Beijing networking events guide for Australians

Through our Asia Networking Guide series Asia Options provides a directory for networking events for ten cities in Australia and Asia. Our second feature city in this series is the capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing. The ancient and modern Chinese capital offers an amazing hotpot of networking and social events.


1) The Australia China Youth Association – Beijing Chapter

The Australia China Youth Association Beijing Chapter has pioneered ACYA’s expansion on the Mainland and despite the transient nature of its volunteers and members, every year the Beijing Chapter consistently hosts high-quality events and attracts a big crowd. The Beijing Chapter offers casual networking events such as dinners but the Chapter’s flagship program has been the Beijing Forecast. The Beijing Forecast series invites reputable speakers to discuss pressing issues in the Australia-China space while offering a perfect venue to meet other young Australian and Chinese students. You can sign up to the Beijing ACYA Chapter by sending an email to their President. We thoroughly recommend those new and more established in Beijing to go along to ACYA events!


2) AustCham Beijing

The resurgent Beijing Chamber hosts a number of high-quality events including the Business Speakers Series and the famous monthly Kooka Drinks at China World Hotel. Kooka drinks are a must for students and recent graduates looking to build their professional network in Beijing. The Kooka drinks regularly attract Beijing’s most influential Australians including former Ambassador Dr Geoff Raby and the Chamber’s influential board of directors. AustCham has also recently partnered with ACYPI and ACYA to host Young Professional networking events which consistently attract 100+ attendees.


3) Australia China Youth Professionals Initiative

The Australia-China Young Professionals Initiative is the premier platform for young professionals in Australia and China to engage with the most significant issues of the bilateral relationship. ACYPI hosts guest speaker and panelist events in Beijing where young professionals aged 22 – 35 can develop a deeper understanding of the issues, opportunities and challenges facing Australia and China. The Beijing Chapter has grown strongly in 2014 and has set itself apart with unique events catered to established expats and locals, including a special workout session and wine tasting.


4) Australia China Alumni Association

The Australia China Alumni Association has faced more competition in recent years by the rapid growth of ACYA but their events still attract good numbers including a range of age groups and a significant number of Chinese alumni of Australian universities. ACAA distinguish themselves too with their well-coordinated day visits to the ski-fields and the hot springs as well as university specific alumni networking events.


5) Young China Watchers

Young China Watchers (YCW) is a dynamic group of China-focused young professionals. Through regular roundtables and talks with senior figures in the China academic, policy and business communities, it provides a chance for engaged individuals to interact and discuss the most pressing issues emerging from China today. It aims to build a global network, fostering the next generation of China thought-leaders.

YCW carries out this agenda through both its Speaker Series and Dinner Discussions, which aim to bring together local communities of members with expert speakers in an informal setting. Our Speaker Series involves a short presentation, followed by Q&A. After the event, members continue the discussion over drinks, interacting with the speaker and local members of the China-watching community. Their Dinner Discussions pull together a select group of YCWs – based on professional capacity and active participation – with a speaker for a more intimate gathering at a local restaurant.


6) Other Chambers

For those keen to branch out and meet other foreign expats in China or with a particular interest in another country there is also a range of international chambers based in Beijing which host networking and presentation events based on a similar model to AustCham.

AmCham (USA)

European Union Chamber of Commerce

British Chamber of Commerce

The German Chamber of Commerce

Canada China Business Council

French Chamber of Commerce

Italian Chamber of Commerce

Spanish Chamber of Commerce


Swedish Chamber of Commerce


7) The Australian Embassy

The Australian Embassy in Beijing hosts public events from time-to-time including the annual Anzac Ceremony. The best way to stay informed of Embassy events is to sign up to Smart Traveller’s mailing list and Endeavour scholars are also automatically invited to many Embassy events.


8) The Peking University Australian Studies Centre

The Peking University Australian Studies Centre is an academic institute for the study of Australian history, politics, international relations, economics, society, culture and literature.  The Centre hosts the BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies, administers Australian Studies courses at PKU, organises conferences and roundtables, and operates an Internship Program. The Center consistently attracts well-known speakers to discuss domestic politics and issues pertaining to the Australia-China relationship. You can see more about their upcoming events by visiting their new website here.


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Olly Theobald

Director at Asia Options.
Olly works in Hangzhou China and is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, e-commerce, Asia education, data science, and foreign languages. Olly is a graduate from RMIT University and the Hopkins Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. Olly speaks Mandarin and Korean.

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