Peking University Students Go to the Heart of Shenzhen’s Financial System

In the last several years, Shenzhen’s reputation as the new tech hub of China has exploded. Central to this transformation has been the city’s stock exchange, where every day international and domestic investors and Chinese tech companies converge. Globally, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange is often compared to New York’s tech-heavy NASDAQ.

On December 6th, 30 international students from the Peking University HSBC Business School’s (PHBS) “China Studies” program were invited to tour the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Opened in December 1990, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange is currently the world’s 8th largest stock exchange. Along with the exchange in Shanghai, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange is one of only two stock exchanges in Mainland China.  In its short history, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange has already grown to have a market capitalization of approximately $2.5 trillion USD, a feat that took the NASDAQ nearly 35 years to accomplish. 

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange building itself is a work of art standing at an impressive 49 stories high. Located in downtown Futian district, the exchange was built in 2013. Around the building there are many exquisite statues paying homage to both the western and Chinese investment symbols of finance and prosperity.

Upon arrival students were greeted by 2015 PHBS Finance and Economics Graduate, Jessica Zhang, and Peking University Law School Graduate, Sophia Deng.

Student were then given a tour of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Museum. Many international students are not too familiar with the modern economic history of China and the tour served as a great crash course introduction into the development of China’s financial institutions.

The transformation and reform of the stock exchange throughout its short history is fascinating. The development of the stock exchange closely mirrors Shenzhen’s history—starting small but steadily growing into one of the world’s largest and mot important financial and technology centres.

 “The trip was a truly unique experience,” explained George Gwynn-Thomas, 2018  “China Studies” class monitor. “It was fascinating to learn about how much the financial systems in China have opened and reformed over the past several decades.”

After the tour had ended, students were invited to the 48th floor, a privilege few are able to enjoy. They basked upon the 360-degree views of downtown Shenzhen. Some students were quick to point out the building’s proximity to Coco Park; others were enthralled by the concrete jungle surrounded by rolling mountains.

The stock exchange building has become a fixture in Shenzhen’s skyline and more importantly become the financial heart of China’s most innovative city.

The trip is the second of the six field trips completed in Professor Huang’s “China Studies” course. We were incredibly fortunate for the opportunity to visit the stock exchange and would like to extend our gratitude to the Shenzhen stock exchange and Ms Zhang and Ms Deng for their wonderful and insightful tour.

Written by Lewis D-G

Photos by Nicolas Busch

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