The first half of the book goes into great detail about the history of People's Republic of China. Mostly in the last 30 years or so, foreign capital has poured into the economy and with the help of modern technology, the PRC has really transformed and boomed again. Up until reading this book I had no idea that prior to 1981, China was closed off to outsiders. I found this hard to comprehend because of the tremendous growth we've all taken note of. It was also very interesting to read that China gave western civilizations both pasta and mandarin oranges!
The book's name originates from the structure of the book as a whole. Each chapter consists of a 'business secret' with the aid of numerous interviews in which these secrets are defined. The chapter I found the most interesting was about leading change through partnership. This chapter described the ideas of Dr. Randolph Tzu-Yu Yeh, Chairman of Lucent Technologies China Co, and his extreme emphasis on localization. He believed in getting the local Chinese population involved as much as possible.
The Chinese word 'guanxi' plays a huge part in the Chinese culture and is oftentimes the first word a foreigner learns. This word means connections or relationships. It basically is process by which each side seeks to establish who the other is, who the other knows, and whether they are able to deliver what they promise. Apparently this is one of the biggest secrets and it should be realized that the Chinese are intensively preoccupied with building relationships; it's said to almost be a consuming aspect of Chinese life.
All in all, the author has incredible experience in China and the executives he interviews are definitely the kind of people worth listening to. The book provides a detailed overview of the business aspect in China with the collective perspective of Fortune 500 company executives. Given the easy readability, I would recommend any business student to pick up this book and give it flip through.