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In September 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world's biggest-ever initial public offering. Since then, millions of investors and managers worldwide have pondered a fundamental question: What's really going on with the new wave of China's disruptors? Alibaba wasn't an outlier--it's one of a rising tide of thriving Chinese companies, mostly bu In September 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world's biggest-ever initial public offering. Since then, millions of investors and managers worldwide have pondered a fundamental question: What's really going on with the new wave of China's disruptors? Alibaba wasn't an outlier--it's one of a rising tide of thriving Chinese companies, mostly but not exclusively in the technology sector. Overnight, its founder, Jack Ma, appeared on the same magazine covers as American entrepreneurial icons like Mark Zuckerberg. Ma was quickly followed by the founders of other previously little-known companies, such as Baidu, Tencent, and Xiaomi. Over the past two decades, an unprecedented burst of entrepreneurialism has transformed China's economy from a closed, impoverished, state-run system into a major power in global business. As products in China become more and more sophisticated, and as its companies embrace domestically developed technology, we will increasingly see Chinese goods setting global standards. Meanwhile, companies in the rest of the world wonder how they can access the fast-rising incomes of China's 1.3 billion consumers. Now Edward Tse, a leading global strategy consultant, reveals how China got to this point, and what the country's rise means for the United States and the rest of the world. Tse has spent more than twenty years working with senior Chinese executives, learning firsthand how China's most powerful companies operate. He's an expert on how private firms are thriving in what is still, officially, a communist country. His book draws on exclusive interviews and case studies to explore questions such as *What drives China's entrepreneurs? Personal fame and fortune--or a quest for national pride and communal achievement? *How do these companies grow so quickly? In 2005, Lenovo sold just one category of products (personal computers) in one market, China. Today, not only is it the world's largest PC seller; it is also the world's third-largest smartphone seller. *How does Chinese culture shape the strategies and tactics of these business leaders? Can outsiders copy what the Chinese are doing? *Can capitalists really thrive within a communist system? How does Tencent's Pony Ma serve as a member of China's parliament while running a company that dominates online games and messaging? *What impact will China have on the rest of the world as its private companies enter new markets, acquire foreign businesses, and threaten established firms in countless industries? As Tse concludes: "I believe that as a consequence of the opening driven by China's entrepreneurs, the push to invest in science, research, and development, and the new freedoms that people are enjoying across the country, China has embarked on a renaissance that could rival its greatest era in history--the Tang dynasty. These entrepreneurs are the front line in China's intense hunger for success. They will have an even more remarkable impact on the global economy in the future, through the rest of this decade and beyond."


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In September 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world's biggest-ever initial public offering. Since then, millions of investors and managers worldwide have pondered a fundamental question: What's really going on with the new wave of China's disruptors? Alibaba wasn't an outlier--it's one of a rising tide of thriving Chinese companies, mostly bu In September 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world's biggest-ever initial public offering. Since then, millions of investors and managers worldwide have pondered a fundamental question: What's really going on with the new wave of China's disruptors? Alibaba wasn't an outlier--it's one of a rising tide of thriving Chinese companies, mostly but not exclusively in the technology sector. Overnight, its founder, Jack Ma, appeared on the same magazine covers as American entrepreneurial icons like Mark Zuckerberg. Ma was quickly followed by the founders of other previously little-known companies, such as Baidu, Tencent, and Xiaomi. Over the past two decades, an unprecedented burst of entrepreneurialism has transformed China's economy from a closed, impoverished, state-run system into a major power in global business. As products in China become more and more sophisticated, and as its companies embrace domestically developed technology, we will increasingly see Chinese goods setting global standards. Meanwhile, companies in the rest of the world wonder how they can access the fast-rising incomes of China's 1.3 billion consumers. Now Edward Tse, a leading global strategy consultant, reveals how China got to this point, and what the country's rise means for the United States and the rest of the world. Tse has spent more than twenty years working with senior Chinese executives, learning firsthand how China's most powerful companies operate. He's an expert on how private firms are thriving in what is still, officially, a communist country. His book draws on exclusive interviews and case studies to explore questions such as *What drives China's entrepreneurs? Personal fame and fortune--or a quest for national pride and communal achievement? *How do these companies grow so quickly? In 2005, Lenovo sold just one category of products (personal computers) in one market, China. Today, not only is it the world's largest PC seller; it is also the world's third-largest smartphone seller. *How does Chinese culture shape the strategies and tactics of these business leaders? Can outsiders copy what the Chinese are doing? *Can capitalists really thrive within a communist system? How does Tencent's Pony Ma serve as a member of China's parliament while running a company that dominates online games and messaging? *What impact will China have on the rest of the world as its private companies enter new markets, acquire foreign businesses, and threaten established firms in countless industries? As Tse concludes: "I believe that as a consequence of the opening driven by China's entrepreneurs, the push to invest in science, research, and development, and the new freedoms that people are enjoying across the country, China has embarked on a renaissance that could rival its greatest era in history--the Tang dynasty. These entrepreneurs are the front line in China's intense hunger for success. They will have an even more remarkable impact on the global economy in the future, through the rest of this decade and beyond."

