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Industrial Upgrading and Economic Growth in China | Participants

Keynote Speakers

Justin Yifu Lin is Director, Center for New Structural Economics; Dean, Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development; and honorary dean, National School of Development at Peking University. He was the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank, 2008-2012. Prior to this, Mr. Lin served for 15 years as Founding Director of the China Centre for Economic Research at Peking University.

He is the author of 23 books including Against the Consensus: Reflections on the Great Recession, the Quest for Prosperity: How Developing Economies Can Take Off, Demystifying the Chinese Economy, and New Structural Economics: A Framework for Rethinking Development and Policy. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World.

Shang-Jin Wei is the Director of the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business, Professor of Finance and Economics, Professor of International Affairs, and N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and School of International and Public Affairs, and Director of the Working Group on the Chinese Economy and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (US), and Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (Europe). Prior to his Columbia appointment, he was Assistant Director and Chief of Trade and Investment Division at the International Monetary Fund. He was the IMF’s Chief of Mission to Myanmar (Burma) in 2004. He previously held the positions of Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, the New Century Chair in Trade and International Economics at the Brookings Institution, and Advisor at the World Bank. He has been a consultant to numerous government organizations including the US Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, United Nations Economic Commission on Europe, and United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, and to private companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a PhD in economics and M.S. in finance from the University of California, Berkeley.

Presenters and Discussants

Feng An is a world-renowned expert in clean transportation, energy technologies and climate policies. He founded iCET in California and Beijing to create a world-class think tank to promote policy changes for low carbon development and sustainable future. iCET has also formed a partnership with the US Dept. of Commerce to launch the U.S.-China Cleantech Center (UCCTC) to promote clean technology innovation and collaboration between U.S. and China.

Prior to founding iCET, Dr. An served in numerous national and international institutions with various capacities, including US Agency for International Development, US Dept of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, and University of California. He also founded several California-based companies to solve energy and transportation problems. In the past decades, He has advised governments in China, US, EU, Mexico, Brazil, India, Thailand and Saudi Arabia on automotive fuel economy and energy policies. He was a leading architect of China’s existing fuel economy regulations for passenger and commercial vehicles.  He also severed as an advisor to Energy Foundation’s China Sustainable Energy Program, Hewlett Foundation’s Latin America Transportation Program, and Asian Development Bank’s China Energy Management Project.

Dr. An has been frequently interviewed by major international and Chinese news media such as New York Times, Washington Post and Xinhua News Agency, and invited as a keynote speaker by many international organizations including the World Bank, United Nations, European Union, International Energy Agency, OPEC, etc. Dr. An received his PhD from the University of Michigan in US and MS from Tsinghua University in Beijing, all in Physics.


Yuen Yuen Ang, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, studies development, complexity, and Chinese political economy.

Her research seeks to deepen our understanding of development as a complex process, by developing new theories and tools that capture its dynamic, non-linear, and multi-dimensional reality. Focusing on developing countries and emerging markets, particularly China, she explores three interconnected themes: (1) how markets emerge in the absence of good governance and state capacity, (2) the underlying conditions that enable effective adaptation within governments, and (3) the interactive relationship between corruption and economic prosperity. She is the author of How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (Cornell University Press, Cornell Studies in Political Economy, 2016). More information on her research and teaching, as well as her CV, can be found on her personal website.

Jie Bai is currently a post-doc researcher at Microsoft Research and a visiting faculty at Evidence for Policy Design at Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016, and will be joining Harvard Kennedy School as Assistant Professor in Public Policy in 2017.

Jie’s research focuses on microeconomic issues of firms in developing countries and emerging markets, particularly to understand the role of private enterprise in economic development, the challenges and barriers firms face, and how government policies can interact with various market frictions to affect business growth. Her recent projects have examined firms’ incentive and ability to build a reputation for quality, the relationship between economic growth and corruption, and the impact of internal trade barriers among Chinese provinces on resource misallocation, firm performance and export activities. Other ongoing work includes studying the impacts of FDIs in China, firms’ quality upgrading dynamics, and reputational forces in export markets.

In addition to working on firm-related topics, Jie is also interested in rural development and household welfare.

