Centre for China Management and Global Business Deliver China ‘Global Innovation Superpower’ Webinar

Monday, July, 27, 2020

On 16 July 2020, Henley Business School’s Centre for China Management and Global Business led a webinar discussing how China has developed over the last forty years from a developing country to a global superpower in manufacturing, technology and online.

The event was aimed at executives working in corporates, CVC units, corporate innovation roles and investors and was opened by Andrew Gaule, CEO of Aimava. Andrew spoke to the audience about China’s strategic innovation, industrial drive and corporate innovation, with a particular focus on how Chinese businesses develop their resources and people.

Professor Yipeng Liu, the Director of the CMGB, was next to speak and he explored how China’s rise is now being seen as a threat and is being challenged. Yipeng analysed corporate venturing, entrepreneurship ecosystems and the implications for high-tech entrepreneurs and innovation in China, using example case studies and statistics to evidence his points. He then examined the opportunities and challenges faced by high-tech entrepreneurs when they collaborate with a wide range of partners, including multinational enterprises, universities, and governments, before concluding with his predictions for the future of China’s development and the implications this would have for innovation and entrepreneurship in China and beyond.

The webinar concluded with an opportunity for the audience to share their perspectives and questions. The key points that audience members took from the webinar are summarised as follows:

  • The growth trend of China relative to other economies over a number of decades is likely to continue and may even step up as the pandemic is widening the gap as China continues growth while recession hits many other countries
  • China Five Year Plans have been a key part of the development of the economy, society and drive for innovation
  • We outlined the ‘Great Wall of China’ to illustrate different markets: the ‘New Silk Road’ for advances and dominance in production and ‘Enter the Dragon’ for the leadership in new business areas and growing markets in Asia, Africa etc
  • 5G is just one of the many next generation technologies and business models where China is developing leading capabilities – further examples included financial services in mobile payments, electric vehicles, energy systems etc
  • The uptake of technology and business models has the feeling of the country having a ‘Billion Teenagers’
  • FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) has been a key strategy for developing capabilities
  • Talent development in China and a strategy of attracting talent to come to China and returnees has had a long history of approach
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation in China are encouraged through central and provincial government support
  • China uses Triple Helix strategies linking industry, universities and government
  • Corporate Venture Capital has developed over 20 years with large global funds from BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent)
  • China has a leading and robust IP protection system, highlighting Intellectual Property concerns