Fourth book coming later this year

Just sending my third book off to my publisher, which is owned by British publishing company Pearson PLC, the same company that owns Penguin Radom House, you’d assume that my next book would be about a year or more away. That’s about how long it takes to research and write your average business book and the time it took to write each of my first two books. However, in this case I’ve also been working on a fourth book, with my co-author David Dodge, for about the last year. The working title is Piercing the Great Wall of Corporate China: How to perform forensic due diligence on Chinese companies. Of course, the publisher will also have their idea of what the title of the book should be, but I tend to like this working title and hope that we’ll all decide to make it the title of the book. The book is designed to help those companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals who have difficulty performing due diligence on a Chinese company. Thornhill Capital, the company where I’m the Chairman and CEO and Dave is the CFO, has been performing due diligence in China for over a decade and has developed protocols and checklists for almost any type of company, both public and private.

Dave Dodge and I have talked about writing this book for years and finally, around July of last year, we decided to just budget our time and do it. The book will actually teach, in depth, how someone should look at a Chinese company and determine what’s actually there. Chinese companies have a history of revealing as little as possible as well as creating books and records that would be placed in the fiction section of a public library. We wanted to enable the average person to expertly get beyond the great wall these companies create that prevents someone from knowing exactly what they’re getting into. Subsequently, we decided to utilize our corporate expertise and detail how to perform due diligence on a Chinese company.

We hope to come out with the book at the end of this year. However, with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays at the end of the year, it’s possible the publishing process may force publication in the first month or two of next year.

Below is an unedited portion from this book from the introduction.

Philosophically, culturally, and business-wise, Chinese companies seem to operate on a different plane than businesses in most other countries. Even seasoned business professionals, with decades of successful experience in other global markets, have found their ability to perform due diligence, and evaluate Chinese companies, to be woefully inadequate. One of the reasons for this is the existence of a Chinese wall, a cultural-philosophical-business barrier that prevents foreigners from discovering deficiencies, or obtaining required information, during their due diligence. China is not as open as the West, having historically been an isolationist country and cut off from interaction with the global business community for all but the last thirty-five years.

                                                                                 Alan Refkin

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