Digital Nomad Guide for Beijing

Yesterday night a man from Seattle called Chaz contacted me through WeChat. As a typical Chinese business person, I use WeChat quite heavily as WeChat almost means Mobile Internet to several hundred millions of Chinese.

Mr. Chaz asked me where to find the famous Garage Cafe and 3W Cafe in ZhongGuangchun startup street. I guess he had found my contact information from my posts in Reddit last week.

I responded to Mr. Chaz immediately and sent him a location information on an internal map of WeChat and just now he told me he had found that places successfully. So I’m asking him to supply me questions for me to write a update and practical guide for any digital nomads in Beijing.

With my years of experience of startups in Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang province, I actually want to do a guide for all major cities. But let’s start from Beijing, especially the Western-and-Northern Beijing, called Haidian district, which is my home base.

Previously ZhongGuanChun is just part of Haidian’s university area, but now the municipal government has used ZhongGuanChun as a special term like Silicon Valley universally. But still Haidian boasts most of the high tech startup activities due to a high density of universities here.

I wish to introduce you to ZhongGuanChun startup street at first. That street recently has more press exposure than any other places. (The above is a map of that street located in the Beijing map). You can find at least four co-working places, and let me introduce them one by one.

Garage Cafe, the leading cafe of this street, has started 4 or 5 years ago by a young investor called Di Su. Di is a warm hearted person and empathetic with entrepreneurs from all over the country. So Garage Cafe is quite unique for the openness of its atmosphere.

You can freely talk to anybody in Garage Cafe. Some young men live here day in and day out as they can’t afford hotels. So it becomes like a youth hostel type of co-working space, and even Di started with a group from GuangZhou to be CTO of You+ hostel recently.

Opposite to Garage Cafe is a more clean and stylish Cafe called Binggo Cafe, which is more quiet and professional atmosphere than Garage Cafe. So I suggest Mr. Chaz to be actually stationing in Binggo Cafe. It has job boards exactly like Garage Cafe, so you can look for startup jobs there.

At the entrance of that street, there is a Korean style Cafe, called Esse Cafe, which is more business casual. You can have 1on1 or small group meeting there and work as a digital nomad as they also serve simple buffet for lunch time.

You can find 3W Cafe between the Esse Cafe and Garage Cafe, which is too crowded usually to be recommended. Since 3W cafe is the first crowd-funded cafe and has a talent hunting company, that place usually has lots of trade shows and seminars.

Those four Cafe are most obvious choices for digital nomads in that street, but you can find others like IC Cafe or a local Chinese Cafe as a co-working spaces. The food selection of this street is excellent as well. Many types of food can be chosen from, even some food startup’s offering like this.

This is just part 1 of our digital nomad guide in Beijing or even in China. Wish you find it useful and interesting. If you need to ask me questions while you’re in Beijing, please add my WeChat ID: +86–186–1102–3418.