30 review for China's Disruptors: How Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Other Companies Are Changing the Rules of Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    I have to give the author credit for trying to tackle a complex subject for the world of business and entrepreneurship in China is not an easy one to navigate, neither for the people directly involved in it nor long-time observers such as Edward Tse. The author has spent a lot of time in the Greater China Region understanding the trends and changes in business in China against a backdrop of a Communist-controlled government and the still-dominant position of state-owned enterprises. The debouche I have to give the author credit for trying to tackle a complex subject for the world of business and entrepreneurship in China is not an easy one to navigate, neither for the people directly involved in it nor long-time observers such as Edward Tse. The author has spent a lot of time in the Greater China Region understanding the trends and changes in business in China against a backdrop of a Communist-controlled government and the still-dominant position of state-owned enterprises. The debouche of the private sector with the arrival of successful companies such as Alibaba and Huawei after the tight lid of the centrally planned economy was taken off, however, is sure to continue and happen on a grander and more global scale. China is changing rapidly as we speak, and reading about some of the figures around China's merger and acquisitions in the U.S. was eye-opening. There will be no shortages of hyperboles around paradigm shifts in the global economy as a result of the changes, innovations and advances propagated by Chinese companies, whether or not as a result of collaboration with foreign partners. The next wave of entrepreneurs is being formed right underneath our noses. They are global, sophisticated, and savvy. They are in US universities, high schools and elementary schools in record numbers today and they are also graduating in greater numbers from some of the most prestigious universities in China. The coming total graduate workforce from China will reach 200 million by the year 2020, larger than the US workforce, according to the author. That is significant. As China continues to let its citizens prosper, more attention can be paid to the education of its people, and what then will follow is a continual wave of entrepreneurship, business transactions, R&D, innovation, and collaboration with other companies or countries. The author makes several astute observations. One of them is that Chinese companies and entrepreneurs that experience obstacles in their home country would make them and their prodigy better equipped to deal with ambiguity, risk, and complexity when expanding overseas. Another astute comment the author made is that "China's official spending has been aimed at matching Western capabilities and achievements, not at pushing forward into new areas. The rationale is straightforward: unless Chinese scientists and engineers can do the same things as their Western counterparts, they will not be able to move beyond their achievements....the suggestions that China's corporate innovation amounts to nothing beyond playing catch-up is to miss the across-the-board scale of what is happening...." (page 107). It is easy to misread what is happening 'across the board' in terms of the business landscape in China. It is like trying to read words on a fast-moving train. But in the midst of trying to analyze what is taking place in the private sector in China and what its future holds, it is a mistake to continue to hold the view that China cannot innovate. Unlike another reviewer, I would not dismiss the book as 'not recommended'. It is still a worthwhile read (I borrowed the book from the local public library). However, I would agree with the reviewer that the book's narrative is more surface level, not deep analysis. Moreover, I found it very challenging to get through the book because the narrative jumps from Alibaba to Haier to Huawei, then to other companies and back to Alibaba or Tencent, and then it is interspersed with various themes that either relate to the companies themselves or how the central government in China helps or hinders the private sector. It's not a very orderly book in that sense. Furthermore, the number of topics broached (e.g. robotics, 3D printing, pollution, to name a few, each deserving of their own book) diluted the book's intended focus. One key theme that I did pick up is that what is relevant going forward for China is how Chinese companies successfully grow, innovate, push and sustain their business models on a more international scale while remaining successful at home going forward. China is no longer copycat nation, at least not for much longer; it is on a brand new trajectory, and the government, the private sector, and its people will remain key to shaping the country's business future.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Mckay

