随着经济增长速度的放缓，中国市场变得更为多变和复杂。根据相关市场调研，中国大部分的消费品与服务仍在保持高速增长，但你能否看到其中潜在的危机？建筑与基础设施建设行业好景不再，但其中是否还有机遇？作为跨国企业的代表，机械制造巨头卡特彼勒和传奇的苹果公司在中国市场的表现又能给你带来什么启示？这些问题，你都可以在美国马里兰大学Robert H. Smith 商学院全球领导力EMBA项目的课堂上找到答案。同时，你也能够通过Robert H. Smith 商学院全球领导力EMBA项目的课程，更好领悟美国与中国、亚洲与西方的商业管理智慧，培养自己全球化的视野以及卓越的领导水平与技巧，更进一步理解中国以及全球的经济环境与发展。关于中国市场的机遇和挑战，来自Robert H. Smith商学院教授Anil K. Gupta分享了他的观点。
Anil K. Gupta教授是马里兰大学史密斯商学院迈克尔•丁曼战略和全球化主席。作为世界经济论坛全球新兴跨国公司议程理事会成员，Gupta教授曾在多个在纽约证券交易所和纳斯达克证券交易所上市的美国公司中担任董事会成员，并在印度中国研究所担任首席顾问。Gupta教授同时还是《彭博商业周刊》专栏作家、《首席执行官》杂志特约编辑，以及《哈佛商业评论》投稿人。自1997年，Gupta 教授多次访问中国，从2003年起，担任马里兰大学史密斯商学院与对外经济贸易大学合作的领导力EMBA项目固定授课教师。
With double-digit annual GDP growth and the world's largest population, China until recently looked like the long-term answer for U.S. companies seeking never-ending growth. With its slowdown and concurrent stock-market turmoil, China is posing fresh challenges, says Anil Gupta, the Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy, Globalization and Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. Growing uncertainty in China, moreover, may lead some companies to move more aggressively into India, whose economic strides were overshadowed by the Chinese growth machine — until recently.
"The days of China growing at 10 percent annually, or higher, are gone for good," says Gupta. "The days of the rising tide lifting all boats are over. The China story is becoming much more complex." For 2015, China's official growth figure is in the 6.5 to 7 percent range, although some analysts think that this number is inflated.
"There are, indeed, still high-growth sectors in China — or higher-growth sectors — and companies that are positioned in the higher growth sectors may not feel the slowdown," Gupta says. "But for companies in the slower-growth sectors, China means trouble."
Broadly speaking, Gupta suggests, most consumer goods and services are on the higher-growth side, and most sectors that are connected to infrastructure and construction fall on the slower growth side.
Caterpillar, for example, predicts that it will sell fewer than one-quarter of the hydraulic excavators in 2015 that it sold in 2010.
On the other hand, Apple's sales in China in the fiscal year that recently ended surged 84 percent over last year's, and its margins rose from 35 percent to 39 percent. (In advance of the release of its third-quarter numbers, analysts had been so worried that Apple would be hit hard by China's economic woes that CEO Tim Cook felt compelled to issue a statement insisting that Chinese consumers were snapping up the new iPhone.) Nike is also doing well, posting a 23 percent jump in quarterly profits, with "particularly strong sales gains in China," according to The Wall Street Journal.
To be sure, not all consumer-focused businesses have been thriving in China: That's part of the new complexity that Gupta is describing. Yum, whose brands include KFC and Pizza Hut, reported a disappointing 3 percent growth last quarter, and blamed it on poor performance in China, which generates more than half of the company's global profits. But to blame Yum's problems on the slowdown is to oversimplify, Gupta says. While hyper-growth may have delayed the reckoning that Yum now faces, the maturing of the fast-food market is a separate and more important factor. "Fast food is no longer a novelty in China," Gupta says. "It's not only not a novelty in Tier One cities; it's not a novelty in Tier Four cities."
Apple, too, has to be alert to the maturing of the market in China for high-end smartphones, Gupta says. Up to now, Apple has been able to find plenty of first-time Chinese buyers for its products. "But if you look ahead 18 months, to 2017, China looks like it will be very close to a replacement market for iPhones," he says. "Growth will have to come from eating up somebody else's market share. The competitive battle will get more intense, and naturally your margins will become smaller."
That's one reason Apple has made India more of a priority. Though it has yet to open a retail store in India (China has 25), Apple included the country for the first time among its top-tier markets — the ones that get new iPhones first — and launched a major advertising campaign. One analyst has predicted that the number of iPhones sold in India will double this year, albeit to only two million units. For context, Apple is projected to sell 78 million or so iPhones worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone.