创新的国度:不论政治,中美两国共享相似的创业文化

文 | 谢祖墀

潜在的中美贸易战是当下全球关注的头条新闻。表面看来,这是美国总统唐纳德•特朗普在践行“美国第一”的竞选口号,也是他将中国视为“战略竞争者”战略中的一部分。

然而目前这种僵局最根本的原因可以追溯到西方国家,尤其是美国,对中国所存在的根本上的不信任。2018年3月3日《经济学人》的封面故事“西方国家如何错读了中国”印证了这一点。根据此篇文章,西方国家期待在把中国融入全球贸易体系的同时将中国的政治经济体系转变成资本主义政治经济,或者简单来说,“他们(中国)将和我们一样。”

然而,中国并没有走西方国家所期待的道路,相反,中国建立了适合于自己的发展模式。在对西方所定义的市场经济保持持续渐进的开放的同时,中国政府依然保持了强大的掌控能力。

当西方国家仍然认为有且只有一种合适的治理方式时,公允地来说,根据实际情况的不同,适合某个国家在某个特定时期的发展道路,很大程度上跟其他国家在不同发展阶段里的发展道路是可以不同的。考虑到过去十年发生的事件,例如2008年的金融危机、唐纳德•特朗普当选美国总统和十多年来缓慢增长的经济,西方政治家和专家们期待每个国家都应该追随西方走过的道路和完全融入西方体系的观点未免过于自负。

Source: Google

另一方面,中国政府帮助中国民众从基本生存状态中解放出来,让许多人如今享受到小康生活。美国历史学家弗朗西斯福山(Francis Fukuyama)在他2014年出版的《Political Order andPolitical Decay》一书中指出,撇除意识形态的不同观点,很难说所有国家只有一种合适的治理方式。

然而除了这些差异外,中国和西方国家之间,尤其与美国之间有着很多相似之处。

中国过去四十年来最令人印象深刻的发展之一就是民营企业的崛起。在中华人民共和国成立的三十年间,民营经济并不是它的经济的一部分,直到文化大革命末期邓小平决定容许进行民营企业的试验。

过去四十年中国发生了翻天覆地的变化。在20世纪90年代末,中国工业领域的国有部分和非国有部分的总营业额和总利润几乎一样。而如今,工业领域中的非国有部分在总营业额和总利润两方面都已经是国有部分的大约四倍。

根据中国社会科学院人口与劳动经济研究所的一项研究表明,中国的新经济——涵盖了从电子商务到网约车服务的基于互联网的商业,在2010年到2016年间的增速是中国整体GDP增速的两倍。新经济相关的公司几乎都来自民营部门。

Source: Google

中国领先的民营企业例如阿里巴巴、腾讯、百度、京东、小米和滴滴出行都被认为是具有高度创新能力的。这些科技创业公司相较于阶级分明的国有企业,更像美国硅谷的公司。中国和美国的创业者都勇于冒险,愿意去接受不确定性并积极地寻求财务回报。这些中国公司都很年轻,并常以硅谷的公司作为榜样。

中国的科技公司也倾向于通过“生态系统”来构建合作伙伴关系。当市场上出现新的机会时,这些公司往往会考虑要不要“跳过去”来抓住这些新的机会,即便它们并不拥有经营新业务所需要的所有能力。它们常利用合作伙伴构建“生态系统”或者“平台”来弥补跳跃的能力欠缺。从合作的立场来说,生态系统的概念包含开放、包容、平等和共赢的思想。这些概念听起来很熟悉,是不是?

随着中国的科技公司寻找创新的灵感或具体工具时,他们经常把目光转移到西方的创新中心,尤其是美国的硅谷、西北部和波士顿地区。中国的科技公司和投资人已经投资了不少美国的初创科技公司。根据《纽约时报》报道,中国的投资者在2010至2016年间投资了300多亿美元在美国的高科技产业上。

根据 CB Insights,腾讯自2011年起已经投资了超过35亿美元在41个硅谷的高科技创业公司,并成为了美国高科技领域的第二大非本土投资者。同时,美国的风险基金例如红杉资本、IDG资本,也在投资中国的科技公司并取得了不错的投资回报。

