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Chinese business leaders discussed their experiences in opening and operating businesses within China at the annual Harvard China Forum last weekend.
Speeches and panels fell under this year’s theme of “defining the Chinese dream,” and addressed the challenges of entrepreneurship in China.
This weekend featured several panels pertaining to a variety of sectors and industries within the country, such as asset management, travel, fashion, culture, and media. The Forum concluded with speeches at the closing ceremony Sunday afternoon in Memorial Church.
Richard Liu, CEO of JD.com, a large e-commerce company in China, spoke about his initial struggles and path to eventual success with his startup at the opening ceremony. Liu also offered advice to other entrepreneurs attempting to get their startups off the ground.
“Every startup needs to ask, ‘what problem will I solve?’” he said, speaking through a translator.
Eric Wang ’15 and Sabrina M. Castenfelt ’15, co-presidents of Harvard China Forum, the student organization founded in 1998 that puts on the conference, said that HCF aims to assist in establishing a dialogue between the United States and China.
Castenfelt said that for future conferences, she hopes that the discussions within the forum will serve to address the constantly changing relations between China and the United States.
“Our conference, we hope, will reflect the change in that dialogue,” said Castenfelt.
The closing ceremony began with a speech by Su Mang, the CEO of Trends Media Group, a Chinese media company. In addition to Mang serving as the executive publisher of Harper’s Bazaar in China, Trends Media owns several magazines including the Chinese editions of Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Esquire.
Also a speaker at the closing ceremony, Yu Weiping serves as the vice president of China CNR Corporation, a state-owned enterprise that manufactures locomotives. CNR won the bid to upgrade the cars on the Red and Orange lines of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
He added that the company will provide more than 280 cars during the next five years for the two lines. The new cars will be assembled in Springfield, Mass., where China CNR will build an assembly plant.
Mr. Weiping poked fun at the Red line, claiming that the sounds and unevenness of the journey reminded him of his first train ride when he was 15 years old.
To the local residents present at the event, he said, speaking through a translator, “You all only have to suffer for five more years.”
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