Global software consultancy, ThoughtWorks, has cemented its commitment to the development of economic ties between Manchester and China, by announcing its major new R&D and software delivery centre in Manchester’s ‘sister city’ Wuhan, and welcoming a delegation from Manchester, led by Sir Richard Leese, leader of the Manchester City Council.

The GM-Wuhan City Circle Summit which took place in China, from 26th February to 28th February, included representatives from universities and businesses across Greater Manchester discussing and collaborating on policy, trade and investment discussions to further Manchester-China relations.

The Greater Manchester delegation was joined by Mark Collin, director of ThoughtWorks Ventures. Collin announced further commitment to the company’s software delivery centre in Wuhan and investment in the region whilst hosting the delegation. ThoughtWorks has a strong focus on supporting business’ access to the Chinese consumer market and its wealth of technical expertise and innovation as well as enabling Chinese companies gain easier access to invest in Western markets and companies.

As part of the visit, it was announced that Mark Collin has taken a role on the Board of the Manchester China Forum. ThoughtWorks’ involvement will support the Manchester China Forum in driving forward its digital agenda, using their expertise to develop a Manchester-China digital strategy. ThoughtWorks has a growing team in Manchester operating out of Federation House in the city centre.

One of the first major initiatives that ThoughtWorks and Manchester China Forum is developing is a cooperation with China’s premier social media platform –WeChat. ThoughtWorks is working with WeChat to introduce local language WeChat digital ‘channels’ to help Chinese visitors to Manchester to make the most of their time in the city.

Commenting on the cooperation, Mark Collin said “Tens of thousands of Chinese visitors are arriving in Manchester every year on business, to study, or just to enjoy the city. By providing tailored WeChat channels to them on arrival, we will help to deliver great digital experiences using their familiar social channels.”

Rhys Whalley, Executive Director of Manchester China Forum said “We look forward to working with ThoughtWorks throughout 2018 to continue to develop a strong China focussed digital strategy supporting both trade and investment and creating a more China-ready digital environment in Manchester.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said “I was very encouraged to see ThoughtWorks opening their new office in Wuhan, given their expertise around digital innovation. I look forward to seeing how they continue to progress collaboration between our two cities.”

About the Manchester China Forum

Launched in 2013 by the Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, the Manchester China Forum has received acclaim as an innovative and successful platform that has helped ensure that Manchester is equipped and ready for China’s continued global ascendancy. It is a public-private partnership with strong links and influence, putting the organisation in a unique position to drive forward the interests of the city region’s agenda in China.

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