Jing Cai is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. She is a Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, and an affiliated professor at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

Her research areas are development economics, Chinese economy, and household finance. Her current research examines the diffusion and impacts of financial innovations in developing countries, growth of micro-enterprises and SMEs, and impacts of tax incentives on firm behavior.

Mary Gallagher is Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, where she is also the Director of the Center for Chinese Studies, and a faculty associate at the Center for Comparative Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research.  Her research areas are Chinese politics, comparative politics of transitional and developing states, and law and society.  The underlying question that drives her research in all of these areas is whether the development of markets is linked to the sequential development of democratic politics and legal rationality.  Put simply, she is interested in the relationships between capitalism, law and democracy.  Her empirical research in China is used to explore these larger theoretical questions.

Professor Gallagher was a foreign student in China in 1989 at Nanjing University.  She also taught at the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing from 1996-1997.  She was a Fulbright Research Scholar from 2003 to 2004 at East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai, China.  It was funded by the Fulbright Association and the National Science Foundation.  From 2005-2007 she was part of the public intellectual program for the National Committee on US-China Relations, a program that brought together academics and policymakers working on US-China relations.

Nicholas Howson is a professor of law who earned his BA from Williams College and his JD from Columbia Law School. Professor Howson has spent many years living in the People's Republic of China, both as a scholar—working at Shanghai's Fudan University (1983 to 1985), Beijing University, China People's University and the Chinese University of Politics and Law (1988), and Shanghai's East China University of Politics and Law (2008)—and as a practicing lawyer based in Beijing (1992 to 1994 and 1996 to 2003). A former partner at the New York-based international law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, he worked out of that firm's New York, Paris, London, and Beijing offices, finally as a managing partner of the firm's Asia Practice based in the Chinese capital. During this time, he acted for clients in precedent-setting transactions, including the first Securities and Exchange Commission-registered IPO and New York Stock Exchange listing by a PRC-domiciled issuer (Shandong Huaneng Power Development, 1994), and the first private placement of shares to foreign interests in a newly privatized PRC joint stock company and subsequent IPOs on the domestic Chinese capital markets (the Soros purchase of a 25 percent stake in Hainan Airlines and subsequent B- and A-share offerings, 1995 to 1996). In addition to Michigan Law, he also has visited and taught at the Berkeley (Boalt), Columbia, Cornell, and Harvard law schools. Professor Howson writes and lectures widely on Chinese law topics, focusing on Chinese corporate law and securities regulation, the Chinese capital markets, Chinese legal history, and the development of constitutionalism in Greater China. Professor Howson has been a consultant to the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Asian Development Bank, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and various PRC government ministries and administrative departments in connection with the drafting of PRC statutes and regulations. He acts regularly as a Chinese law expert or party advocate in US and international litigations and/or US government enforcement actions. Professor Howson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, and a designated foreign arbitrator for both the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in Beijing and the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission. He is a former chair of the Asian Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

Chang-Tai Hsieh is the Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Professor of Economics and PCL Faculty Scholar at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Professor Hsieh conducts research on growth and development. Hsieh has published several papers in top economic journals, including “The Life-Cycle of Plants in India and Mexico,” in the Quarterly Journal of Economics; "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," in the Quarterly Journal of Economics; "Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity," in the American Economic Review; "Can Free Entry be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," in the Journal of Political Economy; and "What Explains the Industrial Revolution in East Asia? Evidence from the Factor Markets," in the American Economic Review. Hsieh has been a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of San Francisco, New York, and Minneapolis, as well as the World Bank's Development Economics Group and the Economic Planning Agency in Japan. He is a Research Associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Senior Fellow at the Bureau for Research in Economic Analysis of Development, and a member of the Steering Group of the International Growth Center in London. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, an Elected Member of Academia Sinica, and the recipient of the Sun Ye-Fang award for research on the Chinese economy.

S. Jack Hu is Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan. He is also Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, and the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing in the College of Engineering.

