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Global_17

Global Insight Brand China Rising stars of China’s business world China watchers Kerry Brown and Kalley Tzuhui Wu have chosen their top eight Chinese business people to watch out for, ranging from social media entrepreneurs to the man who bought the Volvo brand from Ford China is now the world’s second biggest economy, but it is also becoming one of the world’s major outward investors. China’s stock of overseas direct investment has boomed in the last decade, rising to become the sixth largest source in 2012. But who are the faces behind this economic behemoth? The ‘big bang’ moment in China’s path towards its current status was its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. This unleashed the forces of productivity that continue to this day. The chief negotiator for the WTO deal on the Chinese side was Long Yongtu – in many ways this London School of Economics trained offi cial stands as the father of a generation of modern Chinese entrepreneurs. Without his contribution, it is unlikely the globalisation of the Chinese economy would have happened so fast. The most important companies of China’s economy are split almost equally between state and non-state. But the non-state sector remains the primary source of dynamism and growth and is dominated by a diverse world of Chinese entrepreneurs. These movers and shakers, once regarded as pariahs under Mao Zedong, have been allowed to become Communist Party members since 2002. Charles Chao, CEO of Sina Corporation If there is one competitor to Tencent online, it’s Sina. Charles Chao is the US-educated CEO of Sina, the company that owns the Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo. Chao originally worked as a journalist before joining the company, rising to become CEO in 2006 and chairman in 2012. Weibo, a company that has proved dexterous in keeping on the side of government regulations about content, has over 350 million users. Chao was named by Time magazine in 2011 as one of the 100 most infl uential people in the world. Zhang Xin, CEO of Soho While women remain poorly represented in China’s political elite, they have made major strides in the last few years in business circles. As many as a quarter of the wealthiest non-state companies are run, or owned, by women. Zhang Xin, educated in the UK, is representative of this, running the real estate company Soho, which she established with her husband Pan Shiyi. Soho caters for the desire of the emerging middle class in urban China to own fashionably designed, affordable accommodation. 22 l www.global -br ief ing.org f i rst quar ter 2014 global © WEF / swiss-image.ch © Soho China


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