Meet the Founder
Justin Chen, born in the 1960s in Fujian Province, China, holds a Bachelor's degree from Zhejiang University and a Master's degree in Executive Master of Business Administration from Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. He has positioned himself as a dedicated "champion" of innovation within the apparel and textile industry. Justin Chen is the owner of The Clis Group, which encompasses various trading companies, apparel factories, and notably, the innovative service provider TradeAider. With a profound background spanning over 30 years, he boasts extensive experience in international trade, manufacturing, and services within the apparel and textile sector.
Over the past 13 years since its establishment in 2010, Justin Chen has dedicated significant effort to driving the global implementation of TradeAider's revolutionary business model and the digitalization of supply chain management. This commitment is geared towards providing creative sourcing solutions worldwide, ultimately benefiting TradeAider's valued customers.
Justin Chen's Profile:
Founder, President, and CEO of TradeAider.
Holds a Bachelor's Degree from Zhejiang University.
Earned an Executive Master of Business Administration from CKGSB (Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business).
Boasts 30 years of substantial background and experience in international trade, manufacturing, and services.
Recognized as "China New Era Top 10 Brand Characters," "2018 China New Economy Annual Leaders," and "2018 China Industrial Internet Top 100 Leaders."
Holds the position of Executive Vice Chairman at CAASA (China Anti-infringement and Anti-counterfeit Innovation Strategic Alliance).
Serves as Vice Chairman of Hangzhou Chamber of International Commerce.
Proprietor of The Clis Group, which encompasses various trading companies, apparel factories, and the innovative global service provider TradeAider.
Justin Chen, Founder & CEO of TradeAider，was honored as Top 10 Most Influential Chinese Entrepreneurs in Brand Summit China 2019. Among the list are Dong Mingzhu (Chairwoman of Gree Electric)，Cao Dewang (Chairman of Fuyao Group), Yang Jie (Chairman of China Mobile Ltd.), Ma Mingzhe (Chairman of Ping An Insurance) and others.
On July 29th, 2020, Justin Chen accepted the interview by Shu zhongsheng, the well-known TVhost of zhejiang TV host of Zhejiang TV Station . Here are the dialogues between them.
We know you are a successful entrepreneur, the owner of The Clis Group which consists of several trading companies and factories, and you have been very successful with the traditional trading and manufacturing business over the past 30 years. Why did you set up TradeAider in the year of 2010 while your existing business was successful?
Good question. Although my traditional trading and manufacturing business has been successful, I did encounter the common problems which everybody faces: quality control, order control, high cost, asymmetry of information, factories to be cooperated with are limited only in China but not in South East Asia countries, Indian Subcontinent countries and Eastern European countries. So the service capability and flexibility for the customers is limited.
So what shall we do? Complaining doesn't solve problems. There must be somebody who tries to find some solutions to solve these common problems to benefit both buyers and suppliers. OK, I then decided to be that person.
So how can TradeAider solve these problems? Nobody thinks this is easy work.
Absolutely right. Innovation is not at all easy. However, only through a revolutionary business model and digitalization of supply chain management can we have a chance to solve all these problems and make global trade a happy, smooth, and profitable business for the buyers.
Firstly, we need to know what challenges we are encountering in the sourcing industry of apparel and textiles. A rapidly evolving world, an unstable supply chain, information asymmetry, rising travel costs and restrictions, and the closure of companies, both large corporations and SMEs, etc.
Secondly, in response, what steps can we take? Restructuring the supply chain, innovating the business model, implementing supply chain digitalization.
Thirdly, how can we ensure survival? Obviously, we need to embrace novel sourcing strategies, to reduce costs, to enhance product quality and to maximize profits, in summary, to initiate a revolutionary transformation in global sourcing.
Fourthly, what's the solution then? The answer is: An innovative global service provider that aids buyers in thriving and advancing through a revolutionary business model, coupled with a transparent and efficient digitization of the worldwide supply chain. This service provider offers buyers comprehensive one-stop services, ranging from being a strategic sole agent under a turnkey contract to providing various individual services such as quality guarantees, sourcing, design, payments, and retailing in the new markets of the production countries.
Only a business model meeting the above requirements can it be successful in achieving the goal. I am very pleased to inform you that, having made great efforts since 2010, I think TradeAider is getting closer and closer to this goal.
Sounds very inspiring. What solutions do TradeAider offer then?
TradeAider is an innovative global service provider of Total Trade Solutions that aids buyers in thriving and advancing through a revolutionary business model, coupled with a transparent and efficient digitization of the worldwide supply chain. We offers buyers comprehensive one-stop services, ranging from being a strategic sole agent under a turnkey contract to providing various individual services such as quality guarantees, sourcing, design, payments, and retailing in the new markets of the production countries.
Why are you confident that TradeAider's Total Trade Solutions cost-effective and problem-solving?
