Today at lunch I went to see Robert Buderi and Gregory T. Huang speak about their book, Guanxi (The Art of Relationships): Microsoft, China, and Bill Gates’s Plan to Win the Road Ahead. The talk was about the way Microsoft recognized the importance of getting into China, forged relationships, and established a research lab, sending the now (in)famous Kai-Fu Lee over to get the lab started. Bill Gates seems to be doing a fine job nurturing his Chinese relationships, as he’s visited a dozen or so times, and he was President Hu’s first stop earlier this year. The lab has been a great success, and recently Lee has been heading up the effort to set up a Google research lab in Beijing. With Yahoo looking to start up a lab there as well, things in Beijing could get very interesting on the search front.
Sounds like it’s worth a read.