2018 Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference

A New Era of Economic Ties and Bilateral Investment
for the U.S. and China


Friday, April 20, 2018
UCLA Anderson School of Management

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, presented his report to the 19th Party Congress to outline China’s mid and long-term development goals over the next three decades. Innovation, coordination, greenness, openness, and inclusiveness will be the five guiding principles to ensure the country’s goal of building a “moderately prosperous society” will be achieved by 2020. Meanwhile, the U.S. under President Donald Trump is reevaluating its approach to trade, especially with respect to China, but no major policy shifts appear imminent despite the recognition by the U.S. of the importance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Threats of protectionism, trade walls, and increased tariffs have thus far failed to blunt the rising trade between the two Pacific powers. New cross-border partnerships are being formed and new opportunities are opening up for trade and investment in a number of key sectors from energy to finance.

The 2018 Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference will bring together successful U.S. and Chinese leaders, investors and influencers from a variety of industries and sectors who will discuss the importance of innovation, collaboration and new technology, as well as diversification and localization. They will share their insights on emerging trends, identify bright spots for future investment and explore new and creative investment strategies and partnerships that take advantage of opportunities in this new era of economic ties and bilateral investment between the world’s two superpowers.

What to expect:
  • Successful and influential U.S. and Chinese business leaders and experienced investors across a variety of industries and sectors with expertise in cross-border business and investment
  • Plenary and breakout sessions around the themes of: innovation, collaboration and advanced technology and transformation, diversification and localization – new and important investment strategies and partnerships. Topics include advanced technologies; real estate; media and entertainment; entrepreneurship, investment and growth strategies; and financial risk, monetary policy and SOE reforms
  • Catered networking reception

Conference Information


11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

REGISTRATION AND CHECK-IN | Korn Convocation Hall Foyer, Entrepreneurs Hall

11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

CAREER PANEL LUNCHTIME DISCUSSION | Executive Dining Room, Gold Hall, B208 and B209
Open to UCLA students only. Lunch will be provided.

1:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Judy D. Olian | Dean and John E. Anderson Chair in Management, UCLA Anderson 
Michael K. Woo
| Son of Wilbur K. Woo; Dean, College of Environmental Design, Cal Poly Pomona
Pin Tai 
| Chief Executive Officer and President of Cathay General Bancorp and Cathay Bank

1:30 - 2:15 p.m.

Feng An | Founder and Executive Director, Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation (iCET), U.S.-China Cleantech Center (UCCTC)
William Yu | Economist, UCLA Anderson Forecast
MODERATOR: Seamus Jiang | Managing Director, Co-Leader for China-U.S. Cross-Border Deals, PwC

2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

PLENARY SESSION I | Korn Convocation Hall
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES: The Importance of Collaboration in Technological Innovation and Scientific Advancements – Opportunities for Chinese and U.S. Companies

Jeff Barney | Chief Operating Officer, TP-Link North America, Inc.
Jim Cheng | Director AI Lab, Suning USA R&D Center
Patrick Duan | Vice President of Operations, BYD Motors Inc.
Chunyan (Charlene) Li | General Manager, iFLYTEK North America
MODERATOR: John (J.B.) Blevins ('11) | Faculty Director, Easton Technology Management Center; Adjunct Professor of Decisions, Operations and Technology Management, UCLA Anderson

The Chinese economy has been transitioning from one led by investment and exports to an economy focused on innovation, services and consumer spending. Chinese technology companies have been seizing opportunities to expand their businesses and permeate virtually every aspect of users’ daily life by providing convenient solutions from e-commerce to online gaming. Companies based in China have also shifted their attention beyond the domestic market as the technology sector expands and this trend is expected to continue. During the 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping emphasized innovation as the primary driving force behind development and the strategic underpinning for building a modernized economy. Companies and institutions are pushing ahead on new frontiers of research, science and advanced and disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and autonomous driving, building a digital China and a smart society as well as its aspiration to become a world leader in artificial intelligence. Part of the strategy includes acquiring and investing in U.S. tech startups to expand footprints, attract top talent and gain an edge in innovation. However, this collaboration faces challenges from both governments; Chinese authorities are tightening administrative reviews for capital outflows and the U.S. government is increasing its scrutiny of Chinese investments and has intellectual property concerns. Panelists will share their experiences driving innovation by developing new technologies, products and strategies. They will discuss trends in cross-border investment and share their vision on future technological innovation and scientific advancements as well as the trends and future opportunities and challenges for technology companies going forward.

