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Doing Business In China: How to Profit in the World's Fastest Growing Market Paperback – July 21, 2008

17 customer reviews

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Doing Business In China: How to Profit in the World's Fastest Growing Market + Chinese Business Etiquette: A Guide to Protocol,  Manners,  and Culture in thePeople's Republic of China + Doing Business in China For Dummies
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Plafker, a Beijing correspondent for The Economist, maintains the same restrained, reasonable tone as his employer magazine in this refreshingly informed guide to navigating the business landscape of the world's most populous nation. Behind the gleaming new airports, Gucci boutiques and teeming modern cities, Plafker argues, lie a host of (sometimes expected, sometimes not) pitfalls: frequent power outages, endemic corruption, lawless roads and severe pollution. Plafker also helpfully debunks common myths about China (spoken Chinese isn't all that difficult to learn; businesswomen may find gender is less of an issue than the fact that they're foreign), drops plenty of statistics and figures (in 2005, China imported goods worth $101 billion more than it exported) and rounds out each chapter with a bulleted list of key points. Written in accessible prose, Plafker's book is a great starting point for those thinking about setting up shop in China.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Plafker, an 18-year veteran correspondent living in Beijing, offers advice on all aspects of breaking into and expanding business opportunities in China. Although all businesses should understand the Chinese market and its explosive growth, it is a place only for those with the patience, persistence, and resources necessary to succeed. The author gives tips and insights on the top emerging markets, rules and regulations, cultural differences, and sales and marketing strategies that differ greatly from the rest of the world. He identifies pitfalls, including ethical challenges and power and water shortages, and comments on the areas most resistant to change, which are its media, legal system, and currency, although absolute control of the currency will be difficult to maintain. There are many business books on China, but Plafker offers a unique perspective; his direct observation of the Chinese environment as a long-term resident with numerous local contacts and sources of information makes this a valuable business handbook. Whaley, Mary --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; Reprint edition (July 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044669696X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446696968
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Big Pumpkin on December 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a must-read for any Western business people venturing into China.

As a Chinese living in US for 10 years, I am amazed by Ted's understanding and appreciation of some of the subtleties of the Chinese culture, e.g. reluctance to say no, huge concern for one's face or mianzi. His treatment of the expat life in China is objective and comprehensive. He also paints an excellent picture of what aspects of China are morphing to be more western-like. His opinions and advices are specific, and backed by facts and his 18-year first-hand experience on the ground. For the thorniest issue, corruption, Ted gave a sound advice of never getting your foot wet in it.

Ted's writing is easy to read. The summaries at the end of each chapter are very useful references.

One thing Ted did not give enough coverage, in my opinion, is the implication of the strong nationalism sentiment reinforced by the Chinese Community Party through the schooling system as well as the media. A lot of Chinese people view the Western powers as greedy and unfriendly because of the humiliation and exploitation suffered by the Chinese in late 1800's and early 1900's. That sentiment is at the root of a lot of the sensitivities.

Another thing I did not quite like is that the catchy subtitle is somewhat misleading. A more accurate subtitle would be "What you have to know before and during doing business in China". But that is a petty flaw in a no-nonsense book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gunjan Bagla on September 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
Ted Plafker, author of Doing Business in China: How to Profit in the World's Fastest Growing Market, should know what he's talking about as he personally invested 18 years of his life living in Beijing as a business journalist for The Economist. And he does! Plafker's wonderful book is an excellent guidebook that is filled with insightful anecdotes and very useful summaries at the end of each chapter.

Three sections that readers will find especially helpful are: 1. Pinpointing the Top Emerging Markets; 2. Laws, Rules & Regulations; and, 3. Understanding Cultural Differences.

As a consultant on doing business in Asia, I stress the importance of understanding a country's law and culture before making investment decisions. The author rightfully cautions his readers that it is not especially profitable to label China as a communist country and proceed from there as the Chinese market economy is more socialist than it is communist. (On my visits to China, I `ve found it more capitalist than many Americans might imagine.)

He advises that for a company to thrive in China it must re-tool its product to fit the needs of the Chinese consumers. I have found this to be especially true for India also.

Ted was in Los Angeles in the Spring 2008 and I had the privilege of meeting him in person.

By Gunjan Bagla
Author of Doing Business in 21st Century India
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gil Q. Krakowsky on April 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a business strategy consultant with a reasonable amount of China experience. I have to say that this book provides the best balance of concise presentation, expert insight, and enjoyable narrative of any China business book I've read.

Too many books on the subject of doing business in China are written by quasi-experts who comment on broad trends that are either obvious or false conventional wisdom. Mr. Plafker's book shows a level of China business acumen that can only be garnered from years of experience. The anecdotes are at once entertaining and insightful. I have successfully used a number of the stories when consulting for clients. I had a recent client engaged a one-man consultancy offering "expertise" in China market entry. The client was shocked when I was able to guess (based on Mr Plafker's anecdotes) that the expert had (1) boasted about the number of visits he had made to China and (2) gone on at length on the need to hand over business cards with two hands. The consultant turned out to have little true expertise, and I established my credibility.

This book is a must-read. For those that are new to business in China, it is a more nuanced and insightful primer than any other you will find. For old China hands, the book is a useful tool to help you synthesize the body wisdom that you have accumulated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Barton VINE VOICE on November 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a good primer for anyone looking to conduct business in China. The book itself is getting dated, and the Chinese are becoming more Westernized in their business interactions. However, it cannot be understated that any attempt by a Western business executive to show respect for the traditions, history and culture of China will go a long way to building guangxi. While many of the customs and the banqueting are going to vary in intensity as you move out of Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing to the other cities that are less Westernized, the fundamental cultural elements of respect, face, influence and dealing with local influencers are foundationally universal.

A worthwhile read before heading to China on business.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Beech on November 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for those doing business in China. Not only does this book cover social norms and behaviors, but gives background information on why these social norms exist. This leads to a broader understanding of the Chinese and makes for an interesting read.
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