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Students visit Tencent HQ in exclusive study tour

Alumni News

Fifteen Curtin Business School (CBS) postgraduate students and alumni gained insights into the workings of some of the world’s most powerful companies during an exclusive eight-day study tour through China.

Pictures of Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen side-by-side.
The CBS ‘delegates’ spent three days in Shanghai (left), two days in Hangzhou (middle) and three days in Shenzhen (right).

The tour, which was incorporated into Curtin’s postgraduate International Business Study Tour unit, expanded the delegates’ knowledge of Chinese business practices and gave them international and cross-cultural perspectives they could to apply to their work.

Among the many highlights, 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 company presentation by Tencent Chief Financial Officer John Lo, himself a Curtin accounting alumnus. They were also given a guided tour of the 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 – from Tencent Head of Global Tax Ben Choy, who also studied at Curtin.

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

“John and Ben have a huge affection for Curtin and Perth,” McKenna says.

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

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 Master of Business Administration, 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.

For more information, please contact Director MBA Programs, Associate Professor Steve McKenna.

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