BEIJING—James (Jim) McGregor, chairman of APCO Worldwide Greater China and prominent author and commentator on China, has been promoting business connections and honest communications between the United States and China for more than 25 years, work that makes him an ideal candidate for one of our SABRE Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement as we prepare to hold the Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards dinner in Beijing for the first time.
Jim started his career in China as a one-man bureau for the The Wall Street Journal in 1990. After several years roaming the country and explaining China’s opening up to the outside world, he moved to the business side and became the CEO of Dow Jones China. He established CNBC in China, the Chinese language website of WSJ.com, Dow Jones’ Chinese-language newswires, Chinese stock-market indexes, and the first weekly business-television show in China.
Jim’s first book, “One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China” is still considered the bible for foreigners doing business in China. His second book, "No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism" and his 2010 monograph "China’s Drive for ‘Indigenous Innovation’ – A Web of Industrial Policies" analyzed China’s political and economic ecosystem and strongly influenced policymakers in the US and Europe.
In 1996, Jim was elected as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and he also served for nearly a decade on the AmCham board, increasing understanding and serving as a bridge between U.S. and Chinese government and business leaders.
Jim was founder and CEO of JL McGregor Inc., a China-focused consulting and research firm for hedge funds. He also held roles as a senior adviser for Ogilvy Public Relations China and was the China managing partner for GIV Venture Partners, a venture capital fund that focused on technology and Internet investments in China and India.
Today, he leads APCO Worldwide’s China operations, with a staff of more than 100 professionals in offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. At APCO, McGregor counsels government, business, and NGO clients on China’s fast-paced and complex business and political environment. Jim is also focused on mentoring staff, both Chinese on how to work across internationally borders, and foreigners on how to work in China.
He says: "I feel like I have lived through and participated in about 200 years of change in my 25 years in China. I hope I can get through the next 200 years with my sense of humor still intact."