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Media Advisory

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

May 15, 2001
Media Advisory
To: Reporters, Editors, Producers
Fr: Glenn Small, (410) 516-6094, glenn@jhu.edu
Re: Private Financing of Entrepreneurs in China

Some 30 million new businesses have been created in China in the past 20 years, an amazing amount of private entrepreneurship in a communist country where private banks and lending are illegal. And less than 1 percent of state bank funds go to private businesses. So where do these entrepreneurs get their money?

That's a question Kellee Tsai (pictured at right), an assistant professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University, spent 23 months in China trying to answer. She surveyed hundreds of private entrepreneurs and small businesses in looking for the answer.

The work culminated in her forthcoming book, "Back-Alley Banking: Private Entrepreneurs and Informal Finance in China." She found everything from the widespread use of "rotating credit associations" to loan sharking to investment banks disguised as "magazine reading clubs."

For stories about entrepreneurs and private business in China, Tsai would make an excellent source. She also recently won a National Science Foundation grant to study the political attitudes of entrepreneurs in China, in an effort to test the belief that economic prosperity will ultimately lead to democratic reforms there. To get a sense of Tsai and to hear her talk about her current and past research, check out a short video interview at: www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/audio-video/tsai.html. For more information about Tsai, visit her web site at: http://jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu/~ktsai/.

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