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    Around 150 scholars from over 20 universities and professional industry experts attended the ‘2019 China Accounting and Financial Innovation Forum’, which was held at UIC and ran for two days from 18 until 19 October.

    This forum was jointly organised by Frontiers of Business Research in China (FBR), Business School of Renmin University of China (RUC) and UIC. The main focus being covered at the forum was accounting and finance innovation, AI and big data accounting and finance, corporate investment and R&D, FinTech, green economy, private equity as well as technology and corporate sustainability.


    Special guests at the opening of ‘2019 China Accounting and Financial Innovation Forum’

    FBR is a China’s leading quarterly English academic journal in business research, hosted by RUC Business School, co-published by Springer-Nature and the Higher Education Press of China.

    The co-chairs for the forum were Prof Steven Wang Shuye from RUC and UIC’s Dean of Division of Business and Management (DBM) Prof Stella Cho.

    Through the forum there were six keynote speeches and several concurrent sessions where 34 papers were presented. Over 20 papers were submitted by UIC's staff and students. Also, the guests took a half-day field trip to Hengqin Industrial Development District and Gree Electric Appliances Inc.

    Supporting organisations of the forum included the Zhuhai Outstanding Discipline Project funded by Zhuhai Education Bureau, as well as the Finance Department of Business School in RUC. The forum was also sponsored by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Gree Electric Appliances Inc., Zhuhai and CPA Australia.

    Awards Presentation

    An award ceremony was held on the evening of 18 October where the FBR Best Finance Paper Award was given to ‘Does Reputation of Sponsors Matter in IPO? Evidence from Hong Kong’ by Dr Wilson H.S. Tong (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) and Dr Michael B.T. Wong (Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute).


    Wilson H.S. Tong (3rd left) and Michael B.T. Wong (2nd left) receiving FBR Best Finance Paper Award from Prof Steven Wang Shuye (1st left) and Prof Stella Cho (4th left)

    The recipients of the FBR Best Practical Research Paper Award were Jian Huang (2019 Finance graduate of UIC), Dr Junyi Chai (Assistant Professor of DBM) and Prof Stella Cho for their paper ‘A Survey of Deep Learning in Finance and Banking’.

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    Jian Huang, Dr Junyi Chai and Prof Stella Cho receiving FBR Best Practical Research Paper Award

    Dr Huiwen Lai (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) and Dr Eric C.Y. Ng (Hong Kong Baptist University) were awarded the FBR Best Economics Paper Award for their paper ‘Predicting Recessions Using a Flexible and Inclusive Modelling Approach’.


     Presenting FBR Best Economics Paper Award

    "Platform for knowledge exchange"

    The forum began when UIC’s Vice President (Students and General Affairs) Prof Zhang Cong gave a welcoming speech during the opening ceremony. “Besides placing high importance on the quality of teaching, UIC also encourages and supports research efforts by its teaching faculty." He mentioned how he believes the forum will provide an excellent platform for knowledge exchange between UIC’s teaching faculty and the invited international scholars.

    President ZHANG Cong

    Prof Zhang Cong giving a welcome speech

    Co–chair Prof Steven Wang then took to the stage and thanked everyone for their support. He explained “The rapid development of AI, Big-data, FinTech, and other accounting and financial innovations have generally changed the models of business operation and management, as well as the related academic research.” He mentioned that this forum aims to provide scholars, professional practitioners, and entrepreneurs a great venue to exchange their newest research ideas and experiences in practice, to promote further development and research in these areas.

    Prof WANG Shuye

    Prof Steven Wang speaks about the rapid development of accounting and financial innovations

    Prof Stella Cho was invited to give a speech where she explained that the rapid advancements in digital technology have presented both challenges and opportunities to individuals and organisations worldwide, bringing unprecedented transformation of the business models that rely increasingly on data analytical tools and machine automation. "The accounting and finance research on this new stream of development in still lacking. We hope this forum will provide an invaluable platform for fostering more research interests and ideas in these topics," she added.

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    Prof Stella Cho calls for more accounting and finance research on this new stream of development

    Prof Cho ended her speech by extending her heartfelt thanks to the sponsors, the keynote speakers, the honourable guests, the paper contributors, the attendees, and members of the forum programme committee that had made this forum possible.

