Friday, April 18, 2008

Lobbying in China

Scott Kennedy's 2005 "The Business of Lobbying in China" is interesting. It's one of those books that is extremely exciting at the beginning as he breaks down how major corporations lobby in Beijing and get together in some instances but often times point the same finger at each other. However, at one point, he is so unsuccesful in keeping the reader involved because he gets so caught up in the names, functions, and history of China's major commercial associations, such as the SELA, PEA, CTVEA, ACFIC, MOFERT, and many others. Nevertheless, there are some interesting revelations, such as the fact that ACFIC, a non-profit organization, publishes the China Business Times. Also interesting was that the roots of the current associations system emerged out of the Mao era, which seems strange given the fact that these are very commercial bodies today. Back at the very beginning of Maoist China (early 1950s), being private was acceptable, however as time passed of course it became terribly taboo. Consequently, many of the associations that were built on private businesses shut down or suspended operations until the late 1980s.