Source: Google

中美的科技公司和他们的投资者,在思维方式和做事方法上有极多相似的地方,并在多年来建立了很多的共同利益。因此,尽管政治方面,也许一些西方国家对中国没有按他们自以为是的路来走感到失望,但从商业的角度来说,中国和西方,尤其与美国的创新中心,有着很多的共同点并采用了非常相似的理念。实际上,中国和美国的科技生态系统已经相互交织并且很难分割。

中国的成语“求同存异”指在允许差异存在的情况下寻找共同点。西方国家尤其是美国也应该用这种求同存异的目光来看待中国。中国正处于持续崛起的边缘,习近平主席已经明确中国将要在全球领导力和治理上扮演越来越重要的角色。通过更加关注这些相似点,全球的贸易和商业都将获益。

英文原稿于2018年3月29日在《南华早报》发表,版权归该报所有。

关于作者:
谢祖墀博士(Dr. Edward Tse)是高风管理咨询公司(Gao Feng Advisory Company)的创始人兼首席执行官。中国管理咨询业的先行者。过去的20年里,他创立并领导了两大国际管理咨询公司在大中华区的业务。外界评价他为“中国的全球领先商业战略家”和 “谢博士之于中国企业界就如大前研一之于日本企业界”。他曾为数以百计的公司(总部设在中国及其它地区)咨询过所有关键战略和管理方面的业务,涉及中国的各个方面和中国在全球的地位。他还为中国政府在战略、国有企业改革和中国企业走出国门等方面做过咨询。他已发表200多篇文章并出版了4本书,其中包括于国际获奖的《中国战略》和《创业家精神》。谢博士获得了加州大学伯克利分校工程学博士、MBA以及麻省理工学院的工程学学士、硕士。

 

China’s HNA, Shedding Debt Overseas

Reporting By Matthew Miller; Editing by Philip McClellan
CHANNEL NEWSASIA | March 16, 2018

China’s HNA, Shedding Debt Overseas, Is Still Hainan’s Hometown Champion

Hundreds of workers pour concrete as tower cranes swing overhead at the building site where a giant skyscraper is set to soar above the palm-fringed streets of this tropical Chinese city.

HAIKOU, China: Hundreds of workers pour concrete as tower cranes swing overhead at the building site where a giant skyscraper is set to soar above the palm-fringed streets of this tropical Chinese city.

The building is the first of two towers that will serve as the gateway to a 200-hectare new central business district in downtown Haikou, capital of the island-province of Hainan in southern China.

The project is being constructed by HNA Group , the widely scrutinized and highly leveraged aviation-to-financial services conglomerate that got its start in Hainan 25 years ago as a regional airline with just two aircraft.

But HNA is now looking to shed at least some of its sprawling interests in the huge 100 billion yuan (US$15.84 billion) business district, as it has done with many of the interests the company has amassed in a US$50 billion global spending spree.

HNA is currently in talks with potential “strategic partners” for parts of the development, which a range of investors also have stakes in, according to sources familiar with the situation, even as it prepares to re-organize its operations and shrink its workforce.

The search for investors in HNA’s hometown underlines the difficulties the company is facing as it struggles under the weight of the debt it racked up during its rapid expansion.
HNA told major bank creditors in January that it faced a potential cash shortfall of at least 15 billion yuan in the first quarter.

In the last two months, HNA has sold more than US$6 billion in prime real estate in Australia, New York and Hong Kong, while selling shares in Deutsche Bank , Park Hotels & Resorts , and Hilton Grand Vacations Inc .

On Monday, HNA Infrastructure Investment Group , one of the key developers of the Haikou business district, said it would sell a Hainan-based property company and logistics unit to Sunac China , a real estate developer, for 1.9 billion yuan.

When asked for comment on the stake sales, the company said in a statement that “HNA is always looking for trusted partners”.

The master plan for the Haikou business district includes 23 office buildings, residential compounds, and a massive luxury shopping mall. The first of the Haikou Twin Towers, 94-floors high, is scheduled to open in 2020, and will include a St. Regis Hotel.

Anchored in the center of the district is the Hainan provincial government, with HNA’s headquarters, a Buddha-shaped tower, sitting just down the road.

A COMPANY ISLAND

Hainan is in many ways an HNA company island. HNA Group operates 92 enterprises across the province, employing 30,000 workers, with total assets of nearly US$50 billion. It is Hainan’s biggest money maker, with total revenues outstripping the combined sales of the province’s next nine largest companies combined.

