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Xia Xu-Fees – Consultant, a dream job

Xia Xu-Fees, Business Consultant and Managing Director of China Business Upgrade

It was her father who sparked Xia Xu-Fees’ interest in Germany. He had studied mechanical engineering and would always tell her that Germany was number one in this field. His daughter’s mentality seemed rather German to him – so straightforward and direct. He was probably right about that, Xu-Fees says with a laugh: “I just say what I think.”

Dealing with different mentalities is an essential aspect of Xu-Fee’s everyday work. Four years ago, she founded ‘China Business Upgrade’, a consulting company that specializes in preparing German companies for business relations in China – and vice versa. She supports companies on the search for business partners and the establishment of locations in China and Germany, as well as the founding of companies and the optimization of businesses. Her main field is business development and strategy. Sometimes she has to do some convincing first: just because you successfully built up a company in Germany does not automatically a good employer in China – the working cultures of the two countries differ too greatly

Xu-Fees was born in Dalian, a port city in northeastern China. Following the advice of her father, who has since passed away, she first studied German and later International Economics and Trade while working. After working for an import-export company for several years, she came to Germany in 2001 and completed her MBA at the TH Nuremberg. She then worked for the Franconian tool manufacturer Emuge – after only two years she was responsible for setting up a subsidiary in Suzhou. This was followed by further positions in Germany and China, including Business Development Manager at the Zhongde Metal Group, which supports German and Chinese companies entering the market in the other country.

Medium-sized companies account for 35 percent of total sales in China

In 2017, Xu-Fees founded her own business, China Business Upgrade. “Consulting has always been my dream job,” she says. As a one-woman business, she mainly advises small and medium-sized companies in the fields of mechanical engineering, tool manufacturing, plant engineering and automation. In addition to her consulting work, she holds guest lectures and talks at the TH Nuremberg and offers coaching and training for companies.

Covid has put a “dent” in her self-employment, but she feels that things are now clearly looking up again for her clients. Global political tensions over China only played a minor role for mid-sized companies she counsels. “Many companies generate about 35 percent of their total sales in China. These companies cannot ignore China.”

Xu-Fees lives with her daughter and husband in a small town near Nuremberg. Until the outbreak of the pandemic, she traveled to China regularly, both professionally and privately. She is quite certain what she will do first as soon as she is able to return to China: “I want to visit my mother and eat her dishes.” Her favorite food: Diguawan – deep-fried sweet potato balls. Sarah Schaefer


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