Biographies Tim Clissold Mr. China: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9780060761394

Mr. China: A Memoir

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9780060761394: Mr. China: A Memoir

The idea of China has always exerted a pull on the adventurous type. There is a kind of entrepreneurial Westerner who just can't resist it: red flags, a billion bicycles, and the largest untapped market on earth. What more could they want? After the first few visits, they start to feel more in tune and experience the first stirrings of a fatal ambition: the secret hope of becoming the Mr. China of their time.

In the 1990s, China went through a miraculous transformation from a closed backwater to the workshop of the world. Many smart young men saw this transformation coming and mistook it for their destiny. Not a few rushed East to gain strategic footholds, plant their flags, and prosper. After all, the Chinese had numbers on their side: a seemingly endless population, a thirst for resources, and the tide of history. What they needed was Western knowledge and lots of capital. Or so it seemed ...

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of one man's encounter with the Chinese. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars and a strong sense that he and his partners were -- like missionaries of capitalism -- descending into the industrial past to bring the Chinese into the modern world, Clissold got the education of a lifetime.

The ordinary Chinese workers, business owners, local bureaucrats, and party cadres Clissold encountered were some of the most committed, resourceful, and creative operators he would ever meet. They were happy to take the foreigner's money but resisted just about anything else. At every turn, the locals seemed one step ahead of Clissold's crew threatening to take the Westerners for all they were worth.

In the end, Mr. China isn't a tale of business or an expatriate's love for his adopted land. It's one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.

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Product Description:

This is the incredible story of a Wall Street banker who went to China with $400,000,000 and learned the hard way how (not) to do business there ...In the early nineties, China finally opened for business and Wall Street wanted in on the act. When the investment bankers arrived from New York with their Harvard MBAs, pinstripes and tasselled loafers, ready to negotiate with the Old Cadres, the stage was set for collision. This is the true story of a tough Wall Street banker who came to China looking for glory. He teamed up with an ex-Red Guard and a Mandarin-speaking Englishman. Together, they raised over $400,000,000 and bought up factories all over China. Only as they watched those millions slide towards the abyss did they start to understand that China really doesn't play by anyone else's rules. Tim Clissold was there at the beginning of China's transformation and he's still there, doing business. In this new edition of his hugely successful book he describes just how much - and how little - has changed in China since his story began.

About the Author:

Tim Clissold has lived and worked in China for more than twenty years and has traveled to most parts of the country. After graduating with degrees in physics and theoretical physics from Cambridge University, and working in London, Australia, and Hong Kong, he developed a fascination with China. He spent two years studying Mandarin in Beijing before cofounding a private equity group that invested more than $400 million there. He has since spent time at Goldman Sachs recovering distressed assets and, more recently, started a business that invests in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in China through the UN's Clean Development Mechanism. Mr. China was his first book. It has been translated into twelve languages and was an Economist magazine Book of the Year.

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