Beijing. Shanghai. Tianjin. Guangzhou. Shenzhen. Pasadena?
The unveiling of the Singpoli Group’s 2017 Rose Parade Float at the DusitD2 Constance Hotel Monday afternoon might have also offered a peek at what may increasingly become a notable Chinese real estate and investment target: Pasadena.
Singpoli, the Pasadena and Arcadia-based real estate investment, along with its joint venture enterprises, BDK Capital, and 8sian Media, brought together a powerhouse of Chinese media companies, including one of the country’s largest Asian-targeted multi-channel networks and advertising platforms, for the unveiling event.
Along with the sponsors came the 2016 eXin media delegation from China, comprised of executives and leaders from top-tier China TV stations and industry associations. The delegation came to “visit local companies and institutions, and to exchange innovative ideas about new media industry,” according to a group spokeperson.
The event will undoubtedly contribute to increasing efforts to build Pasadena’s “brand” in Chinese markets.
The official hosts of the event were Singpoli Group Chief Executive Officer Kin Hui; William Chu, chief financial officer of Singpoli Capital Corporation, and Dr. Gang Ding, of BDK Capital.
“The important thing, besides unveiling our Rose Parade Float, is to tell the community what we can do, as well as the meaning of life, through our float,” said Hui. “We are trying to use this float to inspire our new generation to give them a positive attitude on life.”
The Singpoli float depicts the story of the “Monkey King,” a popular fable in Chinese history also known as the “Journey to the West.”
The tale is based on the true story of a famous monk, Xuan Zang of the Chinese Tang Dynasty (602-664). The inspirational story is essentially the triumph of the spirit against those who would rule over the people.
“I think this is a perfect city for even a Chinese company to come over here to learn about what American culture is about ,” Hui said.
“Welcome to Pasadena,” said Dr. Rajen Vurdien, Superintendent President of Pasadena City College, told the delegation, speaking fluently in a Chinese dialect.
“I told them that I hope we give them something significant to see here, and that they remember us forever, and that we hope to see them again soon,” Vurdien said. He presented the delegation members with commemorative certificates.
Said Councilember John Kennedy, “The criticality of the relationship (between Pasadena and China) is that Chinese business leaders can go anywhere in the world, anywhere in the United States to put down roots, but we want to recognize and celebrate the Singpoli Group and all of the entities that they are bringing together, because they have chosen our wonderful city to do business in, and we want to celebrate that.”
Kennedy pointed out that Pasadena already has a sister city in Pasadena in the Xicheng District of Beijing, with a six-acre rose garden dedicated to the city of Pasadena.
“We are a city in California which represents outsize interests,” Kennedy continued, “Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and a whole host of other great educational institutions, so we want to celebrate the relationship with China, and enhance the relationship, and hope that other Chinese business leaders will choose to operate in the City of Pasadena.”
Kennedy also added that Pasadena has “a cultural advantage, an economic advantage, and an educational advantage” over other Southern California cities.
“Sixty percent of all automobiles in the United States are designed by graduates of the Art Center of Design,” Kennedy continued. “Caltech is one of the top ten universities in the world, and there is no better culture and diversity than exists in Pasadena, for a city of its size, and this makes us very competitive.”
Impressed with the city’s weather and “clean air,” on this, her first visit to the United States, LanLan Liu of Anhui TV said of the budding relationship between the city and the country: “China is a developing country and a lot of cities are becoming more and more modern, so as a result, we see that a lot of cities are moving towards going global, and that is one reason why you see so many Chinese coming to cities like Los Angeles and Pasadena.”
Liu also pointed out that the current younger generation in China, unlike older and more traditional Chinese sees a future in globalism and technology.
“Cultural differences will no longer be a barrier between China and America,” she added.
The visit to Pasadena carries with it tremendous potential for Chinese business investment in the city, as well as job growth and revenue for the city itself. According to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese firms are expected to invest $20 billion to $30 billion in U.S. in 2016 alone, compared with $15 billion in 2015.