Spotlight on Professor Deng Ziliang

International Business Course


“It is 12:30p.m. I am still waiting because Professor Deng is discussing the case mentioned earlier during class with foreign students who show great interest in the BAC’ behavior.”

It is common that students are always attracted by what Professor Deng mentioned in the class and will discuss detailed information after class. It is widely accepted that this course is a great challenge for any professor, since its' students come from all over the world with various cultural backgrounds and different languages. It is even harder to make the course interesting for everyone. However, Professor Deng is able to make the course fun and interactive. Many foreign students appreciate his teaching style for the cases that have applicable value. 

"IPads are assembled in Henan Province, China. Where are they cheaper, Beijing or New York? ” “Do you see any business challenges to Apple’s managers from this price differential?” This is the opening case concerning China’s international transactions with world-famous company-Apple. Everyone knows the answer is New York, so the pin is finding out the reasonable mechanism behind it. Almost every students voiced their own opinion and Professor Deng made notes from customers’ demands, customers’ mentality to purchase capabilities. By analyzing the rationality of each reason, Professor Deng also proposed a relatively standard answer, export rebates. When it came out, some foreign students show great interest to Chinese tax policies. Hence, the class will form a democratic atmosphere with a very low power distance, a term that I have learned from the cultural environment chapter. And when it comes to the next question, some Chinese students referred to the smuggling action between Hong Kong and Chinese mainland, which deserves a thoughtful consideration of Apple’s mangers.

He also mentioned the KFC’s radical approach in China, such as the old Beijing roasted chicken. This indicates different strategies that MNEs have taken to adapt to the host market. There are three management orientations, including ethnocentrism which reflects the conviction that one’s own culture is superior to that of other countries, polycentrism which individual tends to believe that business units in different countries should act like local companies and geocentrism which is between the former two and integrates company practices, host- country practices and some entirely new practices. Hence, it is very essential for MNEs to make an accurate choice. The best example concerning this issue is KFC versus McDonald’s. KFC outperforms over McDonald’s by means of successfully appealing to Chinese people’s taste.

Furthermore, the Rio Tinto case is also mentioned in the class to help better understand the political and legal environments facing business. Four executives of this corporation were accused of bribes and stealing “commercial secrets” from Chinese steelmakers. Professor Deng made the students analyze why this happened by analysis from three aspects, managers, business and politics. From the perspective of managers, many foreign students mentioned the bribe behavior, but it was challenged since bribe is a long time behavior, it is not a direct reason that resulted in the jail. From the perspective of business, they thought it was because of the profit. And finally, they mentioned the high price when it went to politics. Professor Deng then made a conclusion which is related to the politics for the high price of iron ore provided by Rio Tinto has annoyed Chinese government. Hence, politics matter when going abroad.

Generally speaking, this course is always full of discussion and harmony. The cases that Professor Deng provides can make resonance.

Written By: TA Eva Yan