The once impenetrable door to China is now swinging wide open. Recent events, such as the latest partnership between global employment services experts Manpower and the Chinese government to improve the skills of the Chinese people, show the enthusiasm of this rapidly-expanding economy to embrace the best practices of international employment.
Manpower will be working with government agencies to develop human resource strategies and infrastructure to support the evolving requirements of China's workforce.
Business pundits never cease to be excited by prospects in China, as Hugh Bucknall and Reiji Ohtaki point out in their new book, Mastering Business In Asia. It charts China's transformation into one of the world's powerhouses with, in turn, a market almost twice the size of the European Union's and that of the US combined.
Its authors see an increasing awareness among Chinese organisations of the need to implement new management processes, but also "a general view that you can't adopt a ready Western model, but adapt one to suit the local culture and situation".
But what is it like for the Western companies already based there? The UK's Impact Development Training Group has been working in China for more than 10 years, and in 2003, it established an office in Shanghai. Its clients include major industrials.
"It is important to understand the Chinese culture - how they work and operate - before a western organisation can begin to be successful, and even then only if it is prepared to put in the investment," says director of Impact China, Tony Ren.
He explains that there is no one overriding culture in such a vast landmass. "China used to be a collection of small countries that merged together," he says. "Don't think of it as a single country, but more like a European union. For example, Shanghai has a very open culture, but Beijing is the opposite."
As international companies have found a firm foothold in China most of the middle management population is drawn from local people. And they are very keen to make their mark.
"For instance, these people tend to be quite individualised," says Ren. "They want to be a star, not a team player - especially in Shanghai. They see being rich as a glorious thing."
Long, outdoor team-building courses are not likely to go down well says Ren. "People prefer business-focused discussion and reviews."