Professor of Strategy
The Solvay Chaired Professor of Technological Innovation
INSEAD’s China Initiative is a thought leader on the myriad challenges and opportunities encountered by Chinese companies and senior executives as well as foreign businesses operating, or planning to operate, in China. The Initiative’s knowledge creation enables global professionals to navigate the ever-changing business landscape successfully.
Our primary objective is to enhance INSEAD research and teaching on China, specifically by studying leadership, strategic change and innovation in China.
Develop research examining the China business landscape; facilitate and promote academic exchanges as well as academic-corporate collaborations through annual conferences and field trips.
MIT Sloan Management Review
Global companies would do well to cultivate relationships in the countries where they operate to counterbalance increasingly powerful governments.
When the head of a family firm ranks lower in the family hierarchy than another leader at that firm, the misalignment can help prevent fraud in the emerging market context.
Methanol produced with solar and wind energy is a clean and cheap alternative fuel that could slash China’s emissions by as much as 80 percent.
Launched in 2021, the China and Europe Green Corridor seeks to increase EU–China collaborations on greentech, particularly in the form of public and private partnerships. This whitepaper is a roadmap for decisionmakers informing the future direction of the Corridor.
The key to closing China’s income gap lies in education and bolstering the ranks of its professionals, the meteoric rise of its urban elites in recent decades suggests.
Urban entrepreneurs on digital platforms have access to better offline information, which gives them an edge over rural entrepreneurs.
Tasked with a broad range of objectives, government officials will prioritise different ones depending on their career stage and mobilise firms accordingly.
The new president’s foreign policy will differ from Trump’s in style, language and tone more than in substance.
Even with a backer like Microsoft, innovators must outrace copycats like Facebook and others who share the spoils of imitation among themselves.
The rise of cryptocurrency could threaten the dominance of the US dollar and cost the United States trillions in increased debt financing charges.
China Initiative Stories
Are there international lessons to be drawn from Singles Day? To be sure, Chinese businesses are not known for doing things by halves, and the Double 11 phenomenon reflects the speed and scale of growth that powered China's economic miracle.
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Seminar Series "Strategic Orientation for Sustained Profitable Growth in China ", 10 June 2022
Sustained profitable growth is the ultimate strategic goal for all public companies worldwide. While achieving sustained growth or profit is challenging, it is far more daunting to pursue profitable growth over time.
INSEAD Thought Leadership Webinar "China's Role in Africa: Boon or Bane?", 1 December 2021
China has become a major economic force in Africa and maintains its most significant overseas military base on the continent. Interpretations of its engagement have ranged from China as a force for good for the continent, to China as a neo-colonial presence, intent on using "debtbook diplomacy" to subjugate Africa. Session moderated by Prof. Michael Witt.
INSEAD China Technology Day, 25 November 2021
China's technology sector has seen remarkable growth in the past few decades. Its digital economy is now worth around 30% of its GDP, providing significant opportunities for both domestic and international players.
Seminar Series "Walking on the Edge: How Chinese Social Enterprises Navigate Paradoxical Demands", 2 June 2021
Stakeholders are increasingly demanding companies to pursue profits responsibly. The tension between profits and purpose is most evident in social enterprises that strive to address wicked social problems through market means.
INSEAD Chinese Cultural Week Presents "China's Digital Revolution", 17 May 2021
As supported by the China Initiative, Prof. Wesley Koo joined a panel of experts and industry practitioners to share insights on China's digital revolution. The digital economy size in China surged from less than 15% of GDP in 2007 to 33% in 2017, and the IMF forecasts growth to reach 50% by 2025. How did China's digital sectors grow so quickly? Where is the trend heading towards for the future?
Seminar Series "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: MNEs (and INSEAD) in the New Cold War", 16 April 2021
In enhancing INSEAD's research and teaching on China, the presentation by Prof. Michael Witt to the INSEAD community was held successfully on 16 April, and it was well received by faculty, PhD students and staff.
Virtual Academic Conference "Organisational Innovation in a Deglobalised World", 26 - 27 March 2021
Organisational innovation is a topic of critical interest and strategic importance to businesses worldwide. The goal of the annual conference is to foster fast-paced exchange of diverse perspectives on how to foster organisational innovation among a select group of international scholars and executives.
China Business Dialogue 2020 "Emerging Opportunity in China Post COVID-19", 30 May 2020
The INSEAD China Business Dialogue series started in 2017 and serves as a platform to connect China's business leaders with leading academics and global strategy thinkers. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its rampage around the world, concerns increase about future recovery scenarios for both businesses and investors. Given its size, China’s economy is an importance reference point for leaders everywhere to revitalize the global economy in an unpredictable future.
Field Trip to Hangzhou, China, 5 - 9 November 2019
Launched in July 2019, the China Initiative endeavours to enable INSEAD to research and better engage with China, which is now the second largest economy in the world. With the goal of enhancing INSEAD research and teaching on China, the Initiative will specifically enable faculty and researchers to investigate leadership, strategic change and innovation in China. In November 2019, a field trip was organised to study Alibaba ecosystems in Hangzhou.
Our Research on China
Journal ArticleGuo Y., Huy Q., Xiao Z. (2017). How Middle Managers Manage the Political Environment to Achieve Market Goals: Insights from China's State-Owned Enterprises. Strategic Management Journal, 38(3), pp9.
Journal ArticleRedding G., Drew A. (2016). Dealing with the Complexity of Causes of Societal Innovativeness: Social Enabling and Disabling Mechanisms and the Case of China. Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, 28(2), pp12.
Journal ArticleWitt M. A., Redding G. (2012). The Spirits of CSR: Senior Executive Perceptions of the Role of the Firm in Society in Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Socio-Economic Review, 10(1), pp19.
Journal ArticleFernald J., Hsu E., Spiegel M. M. (2021). Is China Fudging Its GDP Figures? Evidence From Trading Partner Data (102262). Journal of International Money and Finance, 110, pp4.
Journal ArticleFernald J., Hsu E., Spiegel M. M. (2021). Reprint: Is China Fudging Its GDP Figures? Evidence From Trading Partner Data (102406). Journal of International Money and Finance, 114, pp2.