General Motors and Japanese Convergence vs. Chinese Convergence
General Motors Corp. is the world’s largest automaker and has led the auto industry worldwide in sales since 1938. GM employs over 324,000 people worldwide, with manufacturing operations in 32 countries and sales operations in 200 countries.
GM operates its own facilities worldwide, but it also has global partners in Italy, Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, and China. In Japan, its global partners are Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., Isuzu Motors Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corporation. In China, it has a vehicle manufacturing venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
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A major challenge that GM faces in both Japan and China is that both have financial reporting and measurement practices that differ from both U.S. GAAP and IFRS issued by the IASB. Assume you have just been hired by GM as an intern, and your first assignment is to research the convergence of China’s financial reporting standards with U.S. or IAS GAAP since 1999. Compare China’s historical path of convergence with Japan’s over the same period of time. What societal values and economic goals have caused the two Asian countries to develop different financial reporting standards? What societal values and economic goals have caused the two Asian countries to develop similar financial reporting standards?