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Mr. China: A Memoir

Tim Clissold

Buy this book at Amazon.com or try Amazon.co.uk in England, Amazon.ca in Canada, Amazon.de in Germany, Amazon.fr in France, Amazon.it in Italy, Amazon.es in Spain. ASIN=0060761393, Category: Investment, Language: E, cover: HC, pages: 272, year: 2005.

Product Description:
The idea of China has always exerted a pull on the adventurous type. There is a kind of entrepreneurial Westerner who just can't resist it: red flags, a billion bicycles, and the largest untapped market on earth. What more could they want? After the first few visits, they start to feel more in tune and experience the first stirrings of a fatal ambition: the secret hope of becoming the Mr. China of their time.

In the 1990s, China went through a miraculous transformation from a closed backwater to the workshop of the world. Many smart young men saw this transformation coming and mistook it for their destiny. Not a few rushed East to gain strategic footholds, plant their flags, and prosper. After all, the Chinese had numbers on their side: a seemingly endless population, a thirst for resources, and the tide of history. What they needed was Western knowledge and lots of capital. Or so it seemed ...

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of one man's encounter with the Chinese. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars and a strong sense that he and his partners were -- like missionaries of capitalism -- descending into the industrial past to bring the Chinese into the modern world, Clissold got the education of a lifetime.

The ordinary Chinese workers, business owners, local bureaucrats, and party cadres Clissold encountered were some of the most committed, resourceful, and creative operators he would ever meet. They were happy to take the foreigner's money but resisted just about anything else. At every turn, the locals seemed one step ahead of Clissold's crew threatening to take the Westerners for all they were worth.

In the end, Mr. China isn't a tale of business or an expatriate's love for his adopted land. It's one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.

Book Review © (2005) by IBS:

Der author ist anscheinend extrem leidensfähig und -willig. Breits mit 38j hatte er aufgrund der aufregenden erlebnisse mit seinen chinesischen partnern seinen ersten herzinfarkt, obwohl er sportler und nichtraucher ist. nur den beissenden chinesenbranntwein musste er berufsbedingt oft drinken; das gehört zum geschäft wie der wodka in russland. (In russland war die alkoholsteuer hauptstaatseinnahmequelle in den letzten 1000 Jahren!)

das buch ist lesenswert, aber der ausgang ist wie erwartet, wenn man z.B. "Centuries of Economic Endeavor" von John P. Powelson gelesen hat: es gibt kein vertrauen - "we are only in for the money" - wie Frank Zappa und auch schon Goethe sagte. Denn wenn es nur um Geld geht, statt um Leidenschaft an der Arbeit, endet jegliche Aktivität langfristig in lug und betrug. (langfristig ist heutzutage bis zu dem moment, wenn das geld des partners auf dem konto eintrifft.) also wen wundert es, dass die meisten der Clissoldschen chinesischen joint-venture partner mit der kasse verschwunden sind? Interessant ist zu erfahren, was konkret hinter den kulissen von regierung, partei und massenmedien abläuft.

das Buch vermittelt den eindruck, man muss im business mit asien sehr, sehr vorsichtig sein und dass sich der rest der welt an Asien anpassen muss, statt umgekehrt!