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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.

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

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


Table of Contents


Foreword by Joerg Wuttke


Introduction: Why ‘Dragon Suit’?

Chapter One: Signing Up

1.1 The golden age of foreign business in China

1.2 Why go to China?

1.3 Ages and voyages

1.4 Why not go to China?

1.5 How expats end up in China


Chapter Two: Settling In

2.1 First impressions

2.2 Expat islands in ‘real China’

2.3 The air is everywhere

2.4 China’s intermittent internet

2.5 Bracing for culture shock


Chapter Three: Gearing Up

3.1 First days at work

3.2 Cultures of collaboration

3.3 Work, life, balance

3.4 Culture-mapping matches and mismatches

3.5 Strategies and tactics of cultural adaptation


Chapter Four: Stepping Up

4.1 Leading others as a foreigner in China

4.2 Assuming roles and responsibilities

4.3 Networks and kinships

4.4 The politics of leading businesses in China

4.5 Going with the flow, turning with the tide


Chapter Five: Moving On

5.1 Localising leadership

5.2 Foreign business beyond ‘decoupling’

5.3 Thriving in China’s walled garden

5.4 Upcoming dragon suit trends

5.5 Epilogue: new dragon suit patterns



About The Author

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