The “LI” in LITAO comes from the Chinese word 黎 (lí), meaning dawn.
The character 黎 itself has four components:
grain, parcel, person, water—an image of a diligent worker planting seeds in the early dawn. This past decade has been the dawn of China, of globalization, of a truly connected world. And the day has only just begun.
The “TAO” in LITAO comes from the Chinese word 涛 (tāo), meaning wave.
And not just any wave—a huge one.
The three dots on the left side of the character 涛 is the component of water. In traditional Chinese fengshui—the philosophy of environmental harmony—water represents prosperity. But on the right side of the character is 寿, meaning longevity. So we are ever fluid, ever changing in a fluctuating world. Yet like waves that hit the shore again and again, slowly and relentlessly wearing down the shoreline, we aim for the long-term.
LI + TAO = dawn + wave
LITAO is a wave ushering in the new dawn.
LITAO is potential just waiting to be realized.
A circle crosses a triangle.
The circular philosophy of the East
meets the linear rationality of the West. Intuition converges upon logic.
Both are necessary.
The intersection is LITAO.
We are independent collaborators happy to work together for the collective. We are all overachievers with a healthy disrespect for the "impossible". We are LITAO.
A born leader:
Lina became interested in China at a time when no one predicted the country’s meteoric rise. By the age of 15, she was running operations for three EU-recognized youth development networks. And by 2009, she was in China proper and writing about the local culture for an audience of 200,000 back home.
Lina, thirteen years old, learns about China for the first time. She is fascinated by how a culture half a world away uses “pictures” as written language and is determined to learn Chinese. As a teenager, Lina manages and represents youth at three EU-recognized non-profits: a local UN-sponsored community health initiative; the Eurodesk service network; and a Lithuanian union of 30+ youth organizations.
At university, Lina majors in Chinese Studies, a program which admitted only 10 students nationwide every two years—but also a controversial decision at the time as China to Lithuanians was still a country of cheap fakes. Her first time in China, Lina blogs daily about the differences between Chinese culture in texts versus on the ground, unexpectedly attracting 200,000 followers when re-published on delfi.lt, Lithuania’s largest news platform. Awarded Bachelor’s degree with thesis on Confucius’ Analects. Obtains HSK Level 6, highest rank on China’s only standardized Chinese exam for foreigners. Travels alone through 10 different provinces in China.
Lina consulted for 50+ China projects across industries including luxury real estate, food & beverage, manufacturing, and education, all while simultaneously obtaining a Master’s degree from a prominent Chinese university. As the token interpreter who was often the only one who understood everything being spoken in any given meeting, she learned to hold her own through negotiations with high-level company executives of any stripe or culture. Her Chinese proficiency was such that the Lithuanian government approached her to translate its legally complex Railway Statutes from Lithuanian into Chinese. After seeing her at work, other companies tried to steal her away with spontaneous full-time job offers and benefits, but Lina chose the diversified route of freelancing, ultimately crafting her own vision for LITAO.
Lithuanian Ministry of Environment at Shanghai Expo
cultural shows and performances for Murat Etilgan, a world-renowned classical Turkish painter of ebru art
multi-million luxury mall and villa deals for architectural design team, including travel to Hainan, Taiyuan, and other up-and-coming Chinese cities
for Marks & Spencer’s market research department
rare fish from Colombia to China for high-end aquariums
Lithuanian meat traders through Glardo Versme at SIAL China, Asia’s largest food exhibition
custom materials from China: cashmere for a bespoke sweater brand; Traditional Chinese Medicine ingredients for massage therapists in Lithuania; quality Chinese tea for Lithuanian enthusiasts; and PVC/wood flooring for a renovation firm
Maple Leaf Education’s global English language curriculum for mainland China market
the complex jargon of the Lithuanian governments’ Railway Statutes as well as the casual lingo of Lithuanian dating web-site (ieskok.lt) into Chinese
a corporate scam, ultimately helping a Lithuanian company get money back from Chinese con artists
youth development social enterprise Me to We from Canada to China, organizing all press tours and Chinese social media marketing as well as establishing parternships with 10 international high schools and top Chinese educational company New Pathway
youth development workshops for hundreds of teenagers as project officer of Me to We, ensuring the cultural appropriateness of each workshop exercise
Canada mayor delegation with mayors of six major Canadian cities for Confederation of Greater Toronto Chinese Business Association
custom-made art and furniture pieces from Lithuania to China
garbage recycling plants in China for Lithuanian project worth EUR 10 mln
custom food processing and packaging equipment, signed contracts in Chinese factories on behalf of clients
of telecom components from 11 suppliers in China to Lithuanian client’s warehouse in less than one month—a logistically improbable feat
Flintas and sold copyrights at the International Children’s Books Exhibition in Shanghai
Lina obtained a Chinese government scholarship for an MA in International Relations at one of China’s most prestigious universities -
the place where top Chinese officials graduate from and send their children and so on. Educated by the Communist elites themselves on how to navigate China, she knows how to communicate to Chinese leaders in their own language.
