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Hong Kong, 6th December 2005: The Financial Times and Moët Hennessy, the world’s leading luxury wine and spirits company, have achieved a significant milestone in their strategic China partnership with the announcement of the winner of the inaugural FT/Moët Hennessy essay prize for top mainland business schools.

The contest, aimed at generating fresh ideas about doing business in China’s luxury goods sector, was open to MBA and EMBA students enrolled in China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) in Shanghai, and the Beijing International MBA (BIMBA) programme at Beijing University.

The theme was “What are the critical success factors for luxury goods companies looking to expand in China?” and the top prize went to Susan Xiao, a student in the BIMBA programme. Her clearly written and well-organised essay (click here to read) showed a very strong grasp of the luxury goods industry, with original yet factually grounded ideas on tackling some of the unique challenges facing luxury groups operating in China.

Ms Xiao’s prize, awarded at an exclusive Financial Times/Moët Hennessy dinner in Shanghai on December 5, will be an internship of up to three months in France with Moët Hennessy, a unit of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods maker. Matthew Wang, an EMBA student at CEIBS, and Yan Dong, an MBA student at CKGSB, won the two runner-up awards.

The next phase of the Financial Times/Moët Hennessy alliance will be a lecture series, bringing noted speakers on China’s business issues to each of the three campuses. Students already have enhanced access to global financial news and analysis, with complimentary one-year subscriptions to the Financial Times and to FT.com, sponsored by Moët Hennessy.

Mark Bedingham, Moët Hennessy regional managing director for Asia, Japan and Australia, said: “China is one of the most important emerging markets for the luxury sector and this exciting initiative with the Financial Times and China’s top business schools will enable us to examine the critical issues facing new market entrants in one of the fastest-growing global economies.”

John Ridding, Editor and Publisher of the Financial Times in Asia, said: “We are delighted that Moët Hennessy is partnering with the Financial Times for the benefit of China’s élite business school students. The globalisation of the international economy is one of the most important events of our times, and we hope students at these three schools are finding the FT a valuable resource in reporting and analysing these international forces and their impact on business, society and culture.”

For further information, please contact:

Joanna Manning-Cooper on +44 207 873 3811 or Joanna.manning-cooper@ft.com

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