    Not recommended. The author seemed overly concerned with describing 'China's Disruptors' as a monolithic unit. The entire narrative was surface level, like reading a bunch of business magazine articles. The author didn't indicate a strong grasp of the industries he was describing. One example was his comparing Xiaomi's software releases to Huawei's hardware releases as if they were the same thing. Other descriptions of Xiaomi did not align with my understanding from talking to employees at the c Not recommended. The author seemed overly concerned with describing 'China's Disruptors' as a monolithic unit. The entire narrative was surface level, like reading a bunch of business magazine articles. The author didn't indicate a strong grasp of the industries he was describing. One example was his comparing Xiaomi's software releases to Huawei's hardware releases as if they were the same thing. Other descriptions of Xiaomi did not align with my understanding from talking to employees at the company. A much better book to read in the same vein is Alibaba's World: How a Remarkable Chinese Company is Changing the Face of Global Business.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tadas Talaikis

    Somewhat overly-optimistic, doesn't analyze any data (which actually can represent the reality, not just opinion), like: China income inequality among world’s worst Or: Social issues in China Somewhat overly-optimistic, doesn't analyze any data (which actually can represent the reality, not just opinion), like: China income inequality among world’s worst Or: Social issues in China

  4. 5 out of 5

    I'd rather have a concrete and materialist analysis in liberal form than one dealing in generalities equiped with the right marxist terminology. China these days has a hypercompetitive and dynamic market sphere, so let's hear what its denizens have to say. Sadly, it's liberal generalities. Edward Tse loves the China Entrepreneur Forum, and everything is written from that perspective. Free commerce is good, the state was necessary but now it's a burden, SOEs should be reduced as much as political I'd rather have a concrete and materialist analysis in liberal form than one dealing in generalities equiped with the right marxist terminology. China these days has a hypercompetitive and dynamic market sphere, so let's hear what its denizens have to say. Sadly, it's liberal generalities. Edward Tse loves the China Entrepreneur Forum, and everything is written from that perspective. Free commerce is good, the state was necessary but now it's a burden, SOEs should be reduced as much as politically tenable, and EVERYONE can be an entrepreneur if they want to be. It's a hyper-liberal account that doesn't bother too much with numbers or graphs, equivocates civil society and free markets, takes seriously CEO claims of environmental and social concern, and most jarringly has no concept of 'crisis'. The show will go on forever, Fukuyama was correct. The introduction sets out the different forms of property: individual, collective and private. Many that we would call private are registered as collective, which entails restrictions (the local government can force spending or acquisitions, managers are forbidden from holding too large a stock in it, etc) but still leaves a lot of space for 'free' market dynamics. I wish he went more in depth here, as it's the only place where the political dimension of property and accumulation is really developed. Elsewhere entrepreneurs (never owners) are simply the protagonists of all that is good and efficient; Friedman would squeal. The comparison with Yeltsin's shock doctrine is enlightening: while Russia simply sold its industries and privatized what remained, after 1989 China never privatized its mammoth productive facilities but rather loosened restrictions and legalized private forms of accumulation around them. The upsurge in market-driven enterprises thus came parallel to the state sector, not in its place — although gradual privatization takes place even in healthcare and finance, these days. Interesting example: consumer credit was developed not by banks but by Alibaba, which transformed a country in which 1% of the populace had a credit card into the biggest e-commerce market in the world. Another interesting thing is a brief bit on the flow of FDI — since the 2010s, this has reversed, and China now invests more in US mergers & acquisitions than vice versa. The classic overproduction conundrum rears its head: developing national consumption by boosting wages and demand-side investment, and so emboldening workers, or reinvesting the surplus overseas? The Chinese state, led by the most powerful CP in existence, allows private capital to decide for themselves for now, though the levers of capital control remain firmly in its hands. Not recommended — most is just aspirational selfhelp for shareholders, and the interesting stuff remains basic.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    Reading this book made me hesitated a number of times to choose a score between two or three of the five stars. Two when I feel that Tse's writing seems too confident in his country that will progress. It rises to three when I think again that it is the meeting point for economic readers from outside China to study the procedures of hypersensitive Chinese competitors and how China is liberalizing its economy in addition to the Communist Party's government living side by side. At least I could fin Reading this book made me hesitated a number of times to choose a score between two or three of the five stars. Two when I feel that Tse's writing seems too confident in his country that will progress. It rises to three when I think again that it is the meeting point for economic readers from outside China to study the procedures of hypersensitive Chinese competitors and how China is liberalizing its economy in addition to the Communist Party's government living side by side. At least I could find the answer ancient questions inside of my brain whenever people told me China will be the new superpower in economy of the world but the politics of its country still taking the power for globalization. My friends are struggling contact to overseas until they find VPN. And the question how could China surviving its society whom popular titled "pride, ambitious, same cultural heritage" being capitalize country? The answer start from Den Xiaoping, but on the otherwise. "How can the 'pride' and 'ambitious' people aren't protest where the book written that the government expecting loyality from the society despite internet business in China employing special employees is obliged to monitor their services, delete and block anti-government messages?" Answered: business entity more focusing on clarification and strengthening property rights. Predictions both verbally and research I can say this book can be the answer to why China can control the world economy. "We are taking risks. We could born to be one of the biggest company in the world, or we could just be born or die. I don't think we can be called as a successful company, but, we could always reform and explore." -Zhang Ruimin, Haier.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tam

