China has had a turbulent history this century. Once known as the center of capitalism in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Communists’ take-over in 19491 caused the country to experience massive destruction. In 1978, it was those same Communist forces who re-opened the doors to foreigners and encouraged them to invest in the country’s economy. Since then, China has emerged as the world’s number two recipient of foreign investments, totaling US$ 42.4 billion2, only surpassed by the United States. The fall and rise of China belongs without doubt to the most important economic events of this century. One might even argue that the globalization of economies has had much to do with the emerging Asian markets and in particular that of China.


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  1. 1.
    Hereafter, mainland China is known as the People’s Republic of China (PR China), since the earlier ruling force, the Kuomintang, fled to the island of Taiwan, founding the Republic of China. In this essay, the author refers to the People’s Republic of China when talking about China.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    IMF, 1997b, p. 208.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ayala/Lai, 1996, p. 57.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Chinese characters for China literally stand for “Middle Kingdom”.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    N.N., 1997b, extracted from Reuters.Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    The Renminbi (RMB) is China’s official currency. The exchange ratio in June/July 1997 was: 1 US$ = 8.29 RMB.Google Scholar
  7. 2.
    State Statistical Bureau, 1997, p. 564.Google Scholar
  8. 1.
    Kotler, 1991, p. 433.Google Scholar
  9. 1.
    Cf. Ulrich, 1981, pp. 3.Google Scholar
  10. 1.
    Tomczak, 1992, p. 81.Google Scholar
  11. 2.
    Glaser/Strauss, 1967, p. 37.Google Scholar
  12. 3.
    Glaser/Strauss, 1967, p. 45.Google Scholar
  13. 1.
    Cf. Mayring, 1993, p. 26.Google Scholar
  14. 2.
    Cf. Mayring, 1993, pp. 27.Google Scholar
  15. 3.
    Yin, 1984, p. 13.Google Scholar
  16. 4.
    Eisenhardt, 1989, p. 540.Google Scholar
  17. 5.
    Glaser/Strauss, 1967, p. 5.Google Scholar
  18. 1.
    Cf. Hopf, 1991, p. 177; Mayring, 1993, p. 47.Google Scholar
  19. 2.
    Beside this, interviewees were asked to identify other foreign companies that they considered to be interesting and that were not yet included in the list.Google Scholar
  20. 3.
    A list of interviewees and the questionnaires used can be found in the appendix of this thesis.Google Scholar
  21. 1.
    This is demanded by Mayring, who notes that subjects should be investigated in their every day environment. (Source: Mayring, 1993, p. 9)Google Scholar

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