2019 Confucius China Studies Program – Young Leaders

“Young leaders to China:  Innovation and Entrepreneurship”


With advancements in technology and investment in innovation flourishing around the world, opportunities for young people to create, lead and innovate are greater than ever. Just last year, the Australian Prime Minister and Chinese Premier announced an unprecedented $100 million innovation partnership to establish the first “Torch Innovation Precinct” outside of China at UNSW Sydney which will be a catalyst for innovation, entrepreneurship and cutting edge research.

In 2019, Confucius Institute Headquarters is putting innovation at the top of its agenda and launching the first ever “China Study Tour for Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. Through joint collaboration with the University of International Business and Economics (Business Chinese Resource Development and Promotion Base), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Double Demonstration Base), Hangzhou Normal University (Alibaba Business School) and other institutions, this unique opportunity will give young entrepreneurs the chance to learn from and engage with China’s fast-moving innovation and business culture.

The program will take 40 outstanding participants from Australia and the United States on a tour of China (Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing), featuring:

  • visits to successful star enterprises—especially those related to youth entrepreneurship, the internet and the operation and management of trading enterprises—to observe innovative ideas and culture shaping
  • in-depth exchange with entrepreneurs from Chinese hackerspaces, incubators and chuangke cafes to understand the emergence and development of China's youth entrepreneurship
  • visits to Chinese universities to attend lectures delivered by masters of Chinese commerce, to learn about the processes of globalization and localization, as well as traditional Chinese business culture
  • face-to-face meetings with investors and experts who will draw on their real-world experience to share advanced management concepts and methods

 The “China Study Tour for Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship” aims to help participants not only expand their understanding of China’s entrepreneurial landscape, but to also improve their business intelligence, cross-cultural communication and collaborative skills. The goal is to establish fruitful ties between China and today’s talented young entrepreneurs.

Application Access:

Overview Information

Application Form

Evaluation Form

Program Dates:

2 – 15 July, 2019

Participant Selection Criteria:

  • Non-Chinese citizens residing in Australia or the US, no more than 35 years of age
  • Must be the principal partner/s of the start-up project (in operation for no more than five years); or university students with a mature business plan; or winners of national youth entrepreneurship contests in their respective country.

<<< Note: Projects related to China will be given priority >>>

  • Key start-up areas/fields: Internet +, international trade and business, sharing economy, cultural industry

Submitted projects will be reviewed by a panel of experts assembled by the Confucius Institute.


Trip Locations:

  1. SHANGHAI – Science and Technology Innovation Centre

As an international centre of economy, finance, trade and shipping, Shanghai is also at the forefront of promoting scientific and technological innovation. Implementing innovation-driven development strategy and striving to build a science and technology innovation centre with global influence, the city has more than 300 national, municipal and county-level development zones, industrial parks and high-tech parks.

  1. HANGZHOU – “Internet +” Innovation City

Famous for its West Lake, Hangzhou hosted the 2016 G20 summit and is also the home of e-commerce giant Alibaba. In recent years, the city has rapidly mushroomed in such areas as the Internet of Things (IoT), life sciences and other high-tech companies. In spite of it’s already thriving economy and broader global economic downturn, Hangzhou not only counts itself among the “trillion-dollar GDP club”, but was also ranked first among China’s second-tier cities in GDP growth rate in the first half of 2016..

  1. BEIJING – “China’s Silicon Valley” Zhongguancun

Situated in Beijing’s Haidian District, Zhongguancun is the vibrant technology hub dubbed China’s own Silicon Valley. Attracting some of the nation’s biggest Internet players with its prestigious universities and research facilities, Zhongguancun is China’s leading place for innovation and entrepreneurship. It is home to numerous science and technology companies, big business executives, angel investors and professional service personnel.


Trip Details (specific arrangements TBC):

The program provides pre-trip training for participants to help them set clear learning objectives for the Study Tour and to best achieve success in their business ambitions. They will be required to review and consolidate what they have learned, effectively showcase their ideas and business plans, as well as evaluate their learning experience and give feedback. The advisory group responsible for teaching and guiding participants throughout the Study Tour will be made up of successful entrepreneurs, start-up creators, venture capital experts, university scholars and industry experts.

Shanghai - Foreign Capital Headquarters, Science and Technology Innovation Center

Innovative Entrepreneurship Course

1.    Innovative Transformation from Made in China to “Intelligently” Made in China (Liao Jun, Commercial Director of Celanese Greater China)

2.    Shanghai Innovation and Entrepreneurship Environment

3.    Policy Innovation in International Trade (FTA, Customs)

Chinese Business Culture

Cultural Conflict Management in Multinational Enterprises

Star Enterprise Visit

Celanese (high-end plastics suppliers) / Huawei and Other Representatives of China’s Manufacturing Industry

Shanghai Zizhu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone

Real-World Exchanges

A forum will be held with Enlightenment Star Venture Camp and other innovative business park management to provide participants who intend to enter the Chinese market or engage in trade and entrepreneurship with diagnostic questions.

Hangzhou - "Internet +”  Innovation City

Innovative Entrepreneurship Course

1.    Chinese Characteristics of the "Internet +" Industry

2.    “Internet +” Background of the Internet of Things and Logistics Industry

3.    The "Internet" and Sharing Economy

Star Enterprise Visit

Visit to Alibaba headquarters, Hangzhou’s Dream Town and featured companies of the cross-trade town.

Real-World Exchanges

1.    Face-to-face exchanges with Alibaba officials

2.    Internet +, International Business and Sharing Economy participants to experience and study the cross-trade town

Beijing - Entrepreneurship in China

Innovative Entrepreneurship Course

1.    China's opportunities and challenges in innovation and entrepreneurship (Zhu Hongwei, Investment Director of Qingyun Venture Capital )

2.    Zhongguancun - China's Silicon Valley (Li Yan, Vice President of Zhongguancun Group)

3.    Innovation Strategy and Leadership (Song Guoliang, National Championship Instructor at the 2015 "Internet +" Entrepreneurship Competition)

4.    China's Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Status (Lian Si, author of "Yizu", Professor at the University of Foreign Trade)

5.    Innovation and Development Opportunities in China's Cultural Industry (Kim Wenzhong, Director of Korean and Chinese Cultural Center)

Chinese Business Culture

Chinese Traditional Business Culture and Modern Management

China 's Localized Business Model

Star Enterprise Visit

Zhongguancun National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone- science & technology, business, sharing economy, star enterprise

718 Media Culture Creative Park Cultural Industry Star Enterprise

Real-World Exchanges

The participants of each business project or plan will receive one-on-one mentoring with professional entrepreneurs, as well as in-depth exchange with entrepreneurs behind Chinese business projects of a similar nature.




Students are responsible for international travel (flights), visa application fees and insurance costs.


Expenses in China are covered by the organisers.


Note: At the conclusion of the Study Tour, the organisers will award the 10 best start-ups. As their prize, the participants behind each project will be awarded full reimbursement of their return tickets (economic class).


Application Procedure:

The “China Study Tour for Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship” is open to candidates residing in Australia and the United States. To apply, send a completed Application Form to your nearest Confucius Institute by April 30th 2019:

Overview Information

Application Form

Evaluation Form




As part of your application, you must also upload a 3-minute video to describe your start-up project.

Our panel of experts will select the best applications and accompanying videos, and publish the list of successful participants by May 15th.


Confucius Institute
P.O. Box 114
106 Peck Hall

Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Phone: 615-494-8696


Are you interested in studying in China? Scholarships are available for college students.