Summary of One Billion Customers

Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China

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One Billion Customers book summary
Navigating the world of China without a guide could mean a fruitless journey, but a wise venture can be fruitful indeed.


9 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

9 Style


China has a reputation for vast complexity, but journalist James McGregor demystifies many of its modern business practices by placing them in their historical context and explaining why the Chinese view foreigners with such concern. He is extremely familiar with his subject, shares great material, and deftly describes his experiences and the nuances of Chinese society. He enlivens the stories in this well-organized book with great journalistic detail. Each chapter starts with a case study from history or business, followed by the author’s synthesis of the chapter’s main ideas. The chapters end with bullet precap crucial points. finds this historically grounded, practical book essential for anyone doing business in China. If you need to earn the trust of Chinese business colleagues or if you must determine whether you can trust them, read on.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which key historical events continue to make China a challenging place to conduct business
  • How to characterize Chinese society
  • How to negotiate in China
  • What business techniques work best in China


Caveat Emptor
In recent years, China has become the target of the attention of the world’s largest corporations, all seeking access to its one billion potential customers. The country was already in transition in the early 1990s. At the time, its modern awakening posed a tremendous challenge...
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About the Author

James McGregor, who speaks Mandarin, was The Wall Street Journal’s China bureau chief, chief executive of Dow Jones’ China operations in the 1990s, and a venture-capital investor during China’s boom. He chaired the American Chamber of Commerce in China and is the Senior China Advisor to Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

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