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China Entrepreneur: Voices of Experience from 40 International Business Pioneers by Laurie Underwood, Juan Antonio Fernandez

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Chapter 1

Getting Started

Understanding the Business Environment and Dealing with the Chinese Government

THEN: “I came to China in 1976 as a young banker…. We had friends doing business in China in those years who were thrown in jail for the slightest little infraction. If I had to choose one word to define that era in China, it is ‘courage.’ It was courage that drove those men and women who had no guidelines for what they were doing.”

Robert Theleen (USA), Chairman, ChinaVest

NOW: “The opening of China—the access to the WTO trading culture, and especially the influence of American and European companies—has created new role models and icons in China. In the past, role models were national heroes like Lei Feng. Now, it is Bill Gates, Michael Dell; they are the role models, with their rags-to-riches stories.”

Ge Dingkun (China), Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, CEIBS

INSIDE CHAPTER 1
The Past: China Opens its Doors
The Transition: China in the 1990s
The Present: “Better for Entrepreneurs than Silicon Valley”
Dealing with the Chinese Government
Bureaucratic Challenges for Entrepreneurs
Strategies for Successful Government Relations
Conclusion

Introduction

In order to appreciate the complexity of the environment in China for international entrepreneurs, it is useful first to look backward and review the realities of the past. Only then can you gauge how great a transformation has been necessary to create the realities of the present. In this chapter, we start by looking ...

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