china global market

China and the

Global Market



stage attribute dominate
battle emerge achievement
odds founder confidence
proud trouble launchpad
rely agenda recognize
rapid wisdom reconsider
way venture hierarchical
strict expand approach
strict mindset encourage
giant essence chairman of the board
ability strategic innovation
adapt effective circumstance
claim intuition


Video: China and the Global Market



Over the past century, Western multinational companies have dominated the world of business.

But today, powerful competitors are emerging from the East.

But bosses from places like China often find that begin dominant at home is very different to trying to dominate on the world stage.

So do Chinese CEOs have the right skills and attributes to take their companies global?

And what’s the best way for them to succeed, internationally?

Chinese company founders have often battled incredible odds to achieve success.

They are understandably proud of their achievements and their leadership abilities.

But some business leaders worry that there could be trouble ahead.

Joe Baolin Zhou, CEO, Bond Education Group: “We are really short of experienced, international, professional managers.

And a lot of Chinese business leaders still rely on intuition to decide on strategic goals and strategic agendas.

So Chinese entrepreneurs have experienced very rapid growth.

And that is good in a way, but that is bad on the other hand.

Why is that?

Because a lot of people will have their own way of doing things, and they believe that can continuously make themselves successful in the future.”

Confidence is an important quality in business.

But overconfidence is not.

In order to expand successfully, beyond their home markets, Chinese entrepreneurs must reconsider the way they run their businesses.

The strict, top-down, hierarchical approach common in Asia may not work so well abroad.

Deng Fend, Founder, Northern Light Venture Capital: “I would use this word: ‘leading’, because ‘managing’ is a word in China means how to control people.

I would say that we have to change the mindset, of myself and all these Chinese entrepreneurs, to encourage and lead people rather than just tell them what to do.”

Computer giant Lenovo is a Chinese firm that has tried hard to get international expansion right.

It employs thousands of people around the globe, and has an international management team.

But founder Liu Chuanzhi, accepts that the company’s essence remains Chinese.

Liu Chuanzhi, Founder, Lenovo: “40% of the board members are international. Furthermore, in Europe and the US, we use local people to lead our businesses.

But because the Chairman of the Board and the CEO are Chinese, the company is international, but based more on Chinese characteristics.”

Journalist: “So how do we get the best of Chinese with the best of the West in one company?”

Liu: “We recognize the power of Western management experiences and innovation, but the wisdom of corporate management in the East is also important.

For example, Lenovo was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2009. I went back to be the Chairman of the Board, working with the CEO, Mr. Yang Yuaquing.”

We saved the company from failure.

This is what happens when two men from the East work together and lead.”

This proves that the wisdom of the East can be very effective under certain circumstances.”

Big Chinese firms are looking beyond the country’s boundaries and learning what they must do in order to succeed on the global stage: be more open, more adaptable and less controlling.

But there’s still a long way to go.

The percentage of foreigners on Chinese company boards remains tiny.

There’s still a lot to change, before China can truly claim to be a launchpad for global companies.

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1. What is happening in global business? What has it been like?

2. It has been easy and natural for Chinese enterprises to start from scratch and flourish. True or false?

3. According to Joe Baolin Zhou, the CEO, what is the main problem or lack with Chinese companies? How do managers usually operate?

4. What characterizes Eastern company structure?

5. Lenovo mixes both Eastern and Western business styles and models. Is this correct or wrong? Give examples.

6. Has Lenovo always experienced continued success? How was it able to recover?

7. According to the journalist, how can China succeed in the global market?
A. My country trades a lot internationally. Yes or no?

B. Are there many foreign businesses in your country? Who are they? Where do they come from?

C. Are there major differences in business culture between your country and other countries?

D. Are companies in your country top-down and hierarchical or flatter? Which do you prefer?

E. Will the rest of the world adopt the Western or Chinese model or both?


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