Interview with Christian Sommer
“We try to avoid crises in Germany by planning – often a year in advance,” says Christian Sommer. He is CEO & Chairman of the German Center for Industry and Trade Shanghai Co Ltd, a successful platform for German-Chinese contacts and business.
In China, planning tends to be done on a quarterly basis, which already includes measures for implementation in the face of constantly changing global conditions. Sommer has been living and working in China for more than 20 years. As bassist of the Shanghai rock band “ShangHighVoltage” and co-organizer of Chinese-German table tennis tournaments, the trained lawyer promotes German-Chinese cultural exchange.
Table tennis tournaments are a good opportunity to meet in person, have fun and build trust. “Constant competition and adherence to fair rules are also important principles in business,” says Sommer, himself an enthusiastic table tennis player.
“China recognizes very well when there is a winner and a second and third place. (…) As long as Germany is number one in Europe, we have a good chance of doing business with China,” says Sommer.
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About Christian Sommer
Christian Sommer has been living and working in China for more than 20 years. He started his career in one of the first German law firms in Shanghai and helped building up the German Centre Beijing, before moving to his current position in 2005.
Under his direction the German Centre Shanghai, a subsidiary of BayernLB, has evolved into a
successful platform for Sino-German exchange and cooperation where hundreds of German
companies have started their entry into the Chinese market benefiting from Mr. Sommer´s expertise.
In 2016 Mr Sommer established the German Enterprise Center in Qingdao, as well as the German Centre Taicang, a subsidiary of the German Centre Shanghai.
Also in 2016 Christian Sommer was appointed programme ambassador of the Chancellor Fellowship of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation and in September 2017 he received the honorary citizenship of the Chinese city Suzhou. In 2021 Christian Sommer was honoured with the Magnolia Silver Award in acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to Shanghai´s development.
Furthermore Christian Sommer contributes to Sino-German cultural exchange as bass player in the Shanghai rock band “ShangHighVoltage” as well as co-organizer of the Sino-German table tennis tournaments.
About Simon Jacob
Simon Jacob is an operations and project management specialist with more than 20 years of experience in coordinating and implementing sales and marketing strategies for various companies in the IT and electronics industry.
He has several years of experience as a media consultant and producer working with public service media, renowned publishers and government organizations in Europe, the Middle East and the USA. He has also founded companies in the fields of information technology, consumer electronics and consulting and has served numerous politicians in Berlin, Brussels and Washington.
Jacob is responsible for the global strategic direction of the technology company and highly specialized distributor ComSIT. His main activity is complemented by many years of journalistic work (as a recognized and internationally registered journalist) in the areas of geopolitics, technological developments, digitization, cyber extremism and socio-political developments, in which the senior manager and author continues to be available as an advisor to political, academic and economic institutions. His geographical focus is on the Middle East, Europe, Asia and increasingly the USA.