The China Report 2020

When we published our last China Report at the Sanya International Forum in December 2019, if anyone had predicted that we would enter a global lockdown in combating a deadly pandemic within days, I would have believed it to be a dark fantasy. 2020 will go down in history as a pivotal year. Historical disruptors packed the whole year with consequences that are hard to predict: a global pandemic which killed more than 2.5 million people so far, Olympic Games postponed for the first time in modern history, two US Presidential impeachment trials, the global lockdown caused the worst global financial market crash since 1929, oil contract prices went negative, Black Lives Matter protests changed the public discourse in the US and the UK, UK exams were cancelled, a historical US presidential election with chaos at Capitol Hill, etc. Most of these events are interlinked and still ongoing. What follows? Inequality issues have been intensified, climate change causes more and more extreme weathers, high inflation is probably coming to haunt us, while most of the population is still under lockdown.

We often see unification when defending ourselves against a common enemy, but instead, we witness this pandemic being divisive. It is democracy vs demagoguery, it is mask vs non mask, it is lockdown vs liberty, it is facts vs misinformation, it is life-saving vs economy-saving, it is strategic partners vs strategic competitors. The dynamics among these elements will shape our societies as well as the world. Although the year 2020 is behind us, its legacy will continue to impact us for generations. Timing would be less important than understanding the future trends, therefore we postponed the publication of this issue from December.

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of China’s capital markets. Mr Wang Boming was among the first group of students that went aboard after China’s reform and opening up. He graduated from Columbia University and worked at the New York Stock Exchange. Since 1987, he actively promoted, planned and participated in the creation of China’s securities market. On 15 March 1989, he co-founded the Stock Exchange Executive Council (SEEC) with support from the senior leadership of the Chinese government. The SEEC subsequently participated in the preparations for the establishment of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. 30 years followed of unparalleled change and growth in both stock exchanges, with more than 4,000 companies listed and a total market capitalisation over $11 trillion. We felt there would be no other person better than Mr Wang himself to share the memory and milestone of this amazing venture. We have also recorded an interview on the topic which can be found on the CJBS website.

In 2020, the Trump administration started a campaign to delist Chinese companies from US stock exchanges. Is it wise to weaponise the US capital markets? More importantly, what’s next for China’s capital markets? Dr Gong Shaolin, who started his career at the Chinese central bank and then led one of the biggest Chinese securities firms, gives his analysis on the matter. He compares the Chinese capital markets and other major markets, mapping out differences and potentials. In Chinese culture, 30 years is the age when you have your feet firmly upon the ground. This also applies to the Chinese stock market in Gong’s opinion. The reforming of China’s securities market continues to adapt in order to fulfil new challenges.

Thank you for your continuous support.

On behalf of the Cambridge Judge China Advisory Council,

Xiyang Daniel He

Fellow, Cambridge Judge Business School

Secretary-General, China Advisory Council

剑桥大学嘉治商学院 院士