    Not sure how to rate because I am not qualified. Not much of a business person here. The book is more like Edward Tse's personal view of business environment in China, armed with his many years experience and personal connections. We do not know his reasoning process, only the final outcome. How to rate such opinion while I have none from myself? Overall, it is rather optimistic, but not overly proud, which makes it a comfortable read. At the same time super vague, nothing can be qualified as a c Not sure how to rate because I am not qualified. Not much of a business person here. The book is more like Edward Tse's personal view of business environment in China, armed with his many years experience and personal connections. We do not know his reasoning process, only the final outcome. How to rate such opinion while I have none from myself? Overall, it is rather optimistic, but not overly proud, which makes it a comfortable read. At the same time super vague, nothing can be qualified as a case study. Tse tells some story company X sells this and voila they figure out Y and here is a summary description of them in year 2014. Oh also there are some policies Z that may help or hurt (in a very general way). So it's hard to learn anything concrete but only a very faint idea of the context, politically and economically, and perhaps culturally. I also wish to know more about failures. The mere size of China allows for a large number of successes and also means a much much greater number of failures. Perhaps we can learn from mistakes more easily? Anyway, an ok introduction, but probably only interesting to people who intend to do business in the country.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tõnu Vahtra

    Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi and other Tech giants in China. This book is another explanation why Chinese companies are winning in their domestic market which is basically a gladiator arena and how the gained experience helps them also successfully conquer foreign markets. China business environment creates intrinsic drive for constant innovation because all winning products will be copied in no time which erodes margins, pace of innovation constantly needs to stay ahead of copying in order t Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi and other Tech giants in China. This book is another explanation why Chinese companies are winning in their domestic market which is basically a gladiator arena and how the gained experience helps them also successfully conquer foreign markets. China business environment creates intrinsic drive for constant innovation because all winning products will be copied in no time which erodes margins, pace of innovation constantly needs to stay ahead of copying in order to survive. While the big companies outside China are often naively trying to extend their reach into China with their existing strategy and approaches they are not only loosing there but also on their home ground. From this angle the book should be inspiring and call for action as it shows how lazy many organizations are and the still untapped potential. While saying this I would not consider this book a sales pitch to Chinese disruptors, it also discusses the severe challenges and issues that need to be addressed for sustained growth (evolving entrepreneurial mindset in close cooperation with government, tackling environmental issues etc.). “We need more companies to run themselves in a similar way to Chinese companies—operating more in the present, viewing themselves as in a condition of constant flux, and always searching for new business areas they can stretch themselves into.”

