For China watchers, it comes as no surprise that China is rapidly undergoing an industrial revolution. What Europe and the U.S. did in 75 to 100 years, China has done in about 25 years. Despite the global economic downturn, the economy is still booming. However, with the slowing of exports, the Chinese economy now is being driven mainly by domestic and foreign direct investment.
Companies wanting to participate in the massive growth soon realize China is a complex and often contradictory business environment for both foreign and domestic players. When they arrive and set up operations, foreign companies, in particular, find the environment very daunting. The various contradictions in China—old vs. new, open vs. protected, Party direction vs. market economy, rapid economic change vs. slow bureaucracy, cultural norms vs. social change—all create an opaque and perplexing business environment full of unseen risks.