3:15 - 3:45 p.m.

BREAK AND REFRESHMENTS | Marion Anderson Courtyard

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.


ENTREPRENEURSHIP, INVESTMENT AND GROWTH STRATEGIES: Trends, Investment Patterns and Opportunities for Private Entrepreneurship, Foreign Investment in China and China’s Outbound Investment Korn Convocation Hall

Wei Guo | Founding Partner, UpHonest Capital
John Ho | Chief Executive Officer, Landsea Homes
Richard Jun | Co-Founder and Managing Director, BAM Ventures
Maggie Sun | Partner, Capital Markets Accounting Advisory - Deals, PwC
MODERATOR: James Rice (B.A. '91) | President and Chief Executive Officer, Solaris Paper, Inc.

The United States and China are experiencing strong and steady economic growth which has been accompanied by increasing cross-border investment. The areas and industries for growth continue to expand and evolve. The 19th Party Congress report calls for “developing new ways of making outbound investments,” and promoting international cooperation, building on the foundation of existing initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative. There will be new bright spots for investment for both domestic and foreign individuals as well as corporations with opportunities in the areas of innovation and new technology, improving people’s wellbeing, and green development and environmental protection. Under President Xi, tech and internet entrepreneurship has been encouraged. The 19th Party Congress report also calls for “supporting the growth of private businesses.” Despite the decline of FDI into China, after over twenty years of rapid growth, the report reaffirms that China will not close its door to the world and will become more open, adopting policies to facilitate trade and investment and protect the legal rights and interests of foreign investors. After posting record levels in 2016, China’s outbound investment has also suffered setbacks due to increased scrutiny against suspicious capital outflows and has shifted focus away from the now “restricted sectors” towards the high technology, manufacturing and modern services sectors. Panelists will provide insights on the 19th Party Congress report and the implications for investment in the “restricted sectors” and the need for diversification and new investment strategies and partnerships. They will also discuss opportunities for entrepreneurship and share their perspectives on the governmental policies and initiatives to stimulate economic growth, facilitate entrepreneurship and promote investment opportunities in preferred industries and review the benefits and risks that they present.

FINANCIAL RISK, MONETARY POLICY AND SOE REFORMS: Implications and Opportunities for Business | C-315

Steven Foland | Managing Director and Head of Banking, Americas, CICC
Christine Loh |
Chief Development Strategist, Institute for the Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Former Under Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong S.A.R. Government
John Simonson |
Principal, Financial Services Regulatory Practice, PwC
Huimin Jenny Zhan
| President, Good Hope USA Consulting Services (an affiliate of CreditEase)
MODERATOR: Philip Hurst | Senior Vice President, Director of Wealth Management and Premier Banking, Cathay Bank

The Chinese economy faces many challenges and risks as it seeks to balance growth and reform, including rising debt levels, low investment returns and asset bubbles which will have ripple effects on China’s GDP performance. Preventing systematic financial risks has been the focus of Chinese leadership. The IMF forecasts that the non-financial sector debt in China could rise to over 290 percent of GDP by 2020. To address the issue, the 19th Party Congress report calls for “deepening institutional reform in the financial sector.” A new super regulator will also help to improve risk management. However, there are concerns that a tighter policy environment could weigh on growth. The RMB, which experienced sharp fluctuations, now serves as a global reserve currency and the government is seeking further reform to reduce market interventions and improve the availability of RMB assets. President Xi emphasized the importance of deleveraging state-owned enterprises (SOE) which have been the main beneficiaries of easy credit and the major source of bad debt, as a main priority, including enhancing SOE competitiveness and efficiency through market-oriented reforms, mixed ownership reform and reducing excessive production capacity. Panelists will provide their reactions to China’s performance in balancing growth and reform and share their predictions on the expansion of SOEs and impact on private investment. They will also discuss whether a tighter policy environment could weigh on growth in the world’s second largest economy, implications as well as opportunities for business and what this could mean for the United States and the world.