HNA is also critical to local government efforts to establish Hainan as a regional and global tourist destination.

The group operates the island’s three commercial airports and its flagship Hainan Airlines operates 17 international and regional routes from the province and transports about 45 percent of all visitors arriving by air here.

The company is currently investing 15.3 billion yuan for a second runway and terminal for Haikou’s international airport, part of an expansion to accommodate 35 million visits by 2025.

The branded tailfin of Hainan Airlines, which travels to 110 cities worldwide, has elevated the province’s name around the world, said Edward Tse, chief executive of Gao Feng Advisory Company, who previously advised Chinese companies at Booz & Company and Boston Consulting Group.

“HNA is a business card for Hainan province,” Tse said.

Hainan’s governor, Shen Xiaoming, who visited HNA’s Haikou headquarters in November just as the severity of the company’s financial struggles emerged, underscored the importance of the group to the province’s development.

“HNA took root in Hainan, understands Hainan, implemented a new development concept in Hainan, and built a modern economic system in Hainan,” Shen said. “If HNA is good, then Hainan is good; when Hainan is good, then HNA is better.”

GOVERNMENT CLEAN-UP

HNA and other non-state conglomerates in China have meanwhile been under intensifying pressure from Beijing to clean up operations and deleverage their businesses.

In recent weeks, Chinese regulators have taken control of Anbang Insurance Group. The government is also investigating the chairman of CEFC, which has agreed to take a US$10 billion stake in the Russian oil major Rosneft.

HNA executives have recently elevated their patriotic rhetoric and have tethered company goals closely to those of Beijing.

HNA Capital, for instance, announced on Feb 27 that it was helping to raise 20 billion yuan to help fund projects along China’s new Silk Road trade initiative.

HNA’s cause is the “cause of the party, the cause of the people and the cause of all mankind”, Chen Feng told HNA’s Communist Party members on Feb 7, according to a company report.

HNA’s co-chairman, Wang Jian, voiced a darker message, telling employees that the company’s difficulties were the result of a “major conspiracy” against the party and President Xi Jinping by foreign and domestic “reactionary forces”, according to an internally-distributed email.

China’s leading industrial conglomerates and technology companies all have Communist Party committees, and such rhetoric is not unusual now, said Tse of Gao Feng Advisory Company.

 

A Gap in Expectations

By Edward Tse
March 29, 2018

A Gap in Expectations – Why People Didn’t Understand China’s Innovation

Many people are now talking about China’s innovation like they have just discovered a New Continent. Some say China is now going “from imitation to innovation” while others even say, “It’s time to copy China.” This is unthinkable just several years ago.

Recently, I went back to my book China’s Disruptors, which came out in 2015, to recall what people said about China’s innovation at that time. The following is a relevant excerpt. In addition to the people quoted in the excerpt, I remember around that timeframe, Carly Fiorina, ex Hewlett-Packard CEO, was quoted saying, “…but what (the Chinese) can’t do is innovation, they are not terribly imaginative, they are not entrepreneurial…”

The following is the excerpt from my book.

Outsiders who get information about China from the Western media tend to view it as an innovation desert: a country of copycat firms, weak or nonexistent intellectual-property rights, and an education system based on rote learning.

Addressing a group of air force cadets in May 2014, U.S. vice president Joe Biden declared, “I challenge you, name me one innovative project, one innovative change, one innovative product that has come out of China.” Two months earlier, Harvard Business Review published an article with the headline “Why China Can’t Innovate.” The piece, written by business-school professors Regina M. Abrami, William C. Kirby, and F. Warren McFarlan, boldly declared: “Today, … many believe that the West is home to creative business thinkers and innovators, and that China is largely a land of rule-bound rote learners – a place where R&D is diligently pursued but breakthroughs are rare.”

The authors agreed with this outlook and dismissed the kind of advances seen at companies such as Alibaba and Baidu as “second-generation” innovation – adaptations of existing technologies for the Chinese market, and the kind of routine work companies around the world do day in and day out once someone else has done the blue-sky thinking.

Source: Google

This is bizarre. How can the authors of that article and many other similar pieces miss the impact that companies in a wide range of industries are creating in China, reworking daily life by inventing and applying new ideas in a variety of fields? Consider Haier in white goods. Huawei in telecommunications. Xiaomi in mobile phones. Alibaba in e-commerce and finance. Tencent in messaging and gaming. These are just a few examples; there are many more. Yet they are often overlooked. Why?

