Technology advances are bringing new ways for US and China businesses to work together at a time of geopolitical tension, Zhonglu Group Vice Chairman George Wang told, at the US-China Business Forum in New York on Tuesday.
In the electric vehicle field, for instance, change is fast and intertwining is rapid. Tesla over just in the past few years has become one of the largest electric vehicle makers in China. Meanwhile, BYD — backed by Warren Buffett yet little known outside of China — has achieved a market cap larger than GM and Ford combined, and turned into a supplier to Tesla.
“Who would have imagined that only a few years ago?” Wang said of the Tesla-BYD tie. “We see new forms of US-China collaboration taking shape.” In the US, for instance, China-based SEMCORP earlier this year plans to invest more than $900 million in a plant in Ohio that will produce separators for lithium-ion batteries.
Wang’s father, Wang Chaobin, founded Zhonglu in Zhengzhou more than 30 years ago. He holds an estimated fortune worth $1.9 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List. “We are proud of what the private sector has contributed to China,” Wang said.
To be sure, Wang noted, “we have seen ups and downs in the China and the US economy in the last several years,” as well as currently strained political ties.
Nevertheless, “the US-China business community still has hope for greatly improved ties between the two countries,” Wang said. He said the elimination of tariffs imposed under President Trump would benefit economies and businesses from both sides.
The 4th US-China Business Forum, held at Forbes on Fifth in New York, was organized by Forbes China, the Chinese-language edition of Forbes. The gathering was held in person for the first time since 2019; it was held online in 2020 and 2021 during the height of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Other speakers included China Ambassador to the US Qin Gang; Wei Hu, Chairman, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA; James Shih, vice president, SEMCORP; Abby Li, Director of Corporate Communication and Research, China General Chamber of Commerce; Audrey Li, Managing Director, BYD America; Lu Cao, Managing Director, Global Corporate Bank, Corporate & Investment Bank, JP Morgan.
Also speaking were Stephen A. Orlins, President, The National Committee on United States-China Relations; Sean Stein, chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce; Ken Jarrett, Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group; John Quelch Dean Emeritus and Honorary Chairman of the International Advisory Board at CEIBS; Dr. Bob Li, Physician Ambassador to China and Asia-Pacific, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and Yue-Sai Kan, Co-Chair, China Institute.
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