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International Symposium on Global Chinese Entrepreneurship

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Image: San Gabriel Ethnoburb, courtesy of Min Zhou

Taiwan Studies International Symposium

Global Chinese entrepreneurship, diasporic Chinese entrepreneurship in particular, is a long-standing phenomenon for scholarly research. The historian and sinologist Gungwu Wang created a pyramid concept of Chinese migration with huashang (华商 meaning Chinese merchants and traders) as the foundation. Historically and in contemporary times, entrepreneurship has been a vital aspect of diasporic Chinese life and crucial for understanding Chinese migration, diasporic formation, and ancestral homeland/hometown development. This symposium aims to investigate the phenomenon further. We are particularly interested in: identifying the distinct patterns in diasporic Chinese entrepreneurship in historical and comparative perspectives and the relations between diasporic Chinese entrepreneurs and their ancestral homeland/hometowns; tracking the global and local forces that have transformed the ways in which Chinese migrants start and run their businesses in different national or transnational settings; the importance of local and transnational networks in business; the causes and consequences of entrepreneurship that are distinctly Chinese or are based on sub-ethnic identity; and the ways in which the understanding of global Chinese entrepreneurship would shed light on the general phenomenon of ethnic/immigrant entrepreneurship.


This symposium is offered online via Webex (Friday) and Zoom (Saturday). Please click on the registration links below. Attendees must register for each day they wish to join the event. All times listed are US Pacific Standard Time.



(In Pacific Standard Time)

Download the complete program with paper abstracts and speaker bios (PDF)


Friday, November 20, 5:00–7:30 pm (Asia 11/21, 9:00–11:30 am | Europe 11/21, 2:00–4:30 am)

5:00–6:10 Opening Session (Webex)

5:00–5:10 Welcome Remarks and Introduction
Min Zhou, Director, UCLA Asia Pacific Center

5:10–6:10 Keynote Speech: “Taishang, China, and Global Value Chains”
Jieh-min Wu, Sociology Institute, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Panels I-IV: Each panelist will have 12 minutes for his or her presentation. Your strict compliance with this rule will be critical for a fruitful discussion.

6:20–7:30 Panel I (via Webex)
Chair/Moderator: Yong Chen, Professor of History, UC Irvine

“The Untold Truth of China's Resilience to the US-China Trade-War: Data and Case Studies”
Jinwu Xiong, China University of Political Science and Law; Ying Lowrey, Alibaba Research Institute

Taishang-Style Enterprises: The Taiwan Factor in the Emergence of Chinese Private Enterprises in the Pearl River Delta, China”
Chih-peng Cheng, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

“The Changing Pattern of Entrepreneurship in Hong Kong: The Importance of Socio-Political Context” Biyang Sun, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Eric Fong, The University of Hong Kong

“Transnationalism and Immigrant Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of Self-Employed Foreigners in Hangzhou, China”
Zhenxiang (Zeke) Chen, UCLA; Xiaoguang Fan, Zhejiang University

Saturday, November 21
9:30–11:30 am
(Asia 11/22, 1:30–3:30 am | Europe 11/21, 6:30–8:30 pm)
4:00–7:30 pm (Asia 11/22, 8:00–11:30 am | Europe 11/22, 1:00–4:30 am)

9:30–11:30 am Panel II (via Zoom)
Chair/Moderator: Sherry Wu, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations & Behavioral Decision Making, UCLA 

“Confucian Entrepreneurship: Rediscovering and Reinventing a Distinct Chinese Entrepreneurship in a Global Context”
Matthias Niedenführ, University of Tübingen, Germany 

“The Politics of Taiwanese Business (Taishang) in Cross Strait Relations: Liminal Citizenship and the Case of Xiaosantong (Mini-Three-Link) in Kinmen”
Gordon C.K. Cheung, Durham University, UK 

“Capitalizing on Opportunities during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Business Transitions among Chinese Immigrant Entrepreneurs in France”
Simeng Wang, The French National Center for Scientific Research, France; Xiabing Chen, Sorbonne University, France

“How Unique Is Jack Ma? High-Performing Entrepreneurship and Social Mobility in China”
Robyn Klingler-Vidra, Jiawei (Steven) Hai, Ye Liu, and Adam Chalmers, King’s College London, UK

"'I Sell Therefore I Exist': Markets' Contestation, Digital Labor, and Emotional Petit Capitalism of Chinese Migrant Women in Taiwan"
Beatrice Zani, Sciences Po Lyon, France

 “Cultural Rationales for Becoming an Entrepreneur: An Ethnographical Approach to the Entrepreneurial Motivations of Chinese Newcomers in Tokyo”
Bin Li, Free University Berlin, Germany

4:00–5:30 pm Panel III (via Zoom)
Chair/Moderator: Jay Chok, Associate Professor of Management, Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont Colleges

“Chinese Immigrants' Contribution to Trade: Network Competence vs. Educational Attainment”
Howard Xiaohua Lin, Ryerson University, Canada; Xiyan Yang, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics

“Circulating Beauty: Chinese Wig Business in Ghana”
Jinpu Wang, Syracuse University

“From Street Food to Gourmet Food: The Globalization and Popularization of the Uighur Lamb Skewers by Chaoxianzu Chinese”
Changzoo Song, University of Auckland, New Zealand 

“Intergenerational Similarities and Differences among Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs”
Mei Zhang, University of Science and Technology Beijing, China

“Privileged Migration and Middle Minority: Comparing Taishang in Dongguan and Jakarta”
Ping Lin, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan

5:45–7:15 pm Panel IV (via Zoom)
Chair/Moderator: Tak-Jun Wong, Joseph A. DeBell Professor of Business Administration and Accounting, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business

“Kin Networks, Women, Chinese Family Businesses and Entrepreneurship: Some Theoretical, Methodological and Research Formulations”
        Kwok Bun Chan, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong

“Entrepreneurial Masculinity and Disjunctive Intimacy: Taiwanese Businessmen and Their Families across the Taiwan Strait”
Hsiu-Hua Shen, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

“Intergenerational Transformation and Sexual Division of Labor in Middle-Class Sino-Thai Business Families”
Xiaoxiao Ma, Minzu University, China

“Transgenerational Intent of Taiwanese Business Families: Immigrant Context as Exposure to Country Differences in Family Logic”
Stone Han and Hsi-Mei Chung, I-Shou University, Taiwan; Artemis Chang, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

“When Technology Meets Culture: WeChat Marketing by Chinese Immigrants”
Huanwen (Sherry) Jiao, Ryerson University

“Ethnic Entrepreneurship and Its Transnational Linkages”
Jacob Thomas, Princeton University; Min Zhou, UCLA

7:157:30 Closing

Min Zhou, Director of APC

Funding for the conference is provided by the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education, Ministry of Education, Taiwan, represented by the Education Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles.

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Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2021