Rather than simply a snapshot of today, or even a view from the past, China’s development is inevitable, discontinuity is a way of life and often multi–dimensional. As such, linear and single-dimensional viewpoints will often miss the point.

The simplest explanation is a gap in expectations. Chinese companies have yet to produce basic technological research in power systems or chemicals, for example, or a product or service that has had the same impact on Western markets as the iPhone or Facebook, or a praised and adopted business process such as Japan’s “just-in-time” production system. But simply translating this into “China isn’t innovative” is short-sighted, simply focusing on what has not happened in China and not seeing what is actually taking place.

Source: Google

Since my book was published, China has taken huge strides in both innovation and entrepreneurship. Today, many people have come to recognize that China can be innovative, especially in tech-enabled innovations. However, as the above excerpt of my book indicates, this certainly wasn’t the case just a few years ago. It is always important for people to study China not from a long distance but be on the ground – all the time and across many dimensions. It is also important for people to adopt a prospective point of view on the likely changes in China instead of just taking a snapshot of today or constantly looking back at the past.

Edward Tse is founder & CEO, Gao Feng Advisory Company, a global strategy and management consulting firm with roots in China. A pioneer in China’s management consulting profession, he led the Greater China operations for two major international management consulting firms for 20 years and is widely known as China’s leading global business strategist. He is author of The China Strategy (2010) and China’s Disruptors (2015).

 

新浪财经 | 企业家精神的升级:大我、小我、无我

文 | 谢祖墀

中国的未来发展将会带动中国企业家精神的不断提升,我期望看到更多“无我”的企业家出现

今年是中国改革开放的四十周年,有着特别的意义。在过去四十年中,中国经历了许多的起伏,有进展,亦有挫折,但总的来说,进多于退,在经济上中国的发展毋庸置疑,十几亿人口从基本的温饱都不能被保障的日子,到今天绝大部分中国的老百姓已经解决温饱问题,这是非常了不起的成就。

作为一个群体,企业家的崛起是这四十年间的一件大事。从无到有,从有到在中国的经济中扮演一个重要的角色,这可以说是难能可贵的。

而标志着企业家崛起的是“企业家精神”。“企业家”这一概念由法国经济学家理查德·坎蒂隆(Richard Cantillon)在18世纪30年代首次提出:企业家使经济资源的效率由低转高,而“企业家精神”则是企业家特殊技能的集合,包括精神和技巧等。换句话说,“企业家精神”是企业家组织建立、经营管理企业的综合才能的表述,是一种重要而特殊的无形生产要素。

经济学家张维迎总结出企业家精神拥有以下四点特征:一是对盈利机会的警觉性,反映了对尚未发现的机会的持续关注能力,也包括创造性思维等。二是简单化,不同于管理者通常把问题想地复杂,企业家拥有透过现象看本质的天赋。三是想象力,即使产品或技术从无到有的创新能力。四是毅力和耐心,因而才能屡败屡战,就像冯仑所说,“伟大是熬出来的”。

今年的亚布力中国企业家论坛适逢中国改革开放四十周年,主题是“新时代的企业家精神”。在此次大会中,演讲的各位理事和嘉宾们都围绕企业家精神进行发言。

中国改革开放四十年的进度是在不断演变的。从过去不断演变而来,而将来亦会不断地演变下去。企业家精神亦会随之不断地演变与升级。

在改革开放初期,能活下来已经是成功。在没有《公司法》的环境下,要去建立“公司”和营运生意,当时的企业家们都是摸着石头过河,在不理想的状况中寻求进步。不少人亦会产生“原罪”。如果从现在的眼光来看当年,很难去判断当时企业家所做的所谓“对”或“错”。时空不一样,不该简单地进行价值判断。

企业家精神的升级简单来说就是由“大我”到“小我”再到“无我”

随着社会的进步,企业家随之进步,企业家精神亦在不断升级。在这次亚布力论坛上,我特别体会到了企业家们在几方面的呼唤和对时代的回应:感恩、宽恕、学习和提升。

(1)感恩
体会最多的是企业家们对大时代的感恩。就像泰康保险集团创始人、董事长兼CEO陈东升在这次论坛上所说,改革和开放真的改变了中国,也孕育了企业家与企业家精神。改革开放将国家战略重新放回在经济建设,使社会从意识形态到思想观念都和国际、现代接轨。改革开放给人们带来了希望,因此才能诞生例如柳传志、王石、冯仑、马云、马化腾这一代又一代的企业家。这是大时代给予企业家们的机会,因此“致敬这个伟大时代”。我很认同柳传志所说的“这是前无古人的时代”。

