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China Center Quick Note: New China Model(s) -- Revisiting the MNC Playbook for a Rapidly Changing China

Chinese reform has passed a number of milestones from Deng Xiaoping’s beachhead launch of the open-door policy in the early 1980s. At each milestone, China’s growth model underwent change, by design, and so too did the explicit or implicit roles of MNCs for contributing to the growth model. By and large, commensurate with their tangible contributions, and the savvy with which they conveyed alignment, MNCs were able to gain market access and regulatory space to grow and prosper, even in several sectors beyond what China’s original plan intended. Appraising how China is growing today, and may do in the future, thus matters greatly to MNC access and positioning. Yet much of the old thinking on the MNC role in China is now out of date. This Quick Note explores the new “financial services growth model”, which is emerging as a key access and business development lever for MNCs capable of pushing it. 

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