Everywhere I go giving speeches, people are asking about China. Here are a couple of resources. From a post on the China Law Blog, I learned about This Is China Weblog. If you are doing business in China, or considering it, these are both blogs to visit periodically.
I’ve been reading One Billion Customers by James McGregor. I’m early in the book, but already lots of good insights. For instance, Chinese people has spread around many part of the world, including America, the Pacific as well as southeast Asia. McGregor writes:
[prior to Deng’s reforms} there was only one place in the world with a significant population of poor Chinese people–China.
Or try this:
If you think about the last decade of China’s economic and social development in terms of comparable changes in the history of the United States, you can feel the wind on your face. China is at once undergoing the raw capitalism of the robber baron era of the late 19th century; the speculative financial mania of the 1920s; the rural-to-urban migration of the 1930s; the emergence of the ‘first-car, first-home, first-fashionable clothes, first-college education, first-family vacation, middle-class consumer’ of the 1950s; and even aspects of social upheaval similar to the 1960s.
And here’s a tip useful to any business or government, whether involved with China or not:
All major reforms, from farming to housing to finance and privatization, were tested and refined as local experiements before being spread nationwide and surrounded with regulatory structures.
I’ll add more as I read along.
Business Strategy Implications: I know that you’re wrapped in running a business: deciding whether to cut back on 3/8 thickness to make more 1/4 product, deciding how much to spend on the new advertising program, and whether it’s time to lock in long-term debt. (It is.) But every now and then, you need to look up, "get your head out of the boat" as we sailboat racers say, and scan the external environment.