REAL ESTATE: The Importance of Diversification, Localization and Community Engagement C-301

Theresa Kwang | Executive Director of Finance, SCG America
Chang M. Liu | Executive Vice President, Chief Lending Officer, Cathay Bank
Roger Moliere
| Senior Advisor, Real Estate Practice, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
MODERATOR: Gregory J. Karns | Partner, Institutional Investment & Finance, Real Estate, Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP

U.S. real estate markets have been a top destination for Chinese investors seeking capital diversification and risk mitigation. Much of the money has fueled development in the U.S. However, China’s new set of restrictions on outbound capital flow, making it more difficult to purchase U.S. real estate is expected to negatively impact real estate across a variety of sectors, including residential, commercial and hotel. There has also been more scrutiny by regulators. Limitations on transfer of capital overseas, foreign buyer restrictions, taxes in key markets, and a predicted slowdown of the Chinese economy all present barriers to Chinese investment in the United States. However, investors are now pivoting to different sectors, such as hospitals, education and acquisitions of preschools and student housing. What are the emerging investment trends in the real estate sector? What are the new opportunities and pivoting plays? Panelists will share their insights on emerging trends and opportunities in the sector over the next few years. They will address the importance of diversification, localization and community engagement and discuss some of the challenges that are influenced by the global economic environment, legal and tax considerations and share their perspectives on the future of Chinese capital inflows to the U.S. real estate market.

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

PLENARY SESSION II | Korn Convocation Hall
MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT: Understanding Hollywood’s Challenges and the Opportunities in China
Dan Goman | Founder and Chief Executive Officer, OWNZONES Media Network
Hao Lin | Senior Board Executive, Alibaba Cloud
Jason Miller (’12) | Senior Vice President, Talent International and Emerging Markets, Live Nation
MODERATOR: Jon Niermann (’95)| President and Chief Executive Officer, Loop Media, Inc.; Founder, FarWest Entertainment; Former President, Walt Disney Company Asia-Pacific; Former President, Electronic Arts Asia

The media and entertainment industry has experienced significant cross-border investment and cooperation over the last few years. The rapid development of the film industry has been a bright spot for China’s culture industry. However, 2018 will be a turning point for the industry. China’s once booming box office revenue and construction of new cinemas, both experienced exponential growth over the last few years, but they are now entering a more steady phase of growth. Content quality has become critical to attracting greater theater traffic as Chinese movie goers are more heavily influenced by online ratings than by commercial promotions. Subscription-based Video On Demand (SVOD) has also been growing rapidly in China. Content licensing deals between Chinese platforms and U.S. companies are becoming more popular. China’s quota on Hollywood film imports is also projected to continue expanding, allowing Hollywood a greater share of box-office revenue. However, the 19th Party Congress report classifies the entertainment industry as a “restricted” industry and the Chinese government is clamping down on foreign investment in the sector and is looking closer to home for money. What will be the impact of this pullback and tightening of restriction of Chinese investment from Hollywood? What opportunities will there be for new types of cooperation, investment strategies and partnerships? What are the challenges ahead? Panelists will examine this important sea change and try and make sense of recent developments in the cross-border media and entertainment industry. They will also discuss lessons learned from past collaborations and share their observations and predictions on future areas of innovation and collaboration that provide platforms and services that entertain, engage and provide interactive experiences for the end user.

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

NETWORKING RECEPTION | Executive Dining Room, Gold Hall

Wilbur K. Woo (B.S. '42), vice chairman emeritus of Cathay Bank and Cathay Bancorp, Inc., was known for his decades of leadership in the Chinese-American community, but his many achievements never caused him to forget his humble beginnings.

He was born in 1916 in a tiny village near Guangzhou in China's southern Guangdong province. He came to Los Angeles at age five. At 12, his father sent him back to Guangzhou to be immersed in Chinese language and culture. In 1940, after two years at Lingnan College (now part of Sun Yat-Sen University), he returned to Los Angeles to complete his education at UCLA.

