Curtin Business School MBAs Get A Taste For International Business, Chinese Style

The tour included a visit to Tencent’s futuristic headquarters in Shenzen.

A group 15 Curtin Business School (CBS) postgraduate students, including Curtin MBA students, were given a peak behind the scenes of one of China’s most successful companies recently, as part of the annual International Business Study Tour unit.

The students were given access to some of the world’s most powerful companies during an exclusive eight-day study tour through the country which includes three days in Shanghai, two days in Hangzhou and three days in Shenzhen.

The delegates were invited to visit the new Shenzhen-based headquarters of Chinese technology giant Tencent, the company responsible for China’s WeChat messaging app, which has more than one billion users worldwide.

They attended a presentation by Tencent Chief Financial Officer and Curtin graduate John Lo. The visit included a guided tour of the Tencent headquarters – two large connected towers designed to accommodate 10,000 employees, with Google-esque facilities including a basketball court, rock-climbing wall and running track.

The study tour ‘delegates’ spent three days in Shanghai (left), two days in Hangzhou (middle) and three days in Shenzhen (right).

Tour organiser and expert in global talent management, Professor Steve McKenna said the delegates were given ‘behind-the-scenes’ access to see how the company grew from small beginnings to the multibillion dollar conglomerate it is today.

“They were gracious hosts and the delegates gained a huge insight into Tencent’s past development and future strategy,” Professor McKenna said.

Other tour activities included meeting officials from PwC and Foxconn, attending a discussion panel about doing business in China, and exploring ‘Dream Town’, an internet start-up incubation hub in Hangzhou.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Commercial Business Partner Sophy Kang, who is currently studying a Curtin MBA, joined the tour to gain greater awareness of the country’s business culture, given its importance as Australia’s largest two-way trading partner.

“This tour has been an eye opener for me: it has helped me to understand just how technologically advanced and efficient China is, and how important it is to maintain good business relationships with Chinese companies to help [build] our long-term business prosperity,” Kang says.

“The tour introduced me to a few key concepts on how to break into Chinese market and main contacts who are already in the market to help for initial setup. I also developed some good connections with the other delegates.

“I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is in the business world and especially those who have never been to China before.”

Curtin’s China Business Tour will next run in 2019. Similar tours are planned for India and Nepal.

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Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize.

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