In his early thirties, Bruce Chen Jiaxin keeps adding momentum to his growing business: calling himself a “practical idealist”, he strives to stand at the forefront of a global economic revolution.

 

陈家欣

Bruce Chen Jiaxin

 

After graduating from UIC’s Government and International Relations (GIR) Programme, in 2010, and then working for WPEO in UIC for a year, Bruce firstly started his career as an entrepreneur by founding “Divingtime” and “Aiysea”, which are booking and service platforms specialized in diving resorts. To tackle the currency transaction problems that his team had come across while running this very business, they also developed a currency converter application - the prototype of the current “xCurrency” platform.

 

Bruce’s “xCurrency” app has been downloaded more than 85 million times globally, providing cross-border fintech services with over 210 legal tender information to its users from over 160 countries and regions. The company, based in Qi’ao Island, Zhuhai, employs at present over 50 people, but just keeps expanding.

 

This year, Bruce has returned to UIC not only in the capacity of an outstanding alumnus, but also as a scholarship provider: he has in fact established the “xCurrency Curiosity Scholarship” amounting to a total of RMB100, 000 to be awarded yearly to two particularly deserving students of UIC.

 

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Bruce donates the xCurrency Curiosity Scholarship”

 

Back in 2006, Bruce chose to study in GIR after careful and farsighted consideration. He recalls that “UIC was a pioneering new college, taking the lead in implementing liberal arts education, and thus in reducing bondages and expanding possibilities”. As for his choice of GIR, he adds: “I knew that China would further open up, engage in even more business on the world stage, and thus inevitably become a key global governance player: I therefore felt that I needed to be equipped with relevant, interdisciplinary leadership and management skills, combined with a solid international perspective”.

 

In the first semester of college life, Bruce set up a computer studio to help more students understand and utilize the web effectively. “At the time there wasn’t really any proper ‘tech start-up scene’ in the country, and many didn’t realize the potential of computer technology”, Bruce says. “I believed that the use of Internet in China would soon be as common and natural as the use of electricity, and apparently I was right!”, he adds. The then 21-year-old freshman earned his first profits from that very studio, and that experience proved crucial in paving the way for his further, ongoing success.

 

Fueled by his enduring passion for outdoor activities, Bruce also founded the “UIC Outdoor Activities Club” with some like-minded friends. “Our intention was simple: to bring together people who enjoy exploring and observing nature”. He recalls his old days as an explorer at UIC and laughs: “We used to carve out new hiking paths on some desolate mountains near the old campus, and, once, we ended up on trails that turned out to be the path of Sun Yat-sen’s exile”. That spirit of adventure, which contributed greatly to his success, should also serve as encouragement to young students and enable them to grasp opportunities without fear of failure: “Be bold, be brave: that is how I started xCurrency: instead of doing repetitive or unexciting jobs, I was determined to develop my own business ideas and satisfy my own aspirations, first and foremost”.

 

Informed by his studies in GIR, Bruce sees himself as a true “global citizen” and a “practical idealist”. “I have a deep personal motivation to make the world a better place”. He explains that he “quit Divingtime because it could only serve a small group of people: I wanted to make a bigger impact, and touch more lives, globally”. And that is exactly what he has been doing with xCurrency, as the innovative platform is now helping countless users worldwide carry out cross-border money exchange and transfers with cutting-edge, yet user-friendly technological solutions .

 

Looking back on his career so far, Bruce points out the importance of being farsighted and making bold, effective decisions: “Every single person plays a part in the tides of history”, Bruce says. “True leaders are those who can be swift and resolute at riding favorable tides, while at the same time helping others find their own path to success”. His scholarship provision to current UIC students is certainly a proof of that!

 

 

 

Reporter: Cinnamon Sun

Editors: Cinnamon Sun, Helen He