Chinese firms need global vision: dean

Updated: 2015-04-28 11:03

By ZHENG XIN in New York(China Daily USA)

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Chinese firms need global vision: dean

Xiang Bing,dean of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business.[Photo by Zheng Xin/China Daily]

Chinese companies have to adopt a global perspective for their evolving role in international markets, the dean of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business told China Daily on Monday.

"Many Chinese companies caught the wind of globalization decades ago and built their name and fame thanks to the worldwide information democratization and technology transparency,"Xiang Bing said Monday before a seminar on China's economic outlook at the business school's New York branch. "However, we were just really lucky then.”

Xiang said Chinese firms can no longer rely on copying the success and models of Western counterparts while taking advantage of cheap labor.

The Chinese companies should focus more on social responsibility, environmental protection and entrepreneurial morality, said Xiang. He is the founder of the Beijing-based business school established 12 years ago with the support of the Li Kashing Foundation. Cheung Kong is also China's first privately owned business school.

According to Xiang, most Chinese entrepreneurs focus only on issues within China, whereas the American businessperson usually has an eye on global issues every day.

The key to Chinese companies' success in the next decade will be for them to assume more responsibilities and market share, he said.

Three generations of Chinese entrepreneurs have driven explosive growth since 1978, and now it is time, said Xiang, that the Chinese businesses of today enhance their managerial competency and extend their global reach.

According to Xiang, many Chinese firms lack the global perspective and capacity to leverage resources worldwide, which has limited their role globally, despite success and influence in the domestic market.

"The philosophy of China's businesses today is similar to the self-strengthening movement back in the Qing Dynasty, the institutional reforms initiated from 1861 to 1895 by the Chinese government in an attempt to modernize China by copying the Western political and economic systems, including learning the advanced technology from the developed countries and sending young talents abroad to learn of the progressive technology,"Xiang said.

History has shown that copying, plagiarizing and imitation no longer work in today's economy, he said.

"The Chinese companies, despite their past prosperity after copying and reference of Western firms; it's time they adopt a global perspective and create a new era with innovation,"said Xiang.

Xiang said most of the Chinese firms in the past that have been innovative have suffered devastating defeats in the marketplace while those who copy the successful Western companies have made great profits, which has encouraged the "copying model”. But he warned of an opposite result in the future.

"Copying Google, Expedia, Facebook, Twitter and Uber might succeed during a certain period of time, but it's definitely not going to in the future,"he said.

A good example of an innovative Chinese company is Huawei. Its originality has brought the company not only recognition abroad, but also sustainable long-term success, Xiang said.

As a business with an international footprint, Huawei has been growing rapidly in both developed markets and emerging markets, with its customer-centric innovation strategy enabling it to become the third-largest applicant for patents in the world.

Xiang said it doesn't matter whether a company chooses a developed country or a developing one to expand its business abroad and crack the local-to-global code.

"What matters is that the companies adopt a global perspective and enhance the ability to leverage resources globally,"he said.