Managing the China Challenge

How to Achieve Corporate Success in the People's Republic

How can companies successfully do business in China? What factors weigh into this success, and what will China's future mean for international business? Multinational corporations now look toward China with both trepidation and anticipation. The speed and scope of Chinese economic growth is changing the global distribution of power and resources, possibly to the detriment of the major industrial powers. But this same transformation presents tremendous opportunities for companies who understand China well enough to leverage both its accomplishments and its deep-seated problems for corporate benefit.

Longtime China scholar Kenneth Lieberthal brings to bear a unique combination of experiences as former top government official, political scientist, professor of international corporate strategy, and consultant. In Managing the China Challenge, he draws on his deep understanding of China’s political and economic systems and the priorities of local and national leaders to illuminate the strategies foreign companies must master to succeed in the Middle Kingdom.

In straightforward language, using numerous concrete examples to support his ideas and recommendations, Lieberthal cogently presents not only how to benefit from doing business in China, but also how to avoid the serious risks that the endeavor entails. The implications Lieberthal lays out for corporate strategy are wide-ranging and critically important.

Praise for the Book

"This is an indispensable read for anyone navigating the China market. Ken Lieberthal’s depth and breadth of understanding of the complexities of operating in China are unsurpassed. He was one of the first movers in China since Deng Xiaoping’s Open Door Policy was announced in 1978 and he continues to be at the cutting edge. In this book he shares with us how to be successful in this evolving global market, where China has taken the central role."—Virginia Kamsky, chairman and CEO, Kamsky Associates, Inc.

"Whether your company is already invested in China or seeking to enter the market for the first time, Kenneth Lieberthal’s book is a must-read. There is no better resource than Dr. Lieberthal to help businesses navigate the complicated world of government, a fluid regulatory environment, and ever-changing market demands in the world’s fastest growing economy."—Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

"At once a hands-on users guide for the business practitioner and indispensable reference work for the more academic or policy-focused observer of China, Kenneth Lieberthal’s Managing the China Challenge is essential reading for anybody trying to understand this most critical of nations. Regardless of how you are planning on engaging China, read this book first. Doing so will undoubtedly save you a great deal of heartache and trouble over the long run."—Edward S. Steinfeld, MIT, author of Playing Our Game: Why China’s Rise Doesn’t Threaten the West

"[Lieberthal’s book] convincingly links an authoritative view of China’s political economy and decisionmaking process to operating questions faced by companies in China. This will give corporate headquarters the framework to understand why their China teams so often react with dismay to suggestions from head office, and China teams the means to explain what they mean."—Christian Murck, president, American Chamber of Commerce in China