WG 3: Financial investments, real estate and services

Finance is one of the main channels through which China’s globalisation manifests within Europe, though it is also perhaps the most opaque. There is much work to be done on both mapping the empirical dimensions of Chinese finance in Europe and on formulating new conceptualisations which will help us to grasp its logics, significance and policy implications. The main purpose of this group is to provide a platform for intellectual exchange and collaborative working for scholars who share an interest in these questions.

The analytical scope of WG3 encompasses a variety of Chinese actors, from state-owned financial institutions (the policy banks, ‘big four’ commercial banks, China Investment Corporation, the People’s Bank of China, Sinosure), to private firms (e.g. Fosun, Ping An, trust companies, private commercial banks, non-financial firms) and individual investors. Important forms of Chinese financial activity in Europe involve sovereign loans, credit lines and trade finance, currency swaps, various speculative activities (importantly in real estate), debt securities, equities, various kinds of derivative, intangible assets, cryptocurrency, portfolio investments, insurance, and other financial services. This multiplicity of actors and interests translates into a variety of distinct forms of engagement and therefore varied social, economic and political impacts across sectors and regions, much of which has yet to be rigorously examined.

Meanwhile, most European economies themselves are becoming increasingly financialised and the place of Chinese capital within these complex processes is currently not well understood. European stakeholders (the European Union, national and sub-national governments, financial and non-financial sectors, regulatory agencies, civil society and social movements) have a major role to play in shaping these dynamics and it is envisaged that part of WG3’s output should be policy-relevant in this regard.

Because financial flows of one sort or another facilitate a large proportion of the interactions between China and Europe with which CHERN is concerned, there are many undoubted complementarities between WG3 and the other working groups. Uncovering the geographies and modalities of Chinese finance is in this sense a project to understand the circuitry of capital through which patterns of Sino-European exchange emerge and form.

Coordinator: Nicholas Jepson

University of Manchester

Nick Jepson is Hallsworth Research Fellow in Chinese political economy at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute. He is the author of the recently published book In China’s Wake: How the commodity boom transformed development strategies in the global south (Columbia University Press). His current research examines how China’s emergence as a major bilateral creditor is transforming systems of global financial governance.

Co-leader: Anna Lupina-Wegener

School of Management and Engineering Vaud,
HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland

Anna Lupina-Wegener is a Full Professor at the HEIG-VD within HES-SO and she is head of the Intercultural Management Team. Anna investigates socio-cultural integration processes in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As), change- and internationalization processes. In cross-cultural settings, she is interested in how managers, engineers and entrepreneurs develop collaborations with multiple stakeholders and how they overcome interpersonal, intergroup or interorganizational conflicts. Over 20 years, she has built a strong expertise on enabling effective cross-cultural collaborations. She provides guidance and advice to managers and executives based on the insights she gathered through multiple projects looking into collaborations of European managers and managers in economies in transition: Brazil, China, Mexico, Poland and Russia. Throughout her academic career, Anna has acquired external research funding, received grants and scholarships, as well as she has led various research projects and has been invited to participate in international, including externally funded projects (e.g. http://p3.snf.ch/project-163106 ). Anna’s research was published among the others at the Management International Review, British Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Organizational Change Management and Business Horizons. Anna has taught undergraduate, graduate, executive courses on international management, cross-cultural communication and organizational behaviour (e.g. China Market Mindset; Managing Multicultural Teams Effectively).

http://iide.heig-vd.ch/equipe/anna-lupina-wegener

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