Sven AgtenCEO Asia Pacific at RHEINZINK


Sven Agten

CEO Asia Pacific at RHEINZINK

Originally from Belgium I’m actually a real product of China. Arrived in China in 2004 at age 24 I can proudly say I never worked a single day of my life outside China. I speak Chinese fluently, married to a Chinese and in general stay away from the expat bubbles. The real China is my habitat.

Although I work as CEO Asia Pacific for a German multinational, I am an entrepreneur at heart. Whether it was starting out as an English teacher in Heilongjiang (Yichun), or setting up a Joint Venture in Hebei (Tangshan) where I lived for 4 years, I always aspired to challenges and consequently seen the good, the bad and the ugly of China.

I have a very broad experience and local network in China and can connect the startup scene with the corporate world, not only the western one but also the Chinese side. I have set up and grew different business in China for companies and know the game of business development, localization & acting fast to grow fast very well.

Now after 13 years in China, and have been living in Heilongjiang, Beijing, Hebei, and now in Shanghai, I am also convinced China is a global game changer. I feel China is just getting started… there is China and the rest of the world.

My time in China also convinced me that China matters to everyone, if you want to or not. So I made it my mission to inform the western world about how China works and why it acts the way it acts. I try to inform people about what is happening in China so I wrote a little book about modern trends in China, which published in Belgium and The Netherlands, and currently being translated into English and German.  I also regularly write articles for business magazines, economic newspapers, etc. So all in all I try to inspire people about China. 

I believe in helping out where I can, and with my rather unusual track record in China, I bring a much more local perspective on doing business and getting started in China. I think as a Chinese, often act as a Chinese, but I am just not Chinese. I have been here one third of my life, and I am not planning to move anywhere else. China is the place to be, now and in the future.

Favorite quote: “It always seems impossible till it is done.” —Nelson Mandela