Business / Companies

PwC takes China's positives into account

By Cai Xiao (China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-04 10:20

China unit chief Raymund Chao is keen to adapt to the new normal of economy

For the past 23 years, Raymund Chao, 54, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Greater China, has been working in the country with the network that offers professional services like auditing, assurance, tax and management consulting. As its leader, he is now keen the company must make a difference to the community.

The seeds of that intent may have been sown in 1992. Just after then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping toured southern China to emphasize economic reforms and liberalization, Chao returned from Canada to Hong Kong, his place of birth and childhood.

"Actually, I was comfortable in Canada and did not plan to come back, until I had a vacation in Hong Kong and found everything had changed so fast. It made me feel that I should be in this part of the world, because in China, there are so many opportunities and I should bring the skills in advance to help contribute to the growth of China," said Chao.

Chao worked for PwC Hong Kong and his first deal was to help a Hong Kong construction enterprise to acquire an asset in southern China. In 1995, he was promoted as a partner.

Chao moved to Beijing to take charge of a unit of the PwC Greater China in late 2002 when the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS was rampant. The Hong Kong-Beijing flight he took was almost empty. Fortunately, the SARS attack didn't last long.

"I didn't know there was going to be SARS when I decided to move to the mainland. The reason for my decision to move to Beijing was very simple. I wanted to grow in my career and contribute my skills to the development of the Chinese economy. That was going to be my future then," said Chao.

He said he has seen a lot of positive changes in the Chinese mainland since his arrival in late 2002.

Back then, he recalled, when he went to buy a car, he was told there was only one color, black, available. "Today, you can buy any color you want. So you can see just within a very short period of time, there's significant development in China."

Chao has done several hundreds of deals for PwC. Being an accountant can be a rewarding career, he said. "I have worked with a lot of companies in different sectors and offered my technical skills to their business. Our work is different every day because our clients need different solutions. And I get a lot of satisfaction by just helping our clients to succeed. I think being an accountant will continue to be a great profession for our young people because they can really learn a lot."

PwC's business in China also grew rapidly partly due to Chao's efforts. When he moved to Beijing, the firm boasted a 3,000-strong staff. Today, their number has risen to 15,000.

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