Our host, Oliver Dowson, first went to set up a business there back in 2006. It had to be a joint venture, and you may have listened to his podcast telling the story of some of the potential partners that he met. Oliver writes “Having decided on my partner, I found it surprisingly easy to get started – in retrospect, so much so that I never asked a thousand questions that I should have done. I’m not saying that anyone was trying to deceive me, but my business would certainly have been more successful had I taken more time to understand the culture and read all the small print more diligently. I should also have talked to someone who had done it all before, and, better still, was based there and achieving success.”
One such person is our guest on this podcast, Jim James. Jim’s original business, and his business now, is public relations, but he’s spent most of the last decade in China. He took the iconic Morgan cars to Beijing as their founder and managing director; still with cars, he got Lotus started there too. Jim also played a leading role in starting a whole string of other companies in China – you’ll need to check out his LinkedIn profile to marvel at the range. Given that, it’s hardly surprising that he became vice-chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China too. Now he’s back in the UK, still running EastWest PR, setting up a forum for older business people and... well, let him tell you all that for himself.