Interview with Chen Lingpei, General Manager of IP Division, Autodesk, Inc. (Greater China)

By Doris Li, China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

Knowing Yourself to Take Full Advantage of Your Ability
It might be strange at the first sight of "Autodesk Inc." (Autodesk), but it must be familiar for most of the people with their products. Autodesk, as the world's largest 2D and 3D design, an engineering and entertainment software company, provides extraordinary digital design, engineering and entertainment software service and solutions to the manufacturing industry, engineering construction industry, infrastructure industry and the media entertainment industry. Maya and 3ds MAX are all produced by the Autodesk. Since 1982 when Autodesk launched the AutoCAD software, it has already owned more than 9 million users around the whole world.
Autodesk has 16 R&D Centers and about 6,800 developers in the globe. Among them, Autodesk China Research and Development Center (ACRD) in Shanghai is the company's biggest R&D institute in the world, with more than 1,500 developers. About 20% of the global avenue is invested in the research and development. As an enterprise living by R&D and innovation, Autodesk's IP department plays a significant role to the whole company like heart to a human. Therefore, the same opinion was stated by Chen Lingpei, General Manager of IP Division, Autodesk, Inc. (Greater China), that if you want to be a brilliant management personnel, you have to possess a principal occupational quality stress tolerance.
From an engineer to a manager
In 1992, Chen Lingpei worked in the No. 815 Research Institute of Shanghai Space Administration as an engineer after graduation from the Department of Computer and Science, Shanghai Science and Technology University. At that time, he had entered a stateowned enterprise, which many people had been dreaming of. Two years later, through a hard mental struggle, Chen Lingpei decided to give up this stable position and the recognition gained with great efforts from the company.
Then, A Great Change of the China's market was around the corner and internationalization was going to sweep the whole world. For young people, it's time to develop their abilities in the right time. Knowing well about his ability and characteristics, Chen Lingpei was expecting to make full use of his value and expected a vision that when he recalls his career at the age of 40 to 50, he will not regret a plain life without full efforts.
In the next several years, Chen Lingpei kept challenging himself to achieve the promotion from an engineer to a manager and to improve himself. He was later promoted as the principal of Engineering and Information Department, setting up teams, taking in charge of the international enterprises' establishment in China, building programs, founding comprehensive solutions to cooperation etc.
In 2004, Chen Lingpei acted as the general manager of EMC Corporation (China) mainly in charge of work in three aspects: EMC product sales support, professional service and market development including R&D on solutions and technical evaluation of software company acquisition; development of strategic partnership including establishment of joint laboratory with Neusoft, Tsinghua University and Huawei; development of the education market, including providing EMC original factory training center, licensing training center, setting up college education training network and developing relevant teaching material. Intellectual property is another important work, which covers mainly technical evaluation and IP business reputation evaluation of software company acquisition, IP development on teaching material and IP protection R&D on solution center.
Since then, Chen Lingpei have participated in more wide-ranging work involving IP management from setting up IP management team and drafting relevant rules to solving IP problems of international enterprises in developing businesses in China etc. Chen Lingpei believes that the main challenge of possessing a new position in a new sector is how to learn the inherent knowledge and working methods of the new sector as fast as you can, how to fit in the new sector and acquire the trust and recognition of the sector's specialists, and how to come up with valuable suggestions and working methods to the new sector and complete a successful case as soon as possible.
From domestic to international
During Chen Lingpei's 20-year career, he works in international enterprises in most cases. After joining in Autodesk Inc. (China) in 2012, he primarily undertook the position of general manager of Autodesk (China)'s IP Department, in charge of establishing and managing China's IP Department, investigating and verifying clients who use the software improperly and developing and employing the external law firms to increase regional coverage. When he was later promoted to the manager of Autodesk (Greater China)'s IP Department, Chen Lingpei has set up and managed the IP Department in China, Hong Kong (China), and Taiwan (China).
His multi-year experience in IP management of international software enterprises in China made him feel the change of the Chinese market; at the same time, the change of the general environment brought constant changes to his working content. He said, "with the strategic measures of building IP Power taken by the central government of China and domestic enterprises' raising awareness of genuine products, not only the foreign enterprises kept promoting IP protection, but also did the governments and courts in all levels and all kinds of enterprises start to actively protect their intellectual property. There is an obvious progress in China's general IP environment. I focus on the work including helping enterprises to improve the software assets management, ensuring the software compliance and avoiding the security risk of enterprise data due to the use of unauthorized software,"said Chen Lingpei.