    A souvenir exchange between UIC and RUC took place, which was followed by a souvenir presentation to the keynote speakers and sponsors. After that, there was a photo taking session before moving onto the presentations of the keynote speakers.

    Keynote speeches

    The first keynote speech was given by Prof James Ohlson, a professor at the School of Accounting and Finance at the Hong Kong Polytech University (HKPU). His topic was titled ‘Sustainable Accounting Research: What has gone wrong and what we need to do?’. During his talk he addressed the pros and cons of current accounting research and started with, “What are we actually doing when we research, more than half of papers and research arrive at false conclusions.” His talked ended with an uplifting word of advice, “never underestimate the power and value of investing in skills and gaining knowledge.”

    Keynote Speaker 1

    Prof James Ohlson talking about current accounting research

    The President the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants Mr Patrick Law was another keynote speaker at this forum. He discussed the future of the accounting profession in the digital economy. After giving a little history about the four industrial revolutions he said, “The digital economy is changing the role of accountants and creating opportunities for the profession,” continuing “technology is the key part in transforming the role of accountants.”

    Keynote Speaker 2

    Mr Patrick Law discussing the future of the accounting profession

    Prof Xuan Tian of the PBC School of Finance at Tsinghua University gave a presentation about the ‘Frontiers on Corporate Finance Research’. Prof Tian talked about what motivates innovation and went into details about different academic papers and journals he has written regarding this subject. “There is great risk involved in innovation”, he said before explaining that there has been a skyrocket in academic journals recently.

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    Prof Xuan Tian talking about what motivates innovation

    Finishing off the morning session was Prof Wilson Tong, a professor of Finance from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His topic of conversation was ‘Social Trust and Firm Innovation’. He talked about how there has been extensive literature on formal institutions but not much on informal institutions. He shared that innovation is just as important as trust in the business world. “Lower bilateral trust between two countries lead to less trade, less portfolio investment and less direct investment,” said Tong.

    Keynote Speaker 4 1

    Prof Wilson Tong explaining how innovation is just as important as trust in the business world

    The afternoon session began with Vice-President and Chief Data Scientist of PPDai, Mr Chen Lei. He delivered a speech titled ‘AI and Finance: Technology Makes a Better Finance’. Mr Chen mentioned that as a rapidly-growing financial technology company, PPDai focused on improving the efficiency of financial businesses such as providing more accurate risk evaluations by big data and artificial intelligence (AI), and as a result, approaching a better user experience. The key point of Chen's speech was to introduce the capturing, storing, calculating, exploring and deciding services of PPDai.

    Keynote Speaker 5 by WANG Xi Y2 IJ

    Mr Chen Lei talking about technology used in finance

    Mr Chen concluded his speech by saying “We are now at the age of digital technology. Although we still have a long way to go to approach the age of artificial intelligence, we can predict how AI-related technology will be widely-used in the future." He hopes that young people can see farther, think deeper, and make financial technology warmer and more efficient in the future.”

    Professor of Finance at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Prof Xiuping Hua gave a detailed and lively talk that was titled ‘Business on Chain: A Comparative Case study of Five Blockchain-Inspired Business Models’. She began by introducing and explaining what is blockchain and the impact of blockchain in business models, which was then followed by her recent research.

    Keynote Speaker 6 by WANG Xi Y2 IJ

    Prof Xiuping Hua speaking about her blockchain research

    Prof Xiuping had looked at different case analysis of various companies that had implemented a blockchain system. However, each of the five companies had implemented a different inspired Blockchain-inspired business models. She gave different insights into value creation logic, value capturing mechanism, and the challenges that could threaten the longer-term viability.

    Several concurrent sessions took place from 18 until the 19 October where around 150 scholars and professional industry experts participated. The sessions ranged from topics such as artificial intelligence, big data, stock valuation, FinTech, corporate sustainability, green economy and more.


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    Concurrent sessions took place over two days

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    Visiting Gree Electric Appliances Inc.

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    A visit to Hengqin Industrial Development District


    Reporters: Samuel Burgess, Lauren Richardson, Wang Xi (Y2 IJ)
    Photographers: Ivy Liao, Covee Wang, Samuel Burgess, Lauren Richardson,
    Liang Xiaolan (Y2 PRA), Lin Jiahan (Y2 IJ), Wen Diya (Y2 ACCT)
    Editor: Deen He
    (from MPRO)