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Crazy Shanghai: a blank canvas

When you look down at the city from the 121st floor of the Shanghai Tower, it’s as if you’re looking at a computer simulation. The view that houses 24 million people is insane. Across all horizons, the skyline is filled with exotic skyscrapers and thousands of high rise apartment buildings, nearly all of it being built within the last 25 years. Down at a street level you find old art...

Western brands in China: hits and misses

Western companies looking to expand their business often underestimate the competitiveness of the Chinese market. Often, what stands in the way of success is a lack of understanding on what Chinese consumers value and how they shop. But then there are some that have done their research, made local partnerships, made necessary changes, and earned the rewards. So here’s some twenty examples...

Contextual China: blurred boundaries

When we think about China, we often reduce nuances to black and white absolutes. Either China is a country with oppressed people and smog-filled skies, or it is the juggernaut that will inevitably rule the world’s economy. Neither of these views is particularly useful, and rather than debating what’s good or bad, it’s more interesting to look how China is different. There are...