在弗雷德蒙德·马利克（Fredmund Malik）看来，这个时间甚至应该是无限的。他是瑞士马利克管理中心董事会主席兼CEO，创建了欧洲圣加仑管理学派。他最重要的成果是“马利克整体管理系统”。彼得·德鲁克（Peter Drucker）称赞他“无论在理论还是实践方面，都是权威性的大师”。
1. Two phrases will be important for 2014:‘productivity growth’ and ‘technological disruption’
China’s labor costs continue to rise by morethan 10 percent a year, land costs are pricing offices out of city centers, thecost of energy and water is growing so much that they may be rationed in somegeographies, and the cost of capital is higher, especially for state-ownedenterprises. Basically, all major input costs are growing, while intensecompetition and, often, overcapacity make it incredibly hard to pass priceincreases onto customers. China’s solution? Higher productivity. Companies willadopt global best practices from wherever they can be found, which explains whyrecent international field trips of Chinese executives have taken on a muchmore serious, substantive tone.
2. CIOs become a hot commodityThis productivity focus will extendbeyond
manufacturing. In agriculture, the pace at which larger farmsemerge should accelerate, spurring mechanization and more efficient irrigationand giving farmers the ability to finance the purchase of higher-quality seeds.Services will also be affected: for companies where labor is now thefastest-growing cost, a sustained edge in productivity may make all thedifference. And in industry after industry, companies will feel the disruptiveimpact of technology, which will help them generate more from less and potentiallyspawn entirely new business models. Consider China’s banking sector, wherebricks-and-mortar scale has been a critical differentiator for the past twodecades. If private bank start-ups were allowed, could we see a digital-onlymodel, offering comprehensive services without high physical costs? WillChinese consumers be willing to bank online? Absolutely—if their willingness toshop online is any guide.
There is a paradox when it comes to technologyin China. On the one hand, the country excels in consumer-oriented techservices and products, and it boasts the world’s largest e-commerce market anda very vibrant Internet and social-media ecosystem. On the other hand, it hasbeen a laggard in applying business technology in an effective way. As one ofour surveys1 recently showed, Chinese companieswidely regard the IT function as strong at helping to run the business, not athelping it to grow. Indeed, simply trying to find the CIO in many Chinesestate-owned enterprises is akin to hunting for a needle in a haystack.
Yet the CIOs’ day is coming. The productivityimperative is making technology a top-team priority for the first time in manyenterprises. Everything is on the table: digitizing existing processes andeliminating labor, reaching consumers directly through the Internet,transforming the supply chain, reinventing the business model. The problem isthat China sorely lacks the business-savvy, technology-capable talent to leadthis effort. Strong CIOs should expect large compensation increases—they arethe key executives in everything from aligning IT and business strategies tobuilding stronger internal IT teams and adopting new technologies, such ascloud computing or big data.
3. The government focuses on jobs, not growth
Expect the Chinese government’s rhetoric andfocus to shift from economic growth to job creation. The paradox of risinginput costs (including wages), the productivity push, and technologicaldisruption is that they collectively undermine job growth, at the very timeChina needs more jobs. Millions and millions of them. While few companies areshifting manufacturing operations out of the country, they are puttingincremental production capacity elsewhere and investing heavily in automation.
For example, Foxconn usually hires the bulk ofits workers for a given 12-month span just after the Chinese New Year. Yet atthe beginning of last year, the company announced that it wouldn’t hire anyentry-level workers, as automation and better employee retention had reducedits needs. Although upswings in the company’s hiring still occur (as with lastyear’s iPhone 5S and 5C release), the gradual rollout of robots will probablyreduce demand for factory workers going forward. In short, manymanufacturers—both multinational and Chinese—are producing more with less.
So as technology enables massive disruptionsin service industries and sales forces, what happens to millions of retail jobswhen sales move online? To millions of insurance sales agents? Millions of bankclerks? Even business-to-business sales folks may find themselves partiallydisintermediated by technology, and rising numbers of graduates will have fewerand fewer jobs that meet their expectations. They will not be happy about thisand may not be passive. Finally, while state-owned enterprises will feelpressure to improve their performance, to use capital more efficiently, and to dealwith market forces, they are likely, at the same time, to face pressure to hireand retain staff they may not really need. The government and the leaders ofthese enterprises have long argued that such jobs are among the most secure.They will find it very hard to declare them expendable.
4. There will be more M&A in logistics
As everyone pushes for greater productivity,logistics is a rich source of potential gains. State-owned enterprises dominatein capital expenditure–intensive logistics, such as shipping, ports, tollroads, rail, and airports; small mom-and-pop entrepreneurs are the norm insegments such as road transportation. This sector costs businesses in China waymore than it should. With upward of $500 billion in annual revenues, logisticsis an industry ripe for massive infusions of capital, operational bestpractices, and consolidation. Driven by the pressure to increase productivity,that’s already happening at a rapid pace in areas such as express delivery,warehousing, and cold chain. Private and foreign participation is increasinglyencouraged in many parts of the sector, and its competitive intensity is likelyto rise.
5. Crumbling buildings get much-needed attention
While China’s flagship buildings arearchitectural wonders built to the highest global standards of quality andenergy efficiency, they are unfortunately the exception, not the rule. Much ofthe residential and office construction in China over the past 30 years usedlow-quality methods, as well as materials that are aging badly. Some cities arereaching a tipping point: clusters of buildings barely 20 years old are visiblydecaying. Many will need to be renovated thoroughly, others to be knocked downand rebuilt. Who will pay for this? What will happen if residential buildingsfilled with private owners who sank their life savings into an apartment nowfind it declining in value and, perhaps, unsellable? Alongside a wave ofreconstruction, prepare for a wave of local protests against developers and, insome cases, local governments too.
