Business success in the new Chinese era

Success in the new Chinese era

Keep up with China’s development and win in the future market

> Target audienceMethodsKey benefits Key topics  – Meet the staff

No other country has transformed itself more rapidly than China in the past half century. China has undergone a shift from a largely agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse – it is the second largest economy by nominal GDP and the world's largest economy by purchasing power parity. Furthermore, once the world’s factory, China moves up to 17th in WIPO innovation ranking in 2018 and is on its way to become a technology powerhouse.  

The English-language program Business success in the new Chinese era is becoming strategically important for both newcomers and expert western players in the Chinese market. Without doubt, China’s consumer market will stay a key growth area but the competitive landscape will become even more complex when Chinese companies become threateningly better along the state-led tech revolution. Newcomers have to design their path to the new China carefully and essentially differently to older practices whereas existing western companies have to reflect on the sustainability of its current China strategy.

To ensure business success in this new Chinese era, decision makers have to understand the latest political changes and market developments in China, gain a deeper understanding about the cultural roots of the Chinese way of doing business and and refresh his or her knowledge on success factors in this very dynamic market.

In the first module "Understanding the new Chinese era" at ESMT in Berlin participants will gain insights in the following areas that are of key importance in designing their business activities in China now or in the future.

  • Country level: Decoding the Chinese political and macroeconomic system, state-led innovation and industrial policy
  • Company level: Understanding the latest China-European business activities, the motivations behind and a brief outlook in the future
  • Individual & consumer level: Demystifying how Chinese think and act; the characteristics of Chinese consumers and its implication for business operation in China

In the second module "Leading Business in the new Chinese era", participants will travel to three different Chinese cities within 5 days to 

  • verify what they have learned in the first module and learn on-the-spot the Chinese way of doing business by visiting leading Chinese technology companies
  • expand their network in China and build relationship with relevant stakeholders for successful business in China
  • immerse themselves in the digital daily life of a Chinese and understand the future customers
  • sensitize themselves in intercultural communication and management


Participants who book both modules will be offered a discount of 10%.


Target audience

Decision makers from any company or organization whose business existence and growth have been, are or will be influenced by the rise of China.



Our program creates real business impact for executives. We have methods specifically designed for this group including lectures, business cases, immersive experiential learning, discussions with peers and faculty, group work and group presentations.


Key topics

Understanding the new Chinese era

Political and market development, industrial and innovation policy, impact on China-European business activities, Chinese way of doing business and Chinese consumers

Leading Business in the new Chinese era

Market entry & second home strategy, Chinese market, digitalization and technology innovation, stakeholders for business success, cultural experience, digital experience


Key benefits

Individual benefits

Participants will gain up-to-date knowledge about the new Chinese era and its impact on business, learn about successful approaches in entering and mastering the Chinese market and gain immersive digital experience to understand the market and consumers. 

Organizational benefits

All ESMT programs are practice-oriented and generate fresh perspectives. The company will have manager ready to design, re-design its China strategy and eventually operate on the ground. In addition, this program will capitalize on the exchange between executives from different countries, industries, and companies – a diverse network whose joint knowledge will be available for the benefit of the participant’s company.


Meet the teaching staff

Nan Guo (Program Director)

Nan Guo is a program director at ESMT since 2018. Before joining ESMT, She was on the frontline of market entry projects for German corporates, medium-sized companies and a startup in higher education into the Chinese market. She played a key role in bringing German products and services to the Chinese market, has rich experience in building up intercultural teams, and prepare organizations for its market expansion. Her recent projects include executive education programs on innovation & digitization for both German and Chinese clients.

Her focus is to help executives develop the right market expansion strategy, understand China, new businesses and succeed in leading multinational teams.


Olaf Plötner

is a professor at ESMT Berlin. He was one of the first faculty members to join ESMT in 2002. Olaf’s current research and teaching focus is on strategic management, industrial market management, and sales management in global B2B markets.

His research has been portrayed in journals such as Industrial Marketing Management and Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing as well as in leading international media such as The Wall Street Journal, Times of India, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, China Daily Europe, and Financial Times.

Olaf is a visiting professor at Darden School of Business/University of Virginia and Chinese Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (Shanghai).


The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) is a Stiftung Mercator initiative. Established in 2013, MERICS is a Berlin-based institute for contemporary and practical research into China that Stiftung Mercator had set up as a platform for engagement with China in Germany. MERICS provides timely information and analysis on China to political and economic decision-makers as well as the media and the general public.
Click here to learn more about our speakers: Mikko Huotari and Kristin Shi-Kupfer.