  8. 5 out of 5

    Felix Boisse

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Insightful book, although meandering at times. Notes below. Key Takeaways • The pace of change in China is blistering – a company’s ability to innovate and adapt to changing conditions is paramount as a source of competitive advantage o Traditional moats seen in the West are less secure / sustainable in China - competitors can emerge from unexpected positions  The Chinese market is hyper-competitive, and barriers are lowered by growth and technology o Difficulties for even the most successful com Insightful book, although meandering at times. Notes below. Key Takeaways • The pace of change in China is blistering – a company’s ability to innovate and adapt to changing conditions is paramount as a source of competitive advantage o Traditional moats seen in the West are less secure / sustainable in China - competitors can emerge from unexpected positions  The Chinese market is hyper-competitive, and barriers are lowered by growth and technology o Difficulties for even the most successful companies in establishing long-term sustainable competitive advantage means companies must always be willing to realign how they operate  Reinvention must lie at the heart of a company’s activities, all the while leveraging existing strengths o Business strategy in China is best described as “exploiting temporary competitive advantages” – it is defined by reacting and testing rather than planning • Thoughtful multinationals will use their China operations as a source of competitive advantage globally – leveraging scale or innovation • As China grows richer, more innovations will be aimed at wealthier segments of the market, and so more of its innovations will also appeal to people in developed economies o A richer China means it will contribute more to global innovation – technology, medical research o China will also increasingly become a global trendsetter • Chinese companies will increasingly become global o The most successful Chinese companies will be those that combine scale in China, an ability to absorb international practices and management, and access to capital for acquisitions • Economic development must be maintained to ensure continuing support for Communist Party rule o In return for expanding operational freedoms, the government expects loyalty, particularly in politically sensitive areas Introduction – Enterprises of our Time • Privately run businesses account for by far the biggest share of the Chinese economy – probably around 75% and possibly more than 80% if the country’s 100mm or so farming households are included o At the time of Mao’s death in 1976, China had no private businesses o Industry and agriculture were run either by the central government, local governments, or through collectives o The number of state owned businesses fell by half from 2003 to 2013 • Zhang Ruimin – responsible for taking an ailing collectively owned factory and building it into the leading home appliances multinational (Haier) • China critics argue that China’s economic success is due, in good part, to unfair practices by the Chinese government: o Mercantilist trade regime o Currency manipulation o High pressure efforts to open external markets to its businesses o Subsidies for manufacturers o Widespread pirating of foreign goods and technology • They argue that the main beneficiaries of these policies have been Chinese export manufacturers, sucking in jobs from the rest of the world • The critics miss the emergence of a new group of entrepreneurial business leaders, all from the private sector, most of them operating with little direct government influence or support, and all of them transforming their industries o Jack Ma – Alibaba o Pony Ma – Tencent o Rob Li – Baidu o Ren Zhengfei – Huawei o Yang Yuanqing – Lenovo o Lei Jun – Xiamoi o Yu Gang – Yihaodan online supermarket o Lu Shufu – Geely Auto o Xu Lianjie – Hengan International (CPG products) o Diane Wang – DHGate.com, B2B retailer • The Chinese entrepreneurs thrived in part because they created companies able to change as China changed o Unfairly compared to the Russian oligarchs of the early 2000s – the Chinese entrepreneurs developed their businesses from the ground up, not by taking advantage of the privatization of industry • It will increasingly be Chinese goods and Chinese consumers that set global standards and preferences o Chinese consumers are perhaps the world’s most fickle – studies show little brand loyalty, whether for everyday items or big ticket purchases o Companies can no longer think about establishing a defensible position for themselves and their products; instead they can only think of creating the means to transform themselves over and over gain o Rather than setting goals or targets, companies are instead concentrating on ways of strengthening their capabilities to improvise and innovate • Chinese entrepreneurs do not have preplanned answers to many of the problems that confront them; their strengths are those of skillful adaptation, in both strategy and execution o Constantly searching for small advantages Chapter 1 – Anything is Possible • Alibaba created an online payments system to facilitate C2C eCommerce (Taobao) because Chinese didn’t have a sophisticated payments system o Chinese SOE banks weren’t supporting SMB private enterprises, so building on Alipay’s success, Alibaba set up a finance arm to make small loans to Alibaba.com users, using the value of business conducted through Alibaba and rating received from customers to assess creditworthiness • Jack Ma doesn’t attribute his success to meticulous planning: “if you plan, you lose. If you don’t plan, you win” o Taobao was set up in reaction to eBay’s arrival o