China and Hong Kong
Course Pack March 2019


China is acknowledged as the Powerhouse of the world with the country’s unexpected economic boom in the past three decades. Since 2010, the country boasts the world’s second-largest economy and the country’s financial reserves have assisted the world economy to revive. Undoubtedly, China is the ideal place to set up businesses, factories, distribution centres and service organisations due to the high levels of production and an efficient workforce. China has a vastly different culture as compared to Western Developed Countries. Why is China unique? The cities possess important but differentiated economic advantages. For instance, Shanghai, the largest and richest city in China, is growing as a vibrant economic, commercial and financial hub. As the cradle of Chinese Communism, Shanghai also has an exclusive cultural history with partially understood and legendary images. Due to its eminence as a leading city in fashion, design, arts and brand awareness, Shanghai keenly competes with rival Asia cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore. It is conceivably the most reminiscent city to visit in China. In the southern China, Shenzhen is also the major financial centre and was ranked 22nd most competitive financial centre in the world (according to the 2017 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index). It is the home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and other prominent local companies such as China International Marine Containers (the largest container-manufacturing company in the world) and Vanke (which is among the largest residential real estate developers in China). Its exclusive standing as the first Chinese ‘Special Economic Zone’ also makes the city a nerve centre for several domestic multinational high-tech companies (such as Hauwei, ZTE, BYD, etc) and also possesses one of the busiest container ports in the world. Shenzhen is also a prolific ground for many start-up companies.


The most relevant to ‘Doing Business in China’ are the increasingly brand literate consumers, hence the onus is on the company is to ensure that its branding strategy is appropriate and implemented correctly.


As global leaders, it is vital to understand China’s business and socio-economic culture due to the increasing Sino-South African trade relations, which saw China as South Africa’s largest trade partner since 2010. This course is on-field learning which will expose students to a unique experience covering the following key issues:


  • Review the history, social-cultural background, and political economy of modern China
  • South African companies experience in China
  • China’s increasing interest in South Africa and the continent
  • Chinese employees’ values and behaviours
  • Assess the risks and opportunities of doing business in China
  • The central role of politics in business
  • The evolution of Chinese state-owned enterprises into modern corporations operating in the global economy
  • The rapid rise of private enterprise and the specific challenges facing start-ups
  • The special and evolving characteristic of China’s capital markets and related risks
  • The emergence of an increasingly powerful middle class and its impact on the consumer market and corporate social responsibility

This study tour will expose students with exposure to different economies and cultures in various destinations. It is designed to expose the student to different organisations in China and Hong Kong including business schools, government agencies, state owned enterprises and private corporations.

At the end this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop contemporary knowledge about business practices in China and Hong Kong which will assist them to appraise the basics and standard protocol of interactions with the business environment in these countries.
  • Critically assess the China and Hong Kong economy and determine their strengths and weaknesses for doing business.
  • Compare and contrast different cultures and the way of life of China and Hong Kong in relation to South Africa and Africa as a whole.
  • Evaluate and analyse business models of selected company examples in China and Hong Kong.


This study tour underlies all other MBA courses as it contributes to the overall MBA qualification by providing a capstone integrated learning experience, whereby students can bring to bear their knowledge of the whole MBA programme. This knowledge will allow them to analyse a foreign economy and businesses in that economy. In addition, this course directly supports the core themes of the MBA in terms of critical engagement, context of South Africa and also issues of sustainability.

Decisions and methodologies which students are exposed to in their company visits and cultural in country interactions – from Strategy to HR to Operations to Marketing – are expressed as the underlying issues and learnings of this course

Curriculum tied to the context in South Africa

The study tour draws on various South African companies experience in various markets. Here the extensive use of company site visits shows comparisons between the companies operations in South Africa, China and Hong Kong.

Curriculum tied to context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies

The overarching objective is to identify the opportunities for growth of the African continent as well as its challenges such as the slow-down of China economy and the associated drop in commodity prices. It maps these global issues to the level of individual African countries and major firms therein, thus enabling students to begin to address these issues at a management level.


