Bridge to China

Facilitating cross-border exchanges

Seven people of Chinese origin sitting around a table, talking.
Shuhong Ye, MBA 05 (shown right, in Cal hat), meeting with Haas students in January 2020. Ye has given generously to support Haas undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students as well as faculty.

Yunbo Liu, PhD 23, had his sights set on Berkeley Haas since his undergraduate days at Peking University studying under alumna Qiaowei Shen, PhD 08. Liu was particularly eager to work with the real estate faculty. “At Haas I have the opportunity to do research with the best people in my field,” he says. But traveling so far for school is a costly endeavor, and Liu is just grateful that funding was available to him. “The fellowship protects us so we have the freedom to focus on our work and prepare for the job market,” he says.

Now, a generous gift from Shuhong Ye, MBA 05, will support the brightest minds from China with the establishment of the China PhD Fellowship Fund.

Ye earned his Berkeley MBA while working as an engineer in Silicon Valley and says he utilized what he learned at Haas when he co-founded Dianping, China’s version of Yelp. Since then, he’s paid his gratitude forward. He was a founding board member and donor to Berkeley’s Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology program for undergraduates. He made a large gift in support of the school’s faculty, and he regularly donates to Haas’ Big Give effort to support Dean Ann Harrison’s initiatives.

As the son of academics, Ye is keenly aware of the importance of education. “The PhD program is important to keep up our research and teaching quality,” says Ye, noting that Haas PhD fellowships average about $10,000 less than other top-tier programs. He hopes his gift will encourage others to donate to the fund.

Marketing researcher Fan Zhang, PhD 23, says that without her fellowship from Haas, moving from China to study would have been impossible. “China is still a developing country, but there are many talented candidates who have a passion for academics and research,” she says. “It would be a pity if money was the only thing stopping them from coming to Haas.”