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Bai Zhongqi: Committed to Cross-straits Collaboration

Volume 4, 2013

By Charmaine N Clarke

No one who knows him is likely to question Bai Zhongqi’s (EMBA 2005) commitment to cross-straits collaboration. He has lived in mainland China for the last 20 years and now that he’s semi-retired he spends a lot of time working with two companies that provide a platform for exchange between the mainland and Taiwan.

One of the companies is Shanghai Chengmei Investment Consultant. The company’s name is the first and last two characters in a well-known saying by former Kuomintang President Lien Chan. “The phrase cheng ren zhi mei means to help others meet their expectations,” Bai explained during an interview with TheLINK ahead of Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s July 4 lecture at CEIBS.

In his role as Chengmei’s General Manager, Bai facilitates events such as the mayor's visit. “This visit by Mayor Hau came as a result of an invitation from 32 CEIBS alumni in Taiwan,” he explained. “There was a CEIBS EMBA trip to Taiwan, we invited the mayor to our banquet and he was impressed by CEIBS. Then we extended an invitation to him to visit the campus whenever he was in Shanghai. This kind of visit is similar to what we are doing at Chengmei.”

Other major proceedings that Bai has had a hand in: coordinating the Beijing Olympic Torch’s Taiwan leg in 2008, the 2010 Taiwan visit of Shanghai’s then mayor Han Zheng, as well as Taiwan’s participation in the 2010 Shanghai Expo. His efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2009, he was invited to participate in the military parade that marked the mainland’s 60th anniversary.

Alumni voice, Volume 4, 2013

Bai’s role at Chengmei is complemented by his job as a Consultant for Shanghai Dongli International Travel Service. Dongli offers global tours that provide clients with an opportunity to learn from high-level speakers about the culture and history of the locations being visited. CEIBS EMBA alumni have been among the company’s clients who have benefitted from visits to Taiwan. In fact last year’s study tour where they dined with Mayor Hau was arranged by Dongli. In addition to Taiwan, Dongli also offers tours to other global locations with rich cultural heritage. “Last year we did some new routes, including the tour to Israel and Jordan. We’re doing things that others are not doing: in-depth travel. We focus on the cultural and historical background of our destinations,” Bai explained. He has noticed an evolution in the needs of tourists from the mainland. “They are moving away from the early approach of just doing sightseeing, to tours that can bring them in-depth knowledge about the place they are visiting. This is exactly what we offer," he said. He sees the mainland as a rich source of clients to supplement those from the smaller scale Taiwan market.

While organizing Dongli tours, Bai uses every opportunity he gets to identify high-calibre speakers who can share their views at CEIBS events. "These kinds of visits are a big boost to CEIBS’ reputation and image, for example this trip by Mayor Hau got a lot of coverage in the Taiwan media," he noted. This is his way of giving back to his alma mater and thanking school officials who he said have helped him over the years, including EMBA Director Charles Chen and Senior Programme Manager Flora Zhu. 

Giving back comes naturally for Bai whose CEIBS study was a family affair. During his weekend classes on campus, his parents would bring his children to have lunch with him and his classmates. "My classmates all know my kids," he said with a broad smile. They are still young (in the 7th grade, 4th grade and kindergarten respectively) but he is already thinking about their future. "They are not like their classmates who have aunts and uncles in Taiwan, because I've been in the mainland for about 20 years, and I expect to be here with my kids for the foreseeable future. I hope that my friends from school will help my kids if they need it later," he said.

And as he works to secure his children’s future, what is the next step for Bai? “My growth plans for Chengmei are quite conservative,” he said. “I have some investments in mainland China, enough to have a comfortable life. Now I want to do something meaningful, something that I really like. This is why I’m focused on Chengmei, it’s a very good platform to provide service and information and integrate resources for exchanges between mainland China and Taiwan.”