Big Bucks Flock to Beijing

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2008 9:16 AM CDT
More fireworks in Beijing.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – 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. (Read more 2008 Beijing Olympics stories.)