CKGSB and IE University Release Landmark Report on the China-United States Soft Power Rivalry

September 27, 2023 | Publications

Beijing, September 27, 2023 – Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) in collaboration with IE China Center of IE University, is thrilled to unveil a new report titled, “Fuel the Soft Power: The Role of High-Tech Companies in the Soft Power Rivalry between China and the United States.

The report, featuring contributions from seasoned academics and policy experts, provides in-depth perspectives on the evolving dynamics of soft power between China and the United States, emphasizing the pivotal role played by high-tech companies in shaping global influence.


José Félix Valdivieso, Chairman of IE China Center, opens the report highlighting China’s unique soft power approach. He notes, “China’s approach differs from the West’s as it invokes a soft power model characterized by a priority on economic development and the maintenance of strong government leadership.”

CKGSB Professor Shi Weilei’s article discusses the interplay between sustainable value creation and GDP growth. He suggests, “China [should] explain its high performance not as isolated success stories – such as its successful partnership at the port of Haifa or its quantum computing powers – but rather through the lens of sustainable value creation.”

CKGSB Professor Tao Zhigang emphasizes how media biases often distort soft power dynamics between China and the U.S. He explains that the narrative around U.S. job losses and China’s regulatory actions against monopolies is often skewed, and requires a more balanced perspective.

IE University’s Assistant Professor of Leadership, Ma Bin’s article, based on an extensive survey of 1,480 individuals, analyzes public perceptions on the soft power wielded by China and the US. He observes, “The United States still holds dominance in overall soft power. However, emerging economies like Mexico and South Africa show a higher favorability towards China. This could be attributed to China’s increasing investment and economic collaborations in these regions.”

Download and read the report here.

CKGSB is China’s first privately-funded and research-intensive business school with over 40 full-time, world-class faculty members, who are dedicated to producing original Asian management theories and a deeper understanding of business from a global perspective. 

IE China Centre, belonging to IE University, is dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding and collaboration between China and the rest of the world. Through its programs and initiatives, the center empowers individuals and organizations with the skills to navigate the complexities of the Chinese market.

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