Why Reinvent the Name of Xi’an Entrepreneurs?

Business tycoon Liu Chuanzhi, dean of the Chinese Academy of Science Bai Chunli, the famous cultural scholar Yu Qiuyu, media elite Xu Gehui, super star Guan Zhilin, and the Shaanxi-born famous director Zhang Yimou and movie star Zhang Jiayi, they are all coming to Xi’an?  A big event-the first World Xi’an Entrepreneurs’ Convention, is to be held in Xi’an in this hot August and celebrities at home and abroad, who are associated with Shaanxi in one way or another, are invited. Banners, LED screens and posters for welcoming the convention has already been placed everywhere in Xi’an city as early s 20 days ago, creating a new wave of fashion here.

What is Xi’an Entrepreneur? This may be a strange word for the citizens? What will be the Xi’an Entrepreneurs’ Convention like? Why the first? How is it related to the world? To answer these questions, a number of scholars and experts are interviewed to interpret “the First World Xi’an Entrepreneurs Convention”.

“Xi’an Entrepreneurs” Redefined to Include All Xi’an-Related Entrepreneurs

 The name of “Xi’an Entrepreneurs” can be found in historical record. Some people say it refers to Xi’an businessman or business group, which is wrong. According to cultural scholar Tian Yuchuan, there were ten business groups, including that of Shaanxi, Huizhou, Shaanxi, Shandong, Fujian, Tongting, Guangdong, Jiangyou (or Jiangxi), Longyou, Ningbo, that were formed in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Among them the Shaanxi and Shanxi teams were conveniently referred to as Xi Entrepreneurs (meaning Entrepreneurs in China’s west region) or Shan-Shaan Businessmen due to their close geographic location, customs and mutual benefits.

During the preparation of the first World Xi’an Entrepreneurs’ Convention, both the municipal Party Committee secretary Wang Yongkang and mayor Shangguan Jiqing extended their invitation to “all entrepreneurs and celebrities who were born, had lived, received education, created businesses in Xi’an, or invariably associated with Xi’an to return home for a visit”. Professor Bai Yongxiu, Chinaman of Shaanxi Regional Economic Research Association and of Yongxiu Think Tank claimed that the five aspects redefined the concept of Xi’an Entrepreneurs as it includes in it all Xi’an related entrepreneurs. He further explained that the redefinition is characteristic in the following four ways: first, it is an affective concept as it shows affective appeal and inclusiveness; second, it is oriented to the long-term development of Xi’an; third, it helps implement “the strengthening strategy” which selectively attracts the strong according to entrepreneurial layout; fourth, it adheres to the international vision of “a world trade center” that reproduces the grand view of distinguished guests from all the world gather in Xi’an.

Shaanxi Entrepreneurs Were Once Fabulously Rich but Three Causes Lead to Its Decline

Dating back to the the redefinition of Xi’an entrepreneurs, a number of historically famous businessmen such as Yu Buwei of Qin Dynasty, several in Han Dynasty, and Wang Yuanbao, Du Yi, Wang Jiuhu of Sui and Tang Dynasties. Emperor Xuanzong had once compared his wealth with Wang Yuanbao and found himself not as wealthy, and Du Yi once set up shops to as far as in Rome.

However, Xi’an Entrepreneurs of China’s Mid-West region began to decline since Song and Yuan Dynasties, and sank to obscurity in recent Chinese history. According to Professor Wang, there are three causes that lead to the decline: first is related to the regional culture which prioritizes officialdom over business, and thus lack of market awareness; second is due to the business forms which were confined to natural and farming economies and the exchange of small commodities, which are not conducive to large scale production; the third is caused by the geographical location as the central Shaanxi  plain with its advantageous natural conditions can easily please its people and take away their sense of crisis.

Reinventing Xi’an Entrepreneurs is the Handle for Landing National Strategies

Why do the Xi’an municipal Party committee and government reinvent the name of Xi’an entrepreneurs? Bai Yongxiu thinks that the first reason is the westward shift of the national economic center. With the Development of the West Regions and “the Belt and Road” initiative, the goal of building Xi’an into a national Central city is coming to light, and the national and international status of Xi’an and even Shaanxi is upgrading, in the process of which Xi’an Entrepreneurs have become a handle for building and re-innovating Xi’an. Secondly, the comprehensive advantages of Xi’an, in geographical location, history, culture, science, education and military resources, are the basis for reinventing Xi’an Entrepreneurs. Besides, change of development ideals on the part of party and government leaders and economic leaders is also important. The “Doubling Plan of Private Economy” answers to the actual need of building Big Xi’an, which requires enhancement of cohesion and power in an open fashion.

The holding of the First World Entrepreneurs’ Convention accentuates two points. Bai explains that “the First Convention” symbolizes a starting point of re-innovating Xi’an and a breakthrough of building Big Xi’an; “World” highlights the international vision of the Xi’an municipal Party committee and government who beckon to all entrepreneur-minded people at home and abroad.

The Rise of Xi’an Business Group Shall Guarantee the Sustainable Development of Regional Economy

The Xi’an Business Group in history were actually made of businessmen in stead of entrepreneurs. According to Bai Yongxiu, the Xi’an Business Group has developed a comparatively complete entrepreneurial group ever since the Reform and Opening-up. There have come into being state-owned enterprise groups and private enterprise groups from the perspective of ownership, and enterprises in business, trade, logistics, energy, medicine etc. from the perspective of industries. The rise of the Xi’an Entrepreneurs will greatly benefit Xi’an and Shaanxi in general because they will tamp the foundation of Xi’an economic development, be the backbone power, and guarantee the sustainable development of regional economy.

Xi’an Entrepreneurs Are Weak in Innovation and Marketing Spirit, Which Needs Governmental Cultivation

What kind of spirit should the Xi’an Entrepreneurs have in the Era of Big Xi’an?

According to Bai Yongxiu, the group of Xi’an entrepreneurs should have advanced concepts, lofty ideals, adventurous and innovative spirits and excellent managerial talents, able to make high achievements in the changeable market. Based on the present condition, the group of Xi’an Entrepreneurs are strong in fighting spirit, good faith, and teamwork, but weak in innovation and marketing spirit, which leads to lack of vitality and motive in enterprises.

The government, in reinventing the Xi’an Entrepreneurs, should exert governmental influence and strengthen Xi’an entrepreneurs in concepts, quality and capacity. What the government can do are the following: first, help the entrepreneurs to upgrade their concepts and get rid of agriculture-oriented mentality; second, improve their quality, including that in ideology and business, and the capacity to managing the market economy; third, strengthen training of the younger generation of entrepreneurs; fourth, foster a favorable environment for the development of the group of Xi’an entrepreneurs, including political and social environment.



[Source:from Huashang News]