Buy Used
$5.55
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous ownerâ€TMs name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Mr. China: A Memoir Hardcover – February 1, 2005


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$7.86 $0.06
Year-End%20Deals%20in%20Books
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; First Edition edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060761393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060761394
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A British businessman with a background in accounting and auditing, Clissold joined up with an entrepreneur in the early 1990s and set out to buy shares of Chinese firms and to work to make them more profitable. Within two years, Clissold's venture owned shares in 20 Chinese businesses, with 25,000 employees among them, but the story really centers on Clissold's encounters with the nation's "institutionalized confusion." Firing entrenched middle managers became a protracted process that led to factory riots and employees using company funds to set up competing businesses; the anticorruption bureau demanded cash bribes before opening investigations. Clissold's narrative is somewhat aimless, slipping from one misadventure (taking American fund managers to a condom factory) to the next, and there's a certain amount of too-easy humor derived from the exoticism of Chinese culture (e.g., the inevitable banquet where unusual body parts of rabbit and deer are served). Even in these passages, though, Clissold's fundamental respect for the Chinese culture is unmistakable, and the scenes where he leaves his office and interacts directly with the people can be quite vividly detailed. By the late '90s, millions of dollars poured into the companies yield disastrous results from an investment standpoint (and Clissold himself suffers a heart attack), but the Chinese economy as a whole hums ever more loudly. Crossover appeal of this title may be limited, but business readers are likely to be entertained.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the early 1990s, British businessman Clissold--with a passing knowledge of China and of Mandarin--found himself the point man between a group of Wall Street bankers with hundreds of millions to invest and a budding entrepreneur class in China strapped for cash and foreign expertise. This seemingly perfect marriage would become, as one investor put it, "the Vietnam War of American business." By decade's end, hundreds of joint ventures would fail and billions of dollars would be lost. If Clissold was well placed to help create many of these ill-fated partnerships, he's even better positioned to explain, through his own horrific experiences, what went wrong: a labyrinthine legal and political system that Westerners (even with Chinese help) could never decipher, a rickety and hidebound system of factory management in China, an almost-willful lack of respect by Wall Street for Chinese sensibilities, and often-flagrant abuse by Chinese managers of the Western largesse made available to them. A compelling account, related with sly humor and hard-earned wisdom. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Finally I finished the book Mr. China by Tim Clissold.
Ying Chang
I recommend this book highly for both its entertainment value as well as its lessons learned.
Steve Koss
Each and every one of the people you will have to deal with has the exact same idea.
Troy Parfitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Steve Koss VINE VOICE on February 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book, MR. CHINA, refers to the notion in the early 1990's that many Westerner businessmen wanted to be the first to get inside China's nascent boom, to become a "master of the universe" with respect to the People's Republic. While the winner is ostensibly the author's mysterious business partner, known only as Pat, the author lays his own claim to that award. By the end of this book, however, it's quite clear that no Westerner could ever be "Mr. China," and that those who chased earliest and hardest missed out almost completely on the real blossoming of mainland China's relationship with Western business. The author's near miss bicycling through a dark tunnel, intended as a metaphor about the emerging China, seems far more apt as a metaphor for his own decade of hopeless running in place.

In MR. CHINA, Tim Clissold tells a remarkable story of some of the first Western business forays into China during the 1990's. The model seemed simple enough - bring Wall Street to the People's Republic by raising huge sums of capital in an investment fund, trade that capital for majority shares in going businesses that seemed promising, infuse them with new technology and management practices, then buy up weaker competitors and consolidate them into massive, unbeatable players in the domestic and export markets. Of course, it was all far easier on paper than it was in reality, and that is the crux of Mr. Clissold's story.

By any measure, Clissold's tale is a businessperson's nightmare, a sort of Wall Street meets the Wild, Wild East.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on July 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Tim Clissold became smiiten with the potential of China and - unlike many of us - acted upon those feelings by plunging into a two-year dedicated study of Mandarin. Through luck and hard effort, he then got himself paired up with a larger-than-life Wall Street investment banker looking to make his mark as 'Mr. China.'
After rigorously looking at hundreds and hundreds of potential investments, the two of them raise over $400 million and begin to put the cash to work in a series of JVs. In what should be a cautionary tale to anyone looking to invest or do business in China, Clissold describes - in rather remarkable detail - the unique 'challenges' they encounter in making a return on their investment. Clissold wisely focuses on three episodes - each involving plant managers or owners - where the Western and Chinese views of banking and contract law begin to diverge...then unravel. Can Tim and team keep it together? It'll require superhuman effort. I was exhausted simply reading some of these chapters. I can only imagine the stress and strain of actually living it. Indeed, at one point Clissold's body seems to simply give out. This, however, is not a man easily defeated.
Despite the travails Clissold faces in the book, the book is all about the potential of China. He brings life to the sheer numbers and masses of people - his description of Chongqing for example (how many people know that this is China's largest city?)..."The density of people was staggering: millions and millions swirling in the roadways, all in faded blue overalls and with piles of baggage, blocking the gates at the station, crammed into buses, milling about on the pavements."
Wonderful writing, made all the better by the pithy little proverbs that Clissold has chosen to begin each chapter. I stared at each of these for a minute or more, admiring their brevity, significance and - upon finishing the chapter - realizing how apt Clissold's choices were. Well done, Tim.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By T. Hooper on July 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. China puts us in the shoes of a western businessman delving into the opening China market of the late 80's and early 90's. When Deng opened up China for business, the author, Tim Clissold, was one of the first into China with western funds to invest. However, the dream of endless profits turned into a nightmare. In this book, you'll face conflict after failure as China is dragged into capitalism. The experiences in this book may serve as a warning for those who are doing business in China. In the end though, it seems that many of these problems could have been avoided by a little more research and cultural sensitivity. Also, in being first in China, Clissold came face to face with a clash of systems. Westerners assumed that they could do business as usual without concern for the loose business practices of a formerly communist China. They run into thousands of unexpected problems. Clissold tries to put a positive spin on it in the end, but after reading the book, you'll wonder where he gets his optimism from. Overall, it's a quick and interesting read on the opening of China. If you're doing or thinking of doing business in China, check it out.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Arleen on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a person who was born in Taiwan and came of age in the States, I marvel at Tim's in-depth understanding of Chinese culture. All those proverbs he quoted at the beginning of each chapter are old sayings that are known for almost all Chinese and capture much essence of Chinese view of life and world through ages. His sincerity and truthful portrait of the Chinese that he encountered makes this book truly educational for anyone who wants to do business in China, like many reviews have already mentioned. What makes this book so special is Tim's compassion toward fellow human beings, in the instance of this book, toward people who live in the land that European happened to call "China." Scratching the surface difference of customs or language, people everywhere are pretty similar--they all long for a better live, try to do the best of what they are given and want to be treated respectfully. Being a member of this exclusive five-thousand year old club, I admire and appreciate Tim's efforts to put a humane face of Chinese people and try to build deeper understanding between two great nations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews