Global entrepreneurs should dare to take the responsibility to lead the frontier

The reality is that the world has always been more complex and interdependent than we would like to admit. The current negative trends and national emotions are probably a result of the disappointment of the large group of common middle class citizens in the lack of tangible positive rewards of a global economy. In my opinion, as a business school professor, the answer should probably be in an increasingly important role for entrepreneurs in shaping the future and making changes not only in the economy but also in the society. Entrepreneurs are the real change makers and social entrepreneurs may be able to mobilize key stakeholders, including governments and citizens, most effectively. China, as one of the largest stakeholders in the world economy and society, will inevitably play a large role in this process. And, China has proven in the past years to be a supporter of entrepreneurship and innovation; China’s economic power is mostly driven by entrepreneurs.

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China’s inevitable role in pushing the frontier of innovation

The official Davos website points out that Global events this year have reminded decision-makers that the more complex a system, the greater a community’s concern about its future. The weakening of multiple systems has eroded confidence at the national, regional and global levels. And, in the absence of innovative and credible steps towards their renewal, the likelihood increases of a downward spiral of the global economy fuelled by protectionism, populism and nativism. What’s your outlook for the world economy in 2017? How can we innovatively and solidly foster the renewal of the global system? What kind of responsibility do you expect China to take within that process?

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Respect local market, priority for Chinese entrepreneurs going abroad


As the One Belt One Road initiative rolls out, many Chinese corporations are stepping up to co-finance, invest or contract projects with local companies along the Silk Road, while investors tend to be more worried about localizing projects and financial risks. Could you give some suggestions to Chinese companies to deal with this?

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Chinese changemakers are on the rise

In August 2016 Chinese taxi hailing platform Didi Chuxing acquired Uber China after closing several investments with Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent (BAT), Apple, Foxconn and China Investment Corp. These impressive investments totalled US$1 billion, with the market valuation reaching US$35 billion. Didi Chuxing now lays claim to 300 million users, 10 million orders per day and 14 million drivers in over 400 Chinese cities. Founder Cheng Wei is only 33 years old and joins a long list of young Chinese changemakers that are disrupting Chinese markets.
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Can China’s Internet celebrities run successful businesses?

Entrepreneurs like Luo and He are “media guys, someone who really knows how to do internet marketing, how to create fans, how to convince people”, said Greeven, who’s also an associate professor of Zhejiang University. However, “they may not always understand their products well enough… they appear to have limited experience in how to manage the people and how to get the knowledge… but the product in the end is above anything,” he said.

Read more: South China Morning Post

China swaps sweatshops for smart tech in bid to reclaim lost ground

Manufacturers also acquiring established brands overseas in push to move up the value chain. “Many former Chinese manufacturers already started to develop their own brands 15 years ago and some have become real global innovators.” “It’s a big market opportunity for foreign firms to offer their advanced technologies to Chinese companies. However, foreign companies should be aware that Chinese companies are catching up and becoming real innovators.”

Read more: South China Morning Post

Alibaba’s growth frenzy

While Alibaba’s growth from an apartment-sized company in 1999 to a company with the largest IPO value in American history in 2014 can only be high-velocity, founder Jack Ma’s taste for speed is relentless. Since early 2012 Alibaba Group has shifted gears and moved from organic growth and partnerships to high-speed growth by M&As in complementary technology fields. It has been expanding in finance, healthcare, travel and even movie making. Alibaba has become one of the most signficant tech investors in China.

Read more: CASE – Expanding by acquiring and CASE – Pioneer in China’s Internet financial service