Press Releases

23.11.2012

HKUST and WEF Co-host Roundtable on Sustainability of Chinese Entrepreneurial and Family Businesses

The Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies (Tanoto Center) at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and World Economic Forum Beijing Representative Office (WEF Beijing) jointly organized the Sustainability of Chinese Entrepreneurial and Family Businesses Roundtable today (23 November 2012). The event was held at the HKUST Business School Central.

The Roundtable brought together over 120 entrepreneurs, business leaders, as well as academics, who engaged in intensive discussion on Chinese family businesses and their sustainability. Coherent succession planning, funding for growth, talent retention, corporate governance, branding and globalization were among the top issues discussed.

The Roundtable built on the success of the Asian Family Business Roundtable and the Asian Entrepreneurship Roundtable organized by the Center in 2009 and 2011 respectively. The mission of the Tanoto Center is to promote a better understanding of Asian family businesses and entrepreneurship, especially within the Chinese context, and to explore new subjects of family business research that have greater relevance.

Speakers from a number of top family businesses included: Eddy Lee, Director, Lee Kum Kee Company Ltd; Jiang Xipei, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Far East Holding Group; Jacky Chun, Chairman, China Metal Recycling (Holdings) Ltd; Andy Tung, Chief Executive Officer, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL); Eugene Huang, Chairman, Multilite International Co., Ltd, etc.

A special session featured business owners from two generations within the same family. They shared their experiences on business sustainability from different perspectives. The speakers included: Chow Yei Ching and Oscar Chow of Chevalier Group; Yan Xijun and Yan Kai of Tasly Group; James Thompson and Jimmy Thompson of Crown Worldwide Group; and Linda McAfee and Matthew MaAfee of Fairmont Shipping.

Professor Roger King, Director of the Tanoto Center, said, "Family businesses constitute a big slice of the economic pie worldwide. Here in Hong Kong, for example, almost 70% of listed firms are family-owned. Despite the economic power they exert, family businesses have yet to receive the proper academic attention they deserve, and succession planning in family businesses is one of the areas that remain largely unexplored."

Professor King said that the Roundtable offered an opportune platform to discuss the subject.

"In the area of succession planning, family businesses in Hong Kong are more mature than their mainland counterparts, having gone through three or four generations. Up-and-coming mainland Chinese enterprises may profit from the lessons learnt by their business counterparts in Hong Kong as well as the entire Asia region," he added.

For details of the Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies, please visit the http://www.afbes.ust.hk.

The Roundtable brings together over 120 entrepreneurs, business leaders, as well as academics, who engage in intensive discussion on Chinese family businesses and their sustainability.
Business owners from two generations share their experiences on business sustainability from different perspectives.
Prof Roger King, Director of the Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies delivers his closing remarks.