News & Highlights

  • FEBRUARY 2023

Alumni Events in Seoul, Singapore, Jakarta, and Manila with Professor Paul Gompers on his New Book

In February, the Asia-Pacific Research Center collaborated with the Harvard Business School Clubs of Korea and Singapore, and the Harvard Clubs of Indonesia and the Philippines to host alumni events in Seoul, Singapore, Jakarta, and Manila. Professor Paul Gompers presented his book, Advanced Introduction to Private Equity, to HBS alumni and supporters. Co-written with the University of Chicago Professor Steven A. Kaplan, the book provides valuable insights on private equity for academics, students, young professionals, and industry veterans. The event was attended by a significant number of Harvard alumni and friends.
  • NOVEMBER 2022

15th Annual HBS Club of Shanghai Entrepreneurship Forum: “Convergency in New Dynamics”

On November 19, HCS and the HBS Club of Shanghai hosted the 15th Annual HBS Entrepreneurship Forum. The theme this year was “Convergency in New Dynamics,” and the forum included both an online webinar and an in-person fireside chat that took place at HCS. Professor Benjamin Esty, faculty chair of the APRC, provided a School update to regional alumni followed by keynote speeches and panels by local entrepreneurs and investors. More than 230 people were in attendance.
  • OCTOBER 2022

Presentation by Professor Mattias Fibiger on The Semiconductor Wars

In October 2022, he HBS Club of Singapore hosted a Global Networking Night for alumni. Professor Mattias Fibiger from the Business Government and International unit presented on the topic of the semiconductor wars between the U.S. and China. Starting with the origins and the development of the semiconductor industry, Professor Fibiger traced the participation of various key countries in the semiconductor industry, and the decisions and events that brought about today’s US-China rivalry in semiconductors. The presentation was followed by an energetic Q&A session. More than 50 alumni from the Asia-Pacific region participated in this in-person event.
  • OCTOBER 2022

Virtual Case Discussion with Prof. Forest Reinhardt on Nestlé: The World's Largest Food Company Confronts Climate Change

On October 24, the Asia-Pacific Research Center co-organized a virtual case discussion in partnership with Executive Education. Professor Forest Reinhardt, the faculty chair of the HBS Agribusiness Seminar, taught the Nestlé case to explore how the world’s largest food and beverage company is striving to achieve its sustainability objectives without sacrificing short-term performance and shareholder value. More than 50 HBS alumni, executives, and investors from the agribusiness sector participated in the session.

New Research on the Region

  • 2023
  • Working Paper

The Politics of Philanthropy in China

By: Geoffrey Jones and Yuhai Wu

This working paper looks historically at business philanthropy in China. In the West, the literature has distinguished between entrepreneurial and customary philanthropy, while the phenomenon of spiritual philanthropy has been identified in many emerging markets. This working paper argues that these models do not fit the case of China, where philanthropy has always been primarily political, designed to access and protect from the political power of the government. This political philanthropy has taken an enhanced form since 2016 as the Chinese government, using the political discourse of "corporate social responsibility," has sought to guide state-owned capital and private capital into the field of philanthropy, and align the agenda of philanthropy with the policy of the central government. This is an endeavor to reshape the ethical system of Chinese society though combining the universal moral concepts of "goodness" and "mutual assistance" with the CCP’s socialist ideology. The government is also effectively creating a new economic sector – as it had done previously with green industries – which can provide social services and support, especially to underserved demographic sectors.

  • 2023
  • Working Paper

El Dorado Lost: Local Elites, Real Estate and the Education Business in China

By: Geoffrey Jones and Yuhai Wu

This working paper examines the evolving, complex and multifaceted relationship between the real estate industry and the education sector in China. The current crises in the private education and real estate sectors caused by policy shifts reflect the inter-meshing of the two sectors. The industrialization of real estate and the expansion of private education in the 1990s were politically approved responses to the Opening Up Policy, while the contemporary policy shifts against private education and real estate are also primarily political in aim, motivated by President Xi’s Anti-Corruption and Common Prosperity campaigns. Fortunes were made in both the real estate and private tutoring sectors, which were in turn intimately related to local government finances. For three decades, there was a win/win situation for all three parties. The costs were considerable also, extending from sharply increasing house prices to excessively burdened children through the demands of private tuition and homework. The current assertion of Central Government authority will go some way to address these problems, but the challenges of providing commercial housing at affordable prices, and providing children with the skills to navigate the Gaokao examination system successfully, remain.

  • 2023
  • Working Paper

Rule by Market: The Chinese State in Factor Markets

Political economy on China and beyond generally has been premised on a trade-off between state and market power. In the context of China’s reforms, markets and market mechanisms were hypothesized to replace state power in allocating important economic resources. Yet, even as market mechanisms have been introduced in important realms, the state appears to retain power over supply and demand, and, by extension, prices. This paper examines the introduction, and eventual adjustment and constraint, of markets in two important arenas: land and equity markets. Through process tracing and by analyzing a large body of policy documents from various levels of government in both arenas, I uncover a cycle by which the Chinese state embraced market mechanisms to address problems of misallocation, met uncomfortable outcomes of instability and “bubble” behavior during partial liberalization, and reconfigured state control over supply and demand of land and capital while retaining market mechanisms to facilitate competition but not set prices. In both arenas, the Chinese state “rules by market,” by which market mechanisms facilitate, rather than replace, state control over allocation of resources. Rule by market is characterized by authoritarian responses (including populist crackdowns and the use of the state’s coercive apparatus) to respond to market instability as well as institutional reconfigurations involving “red lines” to structure exchange, the setting of indirect price controls, and the rise of novel institutions to enforce these. Rule by market helps make sense of a number of empirical puzzles in China’s political economy, such as bubbles that never seem to pop and cycles of liberalization and crackdown, and suggests amendments to several ideas about how the CCP has managed markets with monopolized political power.

See more research

Shanghai Staff

Nancy Dai
Managing Director and Executive Director, Harvard Center Shanghai; Executive Director, Asia-Pacific Research Center
Bonnie Cao
Shu Lin
Tracy Qin
Assistant Manager for Administration
Vina Tang
Program Manager
Sia Zhou
Senior Program Coordinator

Singapore Staff

Adina Wong
Senior Researcher

Hong Kong Staff

Billy Chan
Kitty Chow
Executive Secretary
Dawn Lau
Associate Director
Connie Yeung
Office Manager