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Published: February 23, 2010
 / Spring 2010 / Issue 58

 
 

The China Challenge

And so is the Chinese context: its diverse markets and demographics, policies and regulations, cultures and tastes. Corporate leaders who see China as a large but still-emerging market must now regard it as a diverse and immense group of global consumers. Those who see Chinese companies as partners in joint ventures must come to see those companies as active, highly capable global competitors. And those who see the Chinese government as simultaneously welcoming and opaque must recognize it as an active, increasingly open player on the global stage. In other words, leaders of businesses around the world must see this country in the same way that the corporate leaders of the late 19th century saw the still-emerging United States — and change their strategies accordingly.

Reprint No. 10104

Author Profile:

  • Edward Tse is a senior partner with Booz & Company and the firm’s chairman for Greater China, based in Hong Kong and Shanghai. He has assisted several hundred companies — headquartered within and outside China — on all aspects of business related to China and its integration with the rest of the world.
  • This article was adapted from Tse’s The China Strategy: Harnessing the Power of the World’s Fastest-Growing Economy (Basic Books, 2010).
 
 
 
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Resources

  1. American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and Booz & Company, “China Manufacturing Competitiveness 2008–2009,” 2009: Research on the evolving capabilities and interests of manufacturers in China.
  2. Andrew Cainey, Suvojoy Sengupta, and Steven Veldhoen, “Capturing the Asian Opportunity,” s+b, Winter 2009: Why economic recovery in China, India, and elsewhere in the region could be the strongest source of sustained global growth for years to come.
  3. Patrick Chovanec, “The Nine Nations of China,” The Atlantic, November 2009: The further differentiation of China, its culture, and its prospects for development and change.
  4. Anil K. Gupta and Haiyan Wang, Getting China and India Right: Strategies for Leveraging the World’s Fastest-Growing Economies for Global Advantage (Jossey-Bass, 2009): How to go beyond simplistic, premium-based marketing in both global economies.
  5. Warren Liu, KFC in China: Secret Recipe for Success (Wiley, 2008): The in­side story of the success in China of KFC and its subsidiary Yum Brands.
  6. Sam Palmisano, “The Globally Integrated Enterprise,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2006: The chairman and CEO of IBM explains how the corporation is evolving from “multinational” to “global” enterprise.
  7. Edward Tse, The China Strategy: Harnessing the Power of the World’s Fastest-Growing Economy (Basic Books, 2010): An overall, in-depth guide to the vision, versatility, and vigilance demonstrated by successful companies in China today.
  8. Edward Tse, “China’s Five Surprises,” s+b, Winter 2005: This article explained China’s entrepreneurial intensity, fearless experimentation, “brain gain,” transition away from patronage, and overseas ambition.
  9. Edward Tse, “Context and Complexity,” s+b, Autumn 2007: More examples of the flexible approach needed for China’s increasingly diverse market.
  10. Edward Tse, Kevin Ma, and Yu Huang, “Knockoffs Come of Age,” s+b, Autumn 2009: Illuminates how China’s shan zhai companies, once associated with pirated goods, have become competitive players, even in mature industries.
  11. For more thought leadership on this topic, see the s+b website at:
    www.strategy-business.com/global_perspective.
 
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