China Circle

China Circle is a consultancy specialized in China and intercultural communication. China Circle provides training, workshops and strategic advice to Dutch and Chinese companies and organisations with cross-border activities.

We offer the following services:

  • Training: Eastern and Western communication and management styles differ greatly. China Circle offers fun workshops on cross-cultural communication for you and/or your team, using exercises on perceptions and communication styles. Ardi Bouwers and Tao Yue are both certified trainers using the Intercultural Readiness Check and the Diversity Icebreaker.
    The Intercultural Readiness Check (IRC) group workshop provides a deep understanding of your individual intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication, skills of building commitment and managing uncertainty. Before the workshop, all participants fill out a scientifically tested questionnaire and receive a personal 10-page feedback report. That provides a firm basis for dealing with questions such as: How to improve communication with your Dutch or Chinese counterpart? What is a consequence of personality and what of cultural differences?
    The Diversity Icebreaker tool enables us to learn about personality and East-West cultural differences in a non-threatening environment. Fill out a short questionnaire, discover your preferences and the differences between ‘me’ and ‘you’ in a light-hearted and fun way. The Diversity Icebreaker is also an excellent tool for an in-company training session, cementing ties in your Chinese/Dutch team, as it makes people reflect, ask, listen and talk to each other.
    We also offer Personal Coaching on the basis of your IRC, for managers and team members of Dutch companies operating in China and vice versa. How to cope with diversity in your team? How to lead your team when one colleague is un-cooperative? How to perform well, if your boss seems to ignore you? How to make your partner feel at home in The Netherlands or China, too?
    Minumum 6 and maximum 16 participants for the workshops.
    Coaching is individual, unless you request group coaching.
    We usually work with two facilitators, one from Europe and one from Asia.
  • Masterclasses: In our masterclasses, we delve deep into China in the 21st Century, trying to grasp the newest development in politics, economics and the society in general. And vice versa for Chinese who want to know about The Netherlands. We have extensive knowledge and experience in media and communication between China and The Netherlands. We love to play with different perspectives. No better way to understand the other, than by understanding how others perceive you. By providing many oral and visual examples (business, media, social media, TED-talks, advertisements and film), we set to arouse your curiosity, unveil unfamiliar angles, make you think and improve your understanding.
    Our Masterclasses are highly interactive, do not expect to sit back and relax. You learn by reacting, asking questions and considering different option and scenarios.
    Here’s an example of a Pechakucha presentation by Ardi in Guangzhou: 3 lessons about the Netherlands.
  • Informal Meetups are organised regularly in our workshop space in The Hague. If you want to be notified of new activities, please register here or follow China Circle on Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • Strategic advice: China Circle advises organisations on strategic issues, specializing in (intercultural) communication and media. We evaluate existing operations, conduct research into new possibilities and trends, organise workshops and brainstorms, do SWOT analyses and quick scans.
  • Project management: we have broad experience in managing China-related projects, especially related to communication, media and diversity. China Circle initiates new projects and provides structure and coherence to existing projects. We aim for clear and concrete results.
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    Ardi Bouwers

    Ardi Bouwers has the unique combination of in depth knowledge of China and a broad experience in cross-cultural communication and journalism. She teaches at universities in both the Netherlands and China, on China in the 21st century and on cross-cultural communication, for example at Amsterdam University College and Leiden University, and in the PRC at Xiamen and Jinan (Guangzhou) University. In media management, she has been responsible for over 200 professionals from around the globe. Furthermore, she is an experienced interviewer and moderator.

    Watch a video of Ardi’s Pecha Kucha presentation in Guangzhou, China, on the Dutch identity and ‘square’ communication style: 3 lessons about the Netherlands.

    In the early 80s she studied Sinology at Leiden University and Nanjing University. Over the past 35 years she has seen China develop from an inward-looking communist country to the world power that it is today. She gives lectures, writes columns and acts as a debate moderator on a variety of China and cross-cultural communication related issues for HOVO Leiden (University for higher educated retired professionals) Hague Center for Strategic Studies (HCSS), the Free University of Amsterdam (VU), Rotary clubs and other organisations.

    As deputy editor-in-chief of Radio Netherlands Worldwide she has set up a successful Chinese-language website (Helan online, 荷兰在线). She has in-depth expertise and experience in the international media industry, and in particular,on cross-cultural communication and management. Through her 35 years of experience in China and Asia, combined with intensive cooperation with colleagues from China, the Arab world and Africa, she has learned to effortlessly switch between different perspectives. Intercultural cooperation offers insight in other cultures, and also a fresh look at your own society.

    Tao Yue

    Tao Yue is devoted to intercultural understanding and business improvement. She provides customized East-West intercultural training and coaching and develops insightful business case studies and executive training materials.

    Tao has delivered cross-cultural training in Europe, the US, and China for such international clients as Shell, Siemens, Bosch, KLM Air France.

    Currently, Tao is also Managing Editor at the Rotterdam School of Management’s Case Development Centre, working closely with academia and business to develop case studies and other educational material. Previously She worked as a journalist with Bridge News (acquired by Dow Jones) and Agence France Presse in Shanghai and as an International Programmes Manager at Leiden University.

    Tao took her BA in English language and literature at Fudan University (1998) and MA in social sciences (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam (2002). She publishes regularly in Chinese and English. Her debut novel Hong Xishuai was published in China in 2012 and came out in Dutch (Schemering boven Shanghai) and English (Shanghai Blue) translation in 2015.


    Bei Wang

    Bei Wang is an experienced media consultant and communication strategist specialized in China’s public sector and private sector.

    Bei’s cross-border and cross-industry project expertise ranges from culture and fashion, journalism and education, to healthcare and sustainability.

    In addition, Bei has been a successful manager in an international media organisation for many years.

    More information on LinkedIn
    and on Bei’s website.



    Clients for workshops, lectures and project management are:
    – Alumni organization of the University of Amsterdam, workshop on cross-cultural communication
    – HOVO Leiden (University for higher educated retired professionals), series of lectures on China in the 21st Century
    Centre for Professional Learning, workshops for ambassadors and civil servants of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Amsterdam University College
    – Jinan University in Guangzhou, Business School
    – Jinan University in Guangzhou, School of Journalism and International School
    – Xiamen University, School of Journalism and Communication
    – Dutch National Archive, Captains dinner, presentation on East-West communication
    – Delft University, preparation for study trip to China of Industrial Design students
    – Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, on China and media
    Guangzhou Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
    – Global Garden Lifestyle Festival, Guangzhou
    Helan Online, RNW Media
    – RNTC media training centre
    Movies That Matter filmfestival
    – Guanxi network
    – Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Amsterdam
    – Leiden Institute of Asian Studies
    – China studies, Leiden University
    – The Hague Center for Strategic Studies
    – Rotary, Leiden
    – Confucius Institute Groningen
    – Prince Claus Fund
    – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Asia Carrousel)

    Grafic design

    For graphic design, our partner is Studio Yu. They have designed our new logo and the cover of the book Circles and straight lines.