Westerners wise in the ways of China have long been referred to as “old China hands.” Now, there are “new China hands” — people savvy in the ways of doing business in a post-Maoist China. Old China hands were diplomats, soldiers and missionaries dispatched to China to look after Western interests.
Many of today’s new China hands come from the Chinese diaspora: U.S. citizens born in China, educated abroad and affiliated with U.S. companies in the land of their birth. Others are cosmopolitan Chinese who work for U.S. companies without ever leaving China. Here are the stories of four new China hands.
Back in 1977, Raymond Tong left his native Hong Kong, determined to succeed in business in his new country: the United States. Four years ago, he went back to Asia, overshooting Hong Kong by a few miles, and opened a branch office in China’s Guangdong province, just across the border from his hometown. His object remained the same: to succeed in business.