Audi Innovation Research Beijing

Audi Innovation Research (AIR) Office Beijing decodes the fascinating country of China. In Beijing, the team lives with the city’s hectic tempo, which is much faster than in Europe. Mission: to help Audi to develop products, services and experiences.

Reading Time: 5 min

The AIR Office in China – AIR Beijing

For Audi China is the most important market - by far,  this makes the expectations of the local customers to the key point. China is developing at an incredible speed. The country has triggered a fundamental change and is leaving the old clichés behind: Copying was yesterday; the cliché of the so-called “workbench to the world” is passé. On the contrary: China is becoming a driver of innovation. Meanwhile, about a third of all patent applications now come from China. In Beijing, well known as the country’s media and high-tech hub, one feels the fast pace and the contrast of tradition and progress.

The Team

Dr. Christian Balzer

Dr. Christian Balzer

Head of AIR Beijing

Hey, I am Christian and I am leading the AIR Beijing team since beginning of 2017. Before that I worked in several positons at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt and had the great chance to be part of exciting projects in several international markets like Japan, India, Singapore, Australia or the U.S.. Having the chance to work now in China is such a great learning journey.

I always say that China is a country of extremes. It’s really impressive how a keen awareness of traditions is combined with uninhibited modernity. Beijing is the pioneer in many respects. This is where trends are started and immediately tried out in the marketplace. The Chinese are very ambitious, especially with regard to new business models and digital services. One of the key drivers is the openness of Chinese customers: They are very curious and technology oriented. New products are accepted extremely fast and spread like wildfire. 

In the coming years, this innovation potential will be increasingly prevalent also on a global scale. Ideas will be born in China and will then be accepted all over the world. 

Yu Zhao (Scott)

Yu Zhao (Scott)

Senior Trend Research Analyst

My name is Scott and I am responsible for trend and innovation research. I have joined AIR Beijing in 2013.

Before Audi, I had acquired extensive experience in marketing research from one of the biggest global marketing research firms.

At AIR Beijing, my job is never boring because I talk to various experts, trend receivers and leading users on a daily basis to understand what future holds for premium mobility customers in China. 

I am passionate about what I do because it is creative, innovative; and more importantly, it is very meaningful and fulfilling to be the ambassador for Chinese customers and see their needs and requirements being materialized into future Audi products and services.

Zhisheng Xu (Danny)

Zhisheng Xu (Danny)

Senior Market Research Analyst

I am Danny, a senior market researcher in AIR Beijing office. My expertise are brand-related projects. The brand perception of Audi, for example, is crucial for the success of Audi. I evaluate the brand Audi systematically on an annual basis to help marketing and communication colleagues to shape Audi in the right direction. 


Before I have joined the Audi family, I worked at Deloitte Consulting and Nielsen, a global market research agency, to provide customer insights and branding solutions for multiple OEM clients . 


Innovation happens every second in China right now with increasing number of fascinating brands and products that are drawing attention from the globe. It’s really an exciting journey to work at AIR, to experience the innovation in China, and more importantly to bring innovation insights from China to the globe. 

China is calling for more innovation on smart vehicles and smart mobility solutions.

Zhisheng Xu

Zhu Ming

Zhu Ming

Senior Market Research Analyst

My name is Ming and I have joined the AIR Beijing in 2015. I am mainly responsible for market research projects with the focus on product and digitalization. I hold a bachelor’s degree in German studies and a master’s in marketing from the Friedrich Alexander University in Nuremberg, Germany. 


Before I joined Audi, I gained rich experience in market research for the automotive industry from one of the leading global market research firms during my time in Germany. 


Working at AIR is an inspiration. We investigate feelings, thoughts and desires of our customer. We are the first ones to realize the trend and changes in China. We serve as a bridge between the market and the company, China and global. It’s very fulfilling to see how our insights flow into the development of Audi in China. 

China will play a crucial role for Audi’s success story in the future.

Zhu Ming

Bai Haiwei (Odin)

Bai Haiwei (Odin)

Senior Market Research Analyst

Since Feb of 2015, when I have joined AIR Beijing, I am mainly responsible for market research projects in terms of Audi products and digital services. 


Before my journey at Audi China, I have worked in Kantar MillwardBrown, one of the leading market research firms, in the field of the automotive industry. 


Working in AIR is fascinating and exciting. Not only I have so professional and creative colleagues, but also I am amazed by all of our innovative projects to explore the future of China. 


Innovation will never stop. It’s very important and meaningful to transfer customers’ needs and requirements throughout Audi and keep our strong competence in Chinese market. 

Digitalization, urbanization and sustainability - all those mega trends in China we see thrives on innovation.

Bai Haiwei

Shen Li

Shen Li

Senior Market Research Analyst

I am Shen and have joined AIR Beijing in August 2018 and I am mainly responsible for projects regarding the digital transformation for future automotive industry. 


Before joining Audi, I started my career as a design researcher in the design center of a leading local automotive brand in 2015. 


With a diversified background and a deep understanding of the automotive market, I am thrilled to work as a research analyst in the AIR Beijing team. It is an inspiring and passionate working experience everyday. 


Boundaries are shifting every second in our daily life and in the automotive industry. And the AIR team will always be open to challenge and ready to change, providing innovation through observation and experience, in order to support Audi’s evolution towards a digital mobility company in a fast and profound manner. 

It is an era of radical innovation in the automotive industry and we will make sure that Audi takes the lead by providing deeper insights.

Shen Li

Approach and Projects

Explore. Analyze. Transfer. The AIR Office in Beijing explores the Chinese market and its development. Audi gets a behind-the-scenes peek into the customer’s world through interviews, workshops, and collaboration with trend receivers. This collected information is then analyzed and transferred between departments.


Audi worldwide

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