Yan Zhang Rice University Conference Co-Chair
Jeffrey Reuer Purdue University Conference Co-Chair
Shujun Zhang Sun Yat-sen University Conference Co-Chair
Welcome From The Program Chairs
We wish to extend a strong invitation to you to submit papers to and attend the SMS Special Conference on "Competing and Cooperating in and for China." Since the last SMS China Special Conference in Shanghai in 2007, China has continued to have high GDP growth. Early this year, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy. Yet, China has been experiencing significant changes. GDP growth is no longer the only important target for the government. How to build a harmonious society has become an important political target, which can have significant impact on the government’s economic policies. China is no longer just a manufacturing base for Western multinationals and domestic exporters to meet global markets. Fast growing local demands have made China one of the most attractive markets in many sectors. For example, China now is the world’s largest auto market and the biggest energy consumer. The 2008-2009 global financial crisis, while having adversely affected China’s economy and many Chinese firms, provided an unprecedented opportunity for Chinese firms to expand into global markets. Chinese firms are significant strategic investors in the natural resource sectors, especially in Australia, Africa, and Latin America. Chinese firms have also acquired some well-known Western companies, such as Sweden’s Volvo (acquired by Geely in 2010). In summary, China has become an even more important part of the global economy and Chinese firms have become more prominent in global markets.
We believe that it is time to revisit and rethink China strategy—what it means for Western multinationals and for Chinese domestic firms? We believe the competitive landscape has fundamentally changed. On the one hand, Western multinationals no longer just use China as a manufacturing base for their global markets. They are tailoring their products, services, and strategies for the Chinese markets. More important, many of them are conducting R&D activities in China and the subsequent innovation is not just used domestically but also for their global markets (e.g., GE’s reverse innovation). On the other hand, Chinese firms are no longer just suppliers to Western multinationals. Many of them are moving up the value chains of their industries and become direct competitors to their Western counterparts. In short, China has entered into an era when Chinese domestic firms and Western multinationals compete and cooperate simultaneously within the Chinese and global market.
Focusing on "Competing and Cooperating in and for China," this conference will bring strategy, management, and business scholars from China together with their global counterparts. The conference is designed to provide a platform for these scholars to co-learn and co-develop winning strategies, emerging theories, research methods, and policy suggestions on how firms, domestic and foreign, should develop/adapt their strategies in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in this changing competitive landscape.
Overall, we believe it will be an exciting and enriching event to attend. We hope you do too and look forward to seeing you in Guangzhou, China!
Yan (Anthea) Zhang