Alibaba isn’t following the traditional business strategy of having a core competency. Instead, it’s constantly looking for the right combination of opportunity and competence • Mao’s view of order was based on a system that did not allow anyone to visibly excel at the expense of others, except through the Communist Party – resulted in a four-decade long blockade on innovation and intellectual growth • China’s first reforms (under Deng Xiaoping in 1978) took place in the countryside under the “Household Responsibility System” where farmers became free to sell any excess production (after contractual obligations to the state) at whatever price they wanted o Agricultural output soared, rising as much as 10% annually through the 1980s • In 1988, China’s parliament granted private companies the formal right to exist • At the heart of China’s entrepreneurial spirit lie three core elements: o Pride – entrepreneurs see an important part of their mission as planning a major role in the achievement of national prosperity o Ambition o Shared cultural heritage – at the heart of Confucian thought is the idea that for the world to be well ordered, people must behave properly and fulfill their prescribed roles… Chinese leaders tend to harbor an underlying assumption that the natural tendency of the world is to run toward disorder. Control is always necessary.  Deep obligation to give their business purpose Chapter 2 – Wide Open • Four factors propelling broad economic growth: o Scale o Openness  Changes in China’s openness over the last several years tend to benefit domestic private companies over MNCs because they have greater familiarity with local conditions (complexity and speed of change) o Official support  Economic development must be maintained to ensure continuing support for Communist Party rule, while Communist Party rule provides the national stability necessary for development to continue  In return for expanding operational freedoms, the government expects loyalty, particularly in politically sensitive areas o Technology Chapter 3 – Do or Die • The growth in China requires companies to change, not as a reaction to one particular problem, but as an across-the-board need to cope with multiple challenges simultaneously o Business strategy in China is best described as “exploiting temporary competitive advantages” • China’s entrepreneurs are innovating in atypical ways, such as Huawei finding ways to supply communication equipment to secondary-market players • As China grows richer, more innovations will be aimed at wealthier segments of the market, and so more of its innovations will also appeal to people in developed economies • China has a demographic problem on its hands: the working-age population will decline from 900mm today to 650mm by mid-century – productivity will need to rise sharply for China to stay competitive Chapter 4 – Outbound • Chinese companies are starting to move into the world at large en masse, seeking both markets and acquisitions o The most successful Chinese companies will be those that combine scale in China, an ability to absorb international practices and management, and access to capital for acquisitions Chapter 5 – Changing China • China now has near universal health insurance coverage • To monitor the internet content platforms, the government’s propaganda department issues instructions every day to companies telling them how to handle sensitive topics o As a quid pro quo for commercial freedom, internet companies such as Tencent and Baidu with user-based content have staff to monitor their services and remove posts on sensitive subjects as soon as they find it • Companies see themselves participating in a continual process of negotiation with the government, that allows them to continue growing their businesses o Xi’s biggest fear is that a sharp reduction in growth might trigger social unrest o “Be close to government, but far from politics” – CEO of Dalian Wanda Chapter 6 – The Right Response • “Competing on the edge” framework: o Advantage can only be temporary  Change, rather than being viewed as a threat to existing businesses should instead be treated as the key source of new opportunities for growth o As a result of advantage being temporary, strategy will have to be diverse and emergent, and defy simple generalizations o Reinvention will lie at the heart of all of a company’s activities  Efficiency will count for less than the ability to generate and test new ideas o Companies should remain rooted in the present, making sure they gain maximum benefit from their existing products by extending offerings to new market segments and developing derivative products  “Stretching out the past” by using existing strengths to launch new products and services • WeChat’s roots clearly extend back to its original hit, QQ; its stream of new features taps into the need for constant iteration to keep consumers in search of novelty happy • China’s “conglomerate” companies can be attributed to two things: (i) the still underdeveloped nature of China’s markets and (ii) the rate of market change that creates difficulties for even the most successful companies in establishing long-term sustainable competitive advantage • Traditionally, MNCs have taken products and operational strengths that brought them success in one or two regions and applied them in other markets around the world expecting the same – in China they need to do the opposite: figure out how to best configure their operations there and then use their China-developed strengths to improve their performance in the rest of the world o To be successful in China, MNCs must have fast decision making, flexibility, and innovate the Chinese way o G&E has used China to develop low-cost medical equipment

