HOT POT IS AT THE HEART OF CHINESE CUISINE; A FLEXIBLE COOKING METHOD THAT ACCOMMODATES ALL MANNER OF INGREDIENTS. DESPITE THE SIMPLE APPROACH, THE RESULTS ARE STUNNING. WE RUN OUR BUSINESS ALONG SIMILAR LINES. WE MATCH DIVERSE GLOBAL BRANDS WITH OUR EXPERT KNOWLEDGE OF THE CHINESE MARKET, ENSURING SUCCESS IN THIS COMPLEX AND EVER-EVOLVING ENVIRONMENT.

Founded by Jonathan Smith in Beijing and London in 2012, Hot Pot was established to provide much-needed joined-up thinking for brands looking to enter the Chinese market.

With an early focus on localised messaging and Chinese social media, Hot Pot has since developed into a comprehensive brand and commercial consultancy, specialising in the digital innovation necessary to make an impact in China’s dynamic online culture.

We love our work. From teaching Chinese calligraphy to David Beckham, to creating localised products for Tangle Teezer, to running full fashion shoots for Mulberry, we’re inspired by the variety, depth and speed of the work we do to help brands succeed in China.

01. How we work

We know China. We’ve worked here as clients and as suppliers; we speak the language and we know how to get things done.

We’re collaborative. We like nothing more than getting as close as we can to our customers’ businesses, becoming an extension of their own teams.

We’re consultative. There are very few one-size-fits-all solutions in business, and none in a market as rapidly evolving as China. We constantly monitor our own performance to ensure that we’re working as effectively as possible, bringing our expertise to the parts of your business where they’ll add most value.

02. What we value

Integrity
While others may portray China as “big, scary and far away”, at Hot Pot we take pride in bringing transparency and predictability to the brands we work with.

Curiosity
Our team are a diverse bunch, united by their passion for Chinese culture in all its forms. With a truly global footprint, we’re able to bring a unique perspective to every single project we work on.

Innovation
At heart we’re all entrepreneurs. We love data and we love getting our hands dirty, helping our customers bring new products to market and carve out new opportunities in the world’s most vibrant economy.

Our team

Meet a selection of the Hot Pot team from across our global locations.

Jonathan Smith, Founder & CEO

I've spent more than fifteen years working in China, and am a fluent Mandarin speaker. During that time I've specialised in branded content, working alongside global brands to create shows for primetime Chinese television before turning my hand to digital 10 years ago.

As the founder of Hot Pot, I'm responsible for leading company strategy, developing new business around the world and managing key client relationships.

Favourite Chinese Dish: has to be Sichuan Hot Pot!

Spice tolerance: High 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Adam Sandzer, Strategy Director

After achieving first class honours in Management with Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham, I began my career with Pentland Brands, working on China business development.

At Hot Pot I'm responsible for China market entry strategy and planning, ongoing client advisory, and am part of the senior management team.

Favourite Chinese Dish: Gong Bao Ji Ding. 宫保鸡丁!

Spice tolerance: Medium 🌶️🌶️

Stella Zheng, Digital Lead

I'm passionate about fashion and retail, and started my career as a fashion editor for top China media publications such as Elle China, Bazaar China and Modern Weekly. Once upon a time I was also among the first wave of Chinese digital fashion influencers.

At Hot Pot I'm responsible for the development and implementation of digital strategy across all our market sectors, as well as managing our relationships with key tech and platform partners.

Favourite Chinese Dish: Bubble Tea.

Spice tolerance: High 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Chan Li, Senior Account Manager

London

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Client servicing, China digital strategy consulting, Project management, New business.

Spice tolerance: High 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Emma Milligan, Senior Account Manager

London

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Client servicing, China digital strategy consulting, Project management, New business.

Spice tolerance: High 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Josie Xiong, Account Manager

Beijing

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Client servicing, Project management, New business.

Spice tolerance: Medium 🌶️🌶️

Rebecca Miller, Account Manager

London

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Client servicing, China digital strategy consulting, Project management, New business.

Spice tolerance: Medium 🌶️🌶️…though sometimes I mistake it for high

Bianca Spadone, Account Executive

London

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Client servicing, Project management.

Spice tolerance: High 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Jennifer Robson, Chief of Staff

London

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Working closely with the CEO to identify key challenges and priorities as well as ensuring the smooth running of HR, Finance and Administration throughout the business.

Spice tolerance: Medium 🌶️🌶️

Ashley Zhang, Content Manager

London

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Defining localised brand core messaging and tone of voice as well as content strategies for diverse brands.

Spice tolerance: Medium 🌶️🌶️

Andrew Chang, Brand Strategist

Shanghai

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Helping our clients to define their brand strategy in the Greater China market based on consumer and digital insights.

Spice tolerance: Low in food, high in mindset 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Ge Zhang, Digital Strategist

London

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Development and implementation of digital strategy for a diverse range of brands and sectors.

Spice tolerance: High 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Arthur Tong, Social Media Manager

Beijing

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Social media management and social campaign execution.

Spice tolerance: Medium 🌶️🌶️

Ken Tseng, Strategy Intern

London

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Supporting Strategy Team and Business Development

Spice tolerance: Low 🌶️

Olivia Lu, Content Specialist

Beijing

Responsibilities at Hot Pot: Digital content planning, creation and community management.

Spice tolerance: Medium 🌶️🌶️

We’re always looking to add new talent to Hot Pot - drop us a line if you’d like to chat.