On Sunday April 8th 2016, eight students from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, traveled to Beijing for an intensive two-week China module program – as part of their MBA program – held at CKGSB. The week concluded with a number of highlights showcasing both modern and ancient China through the context of business and culture.
Professor Chen Xinlei welcomed the students with a lecture on “Strategic Marketing” in China. Dr. Chen is a professor of marketing and co-director of the branding center at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. He taught at the University of British Columbia Sauder’s School of Business before joining CKGSB. Students also heard from the Dean of CKGSB, Professor Xiang Bing, on the topic of “China’s Transformation and Its Global Implications”. Finally, Professor Leslie Young gave a lecture on “China in the Global Economy”.
In addition to classroom activities, students also traveled through Beijing visiting with some of China’s leading companies including Alibaba, LeEco, Qunar.com and China Mengiu Dairy Company. Chief Finance Officer of Qunar.com, Zhu Xiaolu, talked about the challenges of being China’s second-largest travel and tourism conglomerate. The company had been recently acquired by Ctrip, the largest travel and tourism group in China. Students also visited LeEco (formerly LeTV), one of the largest online video companies in China and China Mengniu Dairy Company – a manufacturer and distributor of dairy products with approximately $2 billion in revenue in 2015.
To finish off the week, the group visited Alibaba’s Beijing headquarters where spokesperson Xu Jing shared with the students Alibaba group’s major business streams. With over 36,000 employees and a charismatic leader in Jack Ma – who is also a CKGSB alumnus – students got a true sense of the company culture and its core values.
Besides visiting companies and taking part in lectures, students also got a taste of Beijing culture, visiting popular destinations like the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace and the Great Wall. Finally, students dressed up in costumes at the Chinese-themed party “One Night in Beijing”, putting on skits and enjoying a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.