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RISING STAR: Interview with Jo Xie, Operations Director, Star Events China

In this latest industry interview, Katie McIntyre speaks with Jo Xie, Operations Director at Star Events China, about the company’s stratospheric rise and the increased awareness for safe and secure staging and rigging.


Firstly, can you you start off by giving us a potted history of Star Events China?

Star Events China was set up in Shanghai ahead of supplying the stage and support structures for the local leg of Live Earth in 2007. 


Today, Star Events China has a full-time, multilingual staff, based in a downtown Shanghai office, in addition to a substantial warehouse facility on the outskirts of the city. 


It is a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE), with a hard-to-get business licence to offer event equipment for rent and Star China’s access to the expertise and infrastructure of Star Events in the UK has been a crucial component in any number of events. 


Star Events China supplies stages and support structures to the concert market, installs Mothergrids and other infrastructure to enable sports halls to host concerts and arranges the manufacture of a significant amount of equipment for Star UK.


Riot Games Semi-final in Shanghai 2017


Can you tell us something about yourself and career path?

I studied three different ‘majors’ at university, maths, physics and engineering, elements particularly useful in terms of the mechanics of temporary structures. I knew a bit about Star Events, applied for a part-time holiday job as soon as I saw the opportunity posted on a student forum at Fudan University, and joined the company full-time when I graduated in 2007. 


Star Events has enabled my career to progress much faster than is traditional in China. In nine years, I have been promoted three times, to Project Manager first, then General Manager and now I’m the Operations Director.


Mothergrid project at Beijing Wukesong Arena



And what about your career highlights to date and stand-out projects?

I have worked on so many rewarding contracts, it’s hard to rank the best or most impactful. The first Mothergrid project, at Beijing Wukesong Arena in 2009, was my first big job, working with Star Events’ UK team. The first 17m Orbit stage I delivered in Shanghai, for the Nike 10K [as pictured at the top of this piece], without any UK crew, stands out too. 


More recently, I project managed the first house reduction system at the Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena with UK and Chinese crews, and the Suzhou Mothergrid and Scoreboard rigging, which was the first big government project for Star Events China and involved several different stakeholders. I’ve never had to manage so many negotiations! 


I’ve learned so much from Star’s UK team throughout and made sure everything we do practices Star Events’ primary principles of safety, professionalism, creativity, problem-solving and hard work. 


Each job is different of course, solving particular problems and dealing with all sorts of people, but delivering a project successfully always gives me a great sense of fulfilment.


Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena House Reduction System 2018


What developments can we expect from Star Events China moving forward?

With the Orbit stage just recently renovated, after first introducing it to the Chinese market 10 years ago, and with more Chinese venues and promoters being aware of the importance of safety now, Star Events China will continue progressing and have been seeing a big development of the Chinese event industry.


Star Events China will be continuously offering various staging and rigging solutions, all at a high level of safety, quality and creativity.



About Star Events & Star Events China

Star Events is the only Western stage and rigging company operating in mainland China.


Established in 2007, Star Events China offers a range of stages, decking, front of stage barriers and venue rigging solutions using a mixture of Chinese and UK crew.


Star Events China has an office and a warehouse in Shanghai. 


For further information on Star Events, visit:

w: http://www.stareventsltd.com

For further information on Star Events China, visit:

w: http://www.starevents.com.cn/en/home.html



Many thanks to Jo Xie (pictured top, at the first 17m Orbit Stage completed without a UK crew, i.e. with just the Star Events China crew, for the Nike 10K in Shanghai back in 2011), Operations Director, Star Events China. You can contact Jo via email at: Jo@StarEventsLtd.com



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