With the use of company and institution visits, the study tour addresses the optimality of overall resource allocation in economies and its role in economic systems such as free markets and command economies and mixtures thereof in China and Hong Kong.

Entrepreneurial action

The institution and company visits provide insight into innovation and entrepreneurial action and (managed) risk-taking thus enabling students to make decisions at a management level.

Critical engagement

By focusing on examples of successful and unsuccessful business ventures in Africa and emerging markets, the course enables the student to acquire a better perspective on foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of action and business decisions.

Course assesment and assignments

Please note, all visits and events on the global study tour are MANDATORY.
Please refer to the standing orders regarding the tours. As a student you should review the Learning Contract and ensure you are fully aware of the methods and implications of the assessment approach as mark allocations cannot be changed retrospectively. If you have any concerns about the assessment you should raise this with your tour leader at the start of the course.

The Importance of Preparation for the Study Tour
The prescribed readings should be read before departure. Students should also research on the companies that will be visited. The scope of this course covers a wide range of topics, thus a variety of readings have been carefully selected to provide different perspectives. It is essential that students focus on these readings and embark on company research. Appended with the readings are the links for ease of access. However, should you encounter any problems with the links provided consult the WITS library e-journals catalogue or consult the WBS Librarian.

Teaching Methods
Teaching emphasis in the MBA Global Study Tour is experiential and involves on-site action learning. The tour itself would entail visits to one or more destinations to provide broader international learning exposure for the student. Students should keep a learning log on insights that they gain from each business or organisation that they visit, and these logs are used for debrief sessions during the tour as well as to compile a post-study tour assignment on what they have learnt.

Copyright Statement
The articles, readings and cases included in this course pack have been copyright approved.

The course assessments will be weighted as follows:

  • 60% Individual assignment.
  • 40% On-field syndicate assignment.
  • No examination.

Please Note

A student is required to sign and attach the WBS Plagiarism Declaration to each assignment submitted.



Pass Mark Requirements

In terms of the Standing Orders, to pass a course a student is required to achieve a final accumulative average of 50% for a pass mark, and a sub-minimum of 35% in the examination.

When an assignment is an exam equivalent, failure to submit on time will result in a student being ‘failed absent’, with the result that the student will be failed off the programme.

Individual Assignment

These assignments relate to the following MBA themes

Context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies, sustainability and entrepreneurial action.


Based on the above MBA core themes, students will be exposed to experiential and on site learning, thus students will need to contextualise the selected country and company in line with strategic management decisions.


Choose ONE of the following assignments.

  1. Provide a PEST ANALYSIS of a South African company entering into China OR Hong Kong.


  1. Provide a country risk profile for a company of your choice.


  1. Formulate a Business plan for a South African idea that could be sold in China OR Hong Kong.


  1. Discuss your “take home learnings” from the trip:
    • Discuss what you have learnt from the amazing race, what was new or different from what you have experienced before. Please include pictures to illustrate this.
    • Please discuss each business meeting: Give some background information about the company and the environment that it operates in. Please highlight your key learning points from each meeting (at least 3 per meeting)
    • Please discuss any other key learning points that you gained from going on this trip. (this can be anything you learnt either about yourself, the country, the people, your fellow travellers or anything not covered in the two points above.


  • The presentation can be in any format you desire be it PowerPoint, word or any other format you wish to use.
  • A minimum of 2000 words.
  • Please submit a hard copy to Karen Trent in the International Relations Office with plagiarism declaration by 13h00.
  • Use 1.5 line spacing and 12 point font (Times New Roman).
  • Please ensure that you reference correctly as per WBS guidelines.

Penalty for late submission
For every calendar day, or part thereof, that the assignment is late, 10% will be deducted from your mark.


The purpose of this assignment is for you to think quickly on your feet. It’s fun and interesting. You will be put in a syndicate group and will need to work as a team. The purpose of this assignment requires you to think out of the box and familiarise yourself with the environment. As a suggestion, download maps, know the history of the country, all online attractions and all modes of transport.


