1955 Capital founder, Andrew Chung, Speaks on COVID-19 Challenges to the Chinese American CPA Association

Recently, the Chinese American CPA Association invited Andrew Chung to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and its many challenges. Chung, the founder and managing partner of 1955 Capital, provided remarks helpful to listeners both in China and the United States. The talks covered everything from health concerns to business strategies as related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Chung

Speaking on Business Issues Related to Pandemics

This isn’t the first time that Andrew Chung has been asked to speak about business issues related to a health pandemic. Previously, he has given media appearances and lectures about the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, some of which he based on his personal experience with the SARS outbreak of the early 2000s.

As Chung explained in an interview leading up to these particular lectures, “Having lived in greater China and advised companies during the 2002–04 SARS outbreak, I know firsthand how a pandemic can dramatically slow down businesses and force a significant rethinking of business strategies.”

During the SARS outbreak, Chung served as a consultant for a number of Chinese businesses. He acquired an appreciation for the cutbacks that sometimes must occur during a pandemic. However, he also realized that as a result of that same disruption in business activities, many businesses can realize opportunities to innovate, and as a result, grow their market share.

Bringing a Worldwide Perspective to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Part of why Andrew Chung’s comments are so insightful is because he brings a global perspective to the issue. Chung doesn’t work in just one country; instead, his professional career has involved the successful introduction of technologies from Western countries into the developing world.

Chung is best-known for his investments in climate tech. When working at Khosla Ventures, he managed a portfolio of investments totaling over $500 million, and his own 1955 Capital firm maintains a significant presence in environmental technology. Additionally, 1955 Capital holds investments in agriculture, food and energy companies.

1955 Capital also invests in educational and health care companies that use innovation in a similar manner to create new opportunities in the developing world.

Chung’s experience in bringing cutting-edge technologies to these developing regions gives him a worldwide perspective on business. He’s long used that perspective to succeed in his personal business ventures, but it’s also now proving useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chung doesn’t speak on COVID-19 from the limitations of the perspective of just one country; instead, he has a universal viewpoint.

Appreciating American and Chinese Cultures

In addition to a broad worldwide outlook, Andrew Chung has a particular appreciation for both Chinese and American cultures. Working at his parents’ Chinese restaurant as a child and graduating from Harvard gave him firsthand experience with both cultures, and he’s long navigated the two worlds successfully. In many ways, his ability to function at a high level in both cultures has been beneficial when promoting technological investments in the developing world.

Chung’s bicultural experience make him especially well-qualified to speak to the Chinese American CPA Association. Being a Chinese American, he’s uniquely positioned to speak to the obstacles that other Chinese Americans face on a personal basis. In his remarks, this background was evident when he specifically addressed tax-mitigation strategies for immigrating into and studying abroad in the U.S.

Speaking to a Global Audience

Andrew Chung’s lectures were done virtually with an audience that extends far beyond those assembled in the live audience. Since the talks were made available online, many people streamed them live in real time.

The Los Angeles area media covered the talks in depth. This comes as no surprise since Los Angeles has a fairly large Chinese population, and the talks occurred at a manageable time difference. Nonetheless, Chung’s talks reach far beyond the four walls of the assembly. Audience members tuned in from many other locations across the world as well.

Since the talks received a global audience, he spoke in English despite the Chinese physical location. This ensured that the lectures were accessible to as many Chinese Americans and others as possible.

Covering Many Different Topics Related to COVID-19

During these lectures, Andrew Chung covered many different topics related to COVID-19. He discussed these topics previously in a limited capacity in other settings.

First, Chung examined the various challenges that businesses face during this time. Chung’s viewpoint is that businesses must take cost-reducing measures while seeking opportunities to innovate. Once the pandemic subsides, those businesses that can reduce expenses and innovate for the future at the same time will be well-positioned for growth.

Secondly, Chung spoke of his experience with the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2. With his awareness of the situation in both the United States and China, audience members found his informed perspective helpful in considering how the two countries continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, these comments came as medical professionals continue to make regular advances in research.

Thirdly, in a related area, Chung discussed the measures students can take to protect themselves during the coming academic year. From international travel to personal protective equipment, students have multiple issues to navigate.

Guiding Businesses and Students Through COVID-19

Andrew Chung’s comments to the association were helpful to both businesses and students. Through these and other lectures, Chung has expanded his influence beyond 1955 Capital and established himself as a fixture in the Chinese American business world.

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