20 May 2014

BBC World Service talks to Ting Zhang, CEO of China Business Solutions.

As China’s economy continues to grow, the debate on the whether China will soon overtake the USA as the world’s leading economy has emerged. With the Alibaba Group announcing it will sell its shares on the US Stock Market soon, it is set to be the biggest IPO ever in US history. So “Does Size Matter?” – a question posed by the BBC World Service, “In the Balance Business Program” to Ms Ting Zhang, alongside leading economists from Harvard Business School of Economics and the London School of Economics.

Read below the key comments from Ting Zhang:

“From a business perspective, the factors that are still holding the Chinese economy back range from inefficient allocation of resources between State-owned and private enterprises, together with the ongoing bureaucracy, which inevitably increases cost of doing business and lowers productivity. China’s ability to innovate and then commercialise technologies is still nascent. Although a lot of progress is already made, filing a lot of patents, it is still lagging behind the US and UK and it needs the skills to turn them into real products or services. It is not yet a knowledge based economy but getting there”.

As well as dealing with corruption, which prevents fair competition in China, be it domestic companies or international companies, the Chinese government has been encouraging Chinese companies to “GO OUT” as part of overall plan to help them becoming more competitive in the world market”.

Domestic Chinese companies are maturing in terms of capabilities to compete overseas and they bring advanced technologies and management skills back to China which helps improve the overall standards in China. As more Chinese companies are used to compete with international peers outside China, the Chinese government will open up the Chinese market more to foreign companies. This is already happening in many sectors such as automotive, telecoms, e-commerce, pharma, banking, and insurance. For example, foreign investment is now allowed to enter into China’s healthcare services like hospitals”.

“Displaying the charm of the Chinese culture to the world or soft power can influence economic growth and sustainability. Certainly the promotion China’s “Soft Power” has become a pressing task for the government this year with more effort called the media and individuals to play their roles in telling the stories of China and its heritage as it should be told. Soft power can boost an economic well being, as well as appeal to young professionals who may find China a fascinating place to learn and work”.