At the end of this exercise, each syndicate group must provide the following

  • A brief report on the success, challenges and lessons learnt during the exercise (maximum 500 words).
  • Pictures of the locations visited and any other thing of interest relevant to the task.
  • A short video summarising the core of the assignment (professional editing not needed)
  • Provide receipts for the use of public transport and/or special facilities during the exercise.
  1. Provide all the above (except receipts on a memory stick).
  2. Details of the assignment will be provided by the tour leaders.
  • Submission Deadline
    To be determined by lead academic/tour leader

  • Return Deadline
    To be determined by lead academic/tour leader

  • Mark allocation
    40% – Criterion will be provided on the day of the field-based assignment/Amazing Race

Additional Info and COntact Details

Don’t forget your documents and chargers. Obtain the relevant adaptor when travelling outside South Africa.


Bring formal wear and business cards for company visits, consult these online resources for a few tips.




Travel Tips






Room 1906-08, 19/F., Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Hong Kong Wanchai, Hong Kong.


+852 3926 4300





508號 Queen’s Rd W, Sai Wan, Hong Kong


+ 852 2974 1234


1555 Dingxi Road (Dingxi Lu) (1555)


+86 21 6240 8888
+0755 821 7228


+27 78 274 0499 (Text Only)


+27 72 638 9658


+ 27 67 017 2201

Dr. Thanti Sibonelo Mthanti


Dr. Thanti Sibonelo Mthanti is Senior Lecturer at Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand. Thanti teaches asset management, risk management, market micro- structure, investment banking and finance in the master’s in finance and Investment programme. Thanti also teaches asset and liability management and risk management in the Municipal Executives’ Financial Management for Managers and Executives within Municipalities programmes. He holds a PhD (Finance) from Wits and is also one of a handful of Professional Risk Manager (PRM™) charter holders in South Africa. The PRM™ designation is a globally recognized, graduate-level mathematical finance and risk management credential endorsed by leading university programs such as Columbia University Business School, National University of Singapore – Centre for Financial Engineering, Technical University of Munich- HVB-Institute for Mathematical Finance, The University of Reading – ICMA Centre, HEC Montréal, etc. In his PhD, Thanti redefined and re-calibrated entrepreneurship and confirmed it as positive predictor of growth and debt sustainability. This may have particular significance for Africa with its developmental challenges. His research focus has been on development economics, applied Finance/economics, Entrepreneurship and Risk Management.




Dr. Jenika Gobind

Dr. Jenika Gobind joined Wits Business School on 1 January, 2018 as Senior Lecturer: Human Resources. Dr Gobind’s research interest lies in employment relations. Her teaching and learning experience spans over 12 years at several institutions. After obtaining her BProc (Law) from the University of Durban-Westville, she lectured at Durban University of Technology in various legal subjects between 2005 and 2009. She then shifted focus to employment relations, human resource management, monitoring and evaluation (Mu0026amp;E) and research methodology. She completed a Diploma in Employment Relations UNISA, Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Relations Management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and a Postgraduate Diploma in HIV and AIDS Management from Stellenbosch University (US). She obtained her PhD in Employment Relations at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in 2014. Prior to joining WBS, Dr Gobind served as Head of Research at Milpark Business School and lectured in employment relations, collective bargaining and negotiation, and monitoring and evaluation (Mu0026amp;E) at UJ, as well as extensive research supervision at master’s and Doctoral level. Dr Gobind’s other research interests lie in gender discrimination and HIV/AIDS in the workplace. She holds an MPhil in HIV and AIDS Management from Stellenbosch University. Widely published, her books include South African Employment Relations in Context (Knowledge Resources, 2015) and HIV/AIDS Fact File (South African Board of People Practices, 2012). Dr Gobind has extensive experience in the private sector, chairing multiple disciplinary hearings and consulting in labour legislation, employment relations and PM issues. At Transnet Freight she trained the PM Managers on employment relations and PM management. She has also contributed extensively to the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) and the University Research Company (URC) in research and the development of local and international publications on HIV/AIDS, TB, leadership and management.




