China, Inc: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World

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Simon and Schuster, 2005 - Business & Economics - 342 pages
9 Reviews
China today is visible everywhere -- in the news, in the economic pressures battering america, in the workplace, and in every trip to the store. provocative, timely, and essential, this dramatic account of china's growing dominance as an industrial super-power by journalist Ted C. Fishman explains how the profound shift in the global economic order has occurred -- and why it already affects us all.

How has an enormous country once hobbled by poverty and Communist ideology come to be the supercharged center of global capitalism? What does it mean that China now grows three times faster than the United States? That China uses 40 percent of the world's concrete and 25 percent of its steel? What is the global impact of 300 million rural Chinese walking off their farms and heading to the cities in the greatest migration in human history? Why do nearly all of the world's biggest companies now have large-scale operations in China? What does the corporate march into China mean for workers left behind in America, Europe, and the rest of the world?

Meanwhile, what makes China's emerging corporations so dangerously competitive? What could happen when China will be able to manufacture nearly everything -- computers, cars, jumbo jets, and pharmaceuticals -- that the United States and Europe can, at perhaps half the cost? How do these developments reach around the world and straight into the lives of all Americans?

These are ground-shaking questions, and China, Inc. provides answers.Veteran journalist and former commodities trader Ted C. Fishman paints a vivid picture of the megatrends radiating out of China. Fishman's account begins with the burgeoning output of China's vast low-cost factories and the swelling appetite of its 1.3 billion consumers, both of which are being driven by historically unprecedented infusions of foreign capital and technological know-how. Traveling through China's frenetic landscape of growth, Fishman visits the factories, markets, streets, stores, towns, and cities where the story of Chinese capitalism is being lived by one-fifth of all humanity. Fishman also draws on interviews with Chinese, American, and European workers, managers, and executives to show how China will force all of