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With 17 years of working experience in corporate finance and investments, Daniel Hu has worked for financial institutions of different backgrounds. He has also worked with the younger generation from both Hong Kong and the Mainland. He personally experienced and learned that there are indeed differences among organizations and individuals in their upbringing. There are therefore opportunities to learn from each other.
"Both Chinese and foreign corporations have a very similar internal business process in Hong Kong. The Chinese corporations came into the scene relatively late and so they have the advantage of being newcomers that they can make references to the best practices of the market."
The two kinds of corporations, however, have different business focus. "For example, they both invest in Mainland market. European and American corporations look at the more mature cities such as Beijing or Shanghai; if they are investing in Europe, they will look for opportunities in the more developed OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. China is herself a developing country and Chinese corporations might have a higher risk appetite. If they plan to invest in Europe, they would also consider south-eastern Europe."
“Chinese corporations value harmony and relationships more.”
In terms of corporate culture, Daniel also points out the difference. "Chinese corporations value harmony and relationships more; foreign corporations, especially American corporations, value team works, as well as individuals, which would lead to more debates, sometimes intense, among colleagues.”
When asked about the differences between young adults from two places, "Given the huge population in the Mainland, they are more used to facing other people," said Daniel. "They are more assertive and motivated, and they are good networking. Hong Kong locals have global views and are analytical. They understand things thoroughly. We should all learn from each other."
Daniel remarks that global population has become increasingly mobile. To face the competitions from all around the world, young people need not only just good language skills. Logical thinking is even more essential. "They must be good at both Chinese and English. I specialize in PE (Private Equity) and we have to write many internal reports. Language proficiency is one of the factors of whether arguments can be presented methodically in a report but logical thinking plays a bigger role. One must have a clear mind."
"Applicants should also have certain understanding of the nature of the business. For example, if you are interested in derivatives or hedge funds, you need to understand different operations like strategies and long/short; or if you are interested in PE, then you should spend some time beforehand to learn the basic structures and the various taxation and legal arrangements in different investment markets."