Monday, January 12, 2009

China's New Year Shopping List

With a retrenching U.S. economy and stash of foreign reserve. What's on China's new year shopping list as "Niu (ox)" year approaches? Early indications are that they are not blowing cash on the wall street, like what Japanese did in the nineties. In stead, China keeps her eyes on talent and human resources.

Reports of CIC (China Investment Corp.)'s headhunting in New York has received some media coverage. With much less fanfare, Chinese colleges and universities are making a major push to hire faculties on the U.S. academic market. Record number of schools were present in this year's ASSA meetings (for Economics, Finance, and Social Science). With many of the U.S. markets in hiring freeze and improved incentive packages, they expect better success than previous years. According to a Dean of Beijing University, China has large demand for fiscal theorists now that government surplus creates a happy problem to have, but a problem nevertheless. Even Chinese astronomy observatories are throwing a banquet reception in the field's U.S. annual meetings. Not to be left out, Chinese industries are also quietly making the recruiting push, they don't usually make high-profile noise, but they pop up here and there.

I am not sure this is due to low risk appetite in overseas investing or simply brilliant strategic planning, or, China learning from the experience of the Japanese, but this is not the first time Chinese sophistication surprises me. Cue the Mastercard ads...priceless.

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