Looking out from inside: The re-emerging power and influence of China
Private Enterprise Heritage & China’s Influence
“You can get on the table with anyone if you put your mind to it. No one is unreachable”.
Insights from Beijing by Alex Jarvis
I was recently in Beijing attending the 2nd International Forum on Private Enterprise Heritage & China’s Influence at Peking University. The event was organized by HSBC Business School, Peking University, the Magazine of Global People, People’s Daily and Sage International.
12 International guests were in attendance including a princess from Nepal, a Saudi prince, 2 British delegates as well as Mr Simon Jones, a reputation guru at Chime Communications PLC. Simon was insightful on advising how great reputations are made by embedding values within the enterprise. There were over 300 Chinese entrepreneurs in attendance with many being newly minted dollar millionaires along with several billionaires. The demographic of the Chinese entrepreneurs that I spoke with in the group sessions and while networking in the hall appeared to be fixed within the age bracket of 25 — 45. I noticed that entrepreneurs from the tier 2 to 5 cities asked specific questions about real estate and heavy industry and the entrepreneurs from the cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin were more focussed on 3D printing, electric cars, advanced robotics and financial services. But what all of them shared was a keen desire to hear more about opportunities outside mainland China.
I don’t do business cards as I meet far too many people. I like selective networking, knowing who is in the room before I enter and having a clear strategy and objective. I don’t throw darts at a wall; time is too valuable.
As I had no business cards I connected, in advance of these events, via Weibo and WeChat. I’d definitely recommend joining both platforms mentioned as WeChat now has 280 million monthly active users around the world and Sina Weibo has over 60 million daily active users in China. Factoring in the fact that Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn is challenging to access whilst in China, I’d highly recommend that if you plan to live and work in mainland China you adapt or risk remaining isolated.
The Chinese Dream
The “Chinese Dream”, envisaged by Mr. Xi Jinping (General Secretary of CPC), is the greatest dream of the Chinese nation since 1840. Achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is a glorious and arduous cause that will require the endeavors of generations of Chinese to come.
In the last 2 decades, China has gained growing influence on the international stage, at the same time as the world has witnessed new challenges requiring economic, social and environment changes. These challenges are for every country and every actor in the world to embrace. But maybe more than anyone, with its new-gained influence, China is shouldering a new responsibility to contribute and to lead this transformation and private companies in particular will be an important engine in this transformation.
Reports show that around 3 million entrepreneurs will hand over their business to successors in the coming 5 to 10 years, which will be a pivotal social and economic transition point since the reform and opening-up. Second generation Chinese entrepreneurs are faced with immense challenges including how to sustain success, how to maintain growth or even go beyond. A cultural understanding, a sense of responsibility and a set of universal values are what these new entrepreneurs should be equipped with in the face of new reality when transformation is well under its way.
“To get rich is glorious”. Deng Xiaoping
Chinese business culture attaches great value to the belief that man is an integral part of nature, and regards the whole world as an inseparable union. Accordingly, the business sector has to achieve sustained and green growth, nurturing back traditional human-centric business values.
To promote the long-term and balance growth of the Chinese economy and to develop a more internationally looking business culture with a global ecological awareness with in China international expert’s need to work alongside Chinese government officials and entrepreneurs to exchange best practices to allow China to exert the best of its influence.