Business Panel

Brown China Summit – Business Panel

Business in China

This panel will be in English.

Last year, a record number of passengers — 1.9 million and 1.2 million — arrived in China and Hong Kong respectively from US airports. Since 1978, Western businesses have dreamed of the riches a country as vast as China could hold. Thus, multinationals have poured into the country over the past three decades. The increased business opportunities in China have directly led to increasingly frequent contact with Chinese officials, Chinese people, and Chinese culture as a whole. After the financial crisis, many companies turned to China to salvage their losses, yet many did not successfully establish a foothold in the Chinese market. Though firms have made significant profits in China, many more failed within months. For many foreign firms, survival in China has become increasingly difficult. This has been in part due to flagging growth and rising costs. Talented young workers, especially those studying overseas, have become more and more scarce and demand higher and higher pay. However, the recent economic reforms in China have led to an unprecedented revival in the business environment and opened up fresh opportunities for foreign investors and firms. The guest speakers will aim to resolve and clarify these contrasts in the Chinese economy and share their experiences on how to conduct business in the Chinese market.


Michael Byrnes  ·  Steven Chapman  ·  Drew Mason


Li Wan

Key Questions:

1) What are the difficulties inherent in starting a business or helping others start a business in China? Are there any key experiences you would like to share?

2) In general, what are some of the key contrasts between managing a business in China and managing a business in the US?

3) With regard to the differences in conducting business in China as opposed to US, what are some of the opportunities they would create?

4) What are some of the business/entrepreneurship prospects in China?

5) International investors have been interested in the economic ties between the US and China. Would business experience in the US guarantee entrepreneurs success in the Chinese market? If so, what kind of experience would be beneficial?

6) Brown University has long been known for its entrepreneurial spirit. Do you have any advice for burgeoning college entrepreneurs, especially for those students who are interested in either traveling or returning to China for business opportunities? For them, what are the qualities that matter? What should they pay attention to? What should be given consideration at this stage?

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