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YEYU Founder and CEO, Andrea Speranza

My name is Andrea Speranza, I'm the Founder and CEO of YEYU, a mobile platform that connects sport organizations with sport enthusiasts based on their needs and interests. I was born in Napoli, Italy, and have been a resident in Shanghai since 2002. Since I was a child, I have always been interested in China, Shanghai in particular, as my grandfather lived here for 4 years during his time as a young official in the Italian Navy. At the time, they helped build the infrastructure of Shanghai and Tianjin.

After graduating from university, I started to work in London as a shipping broker. Although I have worked in India and the US, when the opportunity arose to go to Shanghai, I took it as a calling—to follow in my grandfather's footsteps. When I first arrived, the city had not yet been announced as the next Expo city for 2010, so I was able to experience the big transformation in just a decade.


I actually think the Shanghai I first experienced was much better, even though it was not as modern and clean as today. The sense of community among people was very much present, it was much more authentic. There were no smart phones at the time, we knew how to be active, how to explore a city, meeting hundreds of people a week, and we knew we were sharing an amazing experience together, while friends and family back home had no clue what was going on in Shanghai. This created a sense of privacy and a sense of freedom, which I never had back home, where everyone knows everything about you, on any given day.

Shanghai is a diverse and progressive hub of every market place. It is a city created for women. For years, my guy friends and I had trouble buying clothes, but for women it has been and still is paradise. The progressiveness of Shanghai, compared to other big cities, is certainly how the city reflects the strength of Shanghainese women: strong and proud, with a great commercial and entrepreneurial sense for business.


I'd like to think I've always experienced the city at its best, this includes culinary experience. I can't imagine a week without eating dumplings or Yunnan cuisine. I've had a phase when visiting the Bund for dinner was the norm, dining at Michelin star restaurants. But now, I am happier eating without the spotlight, eating at genuine and intimate venues, during the week, often times by myself. My all time favorite food suggestions include: Da Marco, Salute, Goodfellas, Bella Napoli, Mamma mia, Bar Centrale and Zozzo for Italian food. If you haven't yet you must try Din Tai Fung and Moka Bros. If you're going for a drink I suggest Funkadeli, Malabar, Unico.

Other than working hard, eating and drinking, my favorite hobby is to play football with Azzurri FC, the only Italian amateur football team in China (founded in 1995) that I represent being the President. We practice at Luwan Stadium every Tuesday and play in SIFL league every Saturday.


I've always played sports (football, ping pong, golf, jogging, etc) and I think it's the biggest catalyst for social development and bringing people together. For years, people have asked me: "Where can I go dancing?", "Where can I play football?", and so on, they thought I would know because I've been living in this city for a long time. After a while, the Italian Consulate and the British Consulate (the company I was employed for was British), sent me an email, saying they would like to suggest newcomers to contact me for help settling in.

This stimulated the creation of YEYU App. The idea of a digital word of mouth has always intrigued me. It all started in Shanghai for newcomers and friends, and overtime, I hope more people can experience and engage with the app and other sports enthusiasts from different communities across the globe. Stay tuned for the end of our beta test, and the launch of a huge update, coming in July.


[Shanghai Famous]:

Shanghai Famous is a SmartShanghai column focusing on people out there in the city makin' the scene. They're out there around town, shaping Shanghai into what it is, creating the art, culture, and life around us. We asked them what's good in Shanghai. We asked them what's bad in Shanghai. We asked them to tell us more, more, more about their wonderful selves.

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