Campus: CSU Hayward -- November 01, 2002

Shanghai Leaders Trained by Cal State Hayward Direct an Economic Boom in China's Largest City


The economic boom in Shanghai has been driven, in significant measure, by eight individuals who credit their rise to positions of influence to a management training program they completed at California State University, Hayward nine years ago.

“In 1993 we were just learning the importance of finance and capital and how to use strategic management,” said Jianguo Xu, district mayor of Shanghai’s Huangpu District, which includes the city’s center and main financial district.

Xu, who had an internship with an auto parts manufacturer while completing the Cal State Hayward program, said it was a revelation to learn from CSUH professors how “both large and small businesses, and even local governments, can successfully use the same management techniques.”

Under the direction of business professor Nancy Mangold, Cal State Hayward has developed similar management programs for officials from the Chinese cities of Beijing, Chongqing and Liaoning Province. More than 400 Chinese executives have studied at the university in Hayward, but the Shanghai group was the first and the careers of those CSUH alumni have soared.

A Cal State Hayward delegation that included professor Mangold and CSUH President Norma Rees heard many of those success stories during a visit to Shanghai, China’s largest city, in September.

“After completing the course in Hayward we all were promoted,” Xiao Yijia, chairman of the board for the city’s Materials and Resource Bureau, told the CSUH delegation. “And we have kept our connection to each other as the city has grown. We know how to work together.”
“This group gained prominence in the city at a time when China was admitted to the World Trade Organization and embraced other unprecedented changes in its economy,” Mangold said.

Shanghai has China’s largest economic base, but faces economic and technological hurdles in the next decade with which it is unfamiliar. Our alumni are meeting these challenges with an energy and creativity that is attracting attention all over China.”

District Mayor Xu, for example, has become one of the first city leaders in China to make public the e-mail addresses of city officials and conduct electronic town hall meetings, during which residents address issues such as their salaries and the cost of housing.

One of Xu’s biggest economic projects is the redevelopment of Shanghai’s huge, neon-lighted Nanjing Road central shopping area, creating what he called a “major world-class shopping destination, to include stores as well as entertainment venues and educational facilities.”

Redevelopment Partners

The mayor’s key partner in this effort is his CSUH management program classmate Hong Sheng Cai, chairman of the city’s Commercial Commission.

“This is a part of the city that already has name recognition throughout the world and many shoppers, but we want to attract tenants who are known internationally,” said Cai, whose goals include increasing annual revenue generated by the downtown shopping district from its current $1.7 billion to $8 billion in U.S. dollars.

The Nanjing Road project is part of a downtown revitalization that includes the People’s Square facing City Hall and the Shanghai Theatre and Exhibition Hall at one end, and on the other the famous Bund, with its historic buildings on the shore of the Huangpu River across from the new Pudong financial district. More than 400,000 square meters of aging buildings were torn down last year and another 600,000 square meters will be replaced in 2002.

The most sensitive issue Xu and Cai must deal with is the relocation of more than 10,000 residents, some who have lived most of their lives in an area which has become run-down and has little of the infrastructure required in a modern city.

While Xu and Cai deal with redevelopment of a city center that was a focus of Asian commerce as far back as 1293 A.D., their CSUH classmate Guohua Sun has the task of turning 530 square kilometers of Shanghai marsh and farmland in the Pudong District into one of Asia’s largest technology and industry parks.

Sun runs the Shanghai Jinqiao High-Tech Park and the adjacent Export Processing Zone, two huge tracts between the Huanqpu River in the city center area and the sea. Skyscrapers and manufacturing plants from companies around the world have sprouted here in the last decade.
“We don’t have to do a lot of marketing because these worldwide companies know what we have to offer and want to come here,” said Sun, who served as deputy mayor of Shanghai’s Jingan district after her Cal State Hayward training, which included an internship with a Los Angeles real estate firm.

Sun has the first 20 square kilometers of the high-tech park under development, with dozens of multi-national companies in place and support facilities including a water treatment plant and two hospitals. Thirty Fortune 500 companies already are there, and executives are being wooed by the attraction of western-style rental homes and a clubhouse. A library and two churches will be added next year.

