Entering the Chinese Market: The Risks and Discounted Rewards

By John Dixon; David Newman | Go to book overview

2 Doing Business with China: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

"Veteran players have come to accept that returns in China are way out of line with risks."

-- Business Week ( 26 May 1997, p. 42)


THE CHINESE ASPIRATION: "TO GET RICH IS GLORIOUS"

Deng Xiaoping's immortal words have forever changed China. As you walk down the street of any major city in China, you are struck by the burgeoning wealth of the average person on the street, the variety of goods in the shops, the pace of construction, the popularity of Western fast-food restaurants, including innumerable McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chickens, the ever-present kiosks offering Remy Martin Cognac, and the sheer pace of activity going on. You are similarly faced with a myriad of questions. What has brought about this level of activity? How widespread is this seeming affluence? What was China like before Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms? How durable are the reforms? Will it all persist? And, most importantly for our purposes, what does it all mean for foreign business either operating in China or contemplating entering the Chinese market? We draw a necessary distinction between the good in China, especially the unprecedented growth that has resulted in the fastest growing economy of the twentieth century; the bad in China, especially the absence of the rule of law so

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