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jon Ip

    Nice book. Read if you want to learn about China's social and economic development since the cultural revolution in the 1960's. Or read if you want to get a high level view of China's current business landscape. Who the major players are. Current sentiment and attitudes in the country. Outlooks, etc... Small aside: I appreciate the stats and figures but even more so that they are sourced in the footnotes!! Statisticians world-round are overjoyed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jon Norimann

    Edward Tse has here written a primer on Chinas new private corporate elite. If you know the basics about the people behind names like Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Huawei etc this book is a waste of time. For me it was new information and as such a rather interesting and entertaining book. Tse also adds some of his own thoughts about developments in China going forward. All in all a decent book delivering what the title promises.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Good for people who want to be introduced to Chinese business, how it works and who the successful players are. It's a bit light and breezy, but excellent if you just want a quick overview of the juggernaut that is China today.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    As I was reading this I thought the writing style followed the pyramid principle. Turned out the author was a director at BCG. Very simple storyline and superficial insight. Someone can easily turn this into a 15 page deck.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    China is becoming more open with investments in overseas companies. Turning into a more globalist society filled with strong willed individuals able to make ever-present decisions. Very ambitious individuals. Aim to do new things because they want to be able to see off their foreign rivals, and the only way to do so is through new means. US Companies can learn: -Stay in state of constant flux (innovation) -Operate in the present -Always looking for new categories to jump into ex: WeChat, QQ, AliPay China is becoming more open with investments in overseas companies. Turning into a more globalist society filled with strong willed individuals able to make ever-present decisions. Very ambitious individuals. Aim to do new things because they want to be able to see off their foreign rivals, and the only way to do so is through new means. US Companies can learn: -Stay in state of constant flux (innovation) -Operate in the present -Always looking for new categories to jump into ex: WeChat, QQ, AliPay Every employee should consider themselves an entrepreneur. Small teams that act like their own small businesses. Company: Hai Er, CEO: Zhang Ruimin Entrepreneur took an ax and destroyed all malfunctioning refrigerators. Made a point that they only want the best quality products. China: -Largest companies are government owned: banks, insurers, telecom, oil, energy, airlines, construction, steel, auto -Many private firms have been making investments overseas. Ex: Lenovo. -Teller of global tech trends -Joined World Trade Organization early 2000’s: -Foreign inflows more than doubled -China became biggest exporter & trader -Biggest car market -Through the 90’s residents didn’t own their homes, they stayed in places provided by their jobs -Privatization movement: people could buy their own homes -Business leaders want to have a social impact -Economic Forces: Scale (population), Openness, Official Support (govs ability to provide infrastructure needed for growth), Technology -Forming partnerships is BIG -Piracy going down -Urbanization is biggest impact occurring -NEED to find solution to energy and transport for growing urbanization -Relies on coal for 66% of energy needs; biggest carbon emitter -Worlds largest oil importer -China’s biggest property company bought AMC Theaters in 2014

  14. 5 out of 5

    NJ Wong

    There are not many Business/Management books about China's companies written in English for a Western audience. Most English books tend to focus on Western (American or European) companies. As China is now the 2nd largest economy in the world, it is imperative that Western readers have some basic insight about the biggest up-and-coming companies in China, and this book fulfills that role. Of course, this book focuses mainly on just the "biggest" companies with a global impact. There are many dome There are not many Business/Management books about China's companies written in English for a Western audience. Most English books tend to focus on Western (American or European) companies. As China is now the 2nd largest economy in the world, it is imperative that Western readers have some basic insight about the biggest up-and-coming companies in China, and this book fulfills that role. Of course, this book focuses mainly on just the "biggest" companies with a global impact. There are many domestic companies which may not have a strong global presence, but are so large that they will likely be a force globally within a few years. For example, WeChat is predominantly used by Chinese nationals. However, as Chinese tourists travel abroad, companies may find that supporting WeChat will help them earn the Chinese dollar from these travellers. And the internet connected world is changing things so dynamically that a book like this could easily get out of date within a few years. But despite the rapid obsolescence of the content of these kind of books, this book is still useful and informative. However, this book doesn't really answer how the Chinese companies are changing the rules of business. Many of the business practices may not be portable to Western countries or countries where cheap labour is not a given. In a sense, this book is descriptive, not prescriptive. But description is important as one needs to understand the perspective where the Chinese entrepreneurs are coming from.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kiel

    Placing the hope of China’s future on its creative and aggressive entrepreneurs, this book takes a positive view of the possibilities being realized by China’s private mega businesses. Utilizing off shore ownership to scrape profits and avoid direct government oversight, companies like alibaba and others play just enough politics to gain market share and then demonstrate the value of a more open and meritocratic economy. The author does sometimes come across as overly positive about the future o Placing the hope of China’s future on its creative and aggressive entrepreneurs, this book takes a positive view of the possibilities being realized by China’s private mega businesses. Utilizing off shore ownership to scrape profits and avoid direct government oversight, companies like alibaba and others play just enough politics to gain market share and then demonstrate the value of a more open and meritocratic economy. The author does sometimes come across as overly positive about the future of global business under the watchful eye of an exceedingly controlling government. However he makes the case that outsiders should take a wider view at what is being achieved by creative business ventures and then celebrated and replicated by more government controlled sectors and companies. It’s helpful to listen to this perspective having been mentored under the influence of Silicon Valley. In the US the government is trying to limit corporate powers. In China the government is trying to leverage it. Moral and economic ambiguities arise at all turns. I only hope I provide better wisdom to my students having looked into their future opportunities and challenges as best as I can. 7 hours or 272 pages of modern Neo Confucian business models gone global.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Excellent introduction to some of the key private sector players driving China's continued economic growth and modernization. Challenges the existing Western narrative of China as an innovation desert filled with copycat firms exploiting weak intellectual property laws to steal unfair advantages from foreign competitors. While there is some truth to that characterization, Edward Tse tells the story of a different China, one filled with highly innovative and creative private sector companies batt Excellent introduction to some of the key private sector players driving China's continued economic growth and modernization. Challenges the existing Western narrative of China as an innovation desert filled with copycat firms exploiting weak intellectual property laws to steal unfair advantages from foreign competitors. While there is some truth to that characterization, Edward Tse tells the story of a different China, one filled with highly innovative and creative private sector companies battling each other for some small advantage in the intensely competitive Chinese domestic market. Through profiles of some of China's most successful private companies, Tse persuasively argues that these companies will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future China's state and society, as well as the entire global economy. This should be required reading for anyone trying to understand the driving force behind China's behavior on the global stage in the 21st century.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

