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Acer Chairman Stan Shih Delivers Keynote on ‘Wangdao – The Way of Business and Transformation’

Surprised by the confidence and energy displayed by the speaker, the audience greeted Stan Shih, Chairman of Acer Inc. and one of the keynote speakers at GMIC Beijing. An outstanding figure in the field of business and a huge believer of Chinese traditional wisdom, Shih delivered his speech themed “Wangdao – The Way of Business and Transformation”.

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Interestingly, the first thought shared by Shih was delivered by the hostess during his introduction: “Mr. Shih believes that sharing is in no way self-destructing, on the contrary, it is a sustainable way of self-developing”. This idea was further emphasized by Shih again in his speech later.

“I would like to explain a little about the name of the company”, Shih began his speech by saying, “Acer Inc. gained its original Chinese name from chess – it literally means playing in an infinite chess game.” According to Shih, this is more than just a coincidence or a word play, because business resembles playing chess magnificently. At the beginning of business, it is extremely important to focus on the details of the game and compete hard. At the same time, however, it is dangerous at anytime to get stuck in any fixed and unchanging field – for those who are not familiar with Chinese chess, these are some fundamental principles of the game.

Shih’s spoke in detail about Wangdao, the Chinese art of management. “Contrary to the western way which emphasizes optimization of profit for each stakeholder, Wangdao requires the players to pursue a win-win outcome.” Shih illustrated Wangdao further with a hexa-aspect value model, in which values are divided into invisible (present) ones and visible (future) ones. “A sustainable development must be a balanced one, but balance is always dynamic and hence difficult to reach.”

Shih encouraged young entrepreneurs to carry out altruism in order to grow their business in the long run. According to Shih, altruism does not necessarily mean a slower development for oneself, since altruism is the cornerstone of a sustainable business.

“My motto is: challenge difficulties, break trough bottlenecks, challenge blind spots and create value” Shih added. “We are serious when we talk about altruism. Acer wants to develop itself by benefiting the whole world.”

Author: Yuanhang (Ellery) Yang

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