Chinese MBA programme to launch in London and New York

Cheung Kong signals its intention to become a global player

China’s first private business school is to launch executive MBA programmes in London and New York in 2013, following the opening of offices in the two cities.

Cheung Kong, which was set up nine years ago with the financial backing of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, officially opened its London office this week, at the same time announcing details of impressive additions to its advisory board, These include Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, Michael Queen, chief executive of 3i, Sir Victor Blank, Business Ambassador for UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) and Sarah Turvill, chairman of Willis International.

Cheung Kong prides itself on teaching China’s business elite - what founding dean Bing Xiang dubs “the top of the pyramid” - through its Chinese EMBA programme and its executive programmes for chief executives. “We have really powerful alumni in China,” he says. “We have become the preferred choice for top business leaders in China.”

Prof Xiang has ambitious plans to work with local US and European business schools in developing degree and non-degree programmes in these regions. His preferred partner in the US is Columbia Business School - the two have worked together in the past. In Europe he cites the names of schools such as Insead and IMD as of interest. “We want to have the best institutions to cover different topics.”

He argues that Cheung Kong brings something special to the table: knowledge of Chinese businesses and their globalisation plans and strategies for multinationals wanting to enter the Chinese market. “This knowledge will be invaluable to European companies,” he says.

“The thing that attracted me (to Cheung Kong) is the scale of the ambition of the school,” says Malcolm Sweeting, senior partner at London-based law firm Clifford Chance, and one of the newly-appointed board members. The firm aims to have 20 per cent of its business in Asia in the near future.

Cheung Kong is not the first Chinese business school to launch an EMBA programme outside China. Ceibs, the Shanghai-based business school has already opened an EMBA programme in Accra, in Ghana.

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