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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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Amway’s President on Reinventing the Business to Succeed in China

by Doug DeVos

Doug DeVos is the president and co-CEO of Amway.

The Idea

After the Chinese government outlawed direct selling, Amway repeatedly revised its business model to build a reputation as an honorable corporate citizen. In 2006 it received a new license, and China is now its largest market.

When the Chinese government outlawed direct selling, in 1998, Amway was already well established in China and had built a large-scale factory there. The company faced a big decision: Should we pull up stakes, or could we find a new way to sell?

We chose the latter course, and in the decade that followed, Amway China revised its sales model five times to meet changing regulations. Today ...

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