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One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China Paperback – September 4, 2007
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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.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
From 1987 to 1990 McGregor served as The Wall Street Journal's bureau chief in Taiwan, and from 1990 to 1994 as the paper's bureau chief in Mainland China. From 1994 to 2000, he was chief executive of Dow Jones & Company in China, and he also became a vice-president in the Dow Jones International Group. After leaving Dow Jones, he was China managing partner for GIV Venture Partners, a $140 million venture capital fund specializing in the Chinese Internet and technology outsourcing.
In 1996, McGregor was elected as chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. He also served for a decade as a governor of that organization. He is a member of the Atlantic Council, Council on Foreign Relations, National Committee on US-China Relations and International Council of the Asia Society. He serves on a variety of China-related advisory boards. For more information visit his Web site, www.jamesmcgregor-inc.com.
Top Customer Reviews
McGregor came up with a structure that works well. Each chapter tells the story of a particular corner of China business, with a context that is drawn with a journalist's economy and insight, and then a conclusion about what it means. The first one, about Morgan Stanley's efforts to create the first Western-Chinese investment bank, is simply masterful: An engrossing tale, with fascinating characters and a sequence of events that tells a lot about how surprising, frustrating and exciting it can be to work in China. McGregor is remarkably clear-eyed about China, quite admiring and then equally candid about its shortcomings. You trust him as a narrator, because he is evidently in command of his material, but also because he has an incisive eye for human behavior, cultural misconceptions and dumb luck. It makes the whole book very readable and quite enjoyable.
In contrast to many other books that portray China as a machine, or a cold monolithic state, 'One Billion Customers' is deeply perceptive about China's true strengths and glaring weaknesses. The author's personal background comes through clearly: as a journalist, and then as a businessman, he has learned a tremendous amount about how things work in China, and lucky for us, he has the writing ability to communicate it with us. Highly recommended.
The lessons come in the form of several case studies of ventures that either soared or crashed. Each chapter gives the details of a troubled venture in China, which is followed by a section entitled "What This Means for You," in which Mr. McGregor offers street-smarts on how the example can help the reader's business. Each chapter finishes with "The Little Red Book of Business," a pithy summary of Jim McGregor's own observations.
Some of the best pearls of wisdom come from this section at the end of each chapter. At its core, James McGregor writes, Chinese society is all about self-interest. It is very strong on competition but very weak on cooperation. In China, a conflict of interest is viewed as a competitive advantage. Deep scars from the Cultural Revolution and the upheaval of a sudden shift to getting rich has created an atmosphere in which nobody trusts anybody. In China business, the expectation is to be cheated.
The book is based on solid reporting, hard research, grassroots legwork, and lots of personal experience of doing business in China. Any foreigner hoping to sell China a billion of anything would be well advised to pick up a copy and read it on the plane coming over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read for anyone interested in China generally-not just business people. Several chapters read like a novel, but with direct lessons. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J Risner
Extraordinary read. It was quite interesting to see Rupert Murdock (Fox Propaganda News) buying into China's media years ago. Eye opening.Published 8 months ago by R. Warner
A must read for anybody doing or considering business in China or Hong KongPublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
As far as I can tell this is one of the top books on understanding the nature of doing business in China. Read morePublished on February 6, 2014 by teraferma
My company recently started doing business in China. I wish I had read this before my first two trips. Read morePublished on December 24, 2013 by Gary-Duluth
The book is a good primer for anyone looking to conduct business in China. The book itself is getting dated, even the second edition, and the Chinese are becoming more Westernized... Read morePublished on November 13, 2013 by Edward J. Barton
This was an interesting book but I'm afraid the info is outdated by now. I actually don't have it anymore. Read morePublished on August 3, 2013 by ahammerquilts
I actually read this book in paperback shortly after it came out in the mid 2000s. I found it a great source of insights into conducting business in China and have used chapter 4... Read morePublished on May 14, 2013 by Simon Lacey