Business people ask of China: What do we need to know in order to do business in China? The answer provided here is that the transformation of China conditions every aspect of business, and that therefore the central consideration for top management of multinational corporations is to understand the linkage between the party-state’s economic policies and record, the rapid evolution of the business system, and what this spells for the making and implementation of corporate strategy. The approach is to conceive of corporations as learning organisations, learning in this case how to operate in a China which is deeply engaged in learning what it means to modernise fast. In this chapter, I’ll lead off by linking changes in the macro-context of China, to changes in its business system; then briefly illustrate what this has meant, and continues to mean for implementing corporate strategy and policies in China. In the final section, we discuss the futures of China as the key to making corporate policies there now.
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