Now China´s downturn hits certain industries, Chinese entrepreneurs use their creativity to change horses. The Globe and Mail describes how a former steel trader refocused his firm on medicinal liquor. Former Tudou founder Marc van der Chijs comments on how this fits into the Chinese style of doing business.
The Global and Mail:
In some ways, Mr. Sun is doing what Chinese entrepreneurs have always done. “They see an opportunity and they just do it,” said Marc van der Chijs, the co-founder of tudou.com, one of China’s original YouTube-style sites, who has been an angel investor in Chinese companies and is now managing partner at CrossPacific Capital in Vancouver. “In the Western world, you would only do things that are closely related to your core business.”
But China’s “new normal” has also forced novel changes, pushing Chinese companies to transform business models in big ways and small. SOHO China, once the country’s largest office developer, is moving away from construction into property management and is now building what Mr. van der Chijs called “an Uber for offices.” The idea is to stock empty rooms with tens of thousands of desks and make them available as instant offices. It would allow a company that needs space for 100 people for two weeks to immediately get the spots it needs, no long-term lease required.
Examples such as that give Mr. van der Chijs great faith in China’s corporate class to turn around the slowing economy. Chinese entrepreneurs are “not risk averse. That sets them apart from many other countries. They fight for stuff and they come up with new things,” he said. “I’m not pessimistic at all.”
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