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MBA in China: China's Growth Story, Luxury fastest growing Market & Focus More on Innovation

MBA in ChinaThe People's Republic of China (PRC) is constituted by Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The latter two are former British and Portuguese colonies respectively, and enjoy greater political, social and economic freedom, while remaining as part of China. The Chinese economy has been growing at an astonishing rate, registering an impressive 10% growth over the past 10 years. In 2007, the Chinese economy was valued at $3.4 trillion, surpassing Germany’s $3.3 trillion to become the world's 3rd largest economy. By 2009, China's GDP had almost doubled, rising to $5.9 trillion, pushing Japan's $5.5 trillion into 2nd place. Today, the world's most populous nation is home to the world's 2nd largest economy, touching $11.4 trillion in 2011, behind USA's $15.3 trillion. To put things into perspective, the GDP of Latin America is valued at below $6 trillion. According to estimates, by 2030, China is expected to overtake USA to become the world's largest economy. China is already the world’s largest creditor owning around 21% of all US Treasury securities outside USA.


China's spectacular growth is driven by exports. China is the world's #1 exporter in 2011, with exports valued at $1.9 trillion, almost $400 billion more than USA. It also has the world's largest labor force, comprising 795 million people, almost twice that of India's 488 million. Agriculture contributes around 10% of the GDP, while accounting contributes nearly 50% towards the workforce. Driven by exports, industry sector accounts for a massive 47%, while services account for just 43% of the GDP. The services sector share is well below that of developed countries, with Germany's at 71%, and USA’s at 80%. This goes to show just where the future growth of the Chinese economy lies, and displays the massive potential that the sector holds.

The interesting points to note are the subtle shift in orientation of the Chinese economy. The focus was once on manufacturing at low costs, even if it meant copying designs and ideas from other products, even to the extent of duplication. Today, innovation is high on the agenda, shifting the agenda from 'Made in China' to 'Innovated in China.' There are 8 companies in the Forbes' list of the world's most innovative companies. Companies like Baidu, Huwei, Wuliangye Yibin, Baosteel Group and Dong Feng motor lead in this regard. In fact, Chinese infrastructure companies are rated as the best in the world, particularly in construction and transport.

Another shift is from an export driven economy to one based on internal consumption. China is already the world's 2nd largest importer, taking in goods worth $1.7 billion. Rapidly rising wages and a higher standard of living are prime contributors to the expansion of the internal market. By 2020, China is expected to consume 19% of the world's luxury goods. What's more, by 2030 66% of the globe's middle class is expected to live in China.

China is not surprisingly the focus of the world's best companies, offering MBA students a vast array of opportunities. The expected growth in the services sector is one opportunity. China is the largest producer and consumer of agricultural products. In 2010, the Chinese contribution to global manufacturing was 19.8% that led China to become #1 in that sector. China is also the world's top choice for relocation of manufacturing facilities. China is the world's largest producer of steel and automobiles, while ranking as the top consumer for the latter and for PCs. It is the 2nd largest Internet user after USA. The tourism industry is China's fastest growing market and is expected to capture 8.6% of the world market to become #1 by 2020. MBAs in China can also look forward to a low cost of living, efficient infrastructure, nimble government machinery and vast travel, cultural and culinary opportunities.  

Here are out top 5 picks for the Best MBA in China

1) HKUST

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is located in Hong Kong, and the MBA program has a strong China focus. The Doing Business in China course is part of the required curriculum, and will help managers tackle China's dynamic business environment, covering all aspects of successfully running businesses in China, today. The General Management in China career track offers electives that cover management, leadership, marketing, investment and finance in China. There is also a 2-week Mandarin course before the program begins.

Students study real-world cases based on China and gain from field trips that cover a gamut of companies in places like Beijing and Shanghai. The China Club gives MBA students a deep experience of Chinese culture and networking opportunities. The school also provides networking opportunities with Chinese business leaders, and has an extensive alumni network that dominates Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and the Pearl River Delta area.

While around 80% of the MBA intake of 2012 was comprised of students hailing from outside China and Hong Kong, the graduating class of 2011 had 88% finding employment in Asia. The average base salaries ranged from $76,125 to $109,936, for experiences ranging from 2 to 10+ years. The highest base salary was $182,051. The major hiring companies include 3M, Hua An, Accenture, Johnson and Johnson, JP Morgan, Louis Vuitton, Bank of China, McKinsey & Co., Microsoft, Cisco Systems (China), Citigroup, P&G, Deloitte Consulting, Shenzhen Capital Group, The Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, Google, and HSBC.

2) CEIBS

The China Europe International School has an MBA program that gives a deeper insight into the globe's most important market - Shanghai. It offers a cross-disciplinary curriculum with an intense China focus. Advanced international theories are taught along with its application in the dynamic Chinese market. The course is taught in English, and foreign students must attend a pre-course in Chinese. Students can also learn it throughout the duration of the MBA program for free. The required ‘China Within the World’ course stresses on the critical political, economic, trade, and cultural issues that determine business success in China. The 'China Discovery Week' is held every year, offering a lecture series that explores the latest issues regarding businesses in China. Other courses are China Management, and China HR.

The Integrated Strategy Project allows MBA teams of 4 to 6 to take up a consulting project at a top notch company in Shanghai, elsewhere in China or abroad.
A current issue of importance for the company is tackled with the help of a senior faculty member and a mentor from the organization. The school also offers access to 12,000 alumni - China's largest alumni network.

The class of 2012 had nearly 36% international students. 81.9% of the class found employment in Mainland China and 9.7% in Asia Pacific. The median salary was $68,000 and the highest was $179,200. Incidentally, foreign students earned more than their local counterparts. Top companies that hired include A.T. Kearney, Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, Cargill, Coca-Cola, LMVH, PepsiCo, Shell, UBS, Citigroup, Bayer, Chrysler, Michelin, Amazon, Apple, Huawei, IBM, Dow Jones, Harvard Business Review and Walmart.

Read the Second Part of the Series - MBA in China: Top Industries, Average GMAT, Fee and Accreditations

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