Entries by Olga


Moving Forward: China’s Plan to Innovation

One of China’s key objectives is to transit the economy from “Made in China” to “Created in China” . As costs increase and the Yuan strengthens, moving up the value chain will be of utmost importance in balancing the export-driven economy and securing China’s global competitiveness. Progress is already visible: R&D spending and patent applications […]


China 2.0

China transformed from a peasant society to the world’s second largest global economy within a single generation. With the opening of the economy and market reforms, entrepreneurial spirit has flourished: State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have been privatized, millions of Chinese have started new ventures, and China has taken advantage of its large labor force through low-cost […]


From Collectivism to Individualism

Under the planned economic system, most goods and services were distributed to various places of employment, called danwei. Apartment housing, welfare benefits, and even necessary items like sandals were all rationed in this manner. In general, the consumption of goods was highly regulated through government quotas and ration coupons and special goods such as bikes […]


Demographic Dilemmas

China’s demographics have been largely influenced by the One-child Policy which slowed China’s population boom but also caused a gender imbalance through selective abortions. Today, China is facing the problems of an aging society, as life expectancy increases and birth-rates decrease. This will change the dynamics of China’s workforce and may challenge the competitiveness of […]


Be Aware Fraud Risks

China is constantly plagued by fraud scandals. Anyone, whether only doing business with Chinese companies, managing a subsidiary, seeking investment opportunities or conducting merger & acquisition possibilities needs to be aware of China’s high fraud risks. The strong focus on family well-being, the urge to gain status through accumulation of wealth quickly (→ Social Concepts: […]


Chinese Migrants: The Hukou System

The term hukou (pronounced who-koh) refers to China’s household-registration system, which defines access to welfare. Required by law since 1958, the system records every Chinese citizen as a permanent resident of a particular city or county. Before 1980, citizens were strictly required to stay in the neighborhood of birth and could not seek employment or […]


Work Culture and Effective Management Style

China’s work culture is still strongly influenced by traditional Confucian values, even though newer generations of Chinese employees are beginning to challenge these old standards. In earlier days, organizations tended to be built on loyalty, or guanxi (→ Social Concepts: Mianzi and Guanxi), rather than merit. The leader would choose staff according to personal and […]


The Education System: The Big Picture

Education holds great importance in China, opening the door to promising professional careers, wealth, and financial security for the whole family. The Chinese strongly believe that a school or university with a better reputation gives a better education and assures a good future. Accordingly, Chinese are willing to invest a huge part of their income […]


Domination of State-Owned Enterprises

China runs a bifurcated economy. While a robust and competitive private sector dominates industries like clothing, food, and factory-assembled exports, sectors of strategic importance such as railways, financial services, utilities, energy, telecommunications, education services, and health care are generally not open to private investment. These protected sectors are extensively controlled through government interventions and often […]

Oct. 29, 2014 Duke University, NC, USA

We are scheduled to speak at Duke University (Durham, NC, USA) on October 29. This time we will speak to master students in the Pratt Engineering Management & Leadership class. We will focus our speech on China 2.0 and our experiences as a manager and employees in Mainland China.