Americans doing Business in China – Part 16/16

March 7, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade:  “Avon, the first direct-sales company in China, has 85,000 agents knocking on doors and yurts in every region except Tibet, racking up sales of $68 million in 1996. A year before, Mary Kay opened its first cosmetics plant outside the U.S. in Hangzhou. Demand has been so keen that the Texas-based firm has already broken ground on a new China factory, 15 times larger than the first one…

“China’s American embrace is most fervent at the cathedral to Yankee culture, the cinema. Beijing still allows distribution of a handful of imported flicks each year, but the ration is no longer a forced diet of scratchy Hollywood flops. These days Chinese eschew the patriotic reels still churned out by government filmmakers for the latest Sylvester Stallone and Tom Cruise blockbusters, which laud Western excesses…

“Mainland TV, undergoing its own revolution, offers another shock to seasoned sinologists. Thanks partly to satellite TV, Chinese soaps and historical serials now compete against programs that would have seemed unimaginable only a few years ago: episodes of Baywatch and The X-Files.” Source: The Americanizaton of China

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Part 2 – In the PBS documentary of foreign entrepreneurs in China we discover (when the US financial crises hit the world causing more than $64US trillion in global loses while those who caused the crises walked away with fortunes) China experienced a slowdown in economic growth in 2008.

One foreign entrepreneur, Ed Hung, talks of the clothing store he co-founded, NLGX Design, which opened in Beijing in 2008. He said rent was still increasing.

Ed Hung was born and raised in San Francisco. His business partner, Michel Sutyadi, was born and raised in Germany. They met in Beijing while studying Mandarin in 2005.

Ed Hung says modern Beijing is becoming a consumer culture.

Then Doug Ma, a co-founder of Go Tour-ING, talks of how the global financial crisis (which was started in America) has affected business.

In the spring of 2008, Dough Ma left his job at an investment bank to travel. He wrote a post for Jet Set Zero in July 2009, and said, “It has been quite a challenge starting up Tour-ING. For one thing, it has been a tough year for the tourism industry. Less people are traveling due to the global economy and the outbreak of swine flu has hindered a lot of travel plans.”

Brian Sloan, CEO of Robotic Blow Job, says the sex toys he manufactures and sells seem more popular in hard economic times since people spend less money going out and stay home more so they need a method of self-entertainment.

Due to legal problems in Chicago, Sloan took his business to China because, “In China, people respect what I do as a business,” he says.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Return to Americans doing Business in China – Part 15 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This post first appeared on January 24, 2011


Americans doing Business in China – Part 15/16

March 6, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: Recently, the Future of US China Trade.com reported the results of a survey of 434 multinational companies doing business in China. “78% percent of companies surveyed rank China among their top three priority locations for investment. Only 7% rank China as ‘not a high priority’.”

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Part 1 – Young and Restless in China was filmed over a period of four years starting in 2004 for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Paris Franz, a student, blogger and writer with a passion for history, art and travel, wrote a post about Young and Restless in China for Suite 101.com.

This two-part segment is about foreign entrepreneurs in China. I plan to also feature other segments of this PBS Frontline documentary because it demonstrates how much China is changing. The more I learn, the more it appears that there is more freedom in China than most people outside China are aware of.

Franz wrote, “The film highlights what is unique about China at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

“The entrepreneurs – starting up tailoring, hotel and internet café businesses – are full of optimism, supremely confident that their hard work is going to make them rich. As one of them says, China today is “the land of opportunity.”

Part One starts with “there is this misconception of China that it is not modern, that it is still changing, but if you come and see with your own eyes you will discover that (urban) China (where about 500 million people live) is as modern as any city in the world.

One entrepreneur says, if you visit Beijing and see the architecture, you will see that it is leaps and bounds ahead of the US.

Another entrepreneur says, China is a melting pot for all types of entrepreneurs in Beijing… For young entrepreneur it is cheap to start something new in China compared to the US.

In fact, as the economic tide turns against the west, younger, foreign talents are taking their entrepreneurial ambitions to China because the market is right for starting a business.

One American entrepreneur says he graduated from law school at Penn State in 2005. He then talks about how he arrived in China to create, manufacture and sell his own brand of sex toys and fetish clothing.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued March 7, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 16 or return to Part 14

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This post first appeared on January 23, 2011


Americans doing Business in China – Part 14/16

March 5, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: China Daily.com says, “The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, says its inventory of stock produced in China is expected to hit US$18 billion this year…”

However, trade is global. Wal-Mart has stores in 26 countries outside the continental US—including China.

Walmart entered the Chinese market and opened its first Supercenter and Sam’s Club in Shenzhen in 1996. Currently, Walmart operates a number of store formats in China including Supercenters, Sam’s Clubs, and Neighborhood Markets. As of August 5, 2010, Walmart had 189 units in 101 cities, and created over 50,000 job opportunities across China.  Source: Wal-Mart China.com

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Guest Post by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine.

