On March 27, 2019, international students from Professor Huang Haifeng’s China Studies class at Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS) visited one of the leading investment holding companies in China—Galaxy Holding Group, which is headquartered in Shenzhen. This company visit promoted the overall mission of the China Studies program which is to provide international students, who will become the future leaders of the economy, a comprehensive understanding of social, business and economic development in China.
During the visit, students had the unique opportunity to learn about Galaxy Holding Group. The company was founded in 1988 and started out focused on real estate. Over the years, it has dramatically expanded and branched out into other areas, so that nowadays it has five major business groups: real estate, finance, industry, commerce, and property. The company’s operations cover various businesses, such as real estate development, urban renewal, business operation, hotel management, property services, finance & investment, and industrial operations.
Today, Galaxy Holding Group is a large-scale Investment Group in China with a 30-years history, projects in more than 20 cities, over RMB 100 billion assets and over 6,000 employees. It is known for big projects such as Shenzhen Galaxy COCO Park (2006), which is the first Chinese shopping mall in a park, Galaxy Development Center (2008), Ritz-Carlton Hotel (2009) developed in cooperation with Marriott Hotel Group, and Shenzhen Galaxy WORLD (2014), a New City development with an area of 1.6 million m2. These leading projects have shaped people’s lives and also become landmarks in central Shenzhen. Currently, Galaxy Holding Group plans to develop a New City in Guangdong by focusing on artificial intelligence and has further plans for other cities, such as Nanjing. Furthermore, Galaxy Holding Group has cooperated with a large number of leading companies and institutes such as Marriot Group, Wal-Mart, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sunshine Insurance, Ping An Insurance, and Huawei.
Students also had the opportunity to learn more about the innovative technologies being developed at the Galaxy Incubator located at Galaxy World. In June 2015, Galaxy Incubator was launched in cooperation with academicians from the Chinese Academy of Engineering during International Maker Week. It is an innovative service platform for startups with the goal of subsequent equity investment in the most promising ones. Galaxy Incubator has an operational area of around 30,000 m2, which includes more than 100 startups. Among them, five companies have already reached an estimated value of over RMB 100 million.
While visiting Galaxy Holding Group, students got an inside look at current popular research projects and technological innovations occurring at the incubator. For starters, students saw cutting edge technologies, such as a holoprojector—a transparent crystal clear glass reflecting a projection, a navigator projected on the front car window so that drivers do not have to use their phone for navigation, and a special material for wall projections in the conference rooms making it unnecessary to switch off the lights. Additionally, staff presented innovative products from aerospace companies, such as a robot which can dig underwater for 100 meters and send 4k videos. Lastly, the students took part in a live-test with one of the latest facial recognition programs. Once the technology has recognized a face, the face will be directly uploaded and stored into the security system.
After the guided tour at the Galaxy Incubator, Mr. Gavin presented to the China Studies class. Then, the guest speaker, Ms. Iris Cai, a current guest lecturer at London Business School, gave an insightful lecture about Corporate Culture. The students learned about different types of management she referred to as Fisherman vs. Gardener management. The “Fisherman” type of manager uses wages to hire staff, similar to fishermen who use bait to fish. The potential staff member is attracted by wages as fishes are attracted by bait. However, this short-term tactic to gain wealth results in contradictions between manager and staff in the long run. In contrast to the “Fisherman”, the “Gardener“ type of manager treats staff like trees and flowers. A fundamental principle of this type of management is to understand, respect, and care about people. By following the principle “Love is the only wisdom” and by creating a happy work environment, the manager provides the basis for sustainable success. For this reason, it is typical of Chinese supervisors to consider the company as a family and to care about their staff member’s personal life, not only their work. Hence, international students learned the lesson to “Manage like a gardener!”
By Lilia Jungblut