Chinese Retail Ecosystem and the Influence of Social Media, co-host with Berkeley SCET

  • Tag: cross-border, innovation
  • Speakers: Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu, Professor Baohong Sun, Rui Ma, Paul Yan, Joy Tang
  • Time: Thursday, March 18th, 2021 8pm - 9pm New York
  • Location: Zoom

About the event

Retail sector has experienced both challenges and opportunities this year and is facing a long-term revolution given the changed consumer behaviors. Retailers now face two biggest challenges-consumer structural change and the emergence of innovative business models-and opportunities given by digital brand transformation. Now more than ever, retailers have to reposition and embrace innovative technologies to open the data barrier between each selling channel, in order to avoid possible customer loss, customer transfer risk and product management issues.

With the largest population in the world and the vast implementation of internet and data, China’s retail sector has leapfrogged the past decade, making it one of the most innovative in the world. Many China-born retail technologies and business models, like social ecommerce, new retail, online offline integration, have been favored by investors. With the rapid increase of retail technologies, industrial innovation, data usage, unicorns appeared frequently and are shaping the new retail industry. Join this panel to learn how China has entered a whole new data and technology driven retail ecosystem.


Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu

Ikhlaq Sidhu is the founding faculty director and chief scientist of UC Berkeley’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. He received the IEOR Emerging Area Professor Award from his department at Berkeley. Ikhlaq Sidhu is an innovator with an industry background and the perspective of an academic.

He teaches, advises, and manages people to enable impactful and relevant innovation, which today demands a different kind of leadership.  From him, people learn how to create new things that are technically complex that will also actually have impact in the real world.

He is an innovator in the narrow sense (e.g. created 60+ patents, technology, and products) and he is an innovator in the broad sense (e.g. launched ventures, raised funds, founded organizations, led businesses, and navigated complex organizational challenges) within areas of data networking, telecommunications, and academics.

Sidhu is most known for bringing an industry perspective to academia. He founded the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology in 2005 and launched its many spin-offs programs. With Ken Singer, he co-created the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (for students) and the Berkeley Method of Innovation Leadership (for existing companies). Both of these frameworks add concepts of social-psychology, mindset, and journey to the traditional steps of innovation. The spin-offs from his work at Berkeley include the GVL in 2008, the Fung Institute in 2009, the Engineering Leadership Professional Program in 2011, SkyDeck in 2012, the Innovation Collider in 2015, and Data-X in 2016.

Sidhu serves on several boards and advisory roles including Venture Advisor at Onset Ventures (a leading Silicon Valley investment firm), the Faculty Committee for Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, the Board of Trustees of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar, Fellow, Applied Innovation Institute, and the Faculty Director’s Council, Jacob’s Institute of Design at UC Berkeley.

Professor Baohong Sun

Professor Sun Baohong is the Dean’s Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing and the Associate Dean for CKGSB Americas. She also directs CKGSB’s Customer Information Management Center. Prior to joining CKGSB in 2011, Professor Sun was Carnegie Bosch Professor of Marketing at the Tepper School of Business of Carnegie Mellon University. Professor Sun received her PhD from the University of Southern California in 1997 and BA from Renmin University of China.

Her research focuses on rational and strategic consumer choices and dynamic structural models; dynamic and interactive marketing mix and customer information management; and, most recently, on modeling dynamic and inter-dependent consumer decisions on e-commerce and social media platforms.

Professor Sun is the recipient of numerous awards for research and teaching, including the 2008 Finalist for John D.C. Little Best Paper Award at INFORMS, the 2006 MBA George Leland Bach Teaching Award, and the 2005 CART Research Frontier Award for Innovative Research at Carnegie Mellon University.

She also serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Journal of Marketing. Her extensive consulting experience includes work with major corporations including Bosch, Boy Scouts of America, Highmark Insurance, John Deer and IBM. An active contributor to media discussions on current business issues, Professor Sun’s research has been cited in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and Bloomberg, among others.

Rui Ma

Rui Ma has fifteen years of experience in technology and finance, spanning seed stage to pre-IPO investing.  She is currently creator and host of the popular Tech Buzz China podcast, as well as an active investor in and advisor to multiple startups and funds.  She previously worked at 500 Startups as an investment partner, and spent a decade in private equity and mergers & acquisitions roles at the Raine Group, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch in both Silicon Valley and China. Rui holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, a Masters in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an Executive MBA from INSEAD and Tsinghua University and a Masters in Liberal Arts in Extension Studies from Harvard University.

Paul Yan

Dr. Paul Yan, Vice President of JD Group

Joy Tang

Joy Tang, CEO at Mai

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