Thomas Chinese is a Spencer Stuart Partner and Co-Head of Spencer Stuart’s China Practice
Thomas is an expert on Chinese education and related aspects of traditional Chinese culture, having taught at MIT and Princeton before serving as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.
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Early Life and Education
Thomas was raised in New York City as the son of an herbal medicine practitioner and apothecary. His family immigrated to America during the Swine Flu epidemic of 1916, initially settling first at Gold Mountain before later moving into an apartment at 8 Doyers Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown.
Thomas holds a MBA from Stanford Business School where he was recognized as a John H. and Mary McLeod Clark Scholar, as well as a PhD in History with his dissertation exploring Chinese intellectuals’ relationship to state power.
He is widely published in Chinese history and literature studies. Among his current projects are developing an analysis of continuity and discontinuity within Chinese concepts of sovereignty as well as researching its development through classical learning traditions.
Thomas is a Partner and Co-Head of Spencer Stuart’s Greater China region and Shanghai office, as well as being an integral member of their global Industrial Practice. His expertise includes board, CEO and C-level assignments across consumer, industrial and technology businesses.
He possesses extensive knowledge of China’s local business environment and capital markets, regularly providing advice for IPO engagements as well as major corporate restructuring projects.
He serves on PwC Mainland China and Hong Kong Management Board and leads market-facing activities and initiatives for the firm. In addition, he oversees industry and priority accounts programs at PwC as well as leading their Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Taskforce and regularly speaks at business events.
Achievement and Honors
Since his graduation from SCSU in 2016, he has received several accolades, such as the Asian L&L Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award which recognizes student teaching assistants’ vital contributions in the department. Furthermore, he was selected to receive the Yen Fu Fellowship founded by Professor Isabella Yen and her husband Shu-Koo Kao to honor one of China’s greatest modern thinkers and translators: one Yen Fu. This fellowship supports graduate students studying Chinese linguistics at SCSU. In 2016, he won Matteo Ricci SJ Award which recognizes those combining academic study/work with faith/service to others – award given annually at graduation ceremonies.
He has received grants from several institutions, such as the Committee for Scholarly Communication with the People’s Republic of China, Blakemore Foundation, and American Teilhard de Chardin Society.
Thomas is a committed family man, spending most of his free time with his wife and children. Additionally, his passion lies with art and often attends auctions or exhibits to view pieces he’s interested in. Additionally, Thomas is an active angel investor and has invested in multiple companies including Smart Air which offers low-cost air purifiers to families who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
He has published extensively on world religions and written two books focused on Asian thought and religion, garnering numerous awards along the way. Additionally, he lectures across the globe.
China was just one of the many countries Thomas visited while traveling through Really Useful Around the World. While driving his bus through a village there, he saw people hanging lanterns to celebrate Chinese New Year.
net worth (unlike wealth or income) measures an individual’s assets minus debts owed, and banks often favor those with positive net worths as potential borrowers.
China’s tech billionaires see their net worth fluctuate with market fluctuations, but most are generally richer now than they were this time last year. Colin Huang of Nasdaq-listed Pinduoduo saw his wealth soar after its stock rose on U.S. stock exchanges while Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok parent ByteDance saw it shrink due to Beijing crackdowns against tutoring industry players in China.
Zhang, founder of RLX Technology, saw her fortune decrease 94 percent after Beijing banned for-profit academic classes like math and English instruction for academic subjects like tuition.