MIT Sloan Asia Business Conference

Last Saturday, I attended the Sloan Asia Business Conference. Here is a brief summary of the conference.

The opening remark was given by Yasheng Huang, who is a faculty at MIT Sloan school of management. He just had a controversial talk about the development of India and China recently in TED2011 held in Edinburgh. In the talk, he attributed the success of China compared with India to the Human Capital—Better Literacy Ratio, Higher Life Expectation and less systematic discrimination of women.  He also points that it is not fair to compare with India with China, which is a superstar in terms of economic development. Actually the performance of India actually is quite impressive among the emerging countries, while the slow movement of political reform in China may potentially hinder the economic growth in the future. The link of the talk is:

Lenovo Chief Marketing Officer.  David Roman

As the chief marketing officer of Lenovo Corporation, David Roman introduced the global campaign named “For Those Who Do” that aims to promote the visibility of of the “Lenovo” brand outside China.

Despite the sluggish PC-market worldwide, Lenovo maintains 2-digits growth in the past several quarters and jumped to 2nd largest PC Maker, passing Acer and Dellconsecutively. But an embarrassing fact is the although the compony is a household brand in China, few people in western world know it in spite of its ThinkPad Series.

It is actually a common problem for many Chinese companies–so called the invisible Giants. Few Westerners know Baidu, SinoPec, ICPC, yet they are actually real mammoths even in western standard.

Now Lenovo’s focus is its ThinkPad Series, which formerly belonged the IBM. The deal was unbelievable then, since IBM PC department was triple the size of Lenovo at that time in terms of revenue.

It took Lenovo several years to learn how to be an international company. Now it seems that it has learnt the trick. In terms of my personal experience in United States, Lenovo is the most well-knowned Chinese Brand in United States. There is still a long way for other Chinese brands to go in United States.


SVP Finance & CFO of Global e-Commerce and Global Sourcing. Andreas Schulmeyer

This is the keynote I like most. The reason I favor this keynotes towards others is that it contains a lot of data rather than objective opinions. One figure is the comparison of the total population and GDP of China and United States. The left figure is for population and the right figure is for GDP. I guess the y axis is the GDP per capica. An interesting phenomenon is that the US’s value is also low in 1960s. The data actually needs to be validated.


Customer relationship Online and offline. There are five most components in culstomer Relatinship..

1. Social Network 2. Content 3. User Experience of Online Shopping 4. Brand Name 5 Search Engine.



Another interesting figure is the growth of US and China’s retail section.


Yuan Wang


Yuan wang, a high-level official in Chinese Development Bank and a consutant of world bank, gave a keynote about Chinese Economic situation. Her talk was a little bit boring. As a representation of new-generation Chinese policy maker, Wang reflected the impression of Chinese officials on westerners–well-educated, with international view yet still have bureaucratic ways of doing things. Most of the new Chinese policy makers,especially in economic field, receive well education. Some of them have western background and can speak pretty good English. However, different with their counterparts in Western Countries, Chinese policy makers always give people a feeling of commanding. Maybe it is caused by the booming Chinese Economy. All the investors worldwide want to go to China for new opportunities, and as the door-keeper of this huge market, the Chinese economic policy makers take it granted for the decisive power they have to let foreigner go or not.


Allan Kwan


Allan Kwan is a partner of Oak Investment. Now he focus the Investment on Northern Asia region, mostly in in Internet and food & beverage Industry. Before joining the Oak Investment, he worked in Motorola and Yahoo! consecutively. In Yahoo,

he took charge of the acquisition of 3721 founded Hongyi Zhou, which turned out to be a disaster, and the investment of Alibaba. What interests me is that his original major was mechanical engineering. His trace is quite typical and a lot of Chinese Students follow this way. Go to U.S for a Engineering Degree and then switch to financial field. He is a quite nice guy and gave two keynotes. In the second keynote, he noted the case study of LianLian Pay, one company he has invested in China. He used this case to illustrate the difference between business in China and that in America.The biz model of Lianlian pay is to construct the selling network of pre-paied card in China. Different with U.S, all the phone bills are charged using pre-paied card–user use to buy a pre-paid charging card and use the password in the card to charge their account. Lianlian pay construct the selling networks by setting partnership with thousands of grceries and convience store around China.

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