Editorial: Success in Asia relies on knowledge

Who's making money in China? This question is usually raised when someone becomes over-excited about the prospect of a billion customers.

by Morice Mendoza, editor
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

The rush to make money out of China, and Asia at large, sharply divides opinion. Undoubtedly, Asia is full of opportunities, but just 10 years ago the region's economy crashed, exposing the need for much better corporate governance. There have been significant improvements since then, but they have not begun to catch up with the West.

The lack of transparency in some Asian firms, many of which are driven by the desire to shelter family members rather than serve shareholders, makes it hard to recognise those companies that are good investments. There are signs of progress, though, as some owners sell all or part of their interests to investors that apply higher governance standards. Information has always been the key to success in Asia, and for this reason our special report on the region provides a guide to the threats as well as the opportunities.

World Business travelled to San Jose to meet one of Silicon Valley's most consistently successful CEOs. John Chambers, who has led Cisco Systems, the internet router company, for 12 years, can say with some pride that he has steered the company successfully through its toughest phase following the dotcom crash of 2000/01. However, the Valley's veteran CEO faces his biggest challenge yet in taking Cisco into much fiercer markets at the consumer end of the network.

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