Business in China: An Insider View

  • Date
    05 March 2016 - 05 March 2016
  • Beijing Time
    All Day - All Day
  • Venue
    FEB Brussels campus Odisee Room 6306, Hermes Building, FEB Brussels campus Odisee, Warmoesberg 26, Brussels

Everyone in the West has followed both the amazing growth of China out of poverty, its accession to the closed circle of superpowers, as well as the recent food safety and corruption scandals. But China’s environment is not what it seems at first sight and a deeper understanding is necessary for foreign business to succeed. The goal of this program is to prepare participants to do business in China or with the Chinese, to help participants to form a coherent view of the opportunities and challenges that China presents, learning from the experience of foreign businesses that have succeeded and failed in China.

Session Overview

1) The Chinese, seen as Businessmen and Consumers (March 5th)

  • Philosophy, truth and engagements.
  • Religion and family structure.
  • Understanding of time and reality.
  • Property in a collectivist society.
  • Impact of Chinese thinking on society.
  • he strange and the foreign: how Chinese culture deals with outsiders and the non-Chinese.
  • The word of a China-man: contract in China. Chinese thinking and modes of payment. Long term relationships: what long term?
  • Development of the legal system, from ancient laws to modernity.
  • How law and regulations interplay with social norms and systems.
  • The judicial system, dispute resolution and the enforcement of law.
  • Consumers: cost or quality? Shopping habits and brand loyalty. Status, safety and the foreign brand.

2) Success in China is the Absence of Failure (March 12th)

  • How to enter the Chinese market without losing your shirt.
  • Financing options.
  • The limited company: how limited?
  • What is the traditional international business textbook approach worth in China?
  • Exporting to China.
  • Distribution channels and building relationships with the customers.
  • Joint-Ventures: is there a right partner?
  • Setting up operations in Hong Kong
  • Entering sectors restricted to foreign investment.
  • Corruption, fraud and opportunism in business.
  • The understanding of intellectual property.
  • The use and abuse of rules and regulations both Chinese and foreign.
  • Materialism, fidelity and disputes in employment relations.

3) Sino-Business as Usual and Strategies for Long-Term Success in China (March 19th)

  • Foreign exchange regime: making money and taking it out.
  • Competitive environment: the structures of groups in China. North vs. South. Is Chinese strategy pure tactics?
  • Learning from examples of failed and successful Western businesses in China: the controversial insider view you will not find in any textbook.
  • What does long term look like? China in 20 years: alternative time-lines.
  • Is there a career for you in China? The foreign workforce in a Chinese environment.

Information on the Instructor

Dr. Stéphane Grand has over 20 years of experience in the Chinese market. He is a graduate of HEC (MBA program), La Sorbonne (Ph.D. Chinese Corporate Law) and the Fletcher School (Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy).

He founded S.J. Grand Financial and Tax Advisory ( in 2003. The firm has been advising over 1,000 clients on their development and profitability strategies in the PRC. He is also the Vice-Chairman of First Stone Equity, a private equity firm focused on financing foreign SMEs in the PRC. Stéphane sits on the board of Kan-Pak China, a Golden State Foods company.

Dr. Grand has firsthand experience of the development of the legal system of the PRC as an associate of the Beijing office of Gide Loyrette Nouel, in the early 90s and with the World Bank Legal Reform and Private Sector Development department in NYC. His work involved advising U.S. and British clients on acquisitions and strategic market positioning. He later went on to head the Chinese practice of RSM International from 2000 to 2002. Stéphane Grand created both the tax and management consulting practices of RSM in China.

He teaches “Business in China” in the Executive MBA of ESSEC (France) and the University of Illinois, and he is an adjunct professor at the KU Leuven. He is the president of the Beijing chapter of the Alumni Association of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the Vice-Chairman of the Rotary Foundation. Stephane Grand was recently appointed as the President of the Beijing chapter of the Union des Français à l’Etranger.

Dr. Grand is fluent in English, French, and Mandarin and was certified in Israel as a Krav Maga instructor.

Testimonials from Previous Program Participants

“During the lectures, the unique perspective of Stéphane Grand opened my eyes about China. The difference in culture, but also in their way of seeing things and acting according to it was really stunning. Dr. Grand was able to teach and share his experience of the last 20 years spend in China in an unusual and informal way with authentic anecdotes, which was something most of the present students really appreciated. ”

—— Floriane Hernalsteens

For more details on registration and cost, please see the download section on the right.


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