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Friday, October 16, 2020, 13:17
Innovating office space in Bay Area
By Pamela Lin
Friday, October 16, 2020, 13:17 By Pamela Lin

Physical office space with integrated services and the right ambience for business collaboration is still essential to attract and retain talents, according to Beeplus — a mainland lifestyle office and space operator. 

Betting big on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the startup, based in Shenzhen and Zhuhai, sees ample opportunities as regional authorities on the Chinese mainland come up with plentiful incentives to lure talents from Hong Kong and Macao as the demand for innovative workspace surges.  

To keep talents, it’s significant to provide a good entrepreneurial space where startups, businesses and incubators could interact with each other and experience integrated services, said Dave Tai, co-founder of Beeplus.

Last year, Beeplus and Zhuhai Da Heng Qin Company jointly established the first coworking space in Hengqin, a free trade zone incorporated into the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone. Tai said the occupancy rate of the coworking space has reached 70 percent so far, accommodating mostly startups and companies from Macao. 

Born and raised in Hong Kong with 10 years’ experience in studying and working on the mainland, Tai has a deep understanding of the region’s policies and business environment. He expects more young talents from Hong Kong and Macao to tap into the mainland market, starting with the Bay Area which also includes nine cities in Guangdong province.

Against the backdrop of a new Chinese development pattern featuring “dual circulation”, Beeplus is optimistic about office premises development on the mainland. Tai believes the demand for office space will continue to grow, serving entrepreneurs and emerging startups in China. 

Founded in 2015 in Zhuhai, the startup aims to create a new office ecology by designing, recreating and operating the space. Currently, Beeplus manages about 30 projects, including its own coworking space, jointly operated office space and an office-space solution plan tailored for corporations.

In recent years, mainland regional governments have been investing in industrial parks to attract entrepreneurs and promote inter-regional cooperation and development. According to Tai, Beeplus has received requests from local governments to build up such workspace from designing and building to operation management.

On the mainland, the idea of working from home failed to gain full steam before the pandemic was brought under control as most people returned to offices in early March, he said.

Although some small and medium-sized enterprises and private companies started downsizing and cutting costs due to the pandemic shock, they’re looking for flexible alternatives and would turn to Beeplus for the solution, said Tai.

In the second quarter of this year, the occupancy rate of office space run by Beeplus had rebounded to 80 percent, according to the startup.

During the pandemic, Tai found the trends toward adding more digitalized tools and flexibility to office space were on the rise.

Beeplus noted that a growing number of companies in China have begun incorporating digitalized management systems in their office space, such as online meeting systems and other digital management tools, to increase efficiency and cope with future risks. The company recently launched its self-developed space operation management platform called “Hero 2.0”, serving as the central processing unit of its “new office ecology” in response to market demand. 

Before Hero 2.0 got off the ground, Beeplus deployed smart hardware Internet of Things in the space it manages, such as the smart access control, intelligent office and smart-meeting scheduling systems. Hero 2.0 also helps to pull together the application of all scenarios.

Looking ahead, Beeplus aims to be a facilitator to help Hong Kong and Macao further integrate into the Bay Area development by providing innovative office space and a thriving office environment.

Tai said they’re also working with regional governments in the Bay Area to build up entrepreneurial space in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

pamelalin@chinadailyhk.com


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