Thursday, 17 May 2007

Chinese Business Podcast


As I mentioned in the last post I came across a terrific, no-nonsense podcast on doing business in China. Most successful non Chinese business people are way too timid to tell it like it really is out of eagerness not to offend their hosts and thus potentially losing the all important government favour.

James McGregor the author of the best selling 'One Billion Customers, Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China', seen by many as the defining book for new ventures in China is the exception to the rule. McGregor isn't frightened of being frank about the idiosyncrasies of the Chinese, but in a way which as he explains is both humorous and done with real affection for the people.


One of the major themes covered in this podcast is the cultural narrow mindedness of huge companies setting up in China such as ebay and Yahoo, and why they have failed so far in their efforts, usually through trying to impose the same business model from the U.S.

This relates to the 'Think global act local' issue, an idea I've long felt is misleading and misguided. It's also a a separate post in itself and one that I intend to cover which should, I guess be called, think local act local. In the mean time here is the podcast which gives me a chance to try out a new widget. Listen to James describe how Western arrogance ignored the intelligence of the maths champion of China when buying an internet business. This is how real people talk. Gorgeous stuff.