6. The country doubles down on high-speed rail
When China inaugurated its high-speed raillines, seven years ago, many observers declared them another infrastructureboondoggle that would never be used at capacity. How wrong they were: dailyridership soared from 250,000 in 2007 to 1.3 million last year, fuelled partlyby aggressive ticket prices. Demand was simply underestimated. Now that trainsrun as often as every 15 minutes on the Shanghai–Nanjing line, business andretail clusters are merging and people are making weekly day-trips rather thanmonthly two-day visits. The turnaround of ideas is faster; market visibility isbetter; and many people come to Shanghai for the day to browse and shop. Thereare already more than 9,000 kilometers (5,592 miles) of operational lines—andthat’s set to double by 2015. If the “market decides” framing of China’s ThirdPlenum applies here, much of the investment should switch from buildingbrand-new lines to increasing capacity on routes that are already provensuccesses.
7. Solar industry survivors flourish
Many solar stocks, while nowhere near theirall-time highs, more than tripled in value in 2013. For the entire industry,and specifically for Chinese players, it was a year of much-needed relief. ByNovember, ten of the Chinese solar-panel manufacturers that lost money in 2012reported third-quarter profits, driven by demand from Japan in the wake of theFukushima disaster. (Japan’s installed capacity quadrupled, from 1.7 gigawattsin 2012 to more than 6 gigawatts by the end of 2013.) Domestic demand alsopicked up as the State Grid Corporation of China allowed some small-scaledistributed solar-power plants to be connected to the grid, while a StateCouncil subsidy program even prompted panel manufacturers to invest in buildingand operating solar farms—an initiative that will ramp up further.
This year is likely to see even strongerdemand. Aided by international organizations, including the World Bank, anincreasing number of developing countries (such as India) regard scaling updistributed power as a way of improving access to electricity. In addition,solar-energy prices continue to fall rapidly, driven down by technologicalinnovations and a focus on operational efficiency. While I’m on green topics, I’llpoint out that the coming months are also likely to see another effort tocreate a real Chinese electric-vehicle market. The push will be centered on thelaunch of the first vehicle from Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology.
8. Mall developers go bankrupt—especially state-owned ones
Shopping malls are losing ground to the onlinemarketplace. While overall retail sales are growing, e-retail sales jumped by50 percent in 2013. Although the rate of growth may slow in 2014, it will besignificant. Yet developers have already announced plans to increase China’sshopping-mall capacity by 50 percent during the next three years. For anindustry that generates a significant portion of its returns from a percentageof the sales of retailers in its malls, this looks rash indeed. If clothing andelectronics stores are pulling back on the number of outlets, what will fillthese malls? Certainly, more restaurants, cinemas, health clinics, and dentaland optical providers. But banks and financial-service advisers are movingonline, as are tutorial and other education services.
I expect malls in weaker locations to sufferdisproportionately. These are often owned by smaller developers that can’tafford better locations or by city-sponsored state-owned developers that areexpanding into new cities. The weak will get weaker, and while they may be ableto consolidate, it’s more likely they will go out of business.
9. The Shanghai Free Trade Zone will be fairly quiet
In early October, there was much speculationabout the size of the opportunity after the State Council issued the OverallPlan for the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), and the Shanghaimunicipality issued its “negative list” of restricted and prohibited projectsjust a few days later at the end of September. For the FTZ, the only change sofar appears to be that companies allowed to invest in it will not have to gothrough an approval process. As for the negative list, while there’s apossibility that Shanghai will ease the limitations, for the moment the listvery much matches the categories for restricted and prohibited projects in thegovernment’s fifth Catalog of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment. Thisambiguous situation gives the authorities, as usual, full freedom to maintainthe status quo or to pursue bolder liberalization in the FTZ in 2014 if theysee a need for a stimulus of some kind. On balance, I’d say this is relativelyunlikely to happen.
10. European soccer teams invest in the Chinese Super League
I know, I know—I’m making exactly the sameprediction I did a year ago. True, Chinese football has battled both corruptionand a lack of long-term vision. It’s also true that the Chinese Super Leaguestill trails Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League in televisionratings. That’s in spite of roping in stars such as Nicolas Anelka and DidierDrogba (who both returned to Europe this year) and even David Beckham (as an“ambassador”).
At least this year some things started toimprove. After all, Guangzhou Evergrande just won Asia’s premier clubcompetition—the AFC Champions League—a year after hiring Italy’s seasoned coachMarcelo Lippi. This international success could be temporary, but there is ashared sense in China that something has to change because there is so muchunderleveraged potential. Maybe Rupert Murdoch’s decision to invest in theIndian football league will precipitate more openness among Chinese footballadministrators? Perhaps the catalyst will be the news that the Qatari investorsin Manchester City also invested in a New York City soccer franchise? An era ofcross-border synergies from the development and branding of sister soccer teamsis coming closer.
Finally, something that’s less a predictionthan a request. Can we declare the end of the “BRICs”? When the acronym cameinto common use, a decade ago, the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India, andChina—contributed roughly 20 percent of global economic growth. Although Chinawas already the heavyweight, it did not yet dominate: in 2004, the countrycontributed 13 percent of global growth in gross domestic product, while Brazil,Russia, and India combined contributed 9 percent, with similar growth rates.Compare that with the experience of the past two years. China accounted for 26percent of global economic growth in 2012 and for 29 percent in 2013. Thecollective share of Brazil, Russia, and India has shrunk to just 7 percent.It’s time to let BRIC sink.
About the author
Gordon Orr isa director in McKinsey’s Shanghai office. For more from him on issues ofrelevance to business leaders in Asia, visit his blog, Gordon’sView, at McKinsey’s Greater China office website.