This review was submitted by jhbchina.
When your manager asks you to develop a plan to enter China, you need to read China StreetSmarts. When your manager asks you to execute the plan to be in China, now it is time to read The China Executive.'
There are many similarities between the two books; however the latter was written by Wei Wang, a Chinese (hai gui) the term used to refer to Chinese that have lived aboard and then returned to China. In his book Wei Wang goes into more details and does a solid job of telling the reader how to view things from the Chinese perspective.
The China Executive is broken into two major parts, with the first being focused on the challenges of entering China and how to select a partner if that is your plan. The second part does a great job of advising the future GM or manager on how to establish his team and what type of obstacles to avoid once the team is selected.
Wei Wang also gives the reader some background history on Chinese culture and business structure. He helps the reader understand how the Chinese arrived at their current business and political environment. Telling the reader about this journey is helpful for it allows the reader to have a better understanding of the general Chinese mindset and their intent, and what they are capable of delivering as employees.
The China Executive is full of real world examples and it also is contains of deep list of action items the reader can follow to limit mistakes. I particularly enjoyed the way Wei Wang used Chinese quotes to connect the reader to the Chinese culture. Some of my favorites are:
1. Chinese law is like a rope, the tall go over, the short go under and the average get caught.
2. The law does not punish the masses
In the chapter 'Leading the Chinese Way' Wei Wang does a fine job of describing the difference between how western companies run a business 'Rules, Reasons, Feelings' and how it conflicts with Chinese culture of relationships which is runs opposite to this with 'Feelings, Reasons, Rules'. From this one learns that when dealing with a Chinese employee, first you must understand their feelings and the reasons for them. Then you can create a rule to manage the business.
In the end, Wei Wang advises the reader that the future of our global economy is going to be a hybrid of western management practices and Chinese relationship practices. I agree that this is the future of business management, especially for MNC's in China.