From multi-year experience in international enterprises, Chen Lingpei has seen difference in different ways. As a manager managing an important department in a foreign enterprise doing business in China, in most cases, he has to deal perfectly with "difference" and "maladjustment".
Chen Lingpei thinks that in a foreign enterprise, there is a relative transparent management and a relative public information, leaving more space for the staff to discuss and communicate on every decision. With much matrix management, there is a relative equal relationship between the employees and their supervisors. Local enterprises often have a strict management control system over information and clearly define the different level of the superior and subordinate. In foreign enterprises, it takes a relative long time to complete a decision procedure. Due to the public and transparent information, active participation and strong supervision, the decision with a specific setting goal is seldom wrong. When achieving the common sense, staff will have more subjunctive initiative to put the decision into practice. However, it will sometimes complicate a simple thing. In local enterprises, the decision procedure is faster with low degree of participation and supervision, therefore leading to a high risk of making mistakes. Sometimes, an indefinite setting goal will confuse the staff.
With multi-year working experience, Chen Lingpei summarized, that "Through years of China's reform and opening-up, foreign enterprises still need to keep constant communications with government in market access and citizen treatment. What's more, foreign enterprises still have problems in fitting in China's characteristic situation although they have developed China's market for many years. Finally, there are always some obstacles in communication between the headquarters and the local teams due to some objectively existing factors such as cultural differences between China and the eastern countries."
From enterprises to BSA
Besides being IP manager of the enterprise, Chen Lingpei has another important identity chairman of BSA (China). Since 2011, Chen Lingpei has acted as the vice chairman and chairman of the BSA (China) successively. His major responsibilities lie in the following aspects: participating in plan and policy establishment, organizing and coordinating member units to join BSA's activities; taking part in deliberation and decision of BSA's annual budget, final accounts and other financial matters; participating in and leading BSA's external activities, attending important events and expressing views on behalf of the whole BSA members; paying adequate attention to the full implementation of BSA's rules; keeping abreast of and supervise the development and situation of dominant work; finding out problems in routine work and taking effective measures and solutions.
It's not easy to become the chairman of BSA (China). First of all, you have to be the person in charge of the Copyright Department of your company in China, which should be the member unit of BSA, and you take part in different affairs and events held by BSA as the member unit representative. The chairman is elected annually by all member units through public and democratic election, is appointed for one-year term and can be reappointed. What's more, the chairman should be a professional with high reputation, good fame and rich resources in the sector. He should possess the following qualities: knowing the developing trend, general situation, policies and laws, and governmental operations of the IP industry; having strong ability of administrative work; making himself/herself an example; being good at making contributions, encouraging people, gathering talents and deciding wisely. In a word, a recognized professional who can push the standardized management and rapid positive development of the industry with high morality, substantial knowledge, personal ability, resources integration, team management, risk control and international communication and cooperation will occupy the position. At the same time, the chairman should promote service program and hold activities according to the industry characteristics which have not only economic effect but also social effect.
The focal point of the chairman's work is to listen and coordinate different demands of member units in order to find a common interest. Through effective communication, consensus should be achieved by most member units so as to realize the goal by resources integration. As the chairman, he/she should be adept in summarizing the shining point from speeches of member units and encouraging them to express views actively. The chairman should play the role of initiator and supporter.
To Chen Lingpei, stress tolerance is a necessary and primary condition to be a brilliant manager no matter as a manager of an enterprise or as the chairman of BSA. According to his experience in the past years, communication skill, learning ability and goal-oriented working ability are also necessary qualities a manager should have. Chen Lingpei has been awarded by many enterprises, including the President's Award for 4 times, nomination of the President's Award once, the Almighty Award, the Pinnacle Award etc. We believe that when he recalls his abandoning a stable job and choosing a difficult but prosperous career, he will definitely be proud of his choice!

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