After living in China for many years, two Dutch guys are leaving their daily life behind to show the world a different image of China, one that is innovative and ambitious, a ‘Brand New China’. As proof, they will drive from China to Holland using only Chinese products: A Chinese car, smartphone, laptop, tent and even Chinese underwear.
Maren Striker and Rogier Bikker have recently departed by car from Shanghai, to undertake a 3-month journey covering 20,000 kilometers and 11 countries along the former Silk Road, to Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The journey coincides with the celebration of the 35 years sister city relationship between Shanghai and Rotterdam.
To show the world a ‘Brand New China’ they are travelling using only Chinese products and meeting remarkable Chinese people in each of the countries along the way. Chinese students living abroad will teach them local languages, while Chinese artists will welcome them to their studios.
Chinese brands have enthusiastically backed the project to collaboratively increase their awareness abroad and emphasize their drive for innovation. Only 2-7 percent of U.S. and European consumers can recall major Chinese brands. Yet more than 70 companies from China feature on the Global Fortune 500, a list of the largest global companies by revenue.
Automotive brand BYD (Build Your Dreams) has signed up as the main sponsor and is providing Striker and Bikker with a BYD car and organizational support. The brand is backed by top investor Warren Buffet and is a pioneer in environmental friendly vehicles. BusinessWeek ranked BYD the 8th most innovative company in the world, ahead of Ford, Volkswagen, and BMW.
Other Chinese brands involved in the project include rising consumer brand Huawei with their Ascend P7 flagship smartphone, computer brand Lenovo with their Yoga touchscreen laptops, camera brand AEE with their sports camera’s and outdoor brand Ozark providing the necessary gear to survive the worlds hottest deserts and highest mountains once conquered by Marco Polo. Creative Chinese start-up brands Xiyouji and Braos offer clothing and sunglasses.
The journey is documented in weekly video episodes on www.brandnewchina.net
Check out the pre-departure video posted below:
Brand New China is not a company. It’s the vision of Maren Striker and Rogier Bikker to show the world the innovative and ambitious side of China. Their journey to drive from China to Holland using only Chinese products is the first project under the ‘Brand New China’ name, but might not be the last.