(2)宽恕
这次亚布力论坛上一个非常打动我的发言来自张文中。作为物美集团创始人,他因行贿、挪用资金等罪名被判入狱18年,如今他的案件将被重新审判,张文中算是经历了人生的大起大落。虽然受到冤屈,他却无怨无恨。在亚布力论坛上,他说,“我感动,我感谢,我感恩”,谢谢重申案件的最高人民法院,支持他的朋友,和依法治国的党中央。他说他会选择继续投入到中国零售的革命中,这正是对他受到的冤屈的宽恕。

(3)学习
亚布力论坛无疑是一个学习的平台,参与的企业家也颇具学习精神。从马云坐5个小时飞机、5个小时汽车赶来参会,到中小企业家向柳传志、俞敏洪等前辈提问交流,中国企业家渴望思维碰撞,渴望不断学习。亚布力论坛已经举办了18年,它的独特魅力吸引了无数企业家,帮助他们头脑风暴、提升知识。在其他场合,如美国科技趋势大师凯文·凯利(Kevin Kelly)和桥水基金创始人雷·达里奥(Ray Dalio)讲课时,必定座无虚席。

(4)提升
在参加这次论坛的企业家们身上可以明显感受到他们企业家精神的提升。比如华泰保险集团董事长王梓木提出“新时代的企业家应当追求企业社会价值最大化”,并倡导亚布力论坛发布了《社会企业家倡导书》。社会企业、社会企业家的概念虽然在国外已经有了很多年的历史,但是在国内还是全新的。从追求商业价值到追求社会价值,这无疑是中国企业家的进步。

亚布力论坛轮值主席丁立国讲得好,企业家精神的升级简单来说就是由“大我”到“小我”再到“无我”。“大我”企业家首先看重的是自己的利益,简单的说就是企业的赚钱盈利,这是出于个体和企业生存的角度,无可厚非。而“小我”企业家所考虑的不单单是赚钱,同时还思考如何为社会服务,更好地承担社会责任。我认为企业家精神的最终阶段将是“无我”,对于“无我”企业家来说,是否赚钱已经不在考虑范围之内。他们考虑的是要如何贡献资源使大家都可以不断进步,这是一种无私的奉献精神。

无论是“84派”抑或“92派”,那时的企业家在刚下海经商时基本都是“大我”。现如今,在中国整体商界里虽然有不少企业家仍处于“大我”的阶段,甚至于一部分仍处于“土豪”状态,但我逐渐看到一小部分企业家已经进入“小我”的阶段。同时,我亦开始看到走到少量最前沿的企业家逐渐达到“无我”的境界。亚布力论坛的理事们就很了不起,无私地投入金钱与精力,成立这个思想碰撞的平台,帮助更多的人进步。其他例如阿拉善SEE等一些由企业家牵头的公益组织,也在为社会贡献责任与力量。

中国进入了一个新的时代,中国企业家们正在不断进步。中国的未来发展将会带动中国企业家精神的不断提升,我期望看到更多“无我”的企业家出现。

原文发表于《亚布力观点》(2018年3月刊)并保留所有权利

关于作者:
谢祖墀博士(Dr. Edward Tse)是高风管理咨询公司(Gao Feng Advisory Company)的创始人兼首席执行官。中国管理咨询业的先行者。过去的20年里,他创立并领导了两大国际管理咨询公司在大中华区的业务。外界评价他为“中国的全球领先商业战略家”和 “谢博士之于中国企业界就如大前研一之于日本企业界”。他曾为数以百计的公司(总部设在中国及其它地区)咨询过所有关键战略和管理方面的业务,涉及中国的各个方面和中国在全球的地位。他还为中国政府在战略、国有企业改革和中国企业走出国门等方面做过咨询。他已发表200多篇文章并出版了4本书,其中包括于国际获奖的《中国战略》和《创业家精神》。谢博士获得了加州大学伯克利分校工程学博士、MBA以及麻省理工学院的工程学学士、硕士。