Chinese Business Networks

State, Economy and Culture

edited by Chan Kwok Bun

332 pp.,
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

Paperback - 1999, Available
ISBN 978 87 87062 79 4, £17.99

Using the proliferating volume of social science data and concepts on the subject, this book attempts to provide an alternative interpretation of the business conduct of the ethnic Chinese of Southeast and East Asia.
The book argues that explanations of Chinese business conduct in terms of culture are too convenient and simplistic; that not all Chinese everywhere are the same, and do business only among themselves - in a so-called "Chinese diaspora", a "Greater China" or a "bamboo network"; that not all Chinese are successful in business, and not all successful businessmen are Chinese - especially when the analyst wears a longer eyepiece and does good historical analyses; that guanxi has its "down side"; that many ethnic Chinese of Southeast Asia may well be "reluctant merchants"as they face many institutional obstructions in upward mobility; that the seeming solidarity among the ethnic Chinese perhaps has more to do with social forces impinging on them as members of a "racial group" than with primordial sentiments internal to the group.

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