Sun is particularly proud of the park’s Shanghai General Motors plant, which represents a $1.4 billion investment by GM in a joint venture with Shanghai Motors. The plant rolled out its first Buick sedan in December 1998, incorporating more than 600 changes to its equivalent American model. More than 1,000 local workers, chosen from 30,000 applicants, produce 60,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines a year.

Sun embraces the management principles that have led to the area’s economic success. For example, she is negotiating to find space in the park for another auto manufacturer, Volvo.
“I learned in my management class that competition has great benefits,” she said. “If I am a Cal State student again, I will have some good case studies.”

Informatization

The technological revolution in Shanghai city government has been driven largely by the energetic Shouchang He, deputy director general of the government Informatization Office. He also directs the Shanghai Supercomputer Center, the city’s broadband and intranet infrastructure project, and various research and development projects, including software creation.

Four years ago, He instituted the city’s first equivalent of a Social Security card, replacing identity cards that citizens held from several city departments with one that meets multiple needs. By 2002, eight million of the city’s 13 million residents were fingerprinted and issued the card, which includes their digital photos. This provides a gigantic database for use by Shanghai’s offices managing labor, budget, health services, law enforcement and other services.

Residents can use the cards at computer terminals to access city services and to apply for employment, medical care, marriage licenses and even bank loans.

“By the end of 2003, all Shanghai citizens will have a card,” said He during a tour by the CSUH delegation of his Shanghai headquarters, which turns out 30,000 cards a day. “Many provinces in China are interested in what we’re doing, and we’re signing agreements with some to provide the service.”

He said government officials in Beijing also have asked for consultations on how to take this concept to a national level. A card for every Chinese citizen would, of course, require more than a billion copies.

The city services card is just one of 40 projects He is working on for Shanghai and, indirectly, his former Cal State Hayward classmates. His government affairs network allows citizens access to 52 government Web sites, and he estimates that half of all city department meetings will be held online by 2003.

Among his other endeavors, He directs the United Nations-sponsored Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation Office for City Informatization, which helps 42 cities in 25 Asian countries develop technology for delivering municipal services to citizens.

“I learned in my class at Hayward that in applying technology to management, you must be flexible and open to new ways of doing things,” He told the visiting CSUH delegation. “This is something you have helped all of us from the 1993 group bring to Shanghai.”

Other alumni from the CSUH Shanghai management class of 1993 are Derong Shi, director of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau; Xiaoling Zhou, CEO of the Shanghai Foreign Economic Cooperation Group; and Jianhua Jin, vice president of the Shanghai Foreign Economic Cooperation Group.

“This class of ’93 was extraordinary, and we have followed your careers with great interest and pride,” President Rees told members of the alumni group attending a reunion dinner in Shanghai. “We always will think of you as members of our university family.”

In fact, the university is continuing discussions with Shanghai officials interested in other forms of cooperation between city leadership and Cal State Hayward. Some of the ideas discussed included the possibility that the university could assist with setting up a conference on the future of computing.

James Kelly, CSUH associate vice president for Extended and Continuing Education, has had preliminary talks with Renmin University to provide training to help Chinese institutions prepare to host the 2008 Olympics. Shanghai may host some of the Olympic events.

“The university’s reputation as an outstanding institution for providing overseas programs is one of the reasons we have the largest number of these international programs in the 23-campus California State University system,” said Kelly, who was a member of Cal State Hayward’s delegation in Shanghai. “Our executive MBA courses in Beijing, Vienna, Moscow, Hong Kong and Singapore and certificate courses elsewhere demonstrate an approach to higher education based on team-building.

“The relationships forged in these programs have long-lasting effects which, as you can see in Shanghai, can prepare an entire city for the 21st Century.”

“The Shanghai class has not only demonstrated how Cal State Hayward sees its responsibility as a global university, but how its approach to higher education is based on providing students with useful skills for a lifetime of learning,” said Cal State Hayward Provost Frank Martino, vice president for Academic Affairs and a member of the delegation visiting Shanghai. “These leaders of one of the world’s great cities will always be our alumni and we intend to be resources for each other for years to come.”

Contact: Kim Huggett, Director of Public Affairs, (510) 885-2032 kim.huggett@csueastbay.edu


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