Mr Wycliffe Nduga Ouma

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma is a Ph.D. candidate and a Research Assistant at the Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg. Mr. Nduga has passion for research and Consultancy in the areas of Financial Markets, Financial Risk Modelling, Investments and International Trade. Mr. Nduga has worked as a Research Associate with the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, a Central Bank of Kenya Research Institute mainly concerned with the Monetary Policy, Exchange Rates Movements, and Balance of Payments. Mr. Nduga has also consulted and conducted trainings on Financial Markets and Investments for several Organizations, such as African and Agricultural Credit Association (afraca), Capital Markets Authority-Kenya, Knight Frank Commercial and Residential Properties, Kenya. He was part of the broad team that conducted research and wrote the Integrated Economic and Development Plan (Document) for the Turkana County, a regional government authority in Kenya. For the better part of 2017, Mr. Nduga consulted in Finance and Accounts Department for the Italian Chamber of Trade and Industry, Johannesburg. Currently, alongside the PhD dissertation, Mr. Nduga is assisting in Teaching and Facilitation of the Financial Investments Decisions for the MBA students, Finance and Accounting, Financial Risk Management and advising on research and classwork for MBA and master’s Students at the Wits Business School.

Company visits and activities

1. Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen Group is one of the earliest and most successful international partners of China’s automobile industry. The Group has grown together with China’s auto industry, overcoming many challenges and achieving significant growths, during the 30 years’ partnership with China. Volkswagen Group China has established plants in Shanghai, Changchun, Dalian, Nanjing, Yizheng, Chengdu, Foshan, Ningbo, Urumqi and Tianjin with more than 90,000 employees in China, including those of joint ventures. At over 2,000 authorised dealerships across the country, more than 360,000 dealer staff provide professional services to thousands of customers every day. The business scope of Volkswagen Group in China includes the production, sales and services of complete vehicles and parts, such as engines and transmissions. All the Group auto brands — including Volkswagen, Audi, ŠKODA, SEAT, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN — have a business presence in China through Volkswagen Group China and its subsidiaries. Since entering the Chinese market, Volkswagen Group has taken the leading market position in China. In 2014, together with its two joint ventures, Volkswagen Group China delivered 3.68 million vehicles to customers in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, achieving a 20.5% share of China’s passenger vehicle market. By continuing to bring the most advanced and environmentally sound technologies and products to China, as well as providing professional services for an even higher customer satisfaction, Volkswagen Group is driving toward a sustainable future with China’s automobile industry.


2. Huawei
By adhering to the ‘focus’; and ‘being integrated’; strategies, Huawei have made significant breakthroughs in product competitiveness and market presence. Amid global economic recovery and challenges, they have seized opportunities and achieved rapid growth in sales revenue from the China Region. For markets outside of China, the company has further consolidated their resources in developed regions such as Western Europe and such emerging markets as Russia, Southeast Africa, and Latin America. In these markets, they have also recorded rapid growth and achieved large-scale sales with industry customers and channel partners. By June 2015, Company’s agile campus solutions were being used by more than 600 customers and had won nine coveted industry awards. More than 170,000 agile branch devices have been shipped worldwide, ranking No.1 in terms of growth rate. They have helped customers deploy more than 300 agile WAN networks, of which more than 60 support SDN applications.


