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The University of Southern California wins Championship Title in the 16th HKUST International Case Competition

The University of Southern California from the US has been crowned champion in the HKUST International Case Competition (HKICC) 2018. The winning team defeated 14 other outstanding teams from top business schools around the world and took the highest honor in this prestigious annual contest.

As Asia’s first and leading international case competition, this year marks the 16th anniversary of HKICC.  “Thanks to the great support from our corporate partners and sponsor, judges and participants, the HKICC has become one of the most respected case competitions in the region,” said Professor TAM Kar-Yan, Dean of HKUST Business School. “This annual event attracts 60 high-caliber business students from different continents to Hong Kong, where they can experience the vitality of one of the most international business and finance hubs in the world.”

Organized by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s School of Business and Management (HKUST Business School) and sponsored by Lifestyle International Holdings Limited, the competition in two rounds challenged the participating teams with a kick-off case and a main case, where they were tasked to put forward strategic recommendations, respectively, within three hours and 22 hours. They not only worked together to review the sustainability strategy for SOGO (with Lifestyle International Holdings Limited as its parent company), but also proposed a solution for the company to utilize digital technologies to its fullest in matching its business opportunities.

Ms Kamshim LAU, Executive Director of Lifestyle International Holdings Limited, said, “We are honored to partner with HKUST Business School in the hosting of this year’s International Case Competition. The Competition is a meaningful platform for our company to engage and interact with the academic community and our colleagues were truly inspired by the energy, creativity and drive of the participants.”

Held in Hong Kong between October 20 and 26, the 16th HKICC attracted 15 teams from nine countries and markets, including Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, the US, Denmark and the Netherlands. The judging panels of the competition comprise of senior executives from the case company, education sector, business corporates and global management consulting firms.

“HKUST seeks to create a vibrant and highly internationalized environment, in and out of classrooms, for students to develop their competencies and interact with peers from around the world,” said Professor Sabrina LIN, Vice-President for Institutional Advancement, HKUST, who attended the award ceremony and closing dinner. “The HKICC provides an exceptional opportunity for business students to learn from each other, solve real-life business challenges, and form lasting friendships.”

Promoting cross-cultural exchange and Hong Kong is also one of the objectives of HKICC. As part of the 6-day competition program, participants went hiking at Sharp’s Island, explored Ladies’ Market, had seafood dinner in Sai Kung, and enjoyed the Symphony of Lights show on a harbor cruise.  

The first and second runners-up are Indiana University and Nanyang Technological University, respectively.

Champion team with Prof Sabrina LIN, Vice-President for Institutional Advancement of HKUST (first left), and Ms Kamshim LAU, Executive Director of Lifestyle International Holdings Limited (second right)
Judges and guests (from left): Mr Eric HOR, Associate Partner, Prophet Consulting; Mr Kamsen LAU and Ms Kamshim LAU, both are Executive Director of Lifestyle International Holdings Limited; Mr Winston YUNG, Managing Partner HK, Mckinsey & Company; Prof Emily NASON, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Student Affairs), HKUST Business School; and Prof Albert IP, Council Member of HKUST and Independent Non-Executive Director of Lifestyle International Holdings Limited
The competition concluded with a closing dinner on October 25

Participating Teams for 2018


Australia                        Queensland University of Technology

Hong Kong                    The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Singapore                      Nanyang Technological University

Singapore                      National University of Singapore

South Korea                  Korea University

Thailand                        Thammasat University


North America:

Canada                          Queen’s University

Canada                          The University of British Columbia

USA                              Indiana University

USA                              University of California, Berkeley

USA                              University of South Carolina

USA                              University of Southern California

USA                              University of Washington



Denmark                       Copenhagen Business School

The Netherlands          Maastricht University


About HKUST Business School

Founded in 1991, the HKUST Business School is recognized as one of the youngest and most respected business schools in Asia. The School has forged an international reputation for offering world class education programs and research performance, and has received many top global rankings. The School strives to contribute to the economic and social advancement of the region by developing future leaders who possess an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong sense of responsibility, and promoting knowledge advancement in many significant business areas. For more information, please visit

About Lifestyle International Holdings Limited

Lifestyle International Holdings Limited is a Hong Kong-based premier retail operator that specializes in the operation of mid to upper-end department stores in Hong Kong. The group’s portfolio includes its’ flagship SOGO department store in Causeway Bay, the largest leading department store in Hong Kong. Over the years, the SOGO stores have established themselves as favorite shopping destinations amongst tourists and local consumers. Characterized by the ‘one-stop shopping’ concept, the Group’s department stores offer a wide variety of goods ranging from daily necessities to luxury products as well as lifestyle services within a comfortable shopping environment.

For media enquiries, please contact:

HKUST Business School

John Poon

Tel: (852) 3469 2090



Clare Chan

Tel: (852) 2358 8242