Living as expat in Shuangjing Beijing

I currently live at the north border of Shuangjing, my apartment is close to the Gaomao CBD, Beijing’s Central Business District and the CCTV building which is located in that area. The building is designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas something the Dutch can be proud of because its one of the most prominent new buildings in Beijing.

Shuangjing is a comfortable residential area just outside Beijing’s crowded Central Business District Chaoyang. Shuangjing is a sub-district, and has been rapidly developed as modern apartment buildings have risen to the horizon and give it a crowded skyline. Shuangjing has its own very crowded subway station on line 10. On the busiest day it handled a peak entry and exit traffic of 100.000 people. Don’t expect ever a seat on the subway.

Shuangjing has a lot of expatriate-friendly housing, and a lot of foreign restaurants, grocery stores, cafes, bars, particularly around Shuangjing subway station.


The main reasons for me as an expatriate to live in Shuangjing:

  • Its proximity to downtown and the CBD
  • A less hustle-and-bustle feel than the more crowded downtown
  • Less expensive rents than are available in the CBD
  • Plenty of Western-style housing, restaurants, shopping, and my favorite bar Bang!Bang!
  • The apartments are relatively new in this area as I don’t recommend renting something older than 7 years in China.
  • My conclusion: Shuangjing is a good middle ground which is not as crazy as the Sanlitun area and not as family orientated as Shunyi or Lido.

Hoogendoorn announces global expansion into Asia, new office in Beijing

Official opening Hoogendoorn Asia:
China: Hoogendoorn announces global expansion into Asia, new office in Beijing

Hoogendoorn officially opened its new office in Beijing. The opening was held at the Dutch Embassy in China on the 23rd of April 2014. Approximately 180 invitees were present at the reception. Together with Hoogendoorn’s CEO Martin van Gogh, Export Director Martin Helmich and Managing Director of Hoogendoorn Asia Erik van Berkum, Hoogendoorn Asia was officially opened. For this occasion an ice sculpture in the shape of Hoogendoorn Asia’s logo was poured with red wine. The speech was held by Export Director Martin Helmich.

Hoogendoorn Asia opening
This new office represents the expansion of the company in response to customer demand in the rapidly growing market. With this step, Hoogendoorn confirms its position as a key supplier to the worldwide horticultural market. As Hoogendoorn is represented in all continents, it enables doing business across multiple time zones, in different languages and with a strong cultural adaptability.

Closer to its customers

The decision to open a new office in China allows Hoogendoorn to provide a local presence in the Asian market: there is always a specialist available who is well aware of the local climate and business circumstances. This way, recommendations and solutions can be fully aligned with customer’s requirements. Even the software language can be set to user’s wishes. Martin Helmich, Export Director Hoogendoorn: “Hoogendoorn provides user-friendly software in the Chinese language. This allows customers to use the functionalities optimally in order to achieve higher production.” In addition Hoogendoorn also provides local maintenance service, technical support and training.

Boosting horticultural technology in China

The opening of the Asian office has been enthusiastically received by other Dutch horticultural suppliers. “This new office will give a boost to the use of Hoogendoorn’s horticultural technology, contributing to a more innovative and sustainable development of greenhouse horticulture in China and Asia”, said Agricultural Counsellor Marinus Overheul. 

Erik van Berkum, Managing Director, has been appointed to run the office in China and the Asian market. Van Berkum has 17 years of experience in the horticultural industry and has been active in Asia since 2001.

Hoogendoorn Asia looks forward to welcoming you at this new location:


Netherlands King Investiture Beijing Embassy

The embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands held an investiture party at the Beijing Embassy. The party was attended by about 800 visitors many Royal companies had a small booth at the entrance. NOS Dutch national television was present to give a impression how queens-day kings-day was celebrated abroad. Many visitors spoke Spanish and were from Argentine, to celebrate for princess Maxima.

Kingdom Netherlands Embassy entrance BeijingDutch companies presenting themselves






Big audience during inauguration

Argentine VIPS during Investiture of the dutch King







The front page of the China daily showed a picture of former queen Beatrix and King William. After all I think the royal family did some good Holland promotion and should continue doing that in the future.

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Hair dressers Dancing in the street

In Asia you see quite often that there is a company motivation drill in front of a hotel restaurant or shop. This is not very common to happen on in the western world. Today I was lucky to see the hair dresser motivation dance in front of their shop.

Quite an amount of participants having fun.





Thanks to Garry Knight for the featured image

Beijing car wash threatens water resources

Water is a very scarce resource in Beijing China, the city’s naturally available water per head have decreased from 325 m3 in 2002 to around 100 m3 in 2011, this was reported by the Xinhua News Agency. The remaining water must come from outside the city.

Beijing is trying with some aggressive water pricing to make people aware of the problem, but few people are aware of the problem, currently households are charged 4 Yuan about 65 $ cents per m3 and businesses are charged 60 Yuan which is 9.70 $ per m3 .

Income rises fast in Beijing and with that comes the luxury industry such as car washes, golf courts, ski slopes and bath centers. All have a big impact on water resources because they are intensive water users.

Beijing has over 5 million cars on the road and the amount of cars all over china is growing rapidly. In 2010, China had 90 million vehicles on its roads, and the figure raise sharply to more than 120 million by the end of 2012. The number of cars is expected to raise between 260 and 330 million in 2020, with 70 percent of the vehicles in cities.

china car sales graph

The 5 million cars have a big environmental impact on air quality in Beijing and have a large carbon footprint. Coming back to water, to keep the cars clean in Beijing from severe pollution and airborne dust, at least 6.5 million cubic meters of water are used every year. The water used to clean the cars is mostly tap water rather than re-treated water, according to a report from Friends of Nature. 6.5 million cubic meters of water can sustain about 170.000 people for 1 year in Beijing.

The high pricing of water to businesses is bringing another problem to the table, some car washes illegally use household tap water. Another option for the car washes is to use retreated water, this cost about 1 Yuan per m3 significantly cheaper than any other water resource. Due to the high transport fee 14 to 19 Yuan per m3 only few car washes use this option. It’s  said that less than 0.1% of the retreated water provided every year is used by the car washes.

Its important that we get on top of this situation either by building more re-treated water pipelines in Beijing or by moving car washes closer the source of available re-treated water.

Featured image thanks to Theen Moy