Albers School of Business and Economics
Study Abroad

China Study Abroad

  • Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong

    August 29 - September 11, 2015

    The main goal of the China Study Tour 2015 is to help our students enhance their understanding of the business and culture of China. According to the IMF, China has become the largest economy in the world as of 2014 and its growth still outpaces most developed economies. China is the largest exporter and automobile producer of the world now. Unlike many people’s perception in the US, China is becoming a very innovative economy at least in terms of the number of patents granted. China is ranked third after Japan and the US.

    The US and China have become tightly interconnected through trade and finance over the years. However, China’s political and economic systems are significantly different from ours and China has challenges to overcome in human rights, property rights, and many others. The ways of Chinese doing business still seem very foreign and challenging to our students in the USA. We believe that our students should be more knowledgeable about China’s business and culture for our mutual benefits and global prosperity in the future.

    We chose three main cities for our visits – Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Beijing is a city where political power is concentrated. Shanghai is China’s New York. Hong Kong maintains a different system – capitalist and open. We will visit two universities – in Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong. China now has many huge global corporations as well as small/medium sized companies. We will select about nine companies based upon our interest in global business. Doing business without a good understanding of their culture can be hazardous. We are planning to provide a multiple number of interacting opportunities with Chinese business people and students for our students and visit some of the famous sites such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, and others.

    • Company visits:We are planning to visit about 9 companies, including large multinational corporations and small/medium-sized companies. We will select companies based upon our interests in global e-business.
    • University visits: We are planning to visit two universities.
    • Cultural activities: We are planning to visit major cultural sites such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, and others.


    INBU 4940/5940: Global E-Business in China

    Instructor: Ben Kim

    China is a country we need to understand very well for our future. According to the IMF, Chinese economy is the largest in the world as of 2014. In terms of the number of patents granted, China is ranked third after Japan and the US. China’s e-business is having a global impact. Recently, Alibaba had a very successful IPO at the NYSE. The current market capitalization of Alibaba is approximately 280 billion dollars.

    In this class, we are interested in China’s e-business strategies and practices as well as their business environments and culture. As we can see in the example of Alibaba, China’s e-business is growing exponentially and many Chinese companies are using the Internet for their global operations. Your research paper can be regarding operational, financial, technical, legal, social, or political aspects of Chinese e-business. The specific topics of study depend on your interests. Before the trip, you will select the areas of research and will be required to do a review of relevant literature. After the tour, you are required to submit a paper and present it in class. The instructor will collaborate with you to submit the paper to a journal or conference.

    • The learning objectives are as follows:
    • Understanding China’s IT/e-business strategies and implementation
    • Understanding business environments of China
    •  Identifying key competitive advantages of China
    • Understand the difficulties in doing business in China, including intellectual property rights, cultural differences, and others
    • Understand the cultural norms in doing business in China
    • Communicate effectively in speech and writing

    MGMT 4940/5940: Trust, political institutions, economic development, and Confucianism

    Instructor: Marc Cohen

    This course is organized around three challenges facing Chinese and multi-national businesses operating in China—[i] a narrow disposition to trust in Chinese society (which is well-documented in the empirical literature, see the Delhey et al. reading listed below); [ii] non-democratic social/political institutions (along with heavy state involvement in business); and [iii] the need for economic development. Each of these challenges affects organizations and shapes the overall business climate, and each has what philosophers would call a normative dimension—meaning a dimension that raises ethical issues. [i] The lack of trust shapes personal and business relationships; according to F. Fukuyama (1995) this lack of trust limits economic development, according to sociologists writing more recently the lack of trust undermines the prospects for civic engagement (again see the Delhey et al. reading). [ii] The non-democratic social/political institutions place boundaries around business practice and social life; (according to some) these institutions encourage corruption; and intellectual freedom and personal property is not always protected. [iii] The need for economic development and social well-being drive many of the Chinese government’s policies and decisions, some of which cause further social and environmental problems.

    These three challenges play out against the background of Confucian norms and culture, which we will also address briefly. The course goals are [a] that students come to better understand the cultural and ethical context for business in China (in terms of the four themes described above); [b] students will be able to understand and interpret their experiences in China in terms of these four themes (and, if needed, notice when these themes are not at work, meaning that students might see the need to revise these themes or correct them); and [c] students should develop a more in-depth understanding of some aspect of business in China. Across these three particular course goals, [d] our work ought to help develop students’ analytical abilities (organize information, define problems, and work out solutions to those problems) and our work should [e] provide opportunities for students to refine their communications skills.

    Registration and cost

    Cost: $3,300 plus airfares between Seattle and Chine, and tuition. This fee includes visa, transportation within China (railways, bus, and air travel), lodging, breakfast, entry fees, language instruction, gifts, and some banquets.
    A deposit of $1,000 is due by February 24, 2015.