Paul French

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Founder, Access Asia

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As Chief China Representative for Access Asia, Paul provides macro, consumer and retail information to help global firms shape their regional strategy. He’s also a leading blogger and voice of China Rhyming, who’s lived in Shanghai for 20 years. In his speeches Paul examines the prospects for the new leadership, explores the seemingly unstoppable rise and points to possible Achilles heels. He also describes what it’s like to vote in elections in a one-party state.


Paul French is a founder and Chief China Representative of Access Asia, based in Shanghai. Working closely with a number of leading international brands, Access Asia provides information on China’s economy and consumer and retail markets.

A specialist on the retail economy and consumer economics of China, Paul is also a regular columnist for the China Economic Quarterly as well as the Editor of Insight China, a journal covering market developments. He is the author of several studies of contemporary China including One Billion Shoppers and Fat China: How expanding waistlines will change a nation. He has also written North Korea: State of Paranoia, a number of titles about various aspects of Chinese history from the Opium Wars to the Cultural Revolution, and even an examination of an unsolved real-life murder in 1937, Midnight in Peking.

In presentations Paul sheds new light on the seemingly unstoppable rise of the world’s second largest economy and points to possible Achilles heels. He also considers Chinese history, ancient and modern, demographic issues and what it’s like to vote in elections in a one-party state. He offers an insight into what remains a complex, misunderstood nation, its people, its politics, and its future.

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