A brief but thorough—and thoroughly sensible—business resource.

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SELLING TO CHINA

A GUIDE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES

A practical guide to navigating the ever changing business climate in China.

According to Chao, the last decade has ushered in seismic change for China’s business environment—the growth of e-commerce, a burgeoning middle class, and a more globalized outlook have resulted in a rewriting of the old rules. As a consequence, there is a wealth of opportunities in China not just for colossal multinational corporations, but also for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that previously found the nation a prohibitively costly and complex environment. The author demythologizes the cultural barriers to doing business in China; he debunks the “half-truths and sweeping generalizations” about the value of keeping face and the indispensability of special favors and connections, and he puts into context the emphasis placed on trust and the understanding of the local ceremony. In short, Chao contends that an unnecessary preoccupation with cultural rectitude detracts from more conventionally sound business practices. Still, he avers, there is a real cultural and linguistic divide that renders a foreigner’s instincts all but useless: “Westerners may be able to make instinctive decisions when dealing with their fellow countrypeople [sic], but they lack the experience needed to make similar judgments about Mainland Chinese.” The author provides a surfeit of actionable counsel, including how to determine whether one’s business is a good fit for China, how to understand and make legal contracts, and how to negotiate effectively. Also, this second edition adds Chao’s prognostications regarding China’s future, which the author envisions as brimming with both considerable progress and social unrest. Chao has over 20 years of experience working as a consultant to SMBs in China, and his long-accumulated wisdom is evinced on every page and consistently delivered in easily accessible prose. He furnishes a helpful combination of cultural context and pragmatic advice and paints a picture of China markedly divergent from conventional orthodoxy. His points are frequently illustrated with personal anecdotes, which make the book not only easier to understand, but also a more companionable read. And Chao radiates a healthy humility about his conclusions, especially given the protean nature of Chinese society. “My book will probably be just as funny and antiquated 10 years from now; a source for jokes for the new 20-somethings going to China.” Even those not interested in business per se but looking for a synoptic primer on Chinese culture will find Chao’s book appealing. He anatomizes with great subtlety the current generation’s uneasy juxtaposition between the old and the new, between the modern world eating up the horizon and the hold of an ancient tradition slow to concede ground. For example, contracts matter—you shouldn’t do business without them—but often the Chinese don’t interpret them as decisive and unashamedly revise them post-agreement. Chao’s rendering of China is cleareyed and relentlessly empirical, reporting from the inside the new way of doing business and the new opportunities consequently generated.

A brief but thorough—and thoroughly sensible—business resource.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5320-5271-2

Page Count: 238

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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