Book Review: The Little Red Book of China Business

The Little Red Book of China Business Cover

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Most American business experts wouldn’t consider the Little Red Book, the legendary distillation of Mao Zedong’s communist philosophy, an essential text for success in a capitalist economy.  But Melvin argues that the text has been a critical factor in the lives of millions of Chinese, and companies who want to do well selling to this growing market would do well to understand how its lessons continue to inform the Chinese character.

Melvin, who spent seven years with the United States-China Business Council in Washington, Beijing and Shanghai, begins each chapter of her handy guidebook with a quote from Chairman Mao, continues with a brief history lesson on Mao’s life, and offers common-sense pointers about doing business in China.  She advocates developing an appreciation of the nation’s long history, cultivating useful contacts and resources over time, and keeping in mind China’s complexities and contradictions, which result in regional differences greater than even those found here at home.

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