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Paul Gao

Senior Partner, Hong Kong
Serves automotive and assembly companies in Asia; specializes in advising companies on alliances and transactions

About Paul

Paul serves our Automotive & Assembly Practice in Asia. He has extensive experience serving Chinese and multinational automotive companies on a variety of topics including alliances and strategic partnerships, transactions, marketing and sales, performance transformation, and product development.

After spending a number of years in Shanghai, Paul is now based in Hong Kong. Examples of his client work include the following:

  • helping a premium automotive OEM build its presence in China by transforming its organization and developing a new distribution-network strategy
  • leading the turnaround of a major Asian automotive group, including the development of a new group strategy and a branding and product-portfolio strategy, organizational restructuring, implementation of a new budget-steering process, sales and marketing performance-improvement initiatives, and quality transformation
  • over a 5-year period, working with a client to build a new automotive company from scratch—including conducting a feasibility assessment, developing the business plan, negotiating of a joint-venture agreement, securing regulatory approval, and recruiting senior management and the engineering team

Paul holds a BA in accounting from Saint John’s University in the United States; he also studied at the University of International Relations in China. He is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Published work

Winning the race: China’s auto market shifts gears,” McKinsey & Company, December 2019

A regional view of truck-industry profit pools,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

A road map to the future for the auto industry,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2014

“A global road map for China’s auto-makers,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2008

“Selling China’s car to the world: An interview with Chery’s CEO,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2008


University of International Relations (Beijing, China)

Saint John's University (Minnesota, US)
BA in accounting