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Undergraduate students from Tsinghua SEM excel at 2023 HSBC Chinese Mainland Business Case Competition


A group photo of undergraduates on the Tsinghua University team at the 2023 HSBC Chinese Mainland Business Case Competition.

Undergraduate students SONG Liudi, CHEN Youran, ZHANG Shiying, and LIU Zhuoyu from the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University (Tsinghua SEM) – The Honorable Unit – represented Tsinghua University at the 2023 HSBC Chinese Mainland Business Case Competition. The four stood out among renowned domestic business school teams and became the preliminary champions of the HSBC north competition zone and runners-up in the national finals. Professor JIAO Jie, from the Department of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, served as their supervisor. The Tsinghua University team, along with the winning Beijing Foreign Studies University team, will represent the Chinese mainland online in the Asia-Pacific regional finals.

The case competition focused on hot topics such as digitalization and ESG (environmental, social, and governance). The Tsinghua University team developed strategic initiatives tailored to different levels of management within a company's structure. They also utilized case studies from Chinese companies to showcase business solutions with Chinese characteristics. Throughout the competition, the Tsinghua University team exhibited a strong business acumen, professional analytical skills, and a bold and innovative spirit that highlighted the abilities of top undergraduate students from a leading business school in China. Additionally, the team's exceptional English communication skills, cohesive teamwork, and composed demeanor under pressure impressed the judges, who unanimously recognized their performance. Stephen Hurst, managing director and head of the China Management Office at HSBC China, served as one of the final judges and expressed admiration for the Tsinghua University team's teamwork and strategic presentation abilities.

The preliminary competition in Chinese mainland consisted of two zones, north and south, with 16 universities invited to participate in each. The north zone competition focused on the case of Morgan's Pharmacy, operating in the pharmaceutical retail industry. Participating teams had to analyze development strategies, risks and opportunities, feasibility of plans, and sustainable corporate development. In the final round, competing teams were given two hours to analyze the case of Blaser Swisslube AG, which encompassed aspects such as digitalization, business orientation, and sustainable development. They were tasked with presenting distinctive solutions on "how to attract potential customers" for the company.

Photo from a Tsinghua SEM course on Business Case Analysis

Each year, Tsinghua SEM offers Business Case Analysis, a course specifically designed for sophomore and junior students who possess strong business intuition, excellent analytical skills, and outstanding English proficiency. The course is taught by Professor JIAO Jie and invites past case team members to share their experiences. Through a combination of theoretical instruction and practical exercise, students develop tools to conduct industry research and case analysis. They also engage in hands-on training by working on multiple authentic company cases. Upon completing the course, a select group of students will be chosen to participate in the annual international case competition organized by top business schools worldwide.

In recent years, the case team from Tsinghua SEM participated in several prestigious international business case competitions organized by universities such as the National University of Singapore (NUS), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Denmark, Maastricht University (MU) in the Netherlands, the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, the University of Southern California (USC) in the United States, and the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in Canada. They team consistently achieved excellent results, having secured two championship titles, four runners-ups, two third-place finishes, and multiple outstanding performance awards.

The HSBC Business Case Competition is sponsored by HSBC and organized by the Asia Case Research Centre (ACRC) of The University of Hong Kong. Its objective is to offer an esteemed international platform for undergraduate students from business schools worldwide to exchange ideas and cultivate talented individuals with exceptional comprehensive abilities in the business field. Previous editions of the competition have had participants from Peking University, Tsinghua University, The University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, The University of Auckland in New Zealand, McGill University in Canada, and other top international institutions. It had become recognized as one of the largest international business case analysis competitions in the world.