With China's dynamic economy continuing to thrive, the better an executive understands its business environment, the more likely he is to succeed. One way for such executives to fully familiarise themselves with the country's complex practices is to enrol in the Master of Science in China Business Studies programme offered by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU).
The programme focuses on all major aspects of doing business in China, says programme director Harry Wu, pointing out that the traditional mindset that about doing business in mainland China － that everything depends on building good relationships and networks － is obsolete.
Instead, businessmen should get a good understanding of the business environment, especially knowledge of its economic policies and other know-how that help capture business opportunities.
While there are now many master's programmes to choose from, Dr Wu says the PolyU's programme is the first of its kind, providing multi-disciplinary training in China's finance and legal systems plus accounting, marketing and human resources － all factors in completely familiarising the executive with the country's business environment. The programme's connection with prominent government officials and the international quality of the teaching staff are other important plusses, he says.
In designing the programme back in 1996, Dr Wu drew on the knowledge and expertise he acquired from extensive connections with provincial governments － information which is regularly updated. Most of the teaching staff are professors from PolyU's faculty of business and experts in China's economy.
While the programme usually takes two and a half years' study, this can be extended to five to allow participants to study at their own pace, and according to their work schedule and learning needs.
The three foundation subjects comprise China's business environment; its managerial economics and business strategy; and its economy. The four core subjects are foreign direct investment in China; foreign trade in China; research methods and market research in China; and the country's legal system and economic laws. The three electives relate to marketing and financial markets in China. A study tour to China provides the opportunity to visit an important city and meet some leading trading officials.
There will be an intake of 40 to 50 students this year. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree or equivalent professional qualifications in relevant fields of business. Since some of the study materials originated from mainland publications, the ability to read and understand business information in Chinese, especially simplified Chinese characters, is also required. Preference will be given to applicants with at least one year's relevant work experience, especially in China business.