Kingsfield Law partner Russell Leu presented a two-part webinar series on doing business in China for the State of Hawaii Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism. In the two-part series, Leu spoke about the challenges and opportunities on doing business in China as well as the potential for developing a Chinese outbound tourism market. Having counseled American companies on doing business in China for the past 17 years, Leu shared audiences with his China expertise and insight. The live webinars were held on October 22 and November 5.

In particular, Leu spoke about the unique opportunities for U.S. businesses given the challenges arising from a dynamic U.S.-China relationship and the Covid-19 pandemic. Leu shared his observations on recent business trends, particularly arising from the transition of the Chinese economy. The business model for American businesses several decades ago, manufacture and export, no longer applies.  Over the past few years, China has gradually shifted from an export-driven economy to a domestic consumption one. Domestic consumption now contributes to nearly 40% of China’s GDP while external trade accounts for 17.9%. American businesses which focus on China’s rising middle class now found in the country’s second, third and fourth-tier cities have the most opportunities as this group is the largest contributor of domestic consumption.

As Leu spoke to a Hawaii business audience, he shared insight about the potential outbound Chinese tourism market which Hawaii has yet to attract. Hawaii can develop a Chinese tourism market in the next few years provided the health situation improves, and the Hawaii tourism industry and government invest in developing more Chinese-friendly attractions and infrastructure.