The Beijing Olympics are a celebration of sport, for sure, but they are happening in China, which makes them a business opportunity unlike earlier Games. Folks with deep pockets are converging on the capital to wheel and deal, with an eye to the emerging middle-class market of some 300 million they'd like to tap. China still runs on guanxi, an informal network of connections that makes breaking in a painstaking process, the Telegraph reports.
Which is why, for instance, Coca-Cola is bringing 10,000 people to the Games, and Rupert Murdoch is having lunch with President Hu Jintao. To elude state controls and find the money-making opportunities takes connections. And Western businessmen are exploiting the welcoming Olympic atmosphere to make them, strike deals and get a better bead on how business is done.