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Rise seen in children joining family firms

By Zhao Qian (Global Times)

08:41, September 04, 2012

Seven percent of "second-generation" children of Chinese entrepreneurs have succeeded their parents to take over the family business, 2.4 percentage points higher than last year, according to a survey launched by Forbes China magazine Monday.

Among the 684 Chinese family-owned firms listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share stock markets, the chairmen of 45 firms are second-generation successors and 276 companies are managed by the first- and second-generation businessmen together, according to the survey.

It shows that more young Chinese people are choosing to join the enterprises started by their parents, but analysts are concerned that the second generation will face more severe challenges.

"They may have studied very hard, but they still lack management experience," Lu Dongbin, a professor at the School of Business at Renmin University of China, who teaches managers including second-generation businessmen, told the Global Times.

"They are facing a quite different commercial environment from their parents, so they need not only to succeed but also to adapt their business models," Lu said.

A survey by Antai College of Economics & Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University published earlier this year found that it is still difficult for first-generation entrepreneurs to find successors.

Among the children of 182 leading private business founders, only 18 percent said they would be willing to join the family business, while 82 percent said they were reluctant to do so, the survey said.

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