Firstly, TradeAider's Total Trade Solutions assists buyers in attaining the objectives of cost reduction, quality enhancement, and margin expansion. This is achieved not only for survival but also for improved growth. This is accomplished through its creative services, including WeContract, WeGuarantee, WeSource, MyDesign, MyShow, Sell-in-World, MyQC, WeFinance and NoFake, among others.
Secondly, my mission and vision are founded upon my 30 years of experience in global trade and manufacturing of apparel and textile products, as well as my 13 years of expertise in pioneering revolutionary business models and digitizing the global supply chain.
Thirdly, we have 80,000 quality controllers located worldwide, spanning regions such as China, South East Asian countries, Indian Subcontinent countries, Europe, North America, Africa, and more. Among these, more than 20,000 are specialized in overseeing apparel and textile products.
Fourthly, verifications have been conducted by TradeAider on over 3,000 factories globally, spanning regions such as China, South East Asian countries, Indian Subcontinent countries, Europe, North America, Africa, and more. The number of verified factories is increasing every day.
Fifthly, the digitalization of the global supply chain is exemplified by the TradeAider App and several other companion Apps.
Last but not least, a robust team of highly experienced merchandisers collaborates with buyers, manufacturers, and TradeAider Quality Control Specialists throughout the entire production process, utilizing the TradeAider App to ensure the quality of goods.
How does Sell-in-World Program work? How can TradeAider be involved in the retail business?
Yes, it is a retail business, as long as it can be helpful for the brand owners. This program can help the foreign fashion brands to increase sale and profits in the new markets of the production countries, and to enhance brand awareness and value worldwide. Now that a lot of brands whose products are being produced in China, South East Asia countries, Indian Subcontinent countries and Eastern European countries through the operation of TradeAider, in the meantime these brands have been hoping to enter these new markets of the production countries, why not take the chance to ask the factories to produce some more quantities which have been bought and will be sold by TradeAider?
In this way, there is no need for these brands to invest a single cent, employ a single person, or sell a single piece of the product by themselves, As all the hard work will be done by TradeAider and what these brands need to do is just to sign an agreement with TradeAider authorizing us the right of the retail agent in China. TradeAider will then make full payments to brand owners for the products selected and purchased. Whether the purchased products will be sold out or not is at the risk of TradeAider, not the brands. Therefore it is indeed zero cost and zero risk for the brands. Therefore I would like to say that this is really a good chance for the foreign fashion brands to enter the vast markets of China and the other production countries of South East Asia countries, Indian Subcontinent countries and Eastern European countries.
This seems exciting. If I were the brand owner, I may consider trying it.
In October 2018, Justin Chen was invited by Canton Fair to make a presentation at the 124th Canton Fair Forum.
Tell me more about WeContract. What's the difference between TradeAider's WeContract Service and the traditional trade agents?
Well, the major difference is the organic combination of sharing economy with the digitalization of supply chain management. With the establishment of the vast and solid databases of Quality Control specialists worldwide (at the moment over 80,000 in the world and among them 20,000 are specialized in apparel and textile products, with ongoing expansion), over 3,000 factories in China, South East Asia countries, Indian Subcontinent countries and Eastern European countries (with ongoing expansion) and thousands of experienced freelance designers, TradeAider gets a guarantee both in the human resources and the production capacity. With the implementing of the digitalization of the supply chain management demonstrated by TradeAider App, Manufacturer Database and MyQC App, TradeAider gets a guarantee in efficiency and transparency. All these have contributed to the achievement of reducing costs, enhance product quality and increase profits for the buyers.
However, great efforts, huge investment and a lot of time have been put into the realization of the above infrastructure works over the past 13 years since the founding of TradeAider in 2010. We are proud that finally we have achieved this and are now in a good position to be able to provide the best services to our valued customers.
In February 2013, as one of the first entrepreneurs from mainland China, Justin Chen made a presentation at the Magic Show Forum in Las Vegas, USA.
You mentioned TradeAider App many times. It seems you are quite proud of it. What is it? How does it work?
Yes, we are.
TradeAider App is a specially developed App to effectively support the one-stop services of TradeAider's Total Trade Solutions. Take WeContract service as an example, all the communication, comments and confirmations are done on the App. Where all the related information and order details are displayed and summarized by TradeAider merchandisers. The production plan is made and confirmed jointly by the manufacturers, the TradeAider merchandisers, and finally the buyers.
All the actual production situations of the factories are tracked, inspected, and reported by TradeAider QCs onsite the factories and updated daily on the TradeAider App by TradeAider merchandisers, and the samples in the different stages are displayed in 3D style by the fitting models for the buyers to review, comment and approve online the App, saving huge time of the different samples being sent by courier backward and forwards between buyers and the factories.
The entire production process can easily be monitored by the buyers through just a quick glance at the App and confirmed by a single click on the App, wherever and whenever. This is especially useful at this post-pandemic time when everybody's movements are restricted.
