An Exploration of HSEs in Shanghai China

An Exploration of HSEs in Shanghai China


HOSP509 Hospitable Social Enterprise




Shanghai is a city and province in East-Central China. It harbors one of the largest seaports in the world and boasts of a major commercial and industrial centre in China. The city sits precisely on the Coast of the East China Sea and in between the Hangzhou bay to the south and the Yangtze River to the North. My exact location is the city, which makes up the municipality area, and the local suburbs. The city is the most populated in China with more than 27 million residents as of 2020 (Macrotrends, 2021). Due to its position and location, the city is well placed as an industry and trade centre. It has dominated the Chinese commerce for a long period due to these factors. As the population increases, the demand for local goods and services also increases leading to a growth of a very stable local economy that is unrivaled in China. Today, Shanghai is the most influential financial, cultural, international trade, and economic centre in China.

An Assessment of how the Lack of Chinese Government Support on the Social Aspect Necessitates HSE in Shanghai

The larger Chinese government, as well as its representation in the local municipality in Shanghai, has been supportive of a number of industries and sectors such as industrialization, exports, and setting the price for wages and commodities. The government is involved wholly in setting up the distribution of funds and prescribing targets for major enterprises and the energy sector. However, due to this involvement, social welfare has remained unsupported. Individuals outside the government-controlled sectors are without support from formal government units. While the control of the economy has been effective and has led the country to higher economic heights, the social aspect has deteriorated, requiring a need for hospitable social enterprises (HSEs) in Shanghai municipality. Even as HSEs emerge, the role of government is still very unclear and non-existent in supporting their initiatives. The government does not formally recognize social enterprises in Shanghai because the framework HSEs use and operate is defined by Wang, Alon, & Kimble (2015) as ambiguous. While the national Chinese government and the local Shanghai administration has significant influence on policy formulation at the local level, social enterprises have not received the type of support that would see the thrive in an economy that has so much to offer. At the moment, the Chinese government neither restricts or does it push for the acceptance of social enterprises. However, there is a slow movement towards collaborative efforts with social enterprises as seen in the local 12th Five-Year Plan. Still, there is a notable lack of policy that gives clear guidelines and a regulatory framework for HSEs in China and in Shanghai in particular.

Discussion of Shanghai HSEs

One of the most important HSEs in Shanghai is the Cordis Shanghai a constituent member of the Langham Hospitality Group. The organization is set in the heart of the city and sits right in the midst of the local Shanghai community in Hongqiao. Through its program, Connect, Cordis recognizes the potential effect of businesses on the local community and the environment (Cordis Hotels, 2021). Therefore, Connect is the sustainability programme that is set up to address and manage all issues and initiatives related to the protection of the local community as well as any ecological-driven initiatives. Connect focuses on the major areas of the Shanghai community that includes governance, the community, the environment, and the welfare of the entire area. The Cordis uses its Connect programme to create awareness relating to environmental issues and sustainability and also provides support to local initiatives that focus on the same. Specifically, the programme participates in the energy and water management sector through educational programmes to the local community and funding other domestic firms with the same agenda. Cordis uses an altruism funding model where the benefit of others in its society is of no concern to its other business objectives (Cordis Hotels, 2021). The target group for the company can be divided into three: the local community, firms operating in the energy and water management sector, and individuals championing change in the local community through activism relating to environmental change. A section of the company’s profits are dedicated towards such initiatives. The organization is entirely committee to the continued improvement of the local community including the environment and social sustainability performance. Some of the sustainability issues that it faces include the funding model that depends on how other sectors of the business performs (Cordis Hotels, 2021). Despite being a for-profit organization, Cordis has turned out to be one of the most effective social enterprises in the Shanghai region, bringing about awareness and change relating to how the local community views issues of environmental friendliness and sustainability concerns in the use of energy and water.

La Ruche Shanghai is another thriving social enterprise at the heart of the city. The aim and purpose of La Ruche is to create a link and to promote networking opportunities for French-Speaking women within Shanghai so as to ensure their participation in various forms of professional development in a variety of fields and sectors. The overall aim is to see French-Speaking women in Shanghai get a voice and create a united front to stay ahead of the competition (La Ruche Shanghai, 2021). The target market for the organization is strictly limited to French-Speaking women in Shanghai. Their funding model is individualized, with a reliance on well-wishers and proceeds from the many events and activities that the organization hosts. By targeting French-Speaking women, La Ruche creates awareness, connects women from different walks of life, helps in the learning and sharing of professional development, and particularly helps young women in the Shanghai market to navigate the intricate labour market. The firm is keen on developing skills and allowing French-Speaking women to benefit from exchanges and benefits of a network that specifically promotes professional development. However, the organization faces some sustainability issues including limited funding and an operating model that can be termed as discriminatory in the modern world. Therefore, funding is limited and social inclusiveness may not necessarily be attained.


Cordis Hotels. (2021). Available at

La Ruche Shanghai (2021). Available at

Shanghai, China metro area population 1950-2021. (n.d). MacroTrends| The Long perspective on


Wang, H., Alon, I., & Kimble, C. (2015). Dialogue in the dark: Shedding light on the

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