Lina read over 200 original sources and interviewed all major stakeholders in Lithuania-China interactions for her thesis on Lithuanian economic diplomacy towards China. Defended thesis fully in Chinese. Pan Zhongqi, Lina’s thesis advisor, was once First Secretary of the Chinese Mission to the EU.
LITAO Founder and
Towards the end of 2014, Lina’s workload was growing too large and high-level to handle with individual discretion. She submitted the business registration documents for LITAO in October 2014 and obtained a WFOE business license for mainland China in February 2015. While she has always cultivated a large network of China experts, she was finally able to hire her first Chinese employees fully dedicated to LITAO. In July 2016, an additional branch of LITAO opened in Hong Kong, officially forming the LITAO Consultancy Group.
Compassion is for businessmen
as well as Buddha.
It is feeling what it means to be in someone else’s shoes, in someone else’s country. It is the true consideration of the people who buy your products and services as well as the people who make them, their joys, sorrows, and humanity. Compassion means responding to differences without clashing, and treating even obstacles as opportunities for understanding. We believe success without compassion is money without meaning.
Fluency is not limited to language.
It is understanding but also flow, also grace. Vocabulary and grammar alone does not guarantee fluency; it is the connections between words that give sentences their meaning. Fluency is the ability to do things and convey meaning with ease and efficiency. We help you to find your cultural fluency, to do things naturally even outside your home country so you can translate your success anywhere in the world. Fluency comes from the same root as fluidity, a measure of the extent to which a liquid can move freely and without obstacles. Fluidity is even a part of our name; the “TAO” in LITAO comes from the Chinese word 涛 (tāo), meaning wave.
Everyone knows a custom-made suit fits better than one from the department store.
LITAO is the reverse of mass-produced consulting: we take your measure carefully to find solutions tailored to your specific needs. Of course, it’s not the clothes that make the man or woman; it’s ultimately the person inside. Yet without good presentation, the personality is obscured. At LITAO, we want you to show your best self to the world. We take your dreams personally.
We are not a group of
theorists floating ideas in the sky.
We are down working on the ground. Whatever we know, we know firsthand. We consider ourselves gardening experts for cultural pioneers: by helping you understand the local environment and warning you of potential pests and storms, your seeds can safely take root and grow. Wherever we operate, our local teams dig deep and get their hands dirty so you don’t have to.
There is always a gap between who we are and who we want to be.
Closing the distance between those two points is the definition of greatness. It is doing what you have always dreamed; it is going beyond your comfort zone; it is being a pioneer. We are here to help you close that gap in service of greatness: to help you go further and farther than you ever thought you could. To exceed even your own expectations. Because that’s what great people do. Because that’s what you are. And we want to bring more greatness into the world.
Effortless does not mean no effort.
It is by no means laziness. Effortless is simply doing what feels most natural to you: waking up early not because you have to but because you want to; going the extra mile for your client or project or company or country because you believe in them; working tirelessly out of love. We love our work: we imagine a world where everyone is passionate about what they do, and so even the most complex goals become readily attainable. We are here to simplify your obstacles, clarify your choices, and accelerate your dreams—to make your work life effortless but no less ambitious.