From Publishers Weekly
The promise and perils-mostly the latter-that Western businesses face in China's huge but chaotic market are probed in this illuminating if not quite reassuring primer. Ex-Wall Street Journal China bureau chief McGregor presents a series of case studies from capitalism's Wild East, including a rocky joint venture between Morgan Stanley and a Chinese bank; the rise and fall of a Chinese peasant turned billionaire smuggler; Rupert Murdoch's travails in bringing a satellite TV network to China; and a muck-raking Chinese financial journalist's battles with both government censorship and the private media's cozy relationships with advertisers. He caps each chapter with gleanings of wisdom ("assume your procurement department is corrupt until proven innocent") and pointers on such topics as which bribes are ethically acceptable (expenses-paid junkets to America "with generous opportunities for tourism and relaxation") and which are not (suitcases full of cash). McGregor writes with the confidence of an old China hand, occasionally lapsing into generalities about Asian "shame-based" cultures, but generally treating the Chinese businesspeople he profiles with the same sympathy and insight he accords Westerners. Still, the picture he paints of the Chinese economy is a daunting one, ruled by over-mighty Communist officials, bribe-hungry bureaucrats, Byzantine regulations and a murky, cut-throat business culture structured by personal and family ties. Westerners contemplating a plunge into this shark tank will profit from McGregor's cautionary tales.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
McGregor has spent nearly two decades as a journalist and business executive in China. China, as he notes, is crashing its way onto the world scene as a rapidly growing economic powerhouse, and the challenge confronting the nation is learning to manage the large, complex organizations that will be necessary if the country is going to continue its ambitious climb to the top of the economic ladder. McGregor posits that the sudden transition from the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s to the scramble for wealth in the 1980s and 1990s has left a deeply scarred society experiencing an economic and social upheaval. To reach the next step in its economic evolution, he believes that China must find ways to go beyond some of the lingering cultural, social, and psychological barriers that will soon impede that progress. The struggle now is to discover the management principles and techniques that will harness and focus the immense energy and intelligence of the Chinese. A detailed case study of an unparalleled rise to power. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved