What It Feels Like Returning to China after 4 Years

Juan Wu

I still remember last year when we were in Singapore with classmates from China talking about when we will be able to resume our classes in Beijing without quarantine. It is unbelievable that this came faster than we expected. Here we are, finally all gathered together at Tsinghua, the prestigious university in China, to learn about data, models and decision-making, frontier economic issues in China, and corporate governance.

This was the first time I returned to China after COVID.

The digitisation has gotten even faster, everything can be paid by wechat, you scan a QR code to order food in every restaurant, you can get a bicycle everywhere with just a few clicks, and in some hotels you have robots to deliver food. Life is very convenient, people are nice, and the food is great as usual. You can fast charge your phone everywhere as you can't live without your phone in China.

Professor He Ping explained to us how China's monetary and banking policy is different from the Western world and how it is impacting Chinese economy and investment decisions. The role of the government in the economy is also very different compared to the Western world. This makes me reflect that we tend to be afraid of things that we don't understand. The difference makes some people afraid and non-communication amplifies the difference.

With the reduced communication between China and the Western world for the last three years, there is now less chance for people to know China and what is happening there. The same is true in the other direction. The world is becoming more and more polarised, with everyone holding on to their perspectives without a chance to get to know the others' perspective. Geopolitical conflicts became worse due to lack of communication.

I really hope that there will be more visits and more communication again. Sometimes as we feel that China might be closing itself from the rest of world, but is it the moment to move away?

Companies see risks but there are also huge opportunities.

It is particularly important for Western companies to be in China today as China is trying to build the majority of the supply chain in the country.

As part of dual programme Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA, our responsibility is also to bridge East with West. More understanding will lead to better decisions and increased collaboration. China remains an important market and plays an important role in the world's economy. Business is a force a good. Let's all contribute to improve the understanding between China and rest of the world, and make our world a better place.

You can read more about this module at the following link: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/uFpQammiHZFxW4M86sOnYA

This article was originally published on LinkedIn