Thursday, January 19, 2006

Book recommendation for those doing business in China

China is both a huge potential market for products, and a low cost source for items we sell elsewhere in the world, but doing business there can be a huge challenge. "China can be a scary place to do business. The legal concepts that govern Western business practices -- the sanctity of contracts, the separation of regulators and competitors, and the protection of intellectual property, for example -- simply don't exist in any dependable way in China".

The quote above is from the book, One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China by James McGregor, and it matches what I have seen in China.

But the book also goes well beyond just stating problems that many of us have seen. Each chapter of the book covers a particular area that may be a challenge that you hit while doing business in China. He starts with a narrative example to show you what it could be like and what can happen. Then a section covers what this means for your business. And each chapter is finished off with a summary of the main points.

James McGregor has the experience to be the author of this book. Not long after China opened its borders in the 80s did he arrive there and started studying Mandarin. Along the way after that he was a reporter (and bureau chief) for the Wall Street Journal in China, was CEO of Dow Jones' China business, headed the American Chamber of Commerce in China, and has advised both the US and Chinese Government.

The book is definitely well worth reading for anyone who is involved with business in China. I found the book both an interesting read and an excellent resource for doing business in China.

For convenience, I have added a link to this book on


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