Professor Cor Molenaar's point of view on last year’s study trip to China organized by knowledge platform Shopping Tomorrow & the Ecommerce Foundation.
In the article “China not a competitor but a gateway” he shares his impressions after visiting Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Shanghai and several Chinese heavyweights such as Tencent, Alibaba and JD (amongst others).
"From a European point of view, China has a hard-to-understand culture. Everything is just as different as it seems. By looking at China from a Western perspective, we tend to make wrong assumptions.
It’s important to understand that China has a long-term vision for the country, its businesses, and its inhabitants.
Since 1970 China has changed from an agricultural economy to a customer-driven economy.
This gradual change had two main goals as a focus: to become the largest economy in the world by 2025, to realize world-hegemony and prosperity for the people by 2035.
While in the West we often think in years and companies in quarters, Chinese leaders tend to think of the ultimate goal. China is still centrally controlled, however political adjustments of recent years led to a change of the control model, more freedom for the regions and more individual freedom. The control is still there, often it is not visible, but at the service of the intended goal. This requires ironclad discipline and exact execution of the objectives."
Document type: Research Study
Publication date: 24-01-2019
Number of pages: 4