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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 8

Living in China: A Survival Kit

“If you have a Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 kind of thinking, forget about doing business in China. We get phone calls on Saturday and Sunday, or six o’clock on Monday morning. It’s really 24 hours. We work hard and play hard.”

Mark Pummell (UK), Founder and CEO, ChinArt, Sinapse and Music Pavillion

“China is more of a civilization, than a country. You can’t be neutral about it; you either love it or hate it.”

Josep Giro (Spain), Co-founder and Managing Director, SBC & Associates

INSIDE CHAPTER 8
Clearing the Language Hurdle
Hardships of Life in China
The Struggle for Work–Life Balance
Foreign Businesswomen in China
The Good Life, China-style
Conclusion

Introduction

Even in China, and even for entrepreneurs, life cannot be all work and no play. Ultimately, success as an investor or manager in China requires creating a positive and sustainable life for yourself—and your family—outside of work.

In this chapter, we look at how foreign entrepreneurs have adjusted their lives, and the lives of their spouses and families, in order not just to work successfully, but also to live happily, in China. The chapter covers five main topics:

1. Clearing the language hurdle
2. Hardships of life in China
3. The Struggle for work–life balance
4. Foreign businesswomen in China
5. The good life, China-style

Since the 40 entrepreneurs profiled in this book hail from 25 different home countries or provinces outside mainland China, it is not surprising that their answers ...

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