As the Vice President for Research, Dr. Hu has overall responsibility for nurturing the excellence and integrity of research across the UM campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint. The University of Michigan has an annual research expenditure of $1.3 Billion. The Office of the Vice President for Research promotes interdisciplinary research, develops and implements research policy, provides central administrative services in support of faculty research, innovation, and economic outreach, and manages activities related to research communications, compliance, and the responsible conduct of research. He works closely with the university president, provost, deans and research associate deans in developing cross-campus research initiatives. Before his current appointment, Dr. Hu served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (2009–2013) and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education (2007–2009), both in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Hu’s teaching and research interests include manufacturing systems design and operations, assembly modeling, and statistical quality methods.  He is the recipient of various awards, including the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, ASME William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award, SME/NAMRI S. M. Wu Research Implementation Award, the College of Engineering Research Excellence Award, and several best paper awards.  He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a fellow of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP). He served as the Editor in Chief of Journal of Manufacturing Systems from 2008 to 2013, and is founding editor for Procedia Manufacturing.  He was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2015.

Dr. Hu received his B.S. from Tianjin University, China in 1983, M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1986 and 1990 respectively.

Jie Li, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Shanghai Jiaotong University Antai College of Economics and Management, was a key member of founding team for two prestigious business schools in China: CEIBS (1995) and CKGSB (2002). In 2010, Professor Li established the Center for Luxury Brand Research at Shanghai Jiaotong University, and has since been serving as the center’s Director. He is currently a visiting professor at Columbia Business School and Director of the China Center, the Center on Global Brand Leadership, Columbia University. Dr. Jie Li currently serves as co-founder, executive vice chairman and secretary-general of China Association for Consumer Behavior Research, expert member of Shanghai Mayoral Quality Award, Shanghai Municipal Quality Gold Award and Shanghai Government Brand Promotion Center. Prof. Li also serves as brand-strategy consultant to many well-known companies at home and abroad, including Audi, Maserati, Porsche, Siemens, China Eastern Airlines, Morgan Stanley Huaxin Funds, Capital Aviation Holding Company, China Grain Reserves Corporation, State Grid, CIMC, Fosun, Redstar Macalline, Huayi Brothers Media, Baidu, Jinjiang (Hotels), Bao Steel, Jiangnan Shipyard, Juneyao Group, Hermès, SHANGXIA, Giorgio Armani, Vencheron Constantin, Blancpain, Gaggenau, Miele, Shanghai Sheshan Golf Club, Shanghai Xubao Golf Club, and more.

Professor Li has been working with overseas partners and has given luxury-brand research seminars at HEC, France, Columbia Business School, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, London King's College, China Center of Yale University, Peking University, Tsinghua University, People’s University of China, Nankai University, Wuhan University, Jilin University, and East China Normal University, and more.

Larry (Guangxin) Li has 20 years of experience in early-stage investments and the industrialization of scientific and technological achievements. He mainly focuses on Healthcare and TMT, and services as vice chairman of the Shanghai Venture Capital Association and China Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA). Mr. Li is a founding partner of DFJ DragonFund China, and currently manages five dollar funds and two RMB funds. He has successfully invested in MicroPort Medical (0853, HK), Kinetic Medical (300326, Chinex), iKang Healthcare (KANG, Nasdaq), Vital Therapies (VTL, Nasdaq) , ACTS (Nasdaq) and others. Mr. Li worked as a partner in the Shanghai ZhangJiang Venture in 2000, founded Shanghai International VC (HK) in 2004. He was the director of Shanghai JinQiao Hi-Tech Innovation Center from 1993 to 1998. Mr. Li worked as a research fellow in the University of Michigan,  got his Ph.D. degree in Applied Mechanics from Shanghai Jiaotong University.

Linda Lim is Professor of Strategy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (U-M), where she served as Director of the 56-year-old Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS, 2005-2009), and as Associate Director of the International Institute (2001-04). At U-M she has also frequently served on the executive committees of CSEAS, the Center for International Business Education and Research, and the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and was on the board of advisors of the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows (1996-2015).  At Ross, she was faculty advisor of the annual Asia Business Conference for 25 years, and maintains links with a large network of American and Asian U-M alumni throughout Asia. With CSEAS and Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, she organized an Indonesia Forum in Singapore in 2015, and a Myanmar Forum in 2016.

