The Bamboo Network: How Expatriate Chinese Entrepreneurs are Creating a New Economic Superpower in Asia

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 1, 1996 - Business & Economics - 264 pages
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"The Bamboo Network" shows how a remarkable group of ethnic Chinese families has been the driving force behind China's transition from communism to capitalism: the economic miracle" that took the Western business world by surprise. Murray Weidenbaum, a leading international economist, and Samuel Hughes trace the history of these enterprising leaders, who fled the mainland after the Communist takeover in 1948 and settled through out Southeast Asia. Following in the tradition of generations of expatriate Chinese merchants, they began establishing small family businesses. Today, the authors show, these have expanded into conglomerate business empires. Entrusting corporate divisions almost exclusively to relatives, and dealing extensively with fellow expatriates, these entrepreneurs have formed close-knit and formidable business spheres throughout Southeast Asia -- a "bamboo network."
Members of the bamboo network were well-positioned to do business in China when this first became possible: since they "speak the language, " both literally and culturally, they were favored as business partners by the both the Chinese government and the emerging private sector. They have been financing and often managing the development of manufacturing, banking, and other key industries in China.
Western investors and entrepreneurs seeking to enter the Chinese market are a step behind the members of the bamboo network. This book evens the score. Weidenbaum and Hughes show how private enterprise can thrive in China, providing unrivaled insight into the philosophy and culture that inform doing business there. "The Bamboo Network" will be indispensable reading for those who wish to crack theworld's largest market and investment opportunity. For, despite the serious domestic problems likely to arise within the region, overseas Chinese business families will no doubt continue to take advantage of changing threats and opportunities in the fastest-growing and most competitive economy in the world. Whether as friends or rivals of the bamboo network, Americans must learn more about this exotic sector of the global marketplace.
  

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Contents

The Strategic Role of the Bamboo Network
3
Understanding the Bamboo Network
23
Creating a Greater China
61
Western Investment in China
121
Experiences of U S Businesses Good and Bad
153
International Implications of a Greater China
185
Three Future Scenarios
211
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About the author (1996)

Murray Weidenbaum is Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor of Economics at Washington University in St. Louis and honorary chairman of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy. He was the first chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to Ronald Reagan and also served as a member of Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board. He is the author of numerous books, including Business and Government in the Global Marketplace, One-Armed Economist, and The Bamboo Network.

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