China's Largest Corporations: A Case Study Workshop

Arrival Date in Beijing, China:  Saturday, August 24, 2024 (course begins August 26, 2024)

Departure Date from Beijing, China:  Saturday, September 14, 2024 (course ends by evening September 13, 2024)

Location:  Stanford Center at Peking University, Beijing, China

Instructor:  Andrew G. Walder, Professor of Sociology and Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Eligibility: Undergraduate, Co-term, Master's or Ph.D. level Stanford students in Political Science, Sociology, History, Business, and related fields, who are contemplating social science research on non-contemporary topics, especially if they are interested in research on China. 

Fees/Cost: Airfare, accommodations, and food are covered by the Stanford Center at Peking University.  See details under "Program Cost."



Corporations are the core of major economies, and China’s modern corporations are both new and structured in ways that contrast in striking ways with those elsewhere in the world. Analyzing the history of China’s leading corporations is a superb way of understanding the transformation of the country’s economy over the past 30 years and the inner workings of the Chinese model of development. Each Stanford student will be paired with one from Peking or Tsinghua University, and they will select two Chinese business corporations from a master list, and investigate their founding and subsequent history of expansion, including any restructuring, privatization, and listing on domestic or international stock exchanges. Of particular interest will be the company’s origins, its history of growth over the years, and its structure of ownership and control, along with its business strategies. These companies will be selected from a list of Chinese companies ranked in the Global 500, or in China’s top 200. 

The purpose of pairing each Stanford student with a Chinese student is to ensure that each student will have access to the voluminous information that is available online in both English and Chinese about these major companies.

The workshop will meet 3 times a week for 3 weeks, for 2 hours per session. During the first week, the faculty instructor will give background presentations on China’s political economy, corporate restructuring and finance, and the recent history of enterprise reform. During the second week, workshop participants will introduce the companies that they have chosen and provide reasoning for their choice, the sources that they have identified (primarily on-line), and the lines of inquiry that will be most fruitful about these particular business sectors. This course will also discuss problems encountered in conducting this type of research and will explore strategies to surmount these problems. During the third week, students will present their findings to the workshop in the form of detailed PowerPoint presentations that will be structured according to guidelines provided by the faculty instructor.

The primary advantage of holding this course in Beijing is the ability to pair Stanford students with currently enrolled Chinese students at Peking and Tsinghua universities. A secondary advantage is the ability to invite faculty from these two universities who do research on these topics to sit in on these sessions and contribute brief presentations.

Application Process

The 2024 Summer Quarter application will open soon. Please look out for updates on our website.

For More Information

Please contact our Program Coordinator, Owen Raymond (, with "SCPKU Seminar" as your email subject.