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by Tim Clissold

  • ISBN: 0060761393
  • Category: Biographies
  • Author: Tim Clissold
  • Subcategory: Professionals & Academics
  • Other formats: azw lrf docx mobi
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (February 1, 2005)
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • FB2 size: 1498 kb
  • EPUB size: 1195 kb
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 408
Download Mr. China: A Memoir fb2

China tells the rollicking story of a young man who goes to China with the misguided notion that he will help bring the Chinese into the modern world.

China tells the rollicking story of a young man who goes to China with the misguided notion that he will help bring the Chinese into the modern world. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).

Tim Clissold (Chinese name: 祈立天) is a Western writer on business in China

Tim Clissold (Chinese name: 祈立天) is a Western writer on business in China. His book detailed the numerous ways the fund lost money

The idea of China has always exerted a pull on the adventurous type  .

As an ethnic Chinese who have worked mostly in US-based companies, I have often wonder how best to explain the vast difference in US vs. China business culture. It comes down to this: in US we assume trust until proven otherwise; in China the reverse is true. A must-read for anyone wants to understand modern China. Published by Thriftbooks. com User, 14 years ago.

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of a young man who goes to China with the misguided notion that he will help bring the Chinese into the modern world, only to be schooled by the most resourceful and creative operators he would ever meet

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of a young man who goes to China with the misguided notion that he will help bring the Chinese into the modern world, only to be schooled by the most resourceful and creative operators he would ever meet. Part memoir, part parable, Mr. China is one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.

Tim Clissold was born and raised in North Yorkshire. After graduating in Physics and Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University, he joined Arthur Andersen and worked in London, Australia and Hong Kong where he developed a fascination with China. He spent two years studying Mandarin Chinese in London and Beijing before becoming one of the founding partners of a private equity group investing in China. He has lived and worked in China for sixteen years and during that time travelled to almost every part of the country. Библиографические данные.

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After graduating from Cambridge, Tim Clissold set up Arthur Andersen's China Investment Services, learnt Mandarin and then co-founded a private equity group investing in China

After graduating from Cambridge, Tim Clissold set up Arthur Andersen's China Investment Services, learnt Mandarin and then co-founded a private equity group investing in China.

The idea of China has always exerted a pull on the adventurous type. There is a kind of entrepreneurial Westerner who just can't resist it: red flags, a billion bicycles, and the largest untapped market on earth. What more could they want? After the first few visits, they start to feel more in tune and experience the first stirrings of a fatal ambition: the secret hope of becoming the Mr. China of their time.

In the 1990s, China went through a miraculous transformation from a closed backwater to the workshop of the world. Many smart young men saw this transformation coming and mistook it for their destiny. Not a few rushed East to gain strategic footholds, plant their flags, and prosper. After all, the Chinese had numbers on their side: a seemingly endless population, a thirst for resources, and the tide of history. What they needed was Western knowledge and lots of capital. Or so it seemed ...

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of one man's encounter with the Chinese. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars and a strong sense that he and his partners were -- like missionaries of capitalism -- descending into the industrial past to bring the Chinese into the modern world, Clissold got the education of a lifetime.

The ordinary Chinese workers, business owners, local bureaucrats, and party cadres Clissold encountered were some of the most committed, resourceful, and creative operators he would ever meet. They were happy to take the foreigner's money but resisted just about anything else. At every turn, the locals seemed one step ahead of Clissold's crew threatening to take the Westerners for all they were worth.

In the end, Mr. China isn't a tale of business or an expatriate's love for his adopted land. It's one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.


Reviews about Mr. China: A Memoir (7):
Maximilianishe
This book fills in some gaps for folks who are China watchers and who don’t know much about the early years of capitalism in modern China. It’s billed as a memoir of the author, himself. I found it a fascinating tale, full of informative insights. I’ll tell you a bit about it:
The author is Tim Clissold, who, per the book’s back cover “has been working in China for 17 years (and)…lives in Beijing with his wife and four children.” The book’s earliest copyright date seems to be 2004, which puts Clissold in China in the late ‘80s. I’m not sure that he really explains why he first went to China, but, in any case, he did some traveling there at what he calls “the tail end of the planned economy.” He goes back to London, but then back to China in 1990.

He lived in a university in Beijing for two years, learned Mandarin and much of the ways the Chinese led their lives. With a financial background, he takes a job as a Mandarin speaker with Arthur Anderson. At some point, he hooks up with a guy from Wall Street who can connect with hundreds of millions of dollars from Wall Street to invest in China. With his buddy, Clissold goes into the business of looking for Wall Street investments in China.

And this is what the book is about: the series of investments and adventures investing in and managing these factories/companies over the next decade or so. There are excruciating details of predicaments and details involved with the management of the companies. Here, we learn, first hand, of peculiarities of Chinese business “rules,” if there are any. Here, the reader can feel Clissold’s frustrations, if not his fears.

