RSSCategory: China

Advice to China: Be Like Japan

| May 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

The following is the English language version of my article in the June issue of New Fortune Magazine.

When Chinese companies seek to invest in the United States, Americans frequently advise them to “Be like Japan.”  Given the current Sino-Japanese tensions,  this is probably not advice that Chinese businesspeople want to hear. But it is well-intentioned and based on historical fact.

During the 1980s, Japan went through a period of strong economic growth and globalization similar to what China is experiencing today. At the time, many Americans felt great hostile toward Japan because America appeared to be in decline while Japan was on the ascendant. Companies such as Sony, Toyota, and Honda were putting great pressure on American companies that had previously dominated the US market. At the same time, Japanese buyers were acquiring iconic American companies, as well as famous landmarks such as Rockefeller Center in New York.  American politicians demonstrated their hostility toward Japan by smashing Toyotas with sledgehammers on the grounds of the US Capitol. Continue Reading

A Trip to the Bund

| July 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

Went to the Bund at the recommendation of the concierge.  It is the waterfront walkway that overlooks Shanghai harbor.  He said there were shops and restaurants. I found neither. It was a very scenic place.  The Shanghai skyline is truly unique. It’s like the skyline that people in the 60’s would have predicted for the 21st century. Kind of like the Jetsons.

It was blazing hot. I walked along the waterfront and saw fewer and fewer people. The place was deserted and I was starving.  I actually, got a little light-headed. What a place to have my heart attack.

Finally, I just decided to walk off “The Bund” and go into the city to find food. Went down some back alleys, incredibly grim. Dirty and smelly. People in little hovels cooking food for sale in open pots with the trash nearby. Dogs and cats roaming freely. Incredibly unsanitary and I have a high tolerance for those things. Starving, but couldn’t eat. Do I have to go all the way back to the hotel for food?

Finally, I stumbled upon “tourist central” and bought a cantaloupe on a stick just for sustenance. It was actually very good. Then, I wandered into a large open tourist area that was packed with people. Found a Coldstone and was very excited. But it was not like U.S. Coldstone. Two scoops of ice cream in a cup. The clerk ripped open a small package of M&Ms and just poured them on top. I threw half of it away to maintain my diet.

Still hungry, I came upon a long line for a dumpling place. Figured they must be good dumplings, so I got in line and waited about 20 minutes for my dumplings. They were fine, but again, threw about half of them away because they seemed so heavy.

Went back to the hotel to cool off. Secured a private tour for the evening.