The world is a global market – those businesses that don’t believe this, or embrace it, will go by the wayside.

In 2002, I was an independent manufacturer’s rep and one of my customers said that I should look at branching out – representing products “outside” of the U.S.

I thought this was good advice, so I first started looking in Europe. For many reasons – after trying many companies and products – I decided that Europe was not for me.

I then looked and visited Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.

I settled on China because I felt that was a country that could best provide me with the products I needed to succeed.

Once I settled on a product category, I then knew that I needed one key person inside China to make it all come together and become successful.

It took me a year to find that person and his name is David. Without David, I would not be where I am today and I am forever indebted to this young man.

David and I had some very productive years together.

Then like most things that are successful – there was a down turn. This was due to the world economy and actions taken by both the Chinese and U.S. Governments.

Through no fault of our own our business died. However, David has stuck with me and I with him. We are now working on new projects that we both hope – and feel – will get us back some of the volume we have had in the past.

I never had a son and David became that son to me. He and his family have also adopted me as part of their own.

It saddens me when I read statements about China and its people that just are not true. I can only testify to my own experiences and connections inside China but I would not trade the relationships I have made for anything.

David and his family are a key part of my life and forever will be – regardless of what the governments of our respective countries might say and do.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued March 6, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 15 or return to Part 13

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This guest post first appeared on September 30, 2010


Americans doing Business in China – Part 13/16

March 4, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: Miller-McCune says, “Since the 1990’s dot-com boom, “tens of thousands of Ph.D.s, primarily from China, have arrived to staff American university laboratories, and the information industry has padded its ranks with temporary workers who come largely from India.”

However, The New York Times reports,, “No Chinese-born scientist has ever been awarded a Nobel Prize for research conducted in mainland China, although several have received one for work done in the West…” In addition, “Recently, though, China has begun to exert a reverse pull. In the past three years, renowned (Chinese) scientists…have begun to trickle back. And they are returning with a mission: to shake up China’s scientific culture of cronyism and mediocrity, often cited as its biggest impediment to scientific achievement… They are lured by their patriotism, their desire to serve as catalysts for change and their belief that the Chinese government will back them.”

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Guest Post by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine.

For various reasons, my business in China declined a little over two years ago, and I have not had occasion to visit there during that time period. A lot has happened—both within the U.S. and China—since my business went south.

I do miss China – its people – its culture – its smell. This might seem like an irrational statement since China is suppose to be one of the most polluted countries in the world, but it is not the smell of pollution that sticks in my memory.

Our China office was located in Guangdong Province, which is in the southern part of China near Hong Kong. Traveling around that province, I always remember the fresh scents of flowers, rain, trees, grass, and meals being prepared for daily consumption.

I tended to visit factories that were in outlying areas—their conference rooms, factories, reception rooms, and gardens all had a smell that I grew to welcome during each of my visits. As I made trips and visits to other parts of China, I felt they each had their own unique smells and aromas that I have not found any other place in the world that I have traveled.

I have written other posts regarding my feelings about the Chinese people—those have not changed. I am not certain that I will ever have occasion to visit China again but the smells and memories of that country and its people will remain with me forever.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued March 5, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 14 (a guest post) or return to Part 12

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note:  This guest post first appeared on April 27, 2010


Americans doing Business in China – Part 12/16

March 3, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: China Tour Online.com says of Pizza Hut in Shanghai, “Good dining environment and palatable pizza with tasty side dishes. It is always crowded during dining time, you need to wait in line. The recommended food include pizza, roast chicken wing, clam soup and cakes.”

WeninChina.com says, “Pizza Hut entered (China) in 1990 and has steadily grown to 520 restaurants in 2011.”

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Guest Post by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine.

(Note: The photos included with this guest post are from my collection. Click on Originally Published to see more from Bob Grant.)

One of the aspects of my trips to China, that I truly enjoyed, was seeing all of the flowers, greenery, and gardens along the way. I wanted to specifically mention this fact, and state, the photos you might have seen of typical Chinese landscapes are true.

In fact, there were many more beautiful sights – of plants and flowers – than I had anticipated. I saw them in cities – in the country – in hotels – in restaurants – in offices – and other places too numerous to mention. Our office was in southern China – with a tropical climate – so there were flowers and greenery there any time of the year I visited.

As you go farther north, in China, there are the four seasons; however, even when it was too cold for outdoor plants there were many indoor ones wherever I went.

I do not enjoy planting or maintaining plants but I certainly like looking at them. The growing scenery I saw in China always gave me a feeling of tranquility.

I had once thought about buying a condo in Shenzhen so I could stay longer when I visited. One of the condos had a small patio (this was a multistoried condo building) and each patio came with a beautifully planted garden with flowers, plants, and trees. It was a place where I would have enjoyed going every evening and just sitting. It was covered so I could have enjoyed it in most types of weather.

