Xi Jinping Visits South Korea

  • Xi Jinping Visits Korea

Xi Jinping Visits South Korea

I was in Seoul this week as a number of companies I met with were preparing for President Xi’s upcoming visit. China’s continued economic growth creates an increasing sense of opportunity and threat for many South Korean business leaders. Opportunity, given the relative size and faster growth rate of the Chinese economy. But also threat, given the increased scale and capability of Chinese companies in export markets.

In everything from mobile phones to nuclear power plants, South Korean companies find themselves competing with Chinese producers. The challenge of how to sustain distinctiveness, how to avoid the fate of many Japanese companies, squeezed out of their historic international markets, comes up over and over.

Indeed, many are looking for ways to leverage Chinese capital to stimulate growth in South Korea. South Korean companies often have excellent IP, operating efficiencies in international projects that Chinese companies cannot match, and an established international brand/reputation to go with it. Partnering with Chinese capital and cost structures may well be a good way forward for some.

For the Chinese business leaders coming on the trip, some will be looking for much more than partnership. Outright acquisitions will be on their mind. Real estate, high tech and even healthcare companies may be looking for opportunities to diversify into South Korea. For some of the new private hospitals in China, owning a famous South Korean plastic surgery chain could create significant synergies. Real estate companies have diversified extensively into Jeju island already with good results, and they may be ready to do more.

I also expect announcements on increasing the two-way flow of students between South Korea and China, and on an increase in the number of Chinese cities that you will be able to fly to directly from South Korea.


You can read more of my views on China on my LinkedIn Influencer blog. And please follow me on Twitter @gordonorr

Image credit: US Army Garrison Yongsan / Flickr

By |July 3, 2014|Categories: Gordon's View|2 Comments


  1. Neil Flynn July 15, 2014 at 19:10:24 - Reply

    It’s important for China to cooperate with South Korea as you discussed. Given that Xi is yet to visit Kim Jong Un, and Park speaks Mandarin, China and South Korea seem to be taking advantage of Japan alienating itself from both countries over island disputes and nationalist rhetoric, even though Japan and South Korea should instinctively be close partners, given the US connection.

    For China to continue developing its industrial and manufacturing industries, cooperation with efficient and experienced South Korean partners would be a valuable solution.

  2. Gary Rice August 4, 2014 at 19:55:23 - Reply

    Xi Jinping visit to Seoul, South Korea I would think it is to do with the issues with Japan. Both China and South Korea are still angered by WWII and Japan’s leaders still keep stocking the fire.

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