Doing Business in China

Doing Business in China

Doing Business in China

Doing Business in China

Synopsis

No-one in or embarking on a managerial career can afford to ignore a market that comprises one-fifth of the world's population, and an economy which will soon be the world's largest. Given the complexity and diversity of China, this book provides knowledge of, and a guide to further resources in local cultures to help business tailor their strategies to local conditions. The book takes the reader through the processes of market entry, marketing and managing operations in this unique social and cultural context, and concludes with the 'five pillars' model of successful business in greater China.Doing Business in China is a general introduction to managing business enterprises in China. Aimed specifically at Western and non-Chinese businesses and managers, particularly those with limited experience of China, this book offers a general framework for understanding Chinese business culture, along with a guide for acquiring further knowledge on the country. It will be an invaluable resource for students of international business and management and practitioners alike. Contrary to global business paradigms, this book shows that business in China is different to business in the West, and explains why.

Excerpt

I was flattered and honoured to be asked to write this foreword. Then I remembered with humility the words of a distinguished former colleague in the Foreign Service: ‘There is no such thing as a Western “expert” on China, only varying degrees of ignorance. ’

When considering the vastness and variety of China, I often remind myself of the hoary old story about the six blind men who were introduced to an elephant for the first time. Each was asked what it was. the first, who was stroking one of the elephant’s legs, declared it to be a tree. the second, at the rear, felt the elephant’s tail and announced it to be a rope. the third and fourth thought that the tusk and the ear were, respectively, a weapon and a carpet. ‘Nonsense, ’ cried the fifth, pushing against the beast’s side, ‘it’s a wall. ’ ‘Rubbish’, said the last as he handled the elephant’s trunk, ‘you are all wrong. It’s a hosepipe. ’ None of them could comprehend that they were in the presence of an elephant.

Most Westerners, on encountering China for the first time, are rather like the blind men. We see only a small part of the country, and form our views of the country and its people based on those few impressions. Very often, those impressions have little to do with the ‘real’ China. Seeking to understand China, as I know from my own experience, is a long-term process.

China, with its great size and vast population, has always been something of a mystery to the West. in the eighteenth century, China was admired for its civilization, philosophy and taste. This turned to contempt in the nineteenth century as the weakness of the Manchu dynasty was exposed. As China recovered its national dignity in the mid-twentieth century, the West began to exhibit anxiety and fear. There has been a gulf between us, based in part on geographical distance but also in the vast differences between our cultures, our languages and customs, and our education systems and ways of thinking. Historically . . .

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