Category Archives: books

China: the land of the soft openings – Ian Johnson

Western analysts often miss the point, when they look at the way China conducts business, says China watcher Andrew Batson at his weblog, and he points at an interesting aside in Ian Johnson’s book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao , when he writes about soft openings in China. Case in point: comments on China’s One-Belt, One-Road initiative. Batson: ” It’s already clear it’s the China book of the year.”

Does Alibaba’s merchandise deal with Pokemon makes sense? – Shaun Rein/Jeffrey Towson

Alibaba Pictures has expanded its merchandise market with a new deal for the successful Japanese Pokemon. But experts differ on the question such a more makes sense for Alibaba Pictures. A diversion from its core business, says business analyst Shaun Rein. But Beidu business professor Jeffrey Towson lauds the effort for a comprehensive approach of the total value chain, he tells the 6th Tone.

Why advertising does not work in China – Tom Doctoroff

China’s consumers have always been very suspicious of any top-down broadcasting, says marketing guru Tom Doctoroff. Anything that looks like spoon-fed propaganda does not work. Advertising can work, but it is a trick country, and easy to get it wrong, he says.

Women in China’s market economy – Zhang Lijia

The Times Literary Supplement reports on an evening with author Zhang Lijia of Lotus: A Novel on prostitution in China recently in London. One of the subjects: how did Chinese women fare under the market economy, introduce by Deng Xiaoping. About the government as a big boys’ club.

Religious revival after 100 years of self doubt among Chinese – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao explains at the acceptance of the Shorenstein for journalism award how after 100 years of self doubt and insecurity, religion revived. Folk religion, more than internationally established ones, has become a vibrant new source of inspiration.

Trump cannot win over Pyongyang by pushing China – Arthur Kroeber

President Trump’s rather simplistic views on foreign affairs have waken up many observers. Trump’s approach to push China on North-Korea might be just an example where easy solutions do not work, tells political analyst Arthur Kroeber, author of China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know® at the South China Morning Post.

Who will be the Disney of China? – Jeffrey Towson

Entertainment parks are becoming big business in China, but there are at least three players trying to come the Disney of China, including Disney itself. Who will be the real Disney of China, wonders Beida business professor Jeffrey Towson on his weblog.

Chinese brands: no price premium – Tom Doctoroff

Chinese brands might be improving, but they can still not offer a price premium, says marketing guru Tom Doctoroff and author of What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism, and China’s Modern Consumer at Campaign Asia. They are lacking long-term concepts and are mostly sales-driven, he adds.

The revival of China’s traditional believes – Ian Johnson

Often reviewers tend to look at the emergence of world religions like Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, when they summarize Ian Johnson’s book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao. But the most moving chapter is that on the 80 pilgrim associations from Beijing, writes professor Richard Madsen in the Washington Post.

What moves China on a global stage – Howard French

Explaining China’s position on a global stage, that is the underlying purpose of Howard French’s book Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power. As an emerging world power, we need to understand China, in a similar way we now understand the US, Britain, Russia and other current and past global powers, he explains to the South China Morning Post. “Tianxia” is the key concept to understand.