Shenzhen China Module: The Rise of a Global Innovation Hub

Message from Module Leader

“As one of the best examples of China’s economic miracle, Shenzhen is THE place to explore the secrets of China’s success as well as catch a glimpse into the future. Using the RSLM, we integrate both theory and practice, taking MBAs from the academic rigours of our Shenzhen Campus to real life interactions with some of the brightest minds making an impact in Shenzhen. The first takeaway is ‘transformation’, a discussion on how the traditional electronics market ‘Huaqiangbei’ has reinvented itself to keep up with China’s rapid development. The second takeaway is ‘innovation’ as we visit start-ups, accelerators and VCs in order to understand Shenzhen’s unique ecosystem.”

Dr. Zhang Yu, Associate Professor of Strategy, CEIBS

Agenda of a Recent Module

Day One: The Rise of a Global Innovation Hub

  • Visit to Huaqiangbei Electronics Market
  • Case discussion on Huaqiangbei and guest speaker

Huaqiangbei is famous as a place to buy electronic components and virtually any tech gadget. Initially, the grassroots culture developed rapidly, fuelled by a boom of copycat mobile phones.  Gradually, faced with a changing business and policy environment, the market became a victim of overcapacity in low-end products and low efficiency. After their visit, MBA students discussed the pros and cons of the electronics market and proposed possible transformation strategies.   

Day Two: Start Up and Scale Up in Shenzhen

  • Case discussion on mobile internet conference platform eMeet
  • Visit to start-up incubator NOS Accelerator

CEIBS EMBA 2016 alumnus, and CEO of eMeet, Chen Wenming introduced his company’s smart conference platform, which took eMeet from a traditional manufacturing company to the cutting edge of industry 4.0 approaches. MBA students then visited the NOS Accelerator, a collaborative incubator that hosts the best minds from science, investment and entrepreneurship to support tech start-ups.

Day Three: Developing Your Career as a Venture Capitalist in Shenzhen

  • Case discussion on developing a career as a venture capitalist
  • Visit to Share Capital

MBA students were invited to play the role of a recent graduate who has just transitioned his career into the VC industry.  The final day began with a case study about decisions and challenges faced by young professionals trying to establish themselves in the industry. MBAs then visited Share Capital.  Founded in 2007, Share Capital has invested in over 100 companies, with many becoming industry leaders.


“This short module provided students with the opportunity to experience the meteoritic development of Shenzhen.  While on location we visited a number of companies paramount to turning this small fishing town into one of China’s fastest growing cities.  Daily lectures helped solidify strategic theory with real world application as students interacted with local entrepreneurs, providing them with potential business solutions for continued growth.  For those seeking China Depth, I would encourage enrolling in this module.” Shawn Luehrsen MBA 2019   

“The three-day module offered me a unique and inspiring learning experience in Shenzhen, one of the most innovative and dynamic cities in mainland China. It allowed us the opportunity to study the latest innovation cases while exchanging views with local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists – a great learning journey of innovation theory and practice.” Rex Zhang MBA 2019