HKU Business School’s Second Distinguished Lecture discusses Unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the Chinese Economy

(25 August, 2023, Hong Kong) HKU Business School organised the Second Distinguished Lecture on Chinese Economy yesterday and invited guest speakers Mr Michael Minhong Yu, 2023 Rotating Chairman of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum and Founder of New Oriental Education & Technology Group, Mr Yonghao Liu, Chairman of New Hope Group, and Mr Ronnie C. Chan, Chair of Hang Lung Properties to share insights from different perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of China’s economic development. The lecture, held at HKU iCube, attracted over a hundred of participants, including business leaders, academics, alumni and students.

Professor Hongbin Cai, Dean and Chair of Economics of HKU Business School, said in his welcoming remarks, “We are honoured to have invited these influential and outstanding entrepreneurs, who have been through tremendous ups and downs over the years while propelling China’s economic and social development. We are facing multi-faceted challenges, including intensifying geopolitical tensions, uncertainties in international financial policies, and economic transformation. It is crucial for China to restore confidence among entrepreneurs in the private sector, encouraging them to actively participate in competition and explore new opportunities. We hope that China can continue to open up and enhance its market landscape, so as to promote entrepreneurial development and achieve new heights in economic growth.”

Mr Michael Minhong Yu, 2023 Rotating Chairman of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum and Founder of New Oriental Education & Technology Group said, “Our group has experienced numerous challenges due to change in policies, the pandemic and international relations, among others, with many of our businesses in deep water and some even being wiped out. Last year, I established East Buy with my team, transitioning ourselves from the education industry to an e-commerce platform focusing on screening and selling agricultural products. We successfully revitalised the group’s market value to over HK$4 billion. For me, it was about finding a new path amidst failure while others may view it as a miracle. Keep learning and be passionate are the crucial factors for the success of a business.  Learning is not just about accumulating knowledge, but gaining a comprehensive understanding of the world and foreseeing life’s trajectory.

Mr Yonghao Liu, Director of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum and Chairman of New Hope Group said “China has undergone significant changes through its reform and opening-up, leading to a new economic era and landscape. Traditional industries must adapt and evolve with these developments and entrepreneurs need to understand the importance of organisational transformation. Our group strives to enhance traditional agricultural industries by leveraging technology-driven innovation, driving the upgrade and transformation of traditional agriculture while strengthening corporate competitiveness. Enterprises must shoulder social responsibilities while maintaining a practical approach to their operations. Through the strategic innovation of “Industry + Ecology”, we have not only seen improvements in our core business but have also helped more than 500 partners and over 100 small and medium-sized enterprises grow rapidly across various sectors.

Mr Ronnie C. Chan, Chair of Hang Lung Properties said “After World War II, the world embraced globalisation. China, particularly Hong Kong, has benefited from this trend. However, today we find ourselves entering a phase of deglobalisation, where geopolitical issues are causing geo-economic problems. As a result, China’s economy and real estate industry have undergone major changes. Facing uncertainties, I am concerned about the prospects for the next five to ten years. However, I believe that a stronger nation is more likely to achieve a path towards peace.”

The lecture was followed by an inspiring roundtable discussion on the topic of “Chinese economy amidst unprecedented changes in the past century”, moderated by Professor Zhenhua Mao, Director of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum, Founder of ZhongChengXin (HK) Investment Services Limited and Professor of Practice of HKU Business School. Panellists include Dr Dongsheng Chen, Chairman of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Taikang Insurance Group; Mr Wenzhong Zhang, Director of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum, Founder of Wumart Holdings Inc and Founder of Dmall; Dr Kai Yu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Robotics; and Professor Zhiwu Chen, Chair Professor of Finance, Cheng Yu-Tung Professor in Finance and Director of Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Science. Their insightful sharing stimulated and engaged the audience with innovative ideas.

 

Photo Caption:


1. Professor Hongbin Cai, Dean and Chair of Economics of HKU Business School delivers a welcoming remark.


2. Mr Michael Minhong Yu, 2023 Rotating Chairman of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum and Founder of New Oriental Education & Technology Group delivers a keynote speech.

3. Mr Yonghao Liu, Director of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum, Chairman of New Hope Group delivers a keynote speech.


4. Mr Ronnie C. Chan, Chair of Hang Lung Properties delivers a keynote speech.


5. (From right) Professor Zhenhua Mao, Director of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum, Founder of ZhongChengXin (HK) Investment Services Limited and Professor of Practice of HKU Business School;  Mr Wenzhong Zhang, Director of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum, Founder of Wumart Holdings Inc and Founder of Dmall; Dr Dongsheng Chen, Chairman of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Taikang Insurance Group; Dr Kai Yu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Robotics; and Professor Zhiwu Chen, Chair Professor of Finance, Cheng Yu-Tung Professor in Finance and Director of Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Science join the roundtable discussion.


6. Guest speakers and the Director Council of Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum

7. The lecture attracts a diverse audience of business leaders, academics, alumni and students.

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