And, the author gives us insight into how most of the factories that he visited were originally set up under the Russian period of industrialization under Chairman Mao. After the Russians pulled out, the Chinese Military took over ownership and control of many of the factories. After Mao dies, the Military begins to release the factories to civilian control under the Communist government. Per Clissold, China was then like the U.S. was in the 1880s. Most of the factories were in disrepair and in need of investment capital, something that was then not available in China, domestically. Clissold also saw China at that time as uniquely like the U.S., in that it had resources and a population that could sustain its own economy. In short, Clissold saw great opportunity with investments in China.

But dealing with Chinese business people involved pain. The massive dinners with serious drinking were a burden. The country’s infrastructure was primitive. Factories had been relocated to rural areas that were hard to get to and were vulnerable to natural disasters. But by the early 90s, the Chinese economy was beginning to take off, and numerous countries had businesses clamoring to get a foothold. Competition was fierce.

Clissold’s Wall Street buddy raised the money in ways that astounded the author: “It was the wealth of the individual families in America…that really amazed me; I had no idea that such vast fortunes were controlled by families or individuals who had either made or inherited money,” he said. (This was the early 90’s, mind you.)

Clissold had visited 100 Chinese factories. His buddy had raised $200 million. The idea was to invest in multiple factories, with the goal of eventually consolidating them into a single corporate entity. That was how money was made in the U.S. Why would it not work in China, too?

With each deal, Clissold got majority ownership, but this did not mean that he would have majority control. Details of all his problems in this area abound in the book. But Clissold was essential. His Wall Street buddy did not learn Mandarin nor the details of how to deal with the Chinese in business. His buddy was the salesman. Clissold had to explain to the investors back on Wall Street what was going on at the ground floor. Clissold had to keep all the pieces of the puzzle in place.

He works for eight years, then has a heart attack and decides to quit. But he goes back in 1998. He is hooked, including with the language. But I don’t think that he really tells us the details of the overall business. He does tell us that after 10 years, he had worked himself out of a job, that the era of joint ventures was over in China. He says that billions of dollars were lost by Western investors, but he infers that he and his were winners.

I don’t think that he really wants to tell us the details of how he and his made money. It may be that his companies were at the base of the massive production of goods imported into the U.S. during the 90s. He says that the main purpose of the book is to better inform the American people of the ways of the Chinese in the hopes that we will better understand how the two countries need to interact and coexist in the future. Again, the book is more of a memoir than anything else, but it contains enough historical and personal insights to make it a good read.
Buzatus
I have a new boss from Shanghai who has permanently relocated here. Therefore, I want to understand more about the basic Chinese mindset. While not all of vast China can fall under one cultural umbrella, the author does a great job of keying in on core Chinese values.

This book provides many "a-ha" moments. Even while it is still difficult to think the way the Chinese think, at least you know your observations are correct. And, no, you are probably not imagining things.

Most of all, I appreciated author's explanation of his experience trying to explain timelines, metrics, and results to a US Boardroom, when the Chinese do not work according to our typical project roll-out.
Paxondano
Having worked on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, and having gone through some of what Tim Clissold talked about in this book as a mid-level executive at an American firm with a major stake in China factories, I must say that the lessons stated in this book is a sobering reminder that dealing with the Chinese in business is at best a dangerous sport.

Being a second generation Chinese American, I can appreciate and understand the author's pain, rage, and utter frustration with these people whom I have also dealt with extensively over the years. It's 2005, and I can tell you that the Chinese (in China) as a whole has only improved marginally. Though it's sad for me to put them all in one bag, I see very little evidence fraud and corruption are on the downhill slide in business AT ALL, and even the graduates from their top flight schools are no exception to the greed or the impatience of a 2-year old.
Alianyau
Mr. TimClissold brings me back to the China in 90s. The prediction they made about China economic has been proven realized, so I have no idea why they failed economically, and I might find the answer when I finish the remaining chapters.

I also noticed that they spent much time with government officials and little time with real entrepreneurs, and to make things worse, the cities and enterprises they visited are almost all in the areas where state owned enterprise dominated and hence less competitive as a whole. They should spend more time with real entrepreneurs about real market to serve real customers, sigh...
Dagdarad
The story told by Mr. Clissold is compelling and captivating for someone who has done business in China or is about to start. His experiences with vendors, government, and banks is all too common for westerners attempting to penetrate the world's most populous market.

By now, the world knows how quickly China has modernized and compressed the western world's industrial revolutions into a fraction of the time, creating the second largest economy in the world. As a result, the volume of entrepreneurs and companies doing business in China has exploded, as have the stories of failure. This book contains examples of both and is written with a voice that is both credible and likable.

A must read for those with dreams of Middle Kingdom riches.

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