On this week’s episode of Thoughtful China, Andrew Lok, founder of advertising agency Civilization, interviews Scott Kronick, president and CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations Asia-Pacific, on his new book titled The Lighter Side of China. The book details Kronick’s experiences and observations gathered over his two decades of living in China, which he notes have been a time of rapid change.
“It’s almost like an economy on steroids,” says Kronick on how China has progressed. “It’s moving so fast that I called it ‘gigantism,’ whereby it’s like a little baby that’s just grown up.” According to him, living in China is like constantly being thrown a curveball because of the contrast between the old and new. “You’ve got new things sprouting all over you, and you’ve still got a lot of traditional, old parts of Beijing,” he says.
When it comes to doing business in China, Kronick’s book points out that things are not always straightforward. Lok comments that Kronick’s personal anecdotes in his book hinge on an important aspect of doing business in China—a lot of it isn’t always about figures, but more about culture. According to Kronick, doing business with Chinese clients often requires sitting down and being able to talk about things like Chinese medicine, good luck, or ghosts. “It’s a book that doesn’t say the Western way is right or the Chinese way is right; this is the way it is and this explains it,” Kronick says.
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