Face to Face – China: Andrew Johnson

Face-to-Face is a new feature from newzealandinc.com where we sit down for a chat with young business leaders from around the globe. We’ll be running a special series of these from China where we talk to young New Zealanders doing big things on the ground here.

Next in our Face to Face – China series is Andrew Johnson. An editor by trade, Andrew has taken his skills around the globe landing in South America and London before making his way out to Shanghai. Specialising in visual effects, Andrew has worked on blockbusters Batman and Harry Potter, but now his new focus is on the documentary scene where he sees opportunities both here in China and further abroad.



NZ Inc: Why did you choose China of all places, Andrew?

“I chose to come to China after living in London for six years because I wanted to move to Asia and I wanted to move to somewhere that was interesting and challenging. I considered Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo but Shanghai stood out. I really wanted to understand Chinese culture more because I believe it’s going to become increasingly important in the years to come.”

“I think there’s so much opportunity here. Given the scale of China, I think it’s always going to be that way too. It’s such a huge country and I’d really encourage any young person to at the very least familiarize themselves with the Chinese culture because it’s only going to become more prevalent as they play more of a role on a global scale.”

NZ Inc: And did you get what you expected?

“When I first arrived, China was far more cosmopolitan that I thought it would be. I was expecting a massive industrial wasteland but it’s not like that at all. There’s a rich culture here that survived the revolution.”

NZ Inc: What did you find the most challenging about coming to China?

“Language. I’d recommend to anyone considering coming here to really get a foundation in the language before coming here. It will really allow you to unlock the culture and get a lot more out of the country and the culture.I took some private Chinese lessons, but really it just requires discipline and a real desire to succeed at the language. It really is an investment.”

NZ Inc: You spoke of the opportunity for young people in China before, what about for New Zealand as a country?

“New Zealand needs to pitch itself as a producer of high end products. It really needs to take advantage of it’s clean, green image and exploit that more. People are becoming more and more conscious of pollution here, it’s a big problem.  New Zealand still has this image of being a beautiful and pristine environment and I think we need to take advantage of that more.”

“New Zealanders need to think more globally and not think of it as a strange, foreign place but rather as a key market for business.”
We’ll have more from Andrew and all of our young business leaders taking part in our Face to Face – China series coming up on newzealandinc.com

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