Like many immigrants, he found humbling work, washing dishes in a small Chinatown restaurant. He also taught at Chinese language schools in the evenings and was popular with his students, who decades later would pay their respects to their teacher whenever they saw him in the community.

During World War II, Wilbur worked as a translator in the Office of Postal Censorship, rising to chief of the Technical Operations Division. After the war, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in business administration and went to work with his father managing Chungking Produce Company, which thrived for 40 years supplying restaurants and grocery stores with Chinese vegetables and other produce.

In 1962, at a time when mainstream banks would not make loans to many ethnic Chinese, Wilbur joined Cathay Bank - the first Chinese-American-owned bank - as a vice president. With a knack for community outreach, he played a central role in the bank's growth over the next decades and rose to senior vice president, administrative vice president and executive vice president.

Alongside his distinguished career in banking, Wilbur cultivated an extraordinarily rich variety of business, political, cultural and charitable interests. He served as chairman of the board of The Chinese Times, the oldest Chinese language newspaper in the U.S.; charter chairman of the Asian American National Business Alliance; founder and chairman of the California-Taiwan Trade & Investment Council; president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce; and organizer and secretary-general of the 8th World Chinese Traders Convention. One of his proudest accomplishments, as grand president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, was lobbying for the historic immigration reform bill of the mid-1960s that opened the doors to a new wave of immigrants from China and Taiwan.

He served as an honorary member (representing overseas Chinese) of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (or national legislature) and was a member of Taiwan’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, the California World Trade Commission and the California Commission for Economic Development. He was an organizer and convener of the World Chinese Bankers Convention held in Los Angeles in 1988. That year he was named one of the "20 Most Powerful Men in Los Angeles" by Los Angeles magazine.

In 1996, crowning his numerous awards for public service, Wilbur became the first Asian American to be honored by UCLA with the Neil H. Jacoby International Award.

In 2001 he and his wife, Beth, endowed the annual Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference at the UCLA Anderson School of Management with the goal of promoting understanding of the economic ties between the Greater China region and the United States. "I established the conference to show my gratitude for the training I received at my alma mater many years ago," he said.

Sadly, Wilbur passed away on November 12, 2012 and Beth, his wife of nearly 75 years, passed away on March 2, 2017. Wilbur and Beth are survived by their four children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

2017 Conference Highlights


2017 Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference Highlights

2017 Woo Conference Welcoming Remarks & Opening Address

China: A Macro Overview & A Business Perspective

U.S. CHINA RELATIONS: Innovation, Competition and Collaboration: The Evolving U.S.-China Relationship

REAL ESTATE Panel Discussion, "Successful Cross-Border Partnerships: How to Make it Happen"

INVESTMENT, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND GROWTH STRATEGIES: Cross Border Investment: Trends, Investment Patterns and Opportunities for China and the United States

INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY: Innovation as a Driver of Long-term Economic Growth – China’s Increasing Global Influence

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT Panel Discussion, “Connecting the U.S. and China Through Capital, Culture and Innovation”


Center for Global Management


Platinum Sponsors


Bronze Sponsor


Supporting Organizations


Past Conferences

Date Name Location
Friday | April 21, 2017 A New Chapter for U.S.-China Relations – Investemnt, Growth Strategies and Collaboration Opportunities UCLA Anderson School of Management
Friday | April 22, 2016 Ten Years On - Innovation, Competition and Collaboration: The Evolving U.S.-China Relationship UCLA Anderson School of Management
Friday | April 10, 2015 U.S.-China: Economic Ties, Growth Strategies and Investment Opportunities UCLA Anderson School of Management
Friday | April 18, 2014 Success Stories of U.S.-China Investment UCLA Anderson School of Management
Friday | March 1, 2013 Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Strategies During a New and Transitional Era - A Dialogue Across the Pacific UCLA Anderson School of Management
Friday | March 2, 2012 The Global Impact of the Transforming Economy in China UCLA Anderson School of Management