The Money Honey

In Facetime (BusinessWeek 11/5/2007; link to Bloomberg), Maria Bartiromo interviewed Victor Chu, who is teaming up with Sir Branson bidding for Northern Rock:

Bartiromo: By all accounts, you are a master of guanxi, those personal connections so vital to doing business in China.  Can outsiders ever hope to establish such relationships?

Chu: Maria, I think this is a worldwide phenmonon  – not uniquely Chinese or Asian.  All things being equal, you like to deal with people you know and can rely on.  It’s human nature.

The West’s fixation or fascination with guanxi amuses and puzzles me to no end. What about those high priced lobbyists on K Street [?] in Washington DC? For Pete’s Sake, they’re even registered! They prize the power of networking. Yet, they quibble about guanxi. Not only China has propaganda, I reckon?

As a casual observer, frankly I don’t find it amusing after all those years, being taunted in the media.  Ya, guanxi plays an important roll in China, but point me to a country or region where it isn’t?  The West hasn’t really made huge return on their investment in China, so far.  So they blame they don’t have guanxi.  That’s laughable.  They don’t bother to learn the making of Chinese society, its culture.  Actually they have far more sway or advantage than many local Chinese, in the beginning anyway.

Maria, on the surface, I would think she’s smart enough not to repeat such dumb question – so conformity exist in the cut-throat media business too? If this isn’t called propaganda, then I don’t know what a propaganda is. Don’t you want to be daring and smart to ask unique and to the point question, rather than replicate what million others has asked before you?  Todd Thomason got his butt kicked over this?

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