A citizen of Singapore, Linda obtained her degrees in economics from the universities of Cambridge (BA), Yale (MA) and Michigan (PhD).  She has authored, co-authored or edited six books and published more than 100 other monographs, journal articles and book chapters on economic development, trade, investment, industrial policy, labor, multinational and local business in Asia.  Most recently she guest-edited and contributed papers to a Special Issue of the 61-year-old Singapore Economic Review which was republished as a book, Singapore’s Economic Development: Retrospection and Reflections, in World Scientific’s 2015 series celebrating Singapore’s 50th anniversary, to which she also contributed chapters in other volumes. She regularly publishes articles in The Straits Times and Business Times in Singapore, and is often quoted in the international business media, on the Asian and Singapore economies.

Linda teaches MBA courses and executive education sessions on The World Economy/ Competing in the Global Business Environment, and Business in Asia.  She has consulted and conducted executive workshops on Asian business, politics, economics and culture for multinational and Asian companies and associations, and government agencies.  She has done training and ambassador briefings for the US State Department and the US Trade Representative, has testified to the US Congress’ House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and has addressed the United Nations General Assembly Economic Committee. She has also consulted for private think tanks, United Nations agencies (e.g. ESCAP, ILO, UNIDO) and the OECD Development Centre.

Linda is a Trustee Emerita of The Asia Society, a New York-based non-profit.  She has served on a Singapore higher education task force (2004), and is on the board of the National University of Singapore America Foundation (since 2005). She was an independent director of two US public companies with extensive Asia operations in tech manufacturing, Woodhead Industries (1998-2006) and Multi-Fineline Electronix (2008-2016), up to their sale to larger entities.

Jason Luo, President, CEO, and board member of Key Safety Systems (KSS) since March 2007. Prior positions at KSS include President, Chief Operating Officer; President of Asia Division; VP of Global Engineering; Director of Global Engineering.

  • Mr. Luo serves as President, CEO, and board member of KSS since March 2007.
  • Key Safety Systems (KSS) is a global leader in the system integration and performance of safety-critical components to the automotive and non-automotive markets serving the active safety, passive safety and specialty product sectors with 13,000 employees and 34 facilities in 15 countries around the world.
  • Mr. Luo has led the business transformation and global expansion of KSS since 2007 to ensure KSS can serve its global customers from its 34 global technical center, and manufacturing plants in North American, Europe and Asia.
  • Worked with Carlyle group 2003-2007 to turnaround the company and generate 60% IRR for investors
  • Working with Crestview partners, Mr. Luo led management  to complete MBO in 2007 and successfully managed the company through the worst recession in 2008 – 2009.
  • Lead the transition to Fountainvest sale in 2014 and to Joyson in 2016.
  • Mr. Luo has extensive hands on experience with M&A, divestures, corporate strategy development/implementation and global operation excellence.
  • Born in China, Mr. Luo has a deep knowledge and understanding of doing business in China, and achieved 10 fold revenue growth in China since 2007.
  • B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology, China; M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo, Ohio; MBA from Michigan State University.
  • Mr. Luo currently serves on the Board of Directors of Key Safety Systems,  JR Automation Technologies and GI Global, He is a Senior Advisor at Crestview Partners, Chairman of Detroit Chinese Business Association Advisory Board and also sits on Michigan State University Broad College Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Yaping (David) Wang, Vice President and Deputy General Manager of North America for Yanfeng Automotive Interiors.

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors(YFAI) is the world's largest supplier of automotive interior components with more than $10 Billion annual sales revenues. Headquartered in Shanghai, the company has more than 100 manufacturing and technical centers in 17 countries and employs over 29,000 people globally. Established in 2015, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is a joint venture between Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co., Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Huayu Automotive Systems Co., Ltd. (HASCO), the component group of SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor), and Johnson Controls a global multi-industrial company.

David Wang is global Vice president and Deputy General Manager of North America region. David Wang has overall responsibility to co-manage nearly $3 Billion annual sales business in North America region, where YFAI has 26 manufacturing plants and Tech centers to provide parts and service to all global OEMs.  

