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2015.02.11 CoStone Capital Views:


The sixth CoStone Mater Forum kicked off at Yalong Bay in Hainan on February 11, 2015. The theme of the Forum was "Platform Strategy & Internet Thinking".

February 11, 2015

The sixth CoStone Mater Forum kicked off at Yalong Bay in Hainan on February 11, 2015. The theme of the Forum was "Platform Strategy & Internet Thinking". Chen Weiru, author of the Platform Strategy and Associate Professor at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), and Tai Hongwei, Executive Education Director at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), delivered lectures on the topic.


Prof. Chen on the Platform Strategy

We are in a WeChat era where information sharing is ubiquitous and the human history never lacks innovation. At the outset of the speech, Prof. Tai did a trick of "Mind Reading" and displayed to the audience how amazing it would be if having adopted a new thinking.


Internet Thinking-Upending & Innovation

Both Prof. Chen and Prof. Tai talked about the mobile phone sector and they gave the same reason for Nokia being defeated by Apple: The failure of Symbian led to the fall of Nokia directly; at the same time, Apple upended the industry by developing top mobile phones whose calling role was minimized.

They also made bold forecasts on the economy and society under the impact of the Internet. "Finance will continue to thrive but banks will disappear. Education will develop further but no school will be needed." Finally, Prof. Tai's conclusion of "Five Levels" and "Nine Mindsets" of the Internet Thinking directed the way of transformation for the entrepreneurs present.


Prof. Chen Weiru

Chen Weiru is an associate professor at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), with a Strategic Management PhD received from Purdue University. He focuses on business model innovation and corporate transformation. He is the owner of the CEIBS Teaching Excellence Award and the Best Teaching Award of INSEAD and Purdue University. Prof. Chen has multiple articles published in top journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Research Policy and Strategic Organization. 

Mr. Tai Hongwei

Mr. Tai Hongwei is the Executive Education Director at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). His mission is to lead innovative organizations and promote innovation, revolution and internationalization of organizations. He used to be the Chief Talent Officer at IBM. Then he taught at the universities in China and in the United States for 8 years and worked at AT&T for 4 years. During the 12 years at IBM, he was responsible for talent training and development in various countries and regions. He helped IBM achieve double-digit growth through innovation, transformation and globalization. He also put in place many talent development projects, including two patents and two copyrights.

Rewritten by Jiang Xiaomei, Edited by Li Yunzhen, Du Zhixin

The year 2019 marks the fortieth anniversary of China’s Reform &Opening-Up, once again, we meet at the turning point of history. What’s the next step for the game, is there any clear guidance? The answer is affirmative.

Our country is enjoying a good momentum of development, which does not come from the Washington Consensus nor the Beijing Consensus. China’s experience has proved that both the visible hand and the invisible hand are crucial: the visible hand, stands for the government-led reform, and would yield benefits for reform and opening up; the invisible hand, stands for the Marginal Power represented by the private sector, and would improve economic efficiency and tax collection, create jobs and employment opportunities.

Provided that we want to protect and expand the benefits form reform, three simple but mandatory agreements are to be made and followed: No.1 Private ownership must be recognized, protected and treated equally with public ownership constitutionally, both ownerships are scared and inviolable;No.2 Make further clarification of the principal position of market economy, “deepen economic system reform by centering on the decisive role of the market in allocating resources”, as President Xi addressed in the third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee;No.3 Implement the guiding principles of “comprehensively promoting law-based governance” of the fourth plenum. The rule of law is essential for economic growth, irreplaceable to protect private ownership, and necessary to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

Above are three rules for us to avoid falling into the Middle-income Trap. Assuming that we are breaking systematic barriers to private enterprises’ participation in market economy, and boosting innovation and entrepreneurship of our society, then we are heading towards a promoting direction. We are marching in the path of light, regardless of the ups and downs of Sino-US relationship, the drop in GDP growth rate, or the monetary policy.

These principals also apply on knowing how better to run a business: don’t be hedged by rules and regulations at the beginning, pay more attention to your survival, and you’ll learn more when you start your second business.

For many years, Huawei has been the only Chinese company on the list of the Top 50 R&D Spenders. Regardless of the economy and its income, what Huawei has been doing is investing in its future, dedicated to R&D, continuously and resolutely. This provisional work underscores Huawei’s accomplishments, making Huawei anindustry leader.

So, there are standard answers on how to run a company,which could be summarized as concentration and professional dedication, continuous investment on innovation and trying harder in R&D. Entrepreneurship is also important, every single company needs entrepreneurs to push aside all obstacles and difficulties, to implement strategies and ideas. We, as investors, are destined to look for such outstanding entrepreneurs and their companies, invest in them and partner with them.

At this key point of history, a country, a company, or asingle individual, will all need to find the right path. Four decades after the Reform and Opening-up, it’s time to learn from our experience and stop “wadding across


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