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Head of Chinese State-Owned Enterprise Lectures on Boardroom Management_cuyoo

发布者:admin 时间:2020-01-30 21:00点击:
In a rather bizarre and ironic display of China's growing influence on the rest of the world, the head of a large Chinese state-owned enterprise emerged as the unlikely focus of a panel discussion at Davos on how to run a boardroom more effectively.

Miao Gengshu, chairman of Sinotrans-CSC Group, appeared to have his big moment by attending a debate over 'Rethinking Risk in the Boardroom' along with the likes of Goldman Sachs's chief operating officer, the chairman of Novartis and the head of a U.K. private-equity firm.

When invited, Miao, who rarely makes appearances in public, let alone granting media interviews, took his time to lecture the mostly Western audience with his own 'success' experience, in Mandarin.

Miao said that since Sinotrans and CSC merged last year into China's second-largest shipping logistics firm, he has set up a nine-member board that includes five nonexecutive directors from outside the company. 'The inclusion of these nonexecutive directors would help prevent the company from being controlled by insiders,' Miao said. 'These outsiders are independent and their decision making is more scientific.'

'We've had a great success since it was introduced,' he said.

He added that while basic principles of corporate governance are universal, the problems with some Western companies during the global financial crisis stemmed from 'poor execution.'

'Some of their directors (in the West) weren't elected by shareholders but instead by the management,' he said.

Chairman Miao's conclusion: 'We think whether one can run a company effectively has nothing to do with social systems.'

What Miao didn't confess and perhaps many among the audience didn't realize is that in a 'socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics' (Beijing's official description), where the central government has the final say on almost everything regarding state-owned enterprises, the so-called 'boardroom' is more often an instrument of decoration.

The very merger between Sinotrans and CSC that created Miao's current company, was in itself a top-down decision from the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. In fact, the state asset regulator takes care of everything from domestic industry consolidation to conceiving strategies for Chinese companies to invest abroad.

Without the SASAC's approval, the Chinese airlines and shipping companies couldn't have ventured into those speculative financial derivatives trades that eventually cost them billions of dollars of losses in recent years.

But ironically, Chinese civil servants like Miao are increasingly under the spotlight at global events such as the World Economic Forum.

Through such incidents, there's a disturbing feeling here at Davos that just because China pulled its economy out of a slump faster than anyone else, its model and even values are the ones to look up to now. It seems easy to forget that China did so by pumping in massive amounts of taxpayer money into infrastructure, leaving behind huge risks of industrial excesses and bad bank loans.

The world's third-largest economy remains very inefficient and innovation-averse. So does its corporate sector.

Shen Hong

Michael Buholzer/Reuters
通过出席这场名为“董事会风险再思索”的讨论会,中外运(集团)总公司董事长苗耕书似乎迎来了自己人生的一个重要时刻,出席这一讨论会的还有高盛集团(Goldman Sachs)首席运营长、诺华制药公司(Novartis)的董事长以及英国一家私募股权公司的负责人等人士。













Shen Hong
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