    This was my first introduction to current Chinese economy and I appreciate that Tse didn't make it below him to repeat time and time and time again main actors and their companies, it was well needed coming into this topic fresh. But even when I was venturing in without previous knowledge I found the way he handled the topic was a bit too one sided. Everything was very complementary and whatever criticism there was, it was touched upon lightly. This doesn't mean that I'm coming from a school of This was my first introduction to current Chinese economy and I appreciate that Tse didn't make it below him to repeat time and time and time again main actors and their companies, it was well needed coming into this topic fresh. But even when I was venturing in without previous knowledge I found the way he handled the topic was a bit too one sided. Everything was very complementary and whatever criticism there was, it was touched upon lightly. This doesn't mean that I'm coming from a school of beating down the accomplishments Chinese economy has made during last 30 years or writing them off as a completely shrewd practices in violating copyright and human rights laws. A bit more balance would have benefited the book, imo. I am going to definitely read more on the topic and I appreciate that the first thing I picked up didn't scare me away.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    Nary any new insights The book only skims the surface of whats happening in china's internet industry with little analytical points. It feels like a compilation of historical news articles with several short paragraphs covering how China's internet founders began. Additionally, the author rambles about general political dynamics between companies and the government. Good for a reader who wants a broad overview or knows nothing much about China.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rohit Nallapeta

    This book was an impulse read and I'm glad to have read this book. This book is informative and carves many windows in to a black box that is China. Very thoughtfully articulated chapters that track the raise of Chinese entrepreneurship, economic growth and it's internal challenges. Some of his predictions are prescient. I'm now more informed about China and it's competitiveness, Dynamics, government Outlook etc. A good read for entrepreneurs thinking of working with Chinese companies.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    The book starts off strong with an in-depth classification of Chinese companies. After that, the discussion devolves into a random assortment of articles about various companies. The author's knowledge of each company was generic and lacked insights. There are much better books about chinese companies with insights directly from the company founders .

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angela Yap

    This book gives the reader a new perspective on China as a growing global force which is really critical as the rest of the world start to adapt to this new era. However discussion was not as in-depth as I would like it to be and some of the points were somewhat repetitive and not substantiated with evidence or data.

  22. 4 out of 5

    João Cortez

    The book provides a good overview about the new companies in China, especially Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. It describes the complexity of doing business in China - the culture, the politics and the competition; as well as the spirit, energy and character of the new Chinese entrepreneurs. Worth a read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jubin Chheda

    Great read covering various aspects of how Chinese markets went through such rapid change and how businesses like Alibaba and Tencent capitalized and grew and what we can all learn from them! It's an exciting and dare I say unique time in history!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thai Son

    A tad bit shallow and hyperoptimistic, but hey if I need a whole catalogue of Chinese firms and a quick glance at how everything came to be I will look at this book. This was painfully dull. I really took my time and distracted myself with other books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dewi Erwan Humphreys

    Gives a very particular pro chinese private company message. I enjoyed learning about the characters behind China's largest companies and the very different dynamics within the Chinese economy relative to western economies

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emmanuel

    This book will help you better understand how Chinese MNCs started off, developing at the same a generation of entrepreneurs. Edward Tse managed to keep it accessible to everyone. Mostly recommended

  27. 4 out of 5

    Luca

    Good understanding of today's China trough its private sector champions, especially in the tech business

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Miguel

    Poorly structured. It reads like a 200 pages introduction.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ken Hamner

    Outstanding book. Highly recommended.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yann Graf

    Interesting but quite boring to read. More than a story, it feels like a list of facts.

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