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Using the proflierating volume of social science data and concepts on the subject, this book attempts to provide an alternative interpretation of the business conduct of the ethnic Chinese of East and Southeast Asia. The authors argue that: explanations of Chinese business conduct in terms of culture are too convenient and simplistic; not all Chinese everywhere are the same, nor do they do business only among each other; not all Chinese are successful in business, and not all successful businessmen are Chinese; "guanxi" ("connections") has its down side; many ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia may well be "reluctant merchants" as they face many institutional obstructions to their upward mobility; and the seeming solidarity among the ethnic Chinese as more to do with external forces impinging upon them as members of a "racial group" rather than primordial sentiments internal to the group.
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