China’s Growth to Be Buoyed by Entrepreneurship, Consumption

Legends Holdings Chairman and Lenovo Founder Liu Chuanzhi said entrepreneurship, along with consumption and outbound investment, will provide a lifeline to propel the growth of China’s economy.

“Entrepreneurship is not just a slogan in China,” Liu said, pointing to the success of Beijing’s Zhong guan cun, China’s equivalent of Silicon Valley.

Liu, who was in Singapore on Thursday, Oct. 20 to give a talk detailing his entrepreneurial journey in growing Lenovo, expressed bullishness about China’s entrepreneurial streak saying this will drive China’s growth.

“Strong consumption demand has not been fully satisfied and has room to grow,” he said about China which has a big market. Secondly, China’s outbound investment is backed by its companies having “competitive advantages in capital and industry knowledge.”

The chairman of Legend Holdings also spoke before a live audience of about 1000 people at the Mandarin Orchard hotel, organized by Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship and Business China.

Speaking at this year’s Lien Distinguished Fellow, he shared a lively account of growing and internationalizing Lenovo, now the world’s top PC maker by market share. He recounted trying to get a permit to start manufacturing Lenovo-branded computers in China before the country opened up.

He also recounted his difficulties when trying to acquire IBM. He told the audience that he went to give a speech at Peking University’s executive MBA class and discussed the acquisition of IBM, asking a class of 90 to raise their hands if they thought it was a good idea.

“Three hands were raised, and I realized that two were Lenovo staff,” he recounted to laughter from the audience.

Nevertheless, he persevered and went through with the acquisition. Lenovo’s blockbuster purchase of IBM in 2004 is still considered a case study of successful post-merger acquisition.

The Lien Ying Chow fellowship, a partnership between NTU and the Lien Foundation, was established in 2007 and aims to support leaders in Singapore and China in promoting mutual development of both countries through research and exchange. With an initial funding of S$20 million, it has supported 86 Lien fellows whom are top government officials and business leaders in China and Singapore.

Other distinguished fellows include China’s former finance minister, Mr. Xiang Huaicheng. –

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