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  1. Introduction
  2. Legal context of doing business in China
    1. Business entities
    2. The intellectual property field in China
    3. Labor legislation
  3. 'Guanxi' or how to deal with Chinese people?
    1. China, a different culture
    2. Guanxi and Network
    3. Relations with officials
    4. The phenomenon of ?Mianzi?
  4. Case study: Danone group and Wahaha joint venture
    1. Presentation of a sino-foreign joint venture
    2. Failure to create a common vision
  5. Conclusion

The Chinese population is immense, their history is very long and their culture is one of the most complex in the world. China is really a unique country for many reasons. First, we can notice a huge gap between urban and rural areas. China is so vast so there are a lot of cultural and economic differences. For example, some areas are very advanced (Shanghai) but most of them are backward. And the gap is growing due to rapid changes every year. These changes essentially concern advanced cities which are already open to the world. Second, China has exactly 34 local governments. So laws depend on the location and investors have to be aware of local laws and habits.

Before starting this paper, it is really important to present a brief summary of China's economic reforms. These reforms are the source of the success of China. China is a socialist country which has established a system of market economy. Reforms evolve very quickly. The main economic reforms of these last 30 years include the creation of the Special Economic Zones, the opening of 14 coastal cities and the recent opening of central and western regions to the world. Setting up the SEZs allows China to develop job opportunities, to obtain advanced technology or to learn about Western management skills. Furthermore, the opening of many coastal cities helped China to change its economical structure (especially the industrial structure) and to attract more FDI. Now, China makes full use of the advantages of its coastal cities. Finally, the recent attempts to open the central and the western areas to the world will certainly reduce the gap between the eastern and western regions. In this way, China is trying to unify its territory and reach the goal of a common prosperity.

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