Prior to YFAI, David Wang was the president of Yanfeng USA. He built this company up from scratch with little resources available to him when he came to the U.S. in 2010. Under David’s leadership and business vision, Yanfeng USA enacted upon a growth strategy by aggressively pursuing new customers and new business wins. Today, this company generates $300 million annual sales to two major automotive OEMs, Chrysler and General Motors. Yanfeng USA employs nearly 1,000 people with two manufacturing locations in two states. Yanfeng USA has recently won new business from another major global automotive OEM, Volkswagen, North America. This addition of business started a new manufacturing footprint in the southern United Sates. During the past five years, Yanfeng USA has been consistently recognized by its customers for excellent quality and customer service. In 2014, the company won Chrysler Corporation’s prestigious Supplier of the Year Award. David Wang envisions that Yanfeng USA will become a billion dollar company within next five years with a manufacturing footprint in multiple locations throughout North America.

David Wang has over 20 years of automotive industry experience. Prior to becoming the president of Yanfeng USA, David was Senior Program Manager with Yanfeng, Shanghai, China. Throughout his successful career with Yanfeng, David has had multiple leadership positions including General Manager of Yanfeng’s start-up tooling company. In this position, David supported multiple global OEMs throughout China. David started his career at Yanfeng as a junior engineer after he graduated from a prestigious university in Shanghai. In the early years of his career, he gained international business management and multi-cultural communication knowledge when he took an assignment as the Liaison Officer stationed in Metro-Detroit. He was responsible for coordinating learning activities, communication and issue resolution between Ford Motor Company and Yanfeng.      

David Wang holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. He also has an Executive Master’s Degree of Business Administration from University of Michigan, and a Master’s degree of Business Administration from Fudan University, Shanghai, China.  

David Wang’s business mission focuses on expanding the global automotive interior market by building close relationships with customers. His strategic execution centerpiece pivots around building synergies among employees of different cultures and across national boundaries. Toward this end, David Wang will be leading a major integration with a major automotive interior supplier in North America.

Yongxiang Wang is a financial economist whose research focuses on corporate governance and corruption, particularly in China and other developing economies. His research has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics and American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings.

Xun (Brian) Wu is Associate Professor of Strategy (with tenure) as well as Faculty Director of China Initiatives at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He received his B.S. from Tsinghua University in China, M.Sc. from National University of Singapore, and Ph.D. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania prior to joining the Ross School of Business in 2007.

His research examines the role of firm capabilities in influencing the dynamics of corporate scope and the evolution of industries. His work can be organized into two streams, with the first stream related to firms’ strategies for reconfiguring their business portfolios in dynamic environments, and the second related to industry evolution driven by entry, exit, and incumbent adaptation. These two streams are linked by a common concern with how competitive advantage is created and destroyed when industry landscapes are reshaped by economic, technological, and institutional factors.

His research has been published or is forthcoming in Management Science, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal. His work has been recognized with the US Small Business Administration Best Student Paper Award, AOM Technology and Innovation Management Division Stephan Schrader Best Conference Paper Award, INFORMS Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition Award (finalist), AOM Technology and Innovation Management Division Past Chairs Emerging Scholar Award (runner-up), Academy of Management BPS Division Distinguished Paper Award, 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, Neary PhD Teaching Excellence Award, and Sanford R. Robertson Professorship (school-wide junior faculty award that recognizes career achievement and outstanding performance in research and teaching). He was named one of Poets & Quants' best 40 business school professors under 40 in 2016.

He was appointed to the Research Committee (2010-12) and elected to the Executive Committee (2013-15) of the AOM Business Policy and Strategy Division. He was elected as Representative at Large for the Corporate Strategy Interest Group and the Behavioral Strategy Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society (2014-16). He serves as an Associate Editor for Strategic Management Journal, the strategy field’s flagship journal. As founding Faculty Director of China Initiatives at Ross, he helped establish the Shanghai cohort for Master of Management Program and create an executive education program for China’s primary policy bank (China Development Bank).

L. Colin Xu is a lead economist of the Research Group of the World Bank. His main areas of work include firms, development, institutions, the role of the state, and China. He has published more than 50 papers in various fields related to applied microeconomics, including in Review of Economics and Statistics, AER Papers and Proceedings, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, and Journal of Comparative Economics. He is also in many editorial boards. He has been a Research Fellow of China Growth Centre at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, and a frequent faculty of the Ronald Coase Institute. His work has been mentioned in mass media such as the Economist and the Wall Street Journal. Many of his papers have appeared in syllabuses of top universities, and his papers are widely cited.