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UCLA Asia Pacific Center Hosts Virtual Conference on Global Chinese Entrepreneurship

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With support from the Ministry of Education for UCLA’s Taiwan Studies Lectureship (TSL) program, the Asia Pacific Center (APC) hosted a two-day international symposium on Global Chinese Entrepreneurship on November 20-21 (Pacific Time). Organized by APC director Min Zhou, Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies and Walter and Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in US-China Relations and Communications, the TSL annual conference was originally planned for spring 2020 at UCLA, but was rescheduled to a virtual format due to COVID-19.  The program featured a keynote lecture by Dr. Jieh-min Wu, Research Fellow at the Sociology Institute, Academia Sinica, on “Taishang, China, and Global Value Chains, ”and research presentations by 31 participants from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China, as well as Europe, Oceania, and the United States. Thanks to the virtual format, the conferences was viewed by over 165 scholars, students, and publics from around the globe.

Dr. Wu launched the symposium with a presentation that retold the story of China’s economic success from the perspective of Taishang (Taiwanese businesspeople) and explained the connections between China and global capitalism, drawn from his 2019 book, Rent-Seeking Developmental State in China (National Taiwan University Press). Four panel sessions were scheduled to facilitate panel groupings from Asia and Europe. Panel 1, moderated by Yong Chen, Professor of History at UC Irvine, continued with papers that elucidated the patterns of transnational entrepreneurship in relation to China’s global economic development, including “Taishang-Style Enterprises: The Taiwan Factor in the Emergence of Chinese Private Enterprises in the Pearl River Delta, China,” by Prof. Chih-peng Cheng, National Tsing Hua University. Panel 2, moderated by Sherry Wu, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations & Behavioral Decision Making at UCLA, focused on the practices and ideologies of entrepreneurs themselves, including such papers as,  “‘I Sell Therefore I Exist’: Markets' Contestation, Digital Labor, and Emotional Petit Capitalism of Chinese Migrant Women in Taiwan” by Dr. Beatrice Zani (Sciences Po Lyon, France), and “The Politics of Taiwanese Business (Taishang) in Cross Strait Relations: Liminal Citizenship and the Case of Xiaosantong (Mini-Three-Link) in Kinmen,” by Prof. Gordon C.K. Cheung (Durham University, UK). Panel 3 was moderated by Jay Chok, Associate Professor of Management, Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont Colleges, and presented case studies of individual entrepreneur enclaves around the world, including “Privileged Migration and Middle Minority: Comparing Taishang in Dongguan and Jakarta,” by Prof. Ping Lin (National Chung Cheng University). Panel 4, moderated by Tak-Jun Wong, Joseph A. DeBell Professor of Business Administration and Accounting, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, addressed women in the context of global Chinese entrepreneurship, with such papers as “Entrepreneurial Masculinity and Disjunctive Intimacy: Taiwanese Businessmen and Their Families across the Taiwan Strait,” presented by Prof. Hsiu-Hua Shen (National Tsing Hua University), and “Transgenerational Intent of Taiwanese Business Families: Immigrant Context as Exposure to Country Differences in Family Logic,” by Stone Han and Hsi-Mei Chung of I-Shou University, and Artemis Chang of Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

Two special journal issues drawn from the conference presentations are already in the works. Min Zhou will edit a special issue of Journal of Chinese Overseas on “Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the Contemporary Era of Globalization: Gender, Family, and Divergent Patterns,” planned for December, 2021. Prof. Zhou and Prof. Howard Lin (Ryerson University) will edit a special issue of the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship on the theme, “Chinese Entrepreneurship in a Globalized World: Culture, Place, and Mobilities” planned for February, 2022.

A recording of Jieh-min Wu’s keynote presentation is available in the video above. The full conference program is available here.

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Published: Monday, January 11, 2021