July 12th, Shanghai - Invited by the Antai College of Economics & Management (ACEM), Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU), Liang Sun, CEO at Generate Ltd., gave a presentation to a group of international MBA students on the topic of “Doing Business between China and Europe, challenges and opportunities”.
This is the second time the school has invited Generate. During the presentation, Liang shared the client success cases he has involved over the last five years; how his business model evolves; and his observations on the current competitive landscape.
Liang told the students that China had been opening the door for international businesses over the last 40 years - the European companies, which want to be or should be in China, are in China already. Some of successful ones, eg. Bekaert, Barco, AB-Inbev, Materialise, are well localised their teams and have established solid partnership with the Chinese government - the two keys for success apart from providing good products and services. With the rise of the Chinese qualities and technologies, it is getting increasingly difficult for European companies who are new in China to sell their products, and the selling usually end up being very relationship driven – something the Europeans struggles to compete in China.
Opportunities still exist in certain key sectors for China, such as new technologies, new materials, new process and renewables. European companies entering China with the willingness of localising their technologies together with a local Chinese partner, are more likely to receive the government subsidies, Chinese institutional or private investment. The local partner is usually responsible for the sales and distributions which they are strong at. Challenges remain at building up the partnership where trust and respect are most important.
The blue chip Chinese private companies, Liang said, on the other hand, employ the best local or western educated talents who have already climbed up to leadership roles. Despite having great products, technologies, expertise and being well managed, it is very challenging for them to compete with the Chinese state-owned enterprises. As a results, the Chinese private companies are always actively looking for overseas market to enter or expand, especially in Europe and Africa nowadays. Liang envision this to be a blue sea market with huge potential.
Liang ended the presentation by sharing his own company’s challenges and opportunities in Europe. He is setting up a new company in Belgium and hire local talents in order to facilitate the trade for Chinese companies in the Benelux and the rest of Western European regions.
SJTU is one of the most prestigious university in China. It’s MBA programme is ranked at No.34 in 2017 by Financial Times World MBA Ranking.