhood and inject fresh vitality into children’s theatre by using everyday items and combining the contemporary with traditional puppet arts.
Aug 2-6, 8-13,15-20,22-27 @ 11.45 Venue 26 Summerhall

Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Peony Pavilion  this vibrant production blends emotionally driven movement, a spine-tingling soundscape and striking visual storytelling to bring a new twist to these classic texts, performed by a Chinese cast. The Dreamer is an international collaboration between Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and Gecko, part of British Council’s 2016 Shakespeare Lives programme. 
2-8 &10-15 Aug @ 13.30
 venue no 33

China Goes Pop
is an eye-popping, entertaining show direct from China, starring world-class acrobats, including Cirque du Soleil alumni. This story of an artist and his muse unfolds through dazzling acrobatics, martial arts, physical comedy, stunning video and costumes against a pop soundtrack. From the China Arts Entertainment Group.
3-27 August not Weds @ 16.20 Venue 35  Assembly Hall

In this adaptation Macbeth will be performed in the style of a traditional Cantonese opera. Macbeth: Fringe of Cantonese Opera is from Zhuo Peili Cantonese Opera Studio.  Combining the intrigue, jealously and deep levels of human emotions of Macbeth with one of China’s own most important art forms, this performance is must-see production.
7 & 8 August @ 12.00 venue no 7 New Town Theatre

The Story of China is a children’s show of music and dance from Beijing Students Art Troupe. Telling the story of China via opera, lingering melodies, traditional dance and martial arts this production presents an array of cultural treasures.
9  Aug @ 15.00 & 10 Aug @ 10.00 Venue 150 EICC


Little Shakespeare is big fun when two of Shakespeare’s most famous scenes are performed by fe nine to 16-year-old children from tChongqing Foreign Language School and Chongqing Renmin Primary School, each well known for their high standard of education and passion for theatre. A t family-friendly production, when superb young actors take on two iconic scenes in 40 minutes each.
9 &10 Aug @ 17.40 Venue 7 New Town Theatre

The Magical Trip of a Bead is a piece of new writing and musical theatre for children. Telling of a magical journey undertaken by three children, each with their own personality, who must complete a series of challenging trials. In this they are helped by objects including a glass slipper, and the witch’s mirror as well as by mythical Chinese characters, Nüwa and the Foolish Old Man. From Beijing Fengtai No 1 Primary School on 10 August @ 14.30 in Venue 150 EICC

The Hong Kong Three Sisters
 presents an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. During a run-through, one actor disappears. The rehearsal stops and dialogues between the director and the actors take place, revealing details of the other sides of the actors’ lives and the current scene in Hong Kong.Performed in Cantonese (English surtitles). 10-12 Aug @ 12.00 Venue 38 Space Triplex

Divine Melody from Chinese Fiddlers combines classic melody and innovative performance to show the charms of traditional Chinese music and dance. The programme include Chinese traditional music like Jubilance, Three and Six, Legend of Silk Road, Chinese traditional dance Girls Doing Paper-cut, and Classic Scottish Music played by traditional Chinese musical instruments.
11 Aug @ 15.00 Venue 150 EICC

2047 Apologue from talented director Zhang Yimou is a highlight of the first day of the Chinese Arts and Culture Festival. Combining Chinese folk arts with international technology creates a unique “concept performance”. The festival also features contemporary Chinese dance, Peking Opera, martial arts, folk dance and music along with an exhibition of Chinese painting, photography, tea art and calligraphy.
12  Aug @ 14.00 Venue 150 EICC;  13 Aug @ 13.30 Venue 150 EICC 

Published in 1957, Teahouse is a masterpiece of modern Chinese drama. The narrative revolves around the Yutai teahouse in Beijing and the life experiences of shopkeeper Wang. Teahouse mirrors the social turmoil at three crucial moments in Chinese history from the twilight of the dynastic era to the dawn of the People’s Republic of China.
14-18 Aug @16.50 Venue 209 Greenside, Nicolson Square

This children’s musical theatre production tells the story of “Hua Mulan” who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s place among the recruits becoming a hero to the Chinese people and being awarded by the Emperor. The story has been told on the big screen in 1998 and 2004 by Disney.  This production is brought to Edinburgh by Henan TV, Gahama Culture and Arts &  Zhengzhou Linguaphone English Training.
14 Aug @ 14.00 Venue 150 EICC

‘I love this country, but who loves me?’ The play, Sink,  is based on the true story of Lao She, a Chinese writer of great esteem, who, at one stage, was given the title of People’s Artist. However, this would all change during the cultural revolution as Lao She was deemed a reactionary and publicly humiliated. The production asks questions of freedom, identity, history and our own place and role in contemporary society. Aug 4-5, 7-12, 21-26  Times vary Venue 38 Space Triplex

My Journey through China sees Yi Dong makes her 16th annual return to Edinburgh. Part of 8th Glamour of Jasmine Chinese Arts Festival. She is one of the most celebrated international soloists of Chinese national musical instruments and one of the only five soloists who has given a recital in the Great Hall of the People. Venue 111 @ 12.30 and @ 14.30 on 20, 21, 22 August. St Andrew’s and St George’s West
Also at  Venue 60 Canongate Kirk @ 19.00 on 18 August 

Zheng Programme for Chinese Lovers’ Day Playing an instrument with over 2,500 years of recorded history, after some 100 public recitals in the UK, international classical Zheng performer Yi Dong, makes her 16th annual return to Edinburgh to ‘indulge us with a rich spa of the spirits and mind’ (China Xinhua News Agency), with music of love stories and poems from China. Historic concerto The Butterfly Lovers is featured  28 Aug @ 12.00 Venue 60 Canongate Kirk

8th Glamour of Jasmine Chinese Arts Festival
sees t
hree elegant women musicians from Suzhou, costumed in Whispering Lotus Chi-pao in concert on Chinese guqin, zheng, dizi and xiao (bamboo flutes) and  pipa on the afternoon of Chinese Lovers’ Day. A fusion of Chinese poetry, music and fashion show of cheongsam.
28 Aug @ 19.00 Venue 60 Canongate Kirk


Sustainable Silk Roads
4 & 5 Oct, McEwan Hall

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) outlined by China’s President Xi Jinping is one of the most significant and substantial, investment and development programmes to come out of China since the building of the Great Wall.  

This conference, ‘Sustainable Silk Roads’, offers businesses, academics and policy makers the opportunity to understand the significance and potential of the Belt and Road Initiative. In addition to scene setting plenaries, there will be a number of sector specific workshops with a focus on sustainable approaches. Throughout the conferences delegates will have opportunities to explore the potential for future collaboration.

For full details and to register please visit the conference website.