RTC dinner on China (18 April 2005)

China, Opportunity or Threat

China is having a rapidly growing impact on the rest of the world with economic, ecologic, social and political implications. Whether you grasp the opportunities and manage the threats or just observe you will all be affected. Our three speakers, who have all been observing and involved with China over the last few decades, will examine: Tricia will explain that China has the Internet at the heart of everything, including its ICT strategy. The results of this are now emerging for all to see. Chris will show you that Chinese culture is different so if you want to do business learn the facts and avoid the myths. Richard will speak on the evolution of the Chinese government’s controls on media and real-time content over the past 20 years, and on the growing links between the UK and China and the opportunities that these present.

Tricia Drakes

Tricia Drakes’ areas of interest and expertise include: the Internet (infrastructure, “Next Generation Internet” (IPv6), Wireless, and applications), Financial Services (UK & global), Digital Media, the City of London and China – and youth. She is Chairman ISOC England, The Internet Society’s (www.isoc.org) UK Chapter, a trustee of YouthNet UK www.youthnet.org, TheSite www.TheSite.org – targetting 15-25 year olds and “Do-it” www.do-it.org.uk – the National Volunteering Database. She is a board member (2003/4) of ICANN (www.icann.org) and is a Non-executive director of The University of Surrey Seed Fund Limited. Tricia started her career as a Certified Accountant (FCCA) with Unilever and Shell, was Controller & Company Secretary Italian International Bank Plc (1972-1987) and founded and ran IBIS (International Banking Information Systems Limited) – 1987-1996. She is Past Master (1999) The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

Chris West

Chris West first visited China in 1985, the year the People’s Republic first opened to solo ‘backpack’ travellers. The result of this Journey to the Middle Kingdom. He has been a frequent visitor since then, to research a series of crime novels featuring Beijing-based investigator Wang Anzhuang, the most recent of this was The Third Messiah. Last year, Chris co-wrote Myths about Doing Business in China with Harold Chee, a lecturer at Ashridge Business School. This book debunks a number of western assumptions about Chinese culture, and explains to readers what they need to know to make real progress in the Chinese market.

Richard Pascoe

Richard Pascoe is Director of The University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute, which focuses on policy-relevant, evidence-based research on China. Richard has spent 16 years in all living and working in the Greater China region and his perspectives on China span four decades. A Chinese Studies graduate from Leeds, he first studied in China in the 1970s during the Maoist “Cultural Revolution”. He was a Reuters correspondent in Beijing in early 1980s and managed the Reuters information business in China in the late 1990s. Before joining Nottingham University last June, he worked on China business with the British government’s trade and investment arm UKTI. During his career with Reuters, Richard ran real-time information businesses successively in Indonesia, Taiwan, China and Japan before returning to the UK in 2002.