The buyers and the TradeAider merchandisers work together on the App in an extremely effective, precise, smart, and transparent way, ensuring that the orders are being produced soundly and no quality problem will be occurring.
With the help of the TradeAider App, all the work the buyers' merchandisers, designers, and QAs need to do every day is just to follow the simple and precise instructions given on the Work Table of the App, putting Yes or No to the requests listed by TradeAider's merchandisers, and all the follow-up works will be done by TradeAider merchandisers and QCs. Therefore, the workload of the buyers is greatly reduced and the overhead cost is saved a lot.
Therefore, from now on, it will not be a dream for a buyer that a good trade business can easily be done while this buyer is playing golf (laugh).
This is so impressive. Now I can understand more about the slogan of TradeAider: Total Trade Solutions. Actually, the one-stop services TradeAider offers are flexible and meeting the needs of different customers. Your solutions can help the buyers to live an easier business life with more profits. Am I right?
Yes, you are absolutely right.
In February 2015, Justin Chen was among the panelists at the Magic Show Forum in Las Vegas, USA.
Thank you for introducing so precisely the creative business model of TradeAider. Can you tell me, in your mind, what's the best business model?
Well, in my mind, to be the best business model, in addition to innovation, the most important thing is altruism. This means you must do your best to help other people first, think of other people's needs, help them to survive, and help them to be more successful by reducing costs and increasing sales and margin. You should never think of yourself to make a lot of money, especially at the very beginning. Otherwise, you will never succeed. I set up TradeAider in the year of 2010, I have invested tens of millions of US dollars over the past 13 years. However, I have a deep believing that as long as the buyers and suppliers have really benefited from the altruistic services of TradeAider, TradeAider will ultimately be growing well, together with the buyers and suppliers, which is a win-win-win, best business model.
I am so pleased that after 13 years of exploration and practice, the innovative business model of TradeAider specially designed to help both buyers and suppliers is now mature to benefit more people. I do hope more and more buyers and suppliers realize the urgency and importance of switching to the new ways and trying the new business model, in order to continue doing business in an easier, safer, happier, and more profitable way. I do hope more and more buyers and suppliers will get to know TradeAider. Try us, like us, and benefit from us.
We discussed a lot about the business model. Can you briefly introduce yourself, and your background education? What's your mission and vision?
Well, I was born in Fujian Province of China in Nov 1962. I entered university in Sep 1978, at the age of 15. I have a bachelor's degree from Zhejiang University and a master's degree from Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. In 1997, I set up The Clis Group which consists of several apparels and textile trading companies and factories. I then set up TradeAider in 2010. My business life is simple and persistent. I enjoy working. I especially enjoy the sense of achievement when TradeAider's solutions can help more and more business people both at home and abroad. My mission and vision are to help more people in the global trading industry through our constantly innovated solutions.
Sounds like you are really an optimist, you like innovation, you like new business models, you like to help people and enjoy the sense of accomplishment... However, do you really have no worries or concerns? As everybody does.
I do have, and many. However there is no use in worry and concern. I quite like what Roy F Baumeister and John Tierney say: pessimists are always right, and optimists can have a chance to be successful.
Let's do our best together toward a brighter future.
In October 2019, Justin Chen was invited by World Internet Conference to make a presentation at the forum of the 6th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China.
Look at this photo on the wall. What are they doing? Any specific person you want to introduce to us?
It's the launching ceremony of one of our early websites. The gentleman on my right-hand side is Sun Ruizhe, currently President of China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and Chairman of the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF).
He is a good leader and friend of mine and has been understanding, encouraging, and supporting the vision and mission of me and TradeAider over the past 13 years. He says that TradeAider is a very good service provider with the innovative business model, and more and more people in the industry will be benefiting from this innovation.
In August 2011, Sun Ruizhe, on the right-hand side of Justin Chen, currently President of China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and Chairman of International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), attended the launching ceremony of one of TradeAider's websites.
I noted that TradeAider is the strategic alliance partner of China's top six import-export chambers of commerce. Tell me a bit about it.
Well, because TradeAider can bring a big benefit to both buyers and suppliers through the increasement of trust , the reduction of costs, the guarantee of the products quality, and the increase of sales and margin, all of China's top six import & export chambers of commerce have signed the strategic alliance partnership agreements with TradeAider. This is very unusual because as far as we know we are the only company which has the strategic alliance partnership with all the China's top six import & export chambers of commerce. We feel very honored with it and will do our best to provide good services to them. TradeAider's solutions will ultimately benefit their members both at home and abroad.
Who exactly they are?
Yes, they are:
China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles;
China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Light Industrial Products and Arts-crafts;
China Chamber of Commerce for Import Export of Medicines Health Product;
China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters;
China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products;
China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce And Animal By-products.
Thank you. We will.
In October 2019, Justin Chen was invited by Canton Fair to make presentation at the 126th Canton Fair Forum.