Summary of What Chinese Want

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Already the world’s second biggest economy, China will one day not too far into the future supplant the United States economically. Western companies look at China’s 1.3 billion potential customers with longing, particularly given the Chinese people’s contemporary reverence of materialism and pursuit of consumer goods. Western businesspeople should welcome this comprehensive, enlightening guide to Chinese culture, corporations and consumers by J. Walter Thompson’s lead China executive Tom Doctoroff. Early in his instructive compendium, Doctoroff wisely attempts to defuse any objections readers might have to learning about China from an advertising executive by pointing out that admen operate at the “intersection of commerce and culture.” The expertise Doctoroff has gained from years of living and working in China hasn’t hurt his efforts, either. He turns out to be an excellent, if sometimes redundant, guide to many aspects of commerce and life in this complex society. getAbstract recommends his densely informative overview to executives and managers conducting business in China.

About the Author

Tom Doctoroff, an advertising professional, is the North Asia area director and Greater China CEO for J. Walter Thompson.



Who Are the Chinese?

The world’s largest Communist country has changed dramatically, largely due to its enthusiastic embrace of state capitalism. But though the nation is modernizing on the outside, the Chinese people retain three intrinsic core values that define them:

  1. “A fatalistic, cyclical view of time and space” – Logic, analysis and regimentation are prized attributes in Chinese culture. The ancient texts of the Book of Changes (the Yi Jing or I Ching) explore the “dynamic balance of opposites” in a continuously recurring and changing universe.
  2. “Absolute evil is chaos, and the only good is stability” – The cultural influences of Daoism and Confucianism persist in modern China. Harmony and constancy are foundational goals, and duty and responsibility are the ways to achieve them.
  3. “The family, not the individual, [is] the basic productive unit of society” – Chinese society discourages individualism, and holds rebels in low regard. The group’s well-being matters most. Saving face is crucial to a person’s sense of belonging.

These cultural standards ...

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    R. A. 1 year ago
    This book lags 15 years behind and should be removed from the library.
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    H. S. 8 years ago
    Seems like the book was almost written to please someone or built upon from a business presentation into a book.
    As such the book has such a narrow theme - only otherwise if one has a significant business relationship in China.

    No to a full read of the book.