Course Title

Doing Business in China




Course Designation

BULM 758 H



Course Description

This course explores doing business in the People's Republic of China. General themes of China's economic development will be examined, with emphasis on the opportunities and challenges faced by foreign investors. Special attention will be given to the financial sector (banking, insurance and securities). However, students are expected to complete a substantial research project which may, with the consent of the instructor, concern any aspect of doing business in China.




We will have three mandatory class sessions in College Park prior to departure, then spend the week of May 24-30 in Shanghai, visiting companies and hearing lectures by specialists in various areas.

The pre-departure meetings will be held in Room 1505, Van Munching Hall, at the following times:

Sunday, April 3           3:00-6:00pm 

Sunday, April 17         3:00-6:00pm 

Sunday, May 8            3:00-6:00pm.

The in-country visits and lectures are likely to include:

·        Presentation by Stephen Green, an investment banker at Standard Chartered in Shanghai and one of the world's leading authorities on PRC stock markets;

·        Visit to Suzhou manufacturing facilites;

·        Discussions with executives in the insurance and banking sectors;

·        Visit to a major corporate law firm to hear about trans-national contracting, dispute resolution, intellectual property protection and unique features of negotiating and doing business in the PRC;

·        Visit to U.S. government offices to hear about implementation of China's WTO accession agreements and other trade issues.



  • A Preparatory Materials Quiz will be given. It will cover all of the assigned pre-departure course materials, including Mr. China, initial lectures and group presentations, and any items distributed by email or in class. Its purpose is simply to encourage you to absorb this material so that you will have a richer context for appreciating your experience abroad.

  • Students will be assigned to teams. Each team will cover one of the following specific topics:

1) general themes of doing business in China

2) banking

3) insurance

4) securities

5) foreign direct investment (esp. manufacturing)

The team will 1) produce a pre-departure briefing on the topic for the class and 2) provide content related to the topic for the course blog.

  • Each student must no later than three weeks after our departure from Shanghai produce and submit a research paper of substantial quality and thoroughness on a topic related to business in or as affected by China.

  • Research paper topics must be announced to and approved by the professor prior to departure. This will allow students to pursue individual work in China related to their paper topics.





·         Preparatory Material Quiz                                            10%

·         Preparatory Team Briefing                                            15%

·         Team Production of Section of Course Website             25%

·         Attendance & Active Participation                                25%

·        Final Paper                                                                25%   


Required Readings

  • Mr. China by Tim Crissold.

  • Readings distributed by email or in class.


Special Notes

·        Students should consult the U.S. Dept. of State’s Travel Warnings & Consular Information Sheets, available at:

and the Center for Disease Control’s travel advisories available at:


·        Some time will be allocated for independent work and sightseeing, but participants should understand this is an intense academic course. You can be a tourist before and after the class, but attendance and participation in all activities is required. This is not an independent study in which you individually arrange your schedule.

·        Civil, courteous, safe behavior is especially important when traveling abroad. We will be guests and should act as such. Students participating in this course must adhere to local laws in the places visited, and the relevant academic integrity policies will be enforced. Students are reminded to be cautious and not endanger themselves or others.

·        Students must comply with all the policies of the Smith School and the Univ. of Maryland College Park concerning Study Abroad.

·        While no major schedule or course structure changes are anticipated, international travel requires a degree of flexibility. Circumstances may change. If adjustments are required, any materials, policies & announcements distributed by email or as handouts or verbally announced by either Professor Hutchens are hereby incorporated by reference, including any that modify what is otherwise provided herein.

Additional Suggested


·        Stephen Green, China's Stockmarket: A Guide to Its Progress, Players and Prospects

·        Carl E. Walter, Fraser J. T. Howie, Privatizing China: The Stock Markets and their Role in Corporate Reform

·        Randall Peerenboom, China's Long March Toward Rule of Law  

·        Yasheng Huang, FDI in China: An Asian Perspective

·        Kenneth Lieberthal, Governing China

·        Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

·        Barry Naughton, Growing Out of the Plan: Chinese Economic Reform, 1978-1993

·        Nicholas R. Lardy, China's Unfinished Economic Revolution

·        Joe Studwell, The China Dream: The Quest for the Last Great Untapped Market on Earth

·        Andrew J. Nathan, Bruce Gilley, China's New Rulers: The Secret Files

·        Hill Gates, China's Motor: A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism


Instructor Bio

& Contact Info

Prof. Hutchens worked as a lawyer in China before joining the Smith School faculty in 2002. He has a J.D. and M.A. in East Asian Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and recently published an article on shareholder litigation in China in the Penn. Journal of International Economic Law. He has also written for The China Business Review, China Law and Practice and Xin Caijing (a leading Chinese financial magazine). CNN, Fortune, Dow Jones, Xinhua and the South China Morning Post have quoted him concerning legal developments in China. Professor Hutchens first visited China in 1989 as a college student participating in a travel course.



Walter Hutchens

Assistant Professor

Robert H. Smith School of Business

whutchens [-at-]

3424 Van Munching Hall

Robert H. Smith School of Business

University of Maryland

College Park, Maryland 20742-1815

(301) 405-4235