The Ultimate China Bookshelf with Paul French

Doing business in China right now can feel like an almost impossible task. Well, thus was it ever. And of the many resources claiming to hold the answers, which are deserving of our time & attention?


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Working with The China Project former Shanghai businessman, historian and writer Paul French is building the Ultimate China Bookshelf – bookmarking titles that have stood the test of time and highlighting the wisdom in their pages.  

The idea, apart from recovering some great books on China, is to help us all avoid over-emphasis on the immediate specifics of the commercial landscape and think about the following: 

  • How we can benefit from a collective memory of past experiences of foreign business in China, 
  • How we can indulge usefully in nostalgia, 
  • How various administrations have formed the environment for foreign business, 
  • How China’s current official narrative concurs and/or diverges from ours as foreign businesspeople.  

Join us for a hybrid talk that will deliver practical recommendations as well as commentary on broader questions related to how we think about China. Through Paul French and his Ultimate China Bookshelf, we can better understand the past and take away lessons that increase the chances of success in the future.  

Event Agenda 

17:30 Registration and refreshments
18:00 Lecture and Q&A
19:00 Networking 
19:30 Event close 

This event will be held in Esther Simpson Building LT 1.01 and online.

Illustration for The China Project by Derek Zheng

About Paul French

Paul French was the co-founder and Shanghai Representative of the British market research company Access Asia between 1995 and 2013. Access Asia specialised in research on the Chinese consumer and retail market. The business was successfully sold in 2013 and French has since been a full-time writer and historian working on a range of book, TV, audio and documentary projects, all involving China. His books include the New York Times bestseller Midnight in Peking and City of Devils, both currently being adapted as films.