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"Education breeds Confidence", with Tim Lyons, CEO, Manage China -Qurious China Episode 4

Updated: Jul 9, 2018

"Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace." As the ancient Confucius saying goes, education certainly comes as a primary concern for many Chinese people.

According to Deloitte's trends on the #Chinese #education market, it is projected that "the size of Chinese education market is expected to grow from 1.6 trillion yuan in 2015 to 2.9 trillion yuan by 2020."[1]

In this episode, I was lucky to pick Tim's brains, who has had an extensive Chinese experience over the past 16 years, especially in the education sector, from K-12 to Higher Education, where Tim specialises in.

Tim Lyons is the CEO of Manage China, a Shanghai and Hangzhou - based advisory and business process management consultancy specialising in assisting foreign companies with a small China footprint to manage their market entry and/or day-to-day compliance/management requirements in China. They also recently just launched a new subsidiary Manage Educational targeting specifically the education sector to help foreign investors navigate this complex and "restricted" area. Tim is also currently the Chair of the Education Committee for AustCham Shanghai. Feel free to reach out to Tim on any of those websites mentioned above.

Tim has lived and worked across Asia, including Mainland China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan for the past 16 years. He has also managed to maintain visiting and adjunct positions in business schools in all of those locations for more than 20 years.  In fact, he started his 'academic life' as a full-time lecturer at Monash University's Faculty of Business and Economics nearly 25 years ago.

Tim and I have discussed on the regulations and policies in what's been categorised as a "restricted" sector - in this case Education for foreign investors and what businesses need to be particularly aware of accessing the market.

When asked about common misconception, Tim shared two mistakes that he's observed from "almost all businesses" that'd make when it comes to doing business in China.

Last but not least, Tim shared his view on up and coming trends only few people ever scrutinise.

If you like this podcast, I'd encourage you to subscribe for updates and leave your comments and feedback below. Feel free to share this with anyone that you think may be interested.

You may also like to check out my previous podcasts here.

[1] Lu, Charlotte, Trends in the Chinese Education Industry, Deloitte Website, []

Show Notes:

2:26 - Tim's China Story

5:50 - Biggest change over the past decade or more in Tim's view as a seasoned expat in China

7:48 - Quick intro to what Tim's doing at the moment

10:19 - Who are the players on the market in the education sector and examples?

12:45 - How does Australian education compete in the Chinese market?

15:28 - Chinese middle class' perception of the Australian education

17:15 - Things foreign businesses need to be aware of accessing the market

21:10 - Different types of restrictions

22:58 - Two common mistakes Tim's observed that almost all businesses make

29:01 - Does starting business in non first - tiered cities cost less?

31:30 - Any difference in perception of foreign education from different parts of China?

34:05 - Opportunities for non-education providers who want to access the Chinese education market

37:30 - Do I have to be in China to operate? Can I go online?

39:50 - Tim's observation of upcoming trends in the education sector

42:38 - What opportunities are there in future and what can the businesses prepare?

44:37 - Upcoming plans for Tim

45:50 - Reaching out to Tim

What's mentioned and extended reading:

Haileybury - International School in Tianjin

Caulfield Grammar School - Nanjing



Box Hill Institute


Sydney University China Campus

SEU Monash University

Austrade China Country Profile - Education Sector

Political play in the education sector?

Group of Eight

Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment

WFOE (mostly pronounced as WOFE)

Gao Kao

Xi'an Jiao Tong - Liverpool University

Chinese Cybersecurity Law - see KPMG's overview here and its immediate impact


Zhejiang University

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