Because I never stayed in the Western type hotels – rather staying where my Chinese associates stayed – I was treated to a unique insight on how some of the Chinese population lived.

Some of the hotels – where I stayed – were literally right next to apartment buildings. I could actually look out my window into those apartments.

I can’t say that I saw anything “personal” in nature but I did get to see how some Chinese decorated their apartments and balconies. I could also see the gardens many planted on the rooftops of their apartment buildings. Staying in those places certainly gave me even more appreciation of the Chinese people in that I saw a side of their lives that most “Westerners” would never see unless they stayed in places where I stayed.

I will always have fond memories of the many beautiful things I saw growing in China – it is a picture that will remain with me forever.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued March 4, 2012 in Americans working in China – Part 13 (a guest post) or return to Part 11

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note:  This guest post first appeared on March 17, 2010


Americans doing Business in China – Part 11/16

March 2, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: Sexy Beijing says they are an “Internet TV station run by an in-house production team. We also work with a handful of contributors in the editing room and on productions. Our shows have also aired on NBC in Los Angeles, Hunan TV, China Educational TV, and many other stations around China as well as conferences around the world… From the BBC to CNN.com to Hunan Satellite TV, Sexy Beijing has been glowingly covered on television, radio and in print, in both the English-language and Chinese media.”

New Yorker.com says, “Sexy Beijing’s creator is Anna Sophie Loewenberg (Note: she graduated from University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA in Literature and went on to earn a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Sophie arrived in China in 1996). She is the star and producer of ‘Sexy Beijing,’ an online series of sly, knowing videos about a hapless, curious foreigner which has proved popular among expats, language students, and mainland Chinese.”

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The following guest post was originally published by Bob Grant, publisher/editor, at  Speak Without Interruption.

(Note: There are more photos at the original site. The Nanjing Road photo here does not appear at Speak Without Interruption.)

Wherever people normally congregate in groups—shopping areas, elevators, subways, airports, city streets, and the like—there are a lot more people in China congregating in those same places. Again, I can only use my own experiences – in these types of crowds in China – but I was amazed how tolerant people were of each other.

In some cases I was squeezed to the people next to me so closely that I could almost feel their hearts beating. In these situations – personal space was at zero.

I was crammed into a subway once and could literally stand – without holding on to anything – because we were packed so close together (not that I really had anything to hold on to anyway). The exit from this subway was orderly and people were polite to each other – and me. At our stop, we had to ask people to move, which was difficult for them, but we got off with no problems or delays.

Normal crowd for Nanjing Road in Shanghai

I am not certain the Chinese people have a choice living – and working – among that many other people. However, I saw it as another attribute of China and its people.

As a “Westerner” I could have easily been accosted by anyone in these large crowds as most of the time I was the only non-Chinese among them. But this never happened. No one stared at me or otherwise acknowledged me as anything other than one of them.

Perhaps I am reading too much into these situations, but I will go with my feelings here and believe this is a nation of extremely tolerant individuals.

Places I went did not always have these types of crowds, but in the locations where large crowds congregated, I was always impressed by the politeness of my fellow “Crowdies”. I can’t say the same for other crowds, in which I have found myself, in the US and other parts of the world. I think China is unique in this area and its people have Tolerance to Infinity.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued March 3, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 12 (a guest post) or return to Part 10

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note:  This guest post first appeared on March 13, 2010


The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 1/5

December 31, 2011

This post was originally a result of a comment on the China Law Blog, which chastised me because, “He wanted me to provide a super-quick summary of The Economist cover story comparing India with China, but it (I) did not,” which was correct then.

Returning to this subject is because of my twelve-part debate with Troy Parfitt. Mr. Parfitt claimed, “Corruption in India isn’t germane to the debate.” In fact, most if not all of the facts and comparisons used during the debate were not relevant according to Mr. Parfitt unless those facts supported his opinions of China.

At one point, Mr. Parfitt mentioned reviews of his book in Publisher’s Weekly in defense of his book not being racisit. He claimed the South China Morning Post didn’t say that. Neither did Publishers Weekly, the Korean Herald, The Vancouver Sun… and none of the Amazon reviewers [that may change].

However, Publisher’s Weekly [PW] did say this of his book, “The result is mostly travelogue told from an outsider’s perspective, contextualized with overviews of major events in Chinese history. Parfitt argues that China will not rule the world, because as a nation it is more interested in the appearance of success than actual substance. He suggests that culturally, China has little to offer…” In addition, PW says, “his book lacks the precise facts and figures that he decries in other books promoting Chinese dominance.”

Basically, this is what the China Law Blog complained of in my post, Comparing India and China’s Economic Engines.

The facts and figures missing from Mr. Parfitt’s “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” are important as the China Law Blog says. To judge one country without comparing its government, economy and culture to other countries offers no balance for readers to make informed decisions.

Continued on January 1, 2012 in he China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared on October 22, 2010 as India Falling Short


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