Qingdao/China

Qingdao is an attractive and cultivated seaport city, which is situated directly next to the Yellow Sea. The city has around 7 million inhabitants. 2.5 million Live in the city and the rest in the surrounding outskirts. Administratively, Qingdao belongs to the economically strong Province of Shandong. In 1903 a German brewery was founded which produces the well known Tsingtao beer. The brewery is one of the most significant businesses in the city. Its turnover in 1994 was around 456 million RMB. The brewery which is today producing all over the country was one of the first Chinese companies to sell shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

From a historical point of view, the untypical Chinese city was strongly influenced by the German colonial period. This is noticeable in the many buildings in the city that were built in a German architectural style. Its development from a small fishing town only took 16 years, in this time it became a considerably large trading town. This was due to the large amounts of money spent to improve its infrastructure. For more information see the downloadable literature list.

Qingdao

As the city is directly situated at the water front, its climate and its restaurant menus are positively influenced. The region is renowned in the whole country as a cultivated health resort and in the summer it is commonly seen as a good holiday resort by the Chinese. This is comprehensible as the nice beaches, clean air and the nearby mountains make it very attractive. Due to the outstanding conditions for water sports the Olympic Sailing Competitions of 2008 were held here. Principally, the tourist economy is very important for the region. Next to water sports and countless beaches, there are numerous other activities available.

Qingdao

Due to the economic reform and the opening of foreign trade, Qingdao has become an important part of this process. In 1994 the foreign trade turnover summed up to 2.3 Million US Dollars. This is one fourth of the total turnover of the province Shandong. The city is one of the 14 “opened” on the Chinese coast. Apart from this Qingdao is able to make decisions that normally only a province can make.

On the west coast of the Jiaozhou-Bay, opposite the city Qingdao exists since 1984 the economical and technical development zone of Qingdao. About 8 million RMB were invested between 1985 and 1995, to improve the infrastructure and basic composition of the 1599 km² zone. Among other things a passenger and vehicle ferry transfer was implemented. In 1994 a motorway connecting the city with the zone was opened. Two tunnels of six and eight kilometres in length are projected. 2300 businesses were counted at the end 1995, 700 of which cooperate internationally. In 1992 it was declared as a free trading zone and until 1994 about 125 businesses with international involvement moved here. Among them the well known German company Bayer, with its daughter company Rheinmetall and Degussa Chemical Co. Ltd, and other smaller companies such as Digatron Industrieelektronik GmbH.

Between Qingdao and Germany there is a time difference of +7 hours in winter and +6 hours in summer.

Climate

The climate is very similar to the German climate. The winter however is not so harsh. The temperature rarely falls below zero degrees although the winds can get very strong, due to Qingdao being by the sea. The summer is in general somewhat warmer, making air conditioning sometimes necessary.

Currency

Currency in the People Republic of China is Renminbi, RMB (the peoples currency), usually known as Yuan or Kuai. 1 Yuan = 10 Jiao (or Mao) = 100 Fen. 1€ = around 10 Yuan (04/2007).

Shandong

Shandong belongs to the eastern provinces near the coast. Due to this it is among the most developed regions of China and nearly allows a western living standard.