Rolling Stones in China: the Outside Story – Frederik Balfour

From BusinessWeek (link)

When a well-connected friend in told me he could score some really excellent tickets for the long-awaited debut concert in China on Apr. 8, I was in a state of rock ‘n’ roll nirvana. “These are really V-V.I.P. tickets,” he assured me a week before the concert. It looked like I was the beneficiary of China’s deeply ingrained business and personal networking phenomenon called .

Just about any executive who hits the ground on the mainland these days has heard something about guanxi. Unless you invest a lot of cementing relationships with suppliers, , bankers, and above all, government , it is tough to work through the myriad official and unofficial barriers that govern commercial activity in China, or so the conventional wisdom goes. Even in the personal sphere, connections matter greatly, especially if you want coveted tickets to see Mick Jagger and the lads strut their stuff at a sold-out gig in Shanghai.

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