the premier research and innovation competition in china

China thinks Big (CTB)


China Thinks Big is China’s premier high school research and innovation competition, giving talented high school students around the country the opportunity to demonstrate their intellectual creativity through tackling important issues posed by professors at Harvard and other top institutions. CTB spans six months and culminates in the National Finals held in Shanghai. Most recently, HSBC became the official sponsor of CTB, marking the start of a long-term partnership.

China Thinks Big is run by the Harvard College Association for U.S.-China Relations, an officially recognized student organization at Harvard College


A constantly innovating conference


In CTB 2017,  we invited faculty and scholars from Harvard, Yale, Peking University, Tsinghua University, as well as industry experts from top companies to pose 100 academic challenges for participants to select from and address through an original research project. These challenges span over 20 core academic disciplines of a liberal arts education and guide students to discover how global issues are reflected in their daily lives. In 2017, over 10,000 students from all over the world actively participated in the competition.

Outstanding participants had the opportunity to present their project at the Harvard Center Shanghai to top scholars and industry leaders during the National Finals. A select few finalists were also given the chance to visit Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and other elite American universities to discuss their research projects with professors and compete in hackathons, poster presentations, and case studies during the inaugural CTB Global Finals.


Past speakers at the competition include Ms. Leah Rosovsky, Vice President of Harvard, and Professor William Kirby, Chairman of the Harvard China Fund, who have applauded CTB for bringing research methodologies used in top US institutions to Chinese high school students.

Since its initial launch in 2012 as a joint venture between HAUSCR and Tsinghua, CTB has become the most impactful Chinese online research competition for youth. A number of CTB projects have influenced policy, garnered wide media coverage, and even become case studies in Chinese college entrance exams. Successful projects have also been adopted as bills in the provincial People’s Congress and many more have been featured in academic journals, CCTV, People’s Daily, and various national media outlets.

In November 2017, HSBC became the official sponsor of CTB, marking the start of a long-term partnership.





teams competing





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