China is following her own plan when it comes to economic development. Some even speak of the need for a new political theory to account for President Xi’s approach to government. It is not surprising that in China’s unique business context, companies also show different approaches to growth and organization. I study Chinese organizations and how to thrive in an uncertain business environment to draw lessons for global organizations facing increasingly dynamic business contexts. One such new organizational form is the innovative business ecosystem, exemplified by Alibaba but also adopted by Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi and LeEco. While businesses are often organized in matrix structures, these companies follow a more boundaryless approach: the business ecosystem.
Find out how Chinese tech giant Alibaba and its peers Baidu, Tencent and Xiaomi are giving Amazon and Google a run for their money. Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (Gafa) may still be the world’s largest technology companies, but a new generation of contenders is coming from the East. The Chinese giants are consistently on the MIT Technology Review’s list of smartest companies in the world. While Chinese enterprises were long written off as copycats, this has now become a bad joke. Gafa needs to be aware of BATX’s boundaryless business approach, leveraging a new way of organising and exploiting the benefits of both strategic planning and entrepreneurial decision-making.
Read more: The Telegraph
Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (‘GAFA’) may still be the world’s largest technology companies, but a new generation of technology contenders is coming from the East. Alibaba and its peers Baidu, Tencent and Xiaomi (popularly termed ‘BATX’ in China), not only lead but also create and disrupt markets. With a combined market capitalization of about $900 billion, incubating over 1,000 new ventures within a decade and an average annual growth of over 50 percent, they are showing their unprecedented growth and relentless ambition to the world. Did you know that Tencent’s WeChat has over 1 billion users worldwide? Xiaomi bested Apple in the Chinese market, just 4 years after establishment. Baidu is one of the big boys in artificial intelligence (AI), not less than Google and Microsoft. GAFA needs to be aware of the rise of BATX.
The first response from my academic colleagues in The Netherlands when I announced I would study innovation in China in 2004 was, “That must be a short project!” Today the world is embracing China as an innovation nation, one where residents have a “ringside seat to entrepreneurial development”, according to Thinkers50. Facilitating the talent development of hundreds of elite students and next generation change-makers is my passion. Receiving multinationals eager to study new technologies and business models but also delegations from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors is my contribution to building bridges — who could have thought that 13 years ago?
Read More: China Daily
August 2017 Thinkers of the Month – A Dutch academic based in Hangzhou, China with a ringside seat on fast evolving developments in Chinese management and leadership, Mark Greeven is an associate professor at Zhejiang University’s School of Management. In addition, he is a research fellow at China’s National Institute for Innovation Management. Says Greeven: “Innovation does not come from guidelines or subsidies; it comes from creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and experimentation with allowance of mistakes and failures.”
Mark is on the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar list of 30 next generation business gurus and shortlisted for the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar Award.
Read more: Thinkers50 Q&A
After successfully hosting the G20 in 2016, China’s participation in the G20 in Hamburg this year may prove an important next step to further integrate and lead important global developments. As former US vice-minister for energy Professor Terrance Sandalow vividly expressed during his Beijing trip last year, China is now holding a mirror to the rest of the world. China’s vision for an emerging world order may be less fiction and soon more reality.
You would think that the Netherlands as a biking nation is leading in smart biking technology. In many ways that is indeed the case but in one area the Netherlands is behind: bike sharing. In Chinese cities we can see the colourful shared bikes everywhere on the streets, predominantly driven by the widespread popularity of mobile payment solutions like Alipay and WeChat Pay.
Read more (in Dutch): Elsevier
The time when tech unicorns, digital disruptors and celebrity entrepreneurs came exclusively from Silicon Valley is long gone. A new generation Chinese entrepreneurs is quickly gaining strength. These new change-makers are digital natives, disrupting the world of industry incumbents, creating hero-entrepreneur identities and relentlessly pursuing growth.
Huawei is one of only a few Chinese companies that has become trully global, deriving more revenue abroad than at home. But it will not be satisfied until every consumer knows its name, and the US market is cracked.
The presentation of the Government Work Report during the two sessions in Beijing last week is always reason for discussion and reflection. As an observer and researcher of Chinese innovation for over a decade, I pay particular attention to the support and regulation regarding innovation. In recent years innovation has been a key strategic direction for reform, increase of productivity and overall economic development.