Learn More About Meg Rithmire
As businesses become more interconnected, understanding China isn’t just a nice-to-have—it’s imperative for becoming a global player. Yet many organizations remain unaware of the effects China’s intricate economy has on trade today and are unprepared for the impact it will have on the future.
“You need a theory on China,” asserts award-winning Harvard Business School Professor Meg Rithmire. “Whether you’re a financial services group that only passively invests in China, or if you’re a university that engages Chinese students, or if you’re manufacturing anything from cat food to quantum chips – if you want to be successful, you need to have a theory of where China comes from, where it’s going and how people in the party-state think.”
A leading expert on the reform and expansion of Chinese capitalism and its interaction with the rest of the world, Rithmire offers leaders vital knowledge about the multifaceted intertwining of politics, the economy and international affairs in the global market. Using a variety of sources, including survey data and quotes from notable people, Rithmire examines what misconceptions China and the U.S. have about the other, the “unmovable” parts of the relationship and the things that can be changed, and reveals what part leaders can play in it. Fluent in Mandarin, Rithmire holds seats on the editorial boards at China Quarterly and the China Journal. Her work contextualizes her projections of where China will be in 10 years, its interactions with other critical regions including the Middle East, India and Pakistan, and the potential paths this power player may take.
Rithmire’s profound understanding of China’s state-powered economic system equips businesses with the necessary context to navigate the changing landscapes of international commerce.
A Fresh Look at a Complex Global Dance
Winner of the 2015 and 2023 Faculty Teaching Award at Harvard Business School, Rithmire makes the challenges and opportunities presented by ever-shifting policy changes feel exciting and fresh. She brings practical solutions that empower leaders with confidence as they pilot regulatory transformations, helping them make informed strategic decisions that improve their agility in the global trade arena.
Author of several books, Rithmire delves further into the political-business dynamics of rapidly developing Asian economies in her newest work, “Precarious Ties: Business and the State in Authoritarian Asia” (Oxford University Press, September 2023). In this essential overview, she examines the evolution of these ties in Indonesia, Malaysia and China, presenting invaluable insights for businesses operating in or with these regions. A must-read for anyone performing on this stage, she vividly illustrates that when working with these countries, success goes beyond understanding just economics – it’s about the complex interplay of power and policy.
Understanding the Nuances of China’s Economic Framework
“The future of U.S. and Chinese competition isn’t just about GDP numbers or trade wars. It’s about grasping the subtleties of its history, governance and aspirations,” Rithmire explains.
Visibly propelled by a relentless passion for China, its people and its past, she ventures under the hood of its operations, focusing keenly on the pivotal role of local governments and their cascading effects on global economics. Leaders under her guidance not only comprehend China’s economic maneuvers but develop a strategic worldview that enables them to approach an uncertain future with calmness and clarity.
More than a China expert, Rithmire offers leaders a bridge between misconceptions and clarity and between hesitation and informed decision-making. With her guidance, leaders don’t just learn about China – they learn how to think about China. As global economies become more intertwined and the relationship between China and the rest of the world continues to evolve, Rithmire’s direction isn’t just beneficial – it’s indispensable.
Meg Rithmire is the F. Warren MacFarlan associate professor in the Business, Government and International Economy Unit. She holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, and her primary expertise is in the comparative political economy of development with a focus on China and Asia.
Her first book, “Land Bargains and Chinese Capitalism” (Cambridge University Press, 2015), examines the role of land politics, real estate and public finance in the Chinese economic reforms. Her new book, “Precarious Ties: Business and the State in Authoritarian Asia,” (Oxford University Press, September 2023), investigates the relationship between capital, the state and globalization in Asia, comparing China, Malaysia and Indonesia from the early 1980s to the present. The book further examines how governments attempt to discipline business and, second, how business adapts to different methods of state control. Her work also focuses on China’s role in the world, including Chinese outward investment and lending practices and economic relations between China and other countries, especially the U.S.
Rithmire is a faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies at Harvard and the Harvard Faculty Committee on Southeast Asia. In 2022, she joined the editorial board of The China Quarterly. In 2015 and 2023, she won the Faculty Teaching Award in the Required Curriculum.
Meg Rithmire is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
Harvard Business School professor and author of “Precarious Ties: Business and the State in Authoritarian Asia” (Oxford University Press, September 2023), Meg Rithmire, offers organizations, leaders and teams invaluable insights into China’s economic landscape. Leveraging her in-depth knowledge and position on the editorial board of China Quarterly, Rithmire crafts tailored advisory sessions for businesses eager to navigate China’s intricate political and economic realms. Whether virtually or in-person, her guidance transforms businesses’ understanding, enabling them to make informed decisions in a globally interconnected market. Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
- Crafting a Future-Ready Strategy on China: Understanding China’s influence and ripple effects on global trade.
- Deciphering the Dynamics of US-China Relations: Anticipating shifts and comprehending policies for strategic advantage.
- Demystifying China: Dissecting misconceptions and equipping businesses with a nuanced understanding of China’s global intentions and actions.
- State-Business Relations in Authoritarian Asia: Delving deep into the economic and political ties in countries like China, Indonesia and Malaysia, and understanding their implications for international business operations.
- Mastering the Play of Power, Policy, and Profit: A look into how understanding the intricacies of politics can give businesses an edge in their operations in or with Asian economies.