3. CHINT Electric
CHINT – The Leading Electrical Brand for the Whole Asian Industry Chain Founded in 1984, the CHINT Group provides safe, reliable and stable industrial electrical equipment and solutions for energy efficient management systems. With 30 years of development, it has grown to be Asiau0026amp;#39;s largest low-voltage electrical product supplier and is the leading brand of the whole industry chain in industrial electric in Asia. CHINTu0026amp;#39;s sales revenue exceeded five billion Euros in 2014. With three Ru0026amp;D centres located in Europe, North America and China, there are also branches in over 20 countries and more than 30,000 employees in the world. CHINT provides reliable products, system solutions and services to more than 100 countries worldwide. The CHINT Group sub-brands include: CHINT, NOARK, ASTRONERGY, XINHUA, CHITIC and others. These brands cover: photovoltaic power generation, industrial automation, power transmission and distribution equipment, low-voltage electrical apparatus, instruments and meters, building electrical appliances, automotive electrical and other fields. This forms a leading superiority in the electric industry chain from the generation, transmission, substation and distribution of electrical power to terminal uses. CHINT provides system support for products and solution services to customers worldwide.


4. Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd. manufactures pharmaceutical products. The Company produces genetic medicines, Chinese traditional medicines, diagnostic products, reagents, and other products. Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) also provides medical equipment.


5. LinkedIn Hong Kong Offices
LinkedIn leads a diversified business with revenues from membership subscriptions, advertising sales and recruitment solutions. In December 2016, Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn, bringing together the world’s leading professional cloud and the world’s leading professional network.


6. Chinese Universality of Hong Kong
CUHK was founded in 1963 in response to society’s demand for higher education that would combine and bring out the best of Chinese and western cultures. The ideal, which at that time rallied to action many scholars and thinkers, still rings true in today’s Hong Kong, whose continued success hinges on openness and diversity. CUHK has proven to be a magnet for talents, attracting local and international students and scholars to study, teach, and do research here, and their achievements have continuously won the University international acclaims and respect. This is a tribute to our staff, students, alumni, and supporters, who diligently work together to promote the creation and application of knowledge. Over the past decades, CUHK has always upheld an enterprising and forward-looking spirit that makes studying and working a unique experience. CUHK is a comprehensive university where students and staff are continuously challenged at the forefront of knowledge, and where traditional and contemporary cultures are equally valued. It is also the only university in Hong Kong which adopts a collegiate system. The university community cherishes dearly its tradition in general education and civic service, which constitute a key component of our students’ learning experience.


7. AIA Vitality
AIA Vitality is a game changing wellness programme which redefines the traditional concept of insurance, aims to reward you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Student Commitments

Legal Declaration of Indemnity, Undertaking and Consent
  1. The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (hereafter referred to as ‘the University’) has insured itself for its liability arising from the acts and omissions of persons acting on its behalf, and that its registered students, staff and individuals who are subject to the University’s rules, regulations, policies, procedures and standing orders as amended from time to time are insured during the course and scope of their registered courses and/or within the scope of University’s business. This is subject to the proviso that the University’s maximum liability will be limited, whether for a single or multiple events, to the extent that is covered thereof;
  2. When the University arranges for me to travel to locations which are outside of the University’s precincts, and when traveling in vehicles which do not belong to the University’s and/or are not driven by University staff, I will enjoy only such cover as referred to in Section 1 above, provided that I depart and travel from the University’s precincts and return to it from an excursion arrange by the University, on a route agreed upon in advance by the University;
  3. In cases where no fault can be attributed to the University, I hereby indemnify, absolve and hold harmless the University, its officials, employees, students and invitees in respect of any damage the property, death or bodily injury to/of myself and/or third parties, whether on/off the University precincts, or whilst engaged in any related activity to the University abroad; and
  4. I understand that I attend and participate in the WBS Global Study Tour in various designated countries around the world during specified periods in 2019 at my own risk where the event falls outside the cover provided to or by the University.
  5. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the contents of this indemnity in every respect.
This document is applicable to all modes of delivery of the Global Study Tour from 2017 onward. 

Assessment Policy
All assignments, including the attendance of the Amazing Race and all scheduled visits to businesses, other organisations and cultural activities, is compulsory.

Failure to comply with this policy will result in an automatic failure off this course. A record of attendance at each prescribed tour activity will be kept by the Tour Leader and will be submitted to the International Office as a formal record for student assessment. Should a student fail (including as a result of non-attendance and failure to participate), the tour will have to be repeated.


