Established in 2001, Fun Guide’s main focus is the development of integrated mobile services for banks and the finance sector. The company’s team of over a hundred specialists develop mobile solutions for the biggest Chinese banks, including China Merchant Bank and the China Construction Bank, who are both among world’s largest banks. With clients like these on its books, Fun Guide is recognised as one of the hottest emerging companies in China, and was named the most promising Chinese growth company in 2014 by Ernst & Young.
Fun Guide’s products are used by over 60 million people, who benefit from a wide range of mobile services. Fun Guide’s mobile applications are designed to incorporate a range of functions including banking services, discount card functions and loyalty programmes. Users can also reserve tickets, book hotel rooms or pay for utility services. The company also develops mobile systems for managing personal finances and online shopping, and mobile solutions designed specifically for small businesses.
Lu Yong, Fun Guide’s CEO, believes Lithuania’s business environment matches the company’s needs well. “We are growing rapidly, so increasing our competitive edge with innovation and talent from Europe is a natural stage in the development of our company,” he said. Mr Yong, who works closely with many Chinese investors, believes Fun Guide is not alone in looking outside China for new opportunities. “More and more Chinese companies are looking for opportunities beyond the borders of China. We are proud to be one of the first Chinese IT companies to have discovered Lithuania’s potential.”
According to Martti Mustila, General Manager of Fun Guide Europe, Lithuania is well known for its highly qualified IT specialists. “As our business is growing fast, we have been on the lookout for talent to help us maintain the highest quality, and to ensure we find the most creative solutions and provide the best client experience. We have not chosen Lithuania randomly; we carefully considered the local business environment and talent pool. Therefore, we have no doubt that we will find the highly skilled employees we need in Lithuania,” Mr Mustila said.
For Mantas Katinas, general manager of Invest Lithuania, Lithuania’s foreign investment development agency, Lithuania’s relatively low profile in China may be significantly raised by the establishment of companies like Fun Guide. “China is going down the road of innovation very quickly and with great determination. Companies like Fun Guide are a perfect example of the new Chinese economy. The fact that one of the fastest growing Chinese companies has chosen Lithuania for its start in Europe shows that Chinese businesses see us as a great location for establishing their European operations.”
This year, Invest Lithuania has already attracted 17 new investors, creating 1,600 jobs. This is the first investment project from China this year. Last year, Invest Lithuania helped Featherland, a Chinese company operating in Lithuania under the name Scandun, to set up in Lithuania.