February 15, 2004

Trips to Avoid

I've always preferred a direct-model in lieu of the "middleman" because the middleman was sort of always getting in the "middle" of things.

So I read this story with mixed emotions

LIKE entrepreneurs trying to make a fortune, Andrew Hollingworth believed China was his key to success. The 31-year-old started to sell chemicals made by a Chinese company and soon built up a £3m business.
At his home near Manchester, Hollingworth enjoyed the trappings of success — an imposing house, a gleaming Jaguar and a horse for his wife. The walls of his rambling farmhouse are still decorated with expensive oriental art, but for Hollingworth the honeymoon with China is over.


It came to an abrupt end in November when a business trip turned into an ordeal that pushed him to the brink of a nervous breakdown. After a row broke out with his Chinese supplier over disputed bills, Hollingworth said he was held against his will in a remote factory and intimidated and assaulted before his eventual release.

The former Tory party candidate was subsequently prevented from leaving the country by the Chinese authorities and won his freedom only last month after the intervention of the Foreign Office. Now he is warning the growing number of British businesses flocking to China to beware of its perils
Note to self ... don't go to remote China if I owe them a lot of hard currency