The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World (Anglais) Relié – 27 avril 2012
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
brilliantly written, colourful, witty and well signposted, so that readers know the lessons they are meant to draw from each chapter before moving on to the next one. These writers will not be the last to offer an answer to the question of what makes China tick. But they could be among the best of them. –from A Slice of the China Market in The Financial Times
Rein combines elegant writing and methodical research. Years of working in China have given him access to important players. Incisive interviews with billionaires, business executives, government officials, and migrant workers guide the pulse of the narrative.... essential reading. –USA Today
Must Read. –Consulting Magazine
Présentation de l'éditeur
The End of Cheap China is a detailed look at the rise of China, and how it will affect the global marketplace. A thorough exploration of the changes taking place in the Chinese economy, the book explains how much of the Western consumerist culture is built on the back of cheap Chinese factory labor, and warns that the era is coming to a close. Readers will learn why the cheap labor pool is beginning to dry up, what that means for the rest of the world, and how businesses will have to adapt to stay afloat. This updated second edition includes new statistics, the latest news on the Chinese economy, and additional case studies that illustrate the ways in which China has developed into a brand–new potential market.
China′s social, political, and economic evolution will affect the entire world. Rising incomes are building pressure on the global commodities market, inflation is only just beginning, and consumers are experiencing sticker shock as cheap labor is becoming harder to find. The End of Cheap China explains the factors driving these changes, the impact that can be expected, and the opportunities that constitute a major silver lining for businesses panicking about the coming paradigm shift. Readers will:
- Discover the eight mega–trends changing China, and how far the ripples will spread
- Learn how rising costs in China will dramatically affect the American way of life
- Examine the rise of Chinese consumption, and the friction it engenders
- Consider the changes businesses must make to remain profitable in a changing world
The global marketplace is evolving, and it′s up to businesses to keep pace with the changes. The End of Cheap China provides a roadmap for navigating these changes, helping businesses lead the charge toward a more affluent global economy.
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Take Mr. Rein's example of Li Ning. Maybe poor Chinese buy their shoes because they can't afford Nike or Adidas or Puma. The brand itself is not considered "cool". Doesn't matter that the style is ok or that the price point is a little under Nike; it doesn't give face. Go into sports stores here and watch people flock to the foreign brands; Li Ning shelves look like a neglected younger brother. I almost feel sorry for them.
This book takes a semi-alarmist position that doesn't match my experience on the ground. True, some Chinese brands are respected, like Midea, Taobao, Alipay, CTRIP. However, for the author to suggest that China is or is soon to be producing the creative talent needed to really kick butt really strains credibility. One need look no further than their political and education systems to realize that China is about control, and duplicating what is already created. Look closely at their long history, you'll see that it's been that way for a very very very long time, and will continue for a very very very long time. They may buy up foreign companies to get the talent they need, but it's still mostly going to be their usual game of control rather then create.
For a more realistic view, readers can try "Poorly Made In China".
End of Cheap China is a good read, for those who wish to learn more about China from the inside. The journal writing style makes it easy to follow. His observation covers the areas of change in social, economic, political, and foreign affairs in China's past decade and a half. Observation that you may find intrigued due to the fact that International media does not always present the true picture from within China. Here are a few highlights of the book.
- The empowerment of women in China, on the trend of why women are now the social and economic driving force.
- Local officials versus central government, on why it is important to tell the difference as we read the news in China.
- Foreign factories set up in China now undergo pressure on resource turnover, escalated cost, and why they should target the local market.
- An understand of modern China history, Cultural Revolution (66-76).
- Local food-supply problem.
- China real estate market and GDP spending, an alternative view.
- China's foreign policy in 'soft power', example on Africa and Pakistan.
- The difference between Chinese management style and US / Japan management style when a company is taken over.
Because the content of this book is filled with the author's criticisms and opinions, it could get a bit disoriented. This book at times appears to be written for the Western businessmen who are investing in China. In other chapters, the author seems to address to the US government, to the Chinese government, to other governments, or to the Chinese people in China, on what they should or should not do. Each target audience - I would presume - has different agenda and potentially conflicting interests. It is unclear if Rein's goal is to advocate a win-win situation. Personally I would prefer a straightforward journalistic approach such as Nothing to Envy (a book on North Korea). Having said that, End of Cheap China is also a business book and it is packed with action items for those who are doing business in China.
I do not know how a book get banned in China. I admire the author's boldness in analyzing China at the ground level, talking to commoners in China as well as to the Chinese billionaires. To be fair, some of his criticisms go beyond China and are directed towards America. Maybe it is the book title. Or the prologue when he was approached by a young prostitute in 1998. Maybe it is his account of Cultural Revolution. In any case, I would recommend this book for those who wish to see China from a different perspective.
Where Shaun lets the book down is where he draws very heavily on anecdotes to make broad leaps of logic without having done the work. One example would be in his discussion of China's exchange rate. Leaving aside the obvious point here - you don't wake up with a few trillion in treasuries after a big night out, its not an accident - the argument that appreciation of the yuan doesn't matter flies in the face of recent data in China (the trade balance post 05) plus, oh, I dunno, just about every bit of empirical and theoretical work in economics. Its a breezy comment without much backing unlike the rigorous work on consumption and its profoundly out of place. Sure some industrial clusters are so entrenched they aren't going to move - but in aggregate FX always, always matters.
All in all a great read where Rein sticks to what he knows, which happily as far as Chinese social and consumer trends is most of what there is to know.
I really enjoyed many of the anecdotes and especially liked the action items at the end of each chapter. They really help in providing actionable steps for those of us that work at brands that are continually trying to figure out the Chinese market. Rein takes a side that is difficult for many Westerners to swallow and yet he still clearly solidifies his case by providing many clear case studies. Throughout the book, you'll find yourself constantly excited and angry all at the same time. Excited for the prospects of the future and angry at the critics of the Chinese. The book also humanizes the Chinese government by explaining the reasoning for the things that they do, which is something that's really hard to do and something that Rein does brilliantly.
If you're going to work in China or thinking about going there just to visit. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It'll be one of the best decision you've made in a long time.
As Rein pointed out, the West should stop calling China an "emerging market," and instead view it as "changing market,' which is equally important as those in the West.
I chucked when I read that Rein termed China as a "teenager superpower" - an unlikely term, but somehow captured the real nature of China as growing power. I personally think the term of `superpower" is outdated, and I doubt China will ever become a superpower as we know it. But I agree most of Rein's assessments about China's role in the world in the future.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in China.