'One Billion Customers' by James McGregor provides a lens for which we can view current business dealings in China. His first hand accounts as well as stories he's collected over the nearly two decades he spent as a bureau chief for The Asian Wall Street Journal in Taiwan provide him with a unique vantage point with which to offer to insight. 'One Billion Customers' deftly wades into the waters of how business is actually done in China, on and off the books. All of this is done with what McGregor say is a, "deep respect and admiration for the interesting, exasperating, puzzling, and, almost always, lovable Chinese people."
'One Billion Customers' starts by laying the foundation of what to expect when doing basic business in China and moves into more detailed examples and anecdotes as the book progresses. After every chapter the author provides his version of 'The Little Red Book of Business'. In keeping with the original little red book, these sections provide quick easily memorized proverbs regarding business in China and serve as recaps for the chapter that immediately preceded them. One of the more interesting proverbs was notion that "China is modernizing, not Westernizing. The country's goal is to modernize but retain the Chinese "essence," which it is still struggling to define". This book makes that point abundantly clear, and reinforces it throughout. After experiencing China first hand, I can say that this point is absolutely true and essential to understanding their incredibly rich and deep history as well as where they are now and where they want to be in the future.