Feature

How to be an obnoxious capitalist.

The week's news at a glance.

China

Mainland Chinese are becoming as pushy as Hong Kongers, said Hong Liang in the Beijing China Daily. And that’s mostly a good thing. Local businesses in Hong Kong are in desperate need of “foreign talent,” and they have long tended to look abroad. Mainland Chinese managers were seen as conservative and risk-averse, unsuited to Hong Kong’s “highly competitive business environment, which rewards only those with initiative and daring.” That bias is now fading. The opening of the Chinese market in recent years has produced “a new crop of mainland managers,” far more innovative and flexible than the old—and more like the stereotypical Hong Konger. Of course, there’s a downside to assertiveness. “To survive in a work environment where rewards are closely tied to individual performance, most young Hong Kong executives learn the lesson of competitiveness early on.” The eat-or-be-eaten environment can breed people who seem “inconsiderate to the point of rudeness, uncaring, and impatient.” The best manager may be one who combines traits of mainland and island: politeness and decorum coupled with ambition and drive.

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