A candidate who has not completed all the requirements for this tour by the end of the minimum period of study and who is permitted in terms of Senate Standing Orders to continue will be required to register again for this tour at the beginning of the following academic year and pay the relevant fee.


Registration for the Global Study Tour
A candidate is required to register and pay in advance for the Study Tour in order to be admitted to complete the course.

If a candidate wishes to amend his/her selection of destination, a prescribed period of time will be permitted as indicated by the Global Study Tour Coordinator. However, no changes to selection of destination will be entertained once confirmed.


International Applicants
Applications from international exchange and immersion students are welcome. All international students need to conform with the University’s requirements and the South African legislation that pertains to such students.


Credits towards MBA or MM to other degrees
Students may be granted credits for this tour at international partner schools however please note that the granting of credits is based on the credit weighting exchange between the WBS MBA and other international programmes.


Pass mark for this course
In order to pass the study tour, a student must obtain a minimum of 50% as a final mark subject to the sub-minimum rule.


Students must register for the Global Business Study Tour (BUSA 7442A) in order to pay the travel component cost for the study tour. Students will be advised as to the Rand value that has to be paid for the study tour of their choice. The deadline for the choice of study tour and payments will be communicated to students by the School’s International Office. Failure to pay the full fee for the Global Study Tour in advance or failure to attend the tour for whatever reason will still hold the student liable for the full amount as indicated for the selected tour package. Please note that fees may not involve the same costing as certain travel destinations are cheaper than others. Also note that whenever indicated students will be responsible for their own transport and cost of meals and incidentals on each tour. Tour leaders do not carry additional funds to allow for students who do not make personal provision for their own expenses.


Allocation of Marks
The mark composition for each assignment will comprise a combination of marks awarded for assignment projects and field work, both individual and syndicate work. The mark allocation for the course is detailed in the course pack.

Syndicates may apply to have non-performing members excluded from the syndicate mark for their assignment, or have a portion of the total mark allocated to the non-performing student.


Publication of Final Course Results
The results of the global study tour will be published by the Faculty Office as soon as possible, normally within four weeks from assignment submission.


Disputes and Grievances
Any disputes or grievances that arise as a result of the application of, or failure to apply, the provisions of these Standing Orders should be managed within the Faculty’s existing appeals and grievance procedure. Problems should always be resolved as close to the source as possible. The grievance procedure policy and applicable forms are available from the Faculty Office.


Code of Conduct
All students will abide by the daily dress code as indicated by the Tour Leader depending on the daily schedule of events and places visited.

Students are also advised that whilst they are encouraged to enjoy the tour, they are reminded that they are participating in a Wits Study Tour programme and are not traveling for their own leisure purposes. As such, the prime focus is on teaching and learning and at all times students will need to participate in all prescribed activities and field visits.

Students are advised to heed the guidance and instruction of the designated Tour Leader on each trip. In addition, students are advised to serve as professional ambassadors of Wits University and the Wits Business School at all times whilst on tour. Students are also advised to download a copy of the Wits Student Code of Conduct to familiarise themselves with the policy.

During visits, students are to ensure that all mobile phones are switched off.
Students are to be punctual for all visits, failure to attend a visit without a valid reason will render your attendance as incomplete.

Failure to adhere to the above could result in a disciplinary action being lodged against the student.


Recording of Global Study Tour Activities
Business visit sessions may only be recorded (by audio, images or video) with the express written permission of that organisation. Students will be required to agree in writing that:

    • recordings will only be used for purposes of their own private study and revision;
    • recordings will not be copied, shared, communicated, published or distributed in any format whatsoever and using any medium whatsoever, unless requested to do so by the lecturer;
    • unedited copies recordings will be provided to the lecturer if requested to do so; and
    • Copyright of all recordings remain the property of the University.

It is noted that infringement of any of these conditions may result in disciplinary action being taken against the student.

NB: To be completed and returned to before you leave.