Since China entered the WTO in 2001, it has become an open door to vast new markets for foreign investments. Bolstered by the growing consumer wealth in urban and suburban areas, it has attracted a new and widely diverse generation of investors – including an increasing number of smaller companies and entrepreneurs, local and foreign-investors, all serving niche markets. Yet, as the world’s largest and most dynamic consumer market, China is notoriously difficult for international entrepreneurs – among the hundreds of thousands of foreign businesspeople fighting to penetrate the Chinese market, only a small percentage of them will succeed in bringing their start-up dreams to life in the Middle Kingdom.
Published by John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd, China Entrepreneur: Voices of Experience from 40 International Business Pioneers will give a front-line, first-hand account of what it takes for an international businessperson to start and profitably operate a small business in China.
Their latest collaboration, China Entrepreneur, is the logical sequel to bestselling title, China CEO, Voices of Experience from 20 International Business Leaders, published in March 2006. In the course of speaking to media and business groups on China CEO, authors Juan Antonio Fernandez and Laurie Underwood found that the most common suggestion from their audiences was to have a book that dealt with the China experience for startups and small businesses, as the China environment differed vastly for Fortune 500 companies, in comparison to entrepreneurs.
This book is a collection of anecdotes, best practices and first-hand advice in tackling the key challenges of winning in the China market, from negotiating with government and winning necessary start-up approvals, to hiring and keeping the right staff, to collecting payments and to safeguarding intellectual property. In addition, the experiences of the entrepreneurs will be juxtaposed against insights from experienced China consultants who assist start-ups in operating in China. The book will also consist of practical business by consultants who have risen to prominence in the China business environment by advising SME business operators on succeeding in China.
While the authors’ first book, China CEO (John Wiley, 2006), featured the insights of 20 top executives from multinational companies in China, China Entrepreneur focuses on the strategies, tools, and knowledge necessary to start and grow a business in China without the backing of a global corporation. This book is a practical guide that distills 500 years of China experience from 40 foreign entrepreneurs coming from 25 countries, full of vivid stories to illustrate the points made in the book. It can work as a “how to” manual and also as an interesting reading for those thinking of starting their own business.
About the Authors
Juan Antonio Fernandez is currently a Professor at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. Prof. Fernandez earned his Ph.D. from IESE (Spain) in 1997. He is frequently invited to give presentations in China, South Korea, Japan, Spain, Italy, France and the UK on how to manage business enterprises in China. His work has been published in Harvard Business Review (Spain), Strategy Review, and the Asian Case Research Journal. He has written three books. The first one, China CEO published by John Wiley & Sons, is based on interviews with 20 CEOs of multinationals in China. His second book, China’s State Owned Enterprise Reforms: An Industrial and CEO Approach, was published by Routledge, UK. The third book China CEO: A Case Guide was published by John Wiley & Sons.
Laurie Underwood has worked as a business journalist, editor, and writer in greater China since 1990. She spent 11 years covering business, news, politics, and social issues in Taiwan for media groups including the Economist Intelligence Unit, AsiaWeek, and ICRT radio station. In 2001, she relocated to Shanghai following a wave of business interest in China’s fastest developing commercial center. After receiving her Masters in Business Administration from the China Europe Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai in 2003 (now ranked 11th worldwide for its MBA Programme by the Financial Times), she became Communications Director for the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, which is the largest AmCham in the world. In 2006, she authored China CEO, Voices of Experience from 20 International Business Leaders, published by John Wiley & Sons. Since the release of China CEO, she has given numerous talks on doing business in China to business associations, TV and print media in her native US as well as in China and Southeast Asia. Laurie now works as Director of External Communications & Development for CEIBS.
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