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Dragon Suit Book

Few books address the experience of living in China as a foreigner, and those that do are either subjective diary-style memoirs or books on specific business-related topics.

By showing China through the stories, headaches and successes of multinational managers based in China, Dragon Suit closes the gap between well-researched but unentertaining monographs on foreign business in the world’s most populous country, and delightful but scarcely researched expat memoires. The presentation of China’s swarming cities, recent economic tsunami, unstoppable middle class, endemic pollution, intermittent internet, confusing culture and endless opportunities between the early 2000s and travel restrictions imposed due to the 2020 COVID19 pandemic rests on extended research, and comes to life through interviews, observations and anecdotes collected during the twenty years while the author advised multinational executives.

"An excellent guide for the next generation of expats in China."

--Chen Wu, Managing Director, The Economist Global Business Review

Dragon Suit: The golden age of expatriate executives in China
Gabor Holch Dragon Suit cover 20230314.png

Click cover to order

The book is expected to be published by New York based Business Expert Press in August 2023.

Stay up-to-date on articles, interviews and videos that feature the dozens of executives, managers, coaches, consultants, human resources and executive search professionals and psychologists I interviewed for this volume between 2018 and 2022, perhaps China's most turbulent time since its re-opening to the world around 2000.

Witness the book's progress as the publisher comes up with a smashing cover, announces a publication date, puts Dragon Suit up for pre-order and we start promoting it through media appearances, keynotes, lectures and podcasts. Oh, don't forget to grab your print or digital copy when you can.

Sign up to my (typically monthly) email updates through the form at the bottom of this page.

Chapter Four: Stepping Up

Leading others as a foreigner in China

Assuming roles and responsibilities

Networks and kinships

The politics of leading businesses in China

Going with the flow, turning with the tide


Chapter Five: Moving On

Localising leadership

Foreign business beyond ‘decoupling’

Thriving in China’s walled garden

Upcoming dragon suit trends

Epilogue: new dragon suit patterns



About The Author

Table of Contents


Foreword by Joerg Wuttke


Introduction: Why ‘Dragon Suit’?

Chapter One: Signing Up

The golden age of foreign business in China

Why go to China?

Ages and voyages

Why not go to China?

How expats end up in China

Chapter Two: Settling In

First impressions

Expat islands in ‘real China’

The air is everywhere

China’s intermittent internet

Bracing for culture shock


Chapter Three: Gearing Up

First days at work

Cultures of collaboration

Work, life, balance

Culture-mapping matches and mismatches

Strategies and tactics of cultural adaptation

Some of the executives, experts and authors interviewed for Dragon Suit are:

Richard Eardley, Asia Managing Director, Hays

Henrik König, CEO, ThyssenKrupp System Engineering China

Angelo Puglisi, Asia Pacific Head of HR and Marketing, Benteler Automotive

Tony Shi, Asia-Pacific Executive Vice President, Benteler

Attila Hilbert, Human Resources Vice President for Greater China and North Asia, Danone

Fernanda Barth, Human Resources Manager, WEG China

Markus Baumgartner, General Manager, Miba Holding

Kurt Yu, Regional President, Voith Group

Christian Eh, Senior Vice President, Covestro China

George Hu, Chief of Mental Health, Shanghai’s United Family Pudong Hospital

Bronwyn Bowery-Ireland, CEO, the Lissom Group

Laurie Underwood, author, China CEO

Shaun Rein, author, The End of Cheap China

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