Professor Xiaoning Cao (Prof. Cao), Chairman of the Board, Huaxia Credit and Chairman of Huaxia D&B China.
Grab a latte and pull up a chair and join us for a great interview with Professor Xiaoning Cao (Prof. Cao), Chairman of the Board, Huaxia Credit and Chairman of Huaxia D&B China.
Before beginning in the background screening industry, Prof. Cao was a member of the “China Think Tank” during the time period in the early 80’s when Mr. Deng Xiaoping was directing China through structural reform.
Prof. Cao successively served at the Rural Policy Research Office of the Secretariat of CPC, State Committee for Economic Structure Reform and Ministry of Commerce. His positions included serving as the Vice Division Head, Division Head and Deputy Bureau Director from 1982 to 1993. In 1988 and 1989 he had the privilege of becoming a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago. Prof. Cao resigned from the government in 1993, during the period China’s economic structure was gradually transforming from being centrally planned to a free market economy. He recognized there was an urgent market need for a credit reporting agency and established Huaxia Credit.
In conversations with Mr. Barry Connelly, the former president of CDIA, Prof. Cao was convinced of the need for a background screening firm in China and decided to travel to the United States to learn more about the background screening business. Unfortunately, his travel to the U.S. occurred on 9/11 when the terrorist attack occurred. Prof. Caos United Airlines flight was diverted to Yellow Knife, Canada, where the crew and passengers were housed for three days until commercial airlines were allowed to fly again.
Larry Chesebro hosted Prof. Cao for three days when he entered the United States via Seattle. Larry, the founder of the Phenix Group, a background checking company based in Seattle, told him: Xiaoning, you have physically experienced how important background checks are to national security and to company safety! Prof. Cao still remembers what his friend told him. From that visit, the background checking business was born in China.
This horrific event strengthened his determination to start the background check business. Huaxia Credit became the first professional background check company in China.
ChoicePoint was their first partner. Prof. Cao enjoys and is appreciative of the ability to provide his expert professional advice to the Chinese government regarding the implementation of a fair and legally binding business environment. It is essential for the CRA industry to operate and develop in. He and his team also like to share their working experiences and legislative advice to their partners and international CRA community.
Huaxia Credit is the largest credit information provider in China, owning five business lines: Business and Consumer Reporting, Collection, Direct Marketing and Education. In 2006, Huaxia Credit and Dun & Bradstreet jointly established Huaxia D&B China. In 2007, Huaxia Credit and CRIF formed a joint venture, Huaxia CRIF.
Prof. Cao stated a primary focus for Huaxia Credit is to provide continuing leadership in Chinas Information Industry. Future plans include adding Huaxia D&B information into the Huaxia Credit background check report.
He explained that adding this additional information to the background check report will help educate U.S. and international firms who may have little knowledge of Chinese companies. This information will provide international firms where an applicant might apply, with information about companies within China that previously employed this applicant, i.e. company size, location, and age of the company.
He added that as China’s premier background checking provider, Huaxia Credit will continue to innovate and provide superb, professional products and service to each of their domestic and global clients. Huaxia Credit is a Chinese company and has joint venture companies with both American and Italian companies.
Prof. Cao emphasized the company not only respects and adheres to Chinese regulations, but also American and Italian laws as it serves its multinational and global clients. He referenced the new Regulation on the Administration of Credit Reporting Industry (Abbr. Regulation) which includes new rules governing consumer credit reporting agencies and strict privacy protections.
He deliberated when asked about the future he sees for the background screening industry and said, “I don’t need to look into a crystal ball to see the future for pre-employment reports, because as I open my eyes every morning I find the world rapidly transforming.” He added, he believes the background screening industry will continue to use more business credit information as an additional aid in the background checking process.
Prof. Cao added he is an avid reader and reads at least two books each month. A recent book he read was A Brief History of Tomorrow. He has a keen interest in economics, management, sociology, and cutting-edge technology.
Speaking of history, the persons he would most like to meet are his parents who unfortunately have passed away. His father served in the Red Army and then as the Vice Governor of Hebei Province before his retirement. His mother was an anti-Japanese Army resistance volunteer-soldier fighting against the Japanese occupation army. During this time the Japanese occupation army placed a financial bounty for her capture and execution. When Xiaonings mother retired, she was the senior employee of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee. He said with a sense of pride, both of them dedicated their entire lives to our country, the Peoples Republic of China.
In addition, he would like to meet President George Washington. Prof. Cao noted that he admired Washington and respected his view of life because after serving as the nation’s first President and creating the United States, he returned to Mount Vernon and devoted much of his time to his country home.
Closing a very successful interview, Prof. Cao shared his favorite quote from Benjamin Franklin, Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Thank you Prof. Cao for a very insightful and informative interview.