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When in Beijing | Culture, people, things to do and memorable brands
When in Beijing
Cultural Currents

The "Imperial City" manages to seamlessly blend ancient and modern culture. This ancient Northern city – the capital of China as well as its political and cultural centre – has a wealth of world heritage and traditional architecture, hundreds of time-honored brands, as well as a unique food and opera culture. Influenced by the city’s historical background and political environment, Beijing locals attach great importance to etiquette, tradition and interpersonal relationships, and are known for being optimistic, open-minded, straightforward and hospitable.

It’s no surprise that many of China's top colleges and universities are found in Beijing and, with a particular emphasis on the science and technology industries, the city has produced a large number of high-tech talents. Beijing Zhongguancun Technology Park – known as the Silicon Valley of China – is home to many of the country’s top internet, electronic, technology and software companies such as Baidu, Sina and Lenovo to name a few, forming a nexus of intelligent, high-income people.

Living in China’s leading city, Beijing consumers have strong purchasing power and a broad vision. However, based on the city’s compatible cultural environment – that is, an environment in which official institutional culture, intellectual culture and folk culture coexist – consumers, including the younger generation, are usually not at the forefront of new trends. While they do manage to embrace innovation, this is never at the expense of maintaining tradition, often paying more attention to brands’ emotional values and practical benefits.

 
 
 
 

The "Imperial City" manages to seamlessly blend ancient and modern culture. This ancient Northern city – the capital of China as well as its political and cultural centre – has a wealth of world heritage and traditional architecture, hundreds of time-honored brands, as well as a unique food and opera culture. Influenced by the city’s historical background and political environment, Beijing locals attach great importance to etiquette, tradition and interpersonal relationships, and are known for being optimistic, open-minded, straightforward and hospitable.

It’s no surprise that many of China's top colleges and universities are found in Beijing and, with a particular emphasis on the science and technology industries, the city has produced a large number of high-tech talents. Beijing Zhongguancun Technology Park – known as the Silicon Valley of China – is home to many of the country’s top internet, electronic, technology and software companies such as Baidu, Sina and Lenovo to name a few, forming a nexus of intelligent, high-income people.

Living in China’s leading city, Beijing consumers have strong purchasing power and a broad vision. However, based on the city’s compatible cultural environment – that is, an environment in which official institutional culture, intellectual culture and folk culture coexist – consumers, including the younger generation, are usually not at the forefront of new trends. While they do manage to embrace innovation, this is never at the expense of maintaining tradition, often paying more attention to brands’ emotional values and practical benefits.

an interesting thing to do

The Palace Museum is the essence of ancient Chinese court architecture. Also known as the Forbidden City, this magnificent complex was established in 1406 during the Ming Dynasty and is home to a vast array of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics and antiquities of the imperial collections. Today it is one of the most prestigious museums in the world and, along with the Great Wall, the attraction to which both Chinese and foreign tourists flock. In recent years, due to the popular broadcast of documentaries such as Masters in the Palace Museum, National Treasure, Palace Museum fever has escalated in China. The Palace has now become a ‘cultural IP’, partnering with a number of brands – such as Kindle, Harper's Bazaar, Pizza Hut and Google – to launch culturally innovative products, all of which have been much welcomed by the younger generation. This iconic destination is now entering the lives of ordinary people in more and more abundant forms. During the 2019 Lantern Festival, for example, the Palace Museum opened at night for the first time in 94 years to hold a lantern party – tickets sold out instantly.


The Palace Museum is the essence of ancient Chinese court architecture. Also known as the Forbidden City, this magnificent complex was established in 1406 during the Ming Dynasty and is home to a vast array of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics and antiquities of the imperial collections. Today it is one of the most prestigious museums in the world and, along with the Great Wall, the attraction to which both Chinese and foreign tourists flock. In recent years, due to the popular broadcast of documentaries such as Masters in the Palace Museum, National Treasure, Palace Museum fever has escalated in China. The Palace has now become a ‘cultural IP’, partnering with a number of brands – such as Kindle, Harper's Bazaar, Pizza Hut and Google – to launch culturally innovative products, all of which have been much welcomed by the younger generation. This iconic destination is now entering the lives of ordinary people in more and more abundant forms. During the 2019 Lantern Festival, for example, the Palace Museum opened at night for the first time in 94 years to hold a lantern party – tickets sold out instantly.

One local brand

Tong Ren Tang, founded in 1669, is a time-honored brand in the traditional Chinese medicine industry and has been included in The National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of China. Its products are famous both at home and abroad for their unique formula, unrivalled ingredients, exquisite craftsmanship and remarkable curative effect. Beijing consumers have long trusted the efficacy of Tong Ren Tang’s traditional medicines and today the Group has its business in five continents, operating over 140 branches in 29 countries and regions overseas. With the development of the Internet, the brand developed its official online platform enabling consumers to buy its wide range of products, as well as enabling patients to book appointments online with the doctors of the Tong Ren Tang Chinese medicine clinic. This brand perfectly integrates the traditional Chinese medicine culture with the modern scientific and technological means to provide Chinese citizens with health protection.

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With thanks to Katie Buckley for her unique, cultural insights.