Jack Leblanc arrived in China in 1989 intending to teach Physics for just two years. He was to spend the next two decades on a very different learning curve as he became involved in a series of business ventures in almost every part of the Middle Kingdom.
From farmyard to factory, boardroom to banquet, Leblanc witnessed (and occasionally assisted) the transformation of China from a socialist economy into the world’s greatest experiment in capitalism. Over time it dawned upon him that the key to success is to manage the differences in Chinese and Western business behaviour. To do well in China you must carefully adapt your strategies – or face ruin faster than you can learn how to use chopsticks.
“Business Republic of China is a page-turner. In each case, you want to know just how well or poorly the deal turns out and the motivations driving each party. The read is worth it for the postscripts on the people involved and the quieter moments of insight and humour.” — Samantha Kierath, South China Morning Post
“Superb coverage of the challenges, mysteries and sources of success or failure for foreigners doing business in China. Covering a period of almost two decades, it also gives some insight into ways in which business in China has grown up, or failed to, in that time. This is a light and entertaining book that I would recommend to anyone thinking about doing, or just observing, business in China.” — Larry Mongoss, Inside-Out China
“The more perceptive visitor [to China] sees rather quickly that perhaps nothing is as it seems. Jack Leblanc does a good job of turning head-scratching into a marvellously perceptive text.” — German Chamber of Commerce in China
“Like many businessmen-turned-writers, Leblanc’s prose reads awkwardly at times, but once he gets into full flow he is propelled forward by the strength of his stories. And this is a man with some cracking stories to tell. … While other similar works can come across as either too academic or too broad and macro-focused, Business Republic of China is rich in practical detail. Leblanc’s experiences make for instructive reading for any foreign executive doing business in China.” — Tim Burroughs, China Economic Review
“This book’s terrific. It’s personal, funny, self-aware, and most importantly – it combines both an admiration, fascination and frustration with the cross-cultural differences between the author and China & Taiwan in a way I could strongly relate to. His accounts of his personal journey in China since 1989 through the Chinese business world and the detour to Taiwan is convincing.” — Fili‘s World
“This kind of book is truly invaluable to any Westerner unfamiliar with the way the Chinese conduct business and establish a good relationship. It’s why one has to be attuned to the Chinese sense of personal honor and why time does not play the same role as it does in the U.S. Relating his experiences in an entertaining fashion, Leblanc’s book is a first class guide to the Chinese psyche.” — Alan Caruba, Bookviews
“The publisher presents this as a business book, but in my view it is foremost an autobiography – and therein lies its main value. The author … writes about his experiences in a series of anecdotes ranging from his facilitating business negotiations, advising joint ventures that failed, riding the internet bubble to helping out friends. His perspective is often close to the local partner in the businesses, and thus provides insights on what those ‘barbarian’ foreigners did wrong in the eyes of their Chinese partners. The book provides rich insights in the practical sides of doing business, including the wining-and-dining aspects of it.” — Klaus Meyer
“In ten racy chapters Jack Leblanc describes nearly twenty years of dodgy deals, and, as he puts it ‘more booze, more women, more karaoke, more hangovers, more seafood, more saunas, more than my body could take.'” — John Sexton, china.org.cn
“With hindsight, Jack Leblanc finds humor, even hilarity, in the unexpected twists and reversals during two decades of easing the way for business deals in China and Taiwan. Presumably, the eccentricities, cultural clashes, disputes and deals that faltered didn’t look so funny at the time. …Leblanc gives an entertaining, potentially useful account of his experiences.” — Cairns Media Magazine
“Finally, a book that reflects the Chinese business realities on the ground. This is no boring read about the theoretical “dos and don’ts” of operating a business in China. This is a unique and hands-on inside view of how investments will go belly-up if no attention is paid to the peculiar market conditions of China.” — Rizal Wijono, Regional Director, Deutsche Asset Management (Asia)
“Jack Leblanc arrived in Chongqing in 1989 a China virgin. After nearly two decades of trying everything from selling plate glass to engineering dotcom dreams, he now qualifies as a fully fledged ‘China Hand’. I enjoyed this book – laughed out loud a few times – and some good memories of my own disasters and triumphs came back to me.” — Paul French, author of Carl Crow: A Tough Old China Hand
“Jack really gets into the guts of China. These are up-close and personal tales from 19 years of brokering deals, all the way from the western industrial heartlands of Sichuan to across the Taiwan Strait. This book goes beyond regular seminar fare and reveals the real pitfalls posed by the cultural divide. I highly recommend this entertaining and instructive read.” — Josh Green, CEO, Europcar Asia Pacific; former Chief Representative, China Britain Business Council
“I have been teaching in China since 1993, and a book about China would have to be pretty darn good to get my attention. This is that book! It has information that only a real China veteran can impart. Business people planning a China project will ignore this book at their peril.” — Farrokh Langdana, Ph.D.; Director, Rutgers Executive MBA Program
“This is not only one of the most readable books about business in China, but also offers the most practical and insightful advice to all executives involved in China marketing.” — Harry H. Shi, Chief Representative of China, Emerson Radio Corp.
“Jack Leblanc’s lively tales will resonate with all those who have come from other parts of the world to live and work in China. We are fortunate to witness the unprecedented transformation of the PRC from a socialist to capitalist society, and more so, to deal with the changes in its people’s mindsets. One needs to keep a light heart to survive the daily challenges of doing business in China. Those who have not been to the Middle Kingdom will find the book entertaining and will be amazed by the willpower required of the author to master the business skills necessary in modern China.” — Martin Lin, Managing Director & Chief Representative of Rockwell Collins, China
“Learn why face is important, and time is not. Why intellectual property and copyrights are not respected, while consuming ‘rocket fuel’ at 20-course dinners and singing in karaoke bars is part of business strategy. If the barbarians did not pay for the formula for gunpowder, why should the Chinese pay for Rambo and Indiana Jones? An excellent supplement to what you have learned in business school in dealing with the Chinese.” — Prof. Mark Castelino, Rutgers Business School, New Jersey
“This book provides a unique insight into the fast-moving business world of China.” — Dr. Sean Xiang, President & CEO, Bloombase Group
“A truly remarkable exposé of doing business in China, told through compelling ‘war stories‘! Since 1989, Jack Leblanc has witnessed first-hand China’s breathtaking economic development. He offers insights into how the Chinese do business through anecdotes rich with humour. His provocative and practical lessons about the complex dynamics of negotiating with the Chinese, and understanding the Chinese psyche, culture, and business mores, entertain and stimulate. This book is a ‘must read’ for any foreigner who wishes to achieve business success in China.” — Dr. Huiping Li, Anisfield School of Business, Ramapo College of New Jersey
“Jack Leblanc has been a serial entrepreneur in China since 1989. In addition to being highly amusing, his stories provide great insight into the changes in the business environment and the cultural challenges of doing business in China.“ — Jeremy Perks, Director, I Will Not Complain Ltd