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Print Edition> Business
UPDATED: May 27, 2011 NO. 22 JUNE 2, 2011
Creative Cooperation
Collaboration between advertising agencies on the Chinese mainland and Taiwan has helped each other's respective industries flourish

CHINA'S DESIGN: Consumers visit a display room of Anta Sportswear Co. Ltd. in Jinjiang, Fujian Province. Anta is one of the many up-and-coming brands created in China (ZHANG GUOJUN)

Su Guofeng is president of Fujian New Idea Planning Co. Ltd., one of the top 50 advertising companies in China. Five years ago, the company hired an executive director from Taiwan to bring new ideas to the company's table. At the cross-Straits advertising and creative industry development seminar held in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, on May 17, 2011, Su's company signed an agreement with Shih Hsin University in Taiwan to establish a research center for cross-Straits advertising innovation.

With extended economic and trade relations between the mainland and Taiwan, cross-Straits cooperation like this is becoming more frequent for players in the cultural and creative industries.

"Exchanges across the Straits are based on the fact that we speak the same language and enjoy the same culture," said Bao Yujun, Chairman of the All China Private Enterprises Federation (ACPEF).

An exchange of ads

On March 30, 1990, Fujian Advertising Co. Ltd. took out a four-page advertisement in Taiwan-based publications Independent Evening News and Central Daily News to promote 19 enterprises from Fujian, as well as the image of the Xiamen Special Economic Zone. This marked the debut of mainland advertisements in Taiwan.

In November 1991 the first cross-Straits television advertising seminar was held in Fuzhou. The following year, Wu Liancheng, General Manager of Xiamen Advertising Co. Ltd., visited Taiwan, the first trip made by a representative from the mainland advertising industry to Taiwan.

"The advertising industry in Taiwan has better experience in terms of international operations, and their business management level and advertising ideas are more advanced and sophisticated than ours," Huang Yingshou, Chairman of Fujian Advertising Association (FAA), told Beijing Review. "Our Taiwanese counterparts have a two-decade head start in engaging in international businesses. We're just stepping out into the world."

In Su's eyes, there are many concepts and industry practices mainland advertising agencies should learn from Taiwan. Besides more advanced ideas and operational methods, Su thinks the advertising industry of Taiwan more closely adheres to Chinese culture in that it strives for perfection.

"Moreover, what we should also learn from Taiwan is to promote development of manufacturing industries with cultural and creative industries," Su said.

Su's company has made it a point to keep the lines of communications with its Taiwanese counterparts open at all times. "They have talent and we have a huge market, so there are broad prospects for cooperation between us," he told Beijing Review.

The mainland advertising industry is learning from its Taiwanese counterpart, and surpassing it. "The advertising industry of the mainland is making very rapid progress, and sometimes our production level and equipment are more advanced than those of the advertisement industry in Taiwan," said Huang.

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