Shanghai – where money grows on trees 上海 ——树上长着钱

By: Carly O'Donnell

August 17, 2016

Money trees

This month our team in China moved into a new office in the trendy Changning district of Shanghai –home to cutting edge art and culture in the bustling metropolis.


Champagne fountain and ribbon cutting at our new Shanghai office


While our lucky colleagues now have the benefit of new art galleries, events and restaurants on their doorstep no matter where you are in Shanghai you’ll notice the juxtaposition of old and new. This vibrant, buzzy city still beats to the ancient Chinese traditions and proverbs handed down through thousands of years.


Elements of the party to celebrate our new office in Shanghai

So when the time came to ‘officially’ open our brand new office we took the time to embrace these long held traditions. Here our Shanghai Marketing Manager Qiu explains how Chinese gifts and customs can help ensure your next move is filled with good luck and prosperity…



Guests at our Shanghai office opening enjoy a VR experience


Choose your date carefully

We chose the 8th August to officially open our new office as 8 has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture. It is pronounced ‘Ba’ in Chinese which sounds similar to the word ‘Fa’ – which means ‘to make a fortune’. The figure 8 is a powerful number loaded with connotations of prosperity, success and high social status – making it a very popular date for new business openings.





Don’t let the rain bring you down

Moving boxes in the rain might not seem like the luckiest start to your move. However in Chinese culture water means money and rain means money coming in. so if there are rain clouds overhead then consider your moving date very lucky!




Invest in a Money Tree

In Chinese culture, people likes to name plants, and one tropical tree in particular – the Pachira Aquatica – is often referred to as the Money Tree. These lucky trees are symbolically associated with good financial fortune and are typically seen in businesses, sometimes with red ribbons or other auspicious ornamentation attached. We received about a dozen money trees as house warming gifts for our new office.



Celebrate the occasion!

Some traditions are the same around the world – after the ribbon cutting and speeches we enjoyed a nice glass of champagne and slice of cake with our colleagues, trade partners and invited guests.




Carly O'Donnell

Carly is International Comms Manager at Virgin Atlantic by day and an international history geek in her spare time. Expect posts about the best cultural places to visit across Virgin Atlantic’s network as well as tips gleaned from locals on restaurants, bars and cultural hot spots.

Categories: Our People Our Places