Chinese FDI, Innovation, and the Bay Area


On November 15, 2017, Asia Society Northern California in partnership with the Bay Area Council, hosted a full day conference at the UCSC Silicon Valley Campus to launch two new reports about current trends in foreign direct investment from China and the impact on California, including the Bay Area.

After welcoming remarks by Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, Dr. Sean Randolph, Senior Director of Bay Area Council Economic Institute presented the report findings, entitled Chinese Innovation: China’s Technology Future and What It Means for Silicon Valley. The first panel offered remarks about the report and included panelists DrDavid Chen of Microsoft Greater China Region; Mingyu Guan of McKinsey & Company; Steve Hoffman of Founders Space; and Matthew Le Merle of Fifth Era and Keiretsu Capital with Randolph serving as moderator.

Thilo Hanemann, Director and Economist with Rhodium Group, authored the second report, Chinese Direct Investment in California: 2017 Update. After Hanemann's brief presentation, the panelists joined him to discuss the report including Kelvin Chan of East West Bank; Darlene Chiu Bryant of ChinaSF; Michael Dunne of Dunne Automotive; and moderator Dr. N. Bruce Pickering, Executive Director of Asia Society Northern California.

The afternoon commenced with two simultaneous breakout sessions. The "Reading the Tide: Chinese Investment in Real Estate" breakout session was moderated by Chiu Bryant with a engaging discussion from Yang Chen of Colliers International; Mike Hu of Gaw Capital Partners USA; and John Yen Wong of AREAA. Randolph returned to moderate the other breakout session, "Enablers and Issues: Innovation and Investment in High-Tech Sectors" with DrCindy Cui of Silicon Valley Global; DrRegis B. Kelly of California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences; Donald J. Morrissey from Huawei Technologies LLC (USA); Hans Tung of GGV Capital; and Edith Yeung of 500 Startups.

Concluding the panel discussion was the Keynote Dialogue with Christina Gaw, Managing Principal and Head of Capital Markets with Gaw Capital and Kenneth Rosen, Founder and Chair of Rosen Consulting Group, moderated by Jonathan Karp, Executive Director of Asia Society Southern California. Concluding the conference was Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller of the California Energy Commission, followed by a networking reception.