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AirPlus CEO Salon Session in Beijing – A Midsummer Celebration

To obtain first-hand insights into the needs of our customers, AirPlus China invited representatives from large State-owned Enterprises and large Private-owned Enterprises – two different groups of corporate segment – as well as our vital business partners in China to attend the CEO Business Salon session on the evening of July 26 in Beijing.

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In recent years, the rise of Chinese Private-owned Enterprises has attracted worldwide attention, and many outstanding Private-owned Enteprises have gone abroad to establish a global market network. At the same time, the Chinese government has introduced a series of corrective measures to further accelerate the pace of reform of State-owned Enterprises. When these two seemingly unrelated economic activities converge on the Chinese business travel market, it resulted in two different types of demand for travel management services by the Chinese corporate customers. On the one hand are large multinational corporations and Private-owned Enterprises urgently needing a range of highly integrated business travel payment solutions for the different payment platforms and data generated by business travel activities; on the other hand, State-owned Enterprises are focusing more on the development of a business travel management framework and the selection and optimisation of business travel management service providers. To obtain first-hand insights into the needs of our customers, AirPlus China invited representatives from large State-owned Enterprises (China Mobile, NORINCO) and large Private-owned Enterprises (Lenovo, our first corporate clients in China) – two different groups of corporate segment – as well as our vital business partners in China (such as TravelSky and CITS American Express Business Travel), a total of 16 guests, to attend the CEO Business Salon session on the evening of July 26 in Beijing.

At the salon, a customer said his company was accelerating the optimisation of their business travel management service providers and carefully assessing all existing suppliers and service providers based on their merits. Another customer stated that there was an increasing awareness of business travel management amongst the State-owned Enterprises. He felt that now was the right time for companies to make use of highly integrated business travel payment solutions. He also raised a very interesting point that many State-owned Enterprises needed to address two issues in the process of business travel management reform: the first issue was whether the business travel management service provider and the corporation were able to mutually accommodate each other's need; secondly, the state-owned enterprise management needed to overcome its own mindset. Here, he specifically pointed out that the so-called mindset existed because some State-owned Enterprises knew very little about business travel management, and were always concerned about the question of "what will happen in the future?", thus adversely affecting the process of business travel reform. To address these two issues, he indicated that State-owned Enterprises needed a neutral industry expert such as the AirPlus International to enable better communication between the enterprises and business travel management service providers and at the same time, offer early warnings and effective problem-solving solutions in the event of a crisis.

As a representative of a large private enterprise, Ms Vivian Chai from Lenovo said that with their rapid development of the global market, Lenovo's MICE activities would be increased, and thus they urgently needed to establish a complete business payment management solution. For Lenovo, data quality and data integration were important criteria to consider when selecting MICE-related payment solutions. As AirPlus China's first customer, Lenovo had worked with AirPlus China for eight years. Therefore, Lenovo was looking forward to the introduction of more AirPlus products into the Chinese market.

The CEO Business Salon extended from the intended one hour to an hour and a half. In accordance with our customer needs and suggestions, AirPlus China will further expand areas of cooperation with our business partners. And while fully cooperating with State-owned Enterprises to build sophisticated travel management system, we will also constantly improve our products to meet the needs of the new economic model of business travel payment.

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