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Major milestone for Bureau as member firm clinches biggest ever deal in China

02 Aug, 2019

Major milestone for Bureau as member firm clinches biggest ever deal in China
Major milestone for Bureau as member firm clinches biggest ever deal in China

Bristol and West of England China Bureau corporate member Cognisess has signed off on the biggest deal in the bureau’s 21-year history.

Cognisess in Argyle Street, Bath is a leading Artificial Intelligence and neuroscience provider. They will be working with Zhaopin in Beijing helping them better understand the best roles for students using Cognisess' HR expertise and technologies.

Bureau representative Yang Ding helped translate and close the deal - potentially worth millions of pounds - after meetings held in China.

Bureau Chief Executive Dianne Francombe said it was the biggest deal they had been associated with in the Bureau’s 21-year history.

“Cognisess has signed a license agreement with China’s second largest recruitment group – it's a game-changing achievement for them and also a major coup for the bureau. We have strived to set up connections with China and help businesses make inroads into the vast Chinese market - as well as enabling businesses there to reach out to firms in the West Country.”

Yang Ding, Founder of Bath based New Silk Route Digital, works with the Bureau to help broker deals and provided a translation service for Cognisess Chief Executive Chris Butt as his team negotiated with Zhaopin.

Yang said: “I have been working with Chris for more than six months to get this deal sealed.

 “My work involves localising the Cognisess system into Chinese, joining many WeChat meetings between Cognisess and Zhaopin as an interpreter, translating marketing materials, developing relationships with Zhaopin, checking background information about Zhaopin and advising on setting up IT infrastructure for China market.

“I am very happy to see all the hard work have been paid off.”

Chris Butt said: “Zhaopin is the equivalent of a major High Street name in China working with a staggering 140 million candidates.

“Zhaopin will be using our products to better understand who people are and where they fit. It allows lots of people who might have been written off to get noticed. It removes any consideration on gender, religion, ethnicity and focuses on the top three inches – the brain. That is what employers are interested in.

"Cognisess has welcomed the help and support the Bureau - and Yang Ding - has given us. It’s good to know there is a support mechanism, fostering links and goodwill. We are much more switched on to the opportunities in China.”

Chris Butt said working with somebody who can speak Mandarin had been enormously helpful.

“Not speaking the language is a big barrier. Yang Ding has helped us get the deal closed. It has taken a year to do it but it shows it is possible to go out there and get some deals done. We need to build on that.”


Issued on behalf of the Bristol & West of England China Bureau by Empica. For further information contact Martin Powell or Simon Harding on (01275) 394 400.