The Story of a China Practice

The Story of a China Practice is a book written by Chris Devonshire-Ellis to commemorate the 15th year of operations of the China based consulting practice, Dezan Shira & Associates in 2007. It was one of the first historical documents to cover contemporary business development in China, mainly covering the boom period of Jiang Zemin’s leadership as President of China at that time.

China Practice Book

The book had an initial print run of 10,000 copies and was distributed on a complimentary basis at celebratory events throughout China, often as part of selected “Doing Business in China” themed seminars and talks.

The book became an immediate cult China business classic, as it dealt with an often turbulent, yet dynamic period in China’s development history and the impact this had on what was a small, yet fast growing consultancy business. Many of the anecdotes concerning China business problems, and how to deal with them are now be considered essential advise for China corporate development advisory, and are often of profound interest to the Small-Medium Enterprise and Start-Up businesses operating in China.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis’s narrative takes us through the China problems of the day and how they relate to small businesses, such as:

  • Dealing with the Asian Financial Crisis
  • Operating a Business in China During An Epidemic (SARS)
  • Dealing with Creditors in times of Cash Flow Restraints
  • Getting Money from Debtors
  • Guerilla Marketing in China on a Budget
  • Developing Away from being a One Man Band
  • Securing Valuable Staff
  • Keeping Banks Out of Your Business
  • Developing National Brand Awareness Throughout China


Chris Devonshire-Ellis, author of “The Story of a China Practice”, in 2007

The book was widely praised at the time and still has validity today, especially for would-be China entrepreneurs. The initial 10,000 copy print run was exhausted in three months, following which the book was placed online as a complimentary resource. It has since received over 32,000 additional downloads.

“The Story of a China Practice” by Chris Devonshire-Ellis can be downloaded for free here