Clifford Chance and CKGSB Host Seminar on China’s Transformation and its Global Implications

March 30, 2017

CKGSB Dean Xiang Bing speaks with a select group of global business leaders, partners and government officials on ‘China’s Transformation and its Global Implications’ at a Clifford Chance seminar in London.


Brexit could be causing the loss of top line to many UK multinational companies (MNCs). China represents 50% of global economic growth. The Economist magazine forecasted that China will overtake America to be the largest economy in the world by 2024. China has 1.3 billion consumers and 680 million mobile internet users. There is no greater moment than right now to look to China for future sustained growth.

Clifford Chance LLP, a leading international law firm, hosted an exclusive breakfast seminar for a selected group of global business leaders, partners and government officials with Professor Xiang Bing, the founding Dean of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business on ‘China’s Transformation and its Global Implications’ in London.

Welcome notes

Malcolm Sweeting, Senior Partner at Clifford Chance and a valuable member of the CKGSB Europe’s Advisory Board, hosted the seminar and started by mentioning that there is so much happening in Europe that we forget about what’s happening in China, “It’s time to remind ourselves how important China is.”

Keynote speech

Dean Xiang Bing shared his perspective on “China’s Transformation & its Global Implications,” then followed by an intimate dialogue with business leaders on the challenges and opportunities facing China.  He first discussed in details about how China and the world are undergoing considerable change. He stressed that this transformation is taking place in a global society as a whole, including in the fields of politics, society, science, technology and trade. Dean Xiang mentioned that there are many sources of disruptions in the political system in China which has allowed disruptive innovation and economic growth. The challenge remains on how to manage increasing inequality. He pointed out: “China has a lot to learn from Europe, for example, how to efficiently build a
welfare system.” He emphasized that “diversity is the pre-condition for harmony.” Dean Xiang remains positive on China’s economic outlook despite many uncertainties under the current global economic landscape.

Q&A session

Malcolm Sweeting first asked “where the financial market in China is going to gravitate, Shanghai or Hong Kong? Dean Xiang responded by saying that “in the past when the RMB is not fully convertible, there are some differences between Shanghai and Hong Kong.” Hong Kong has its advantages – global reputation, history and legal frameworks. It will remain to benefit from China’s rapid development. Shanghai would like to become a ‘premier global city’ in 20 years but Shenzhen is the Silicon Valley of China and it is 15 years ahead of Shanghai in terms of innovation.

Michael Cole-Fontayn, EMEA Chairman from the Bank of New York Mellon Corporate Trust raised a question on when China will get information democratization. Dean Xiang responded first by saying “We do, from the impact of social media; the government is really constraint by it, despite the fact that Wechat is being monitored by the government.” The news spreads very fast through social media in China. He added “restrictions for social media platforms are a huge obstruction [to China’s development]. On the positive side we have 120 million Chinese travelers and a large pool of Chinese foreign students so it is difficult to block all information.”

There was also an interesting exchange between Dean Xiang with Donald Brydon, Chairman from London Stock Exchange Group Plc on the spread of equality and James Richard on the environmental challenges of China’s rapid economic growth.

Closing remarks

Bo JI, Chief Rep. of CKGSB Europe and the Assistant Dean of Global Executive Education concluded the breakfast seminar by outlining how the school can help western executives to learn China knowledge and connect them with its alumni network, which represents 1/6 of China’s GDP.

Joining Malcolm Sweeting and Dean Xiang Bing at this breakfast seminar were a line-up of other distinguished guests, including Andrew Lawrence, Director of Corporate Affairs from Hutchison Port Holdings; Ruishan Li, CEO from Agricultural Bank of China (UK) Ltd; Lord Neil Davidson; Paul Orchart, European Managing Director from Commonwealth Bank of Australia; and Professor Leslie Young from CKGSB.

As a global business school from China, CKGSB aims to participate in dialogue on important issues, such as China opportunities after Brexit, with thought leaders from the East and West to share our experiences and insights for a better mutual understanding. The school will continue to do so by partnering with influential companies, such as Clifford Chance to bring in different perspectives and connect networks.

About Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance is one of the world’s pre-eminent law firms with significant depth and range of resources across five continents. As a single, fully integrated, global partnership, we pride ourselves on our approachable, collegiate and team based way of working. We always strive to exceed the expectations of our clients, which include corporates from all the commercial and industrial sectors, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not for profit organisations. We provide them with the highest quality advice and legal insight, which combines the firm’s global standards with in-depth local expertise.

Understand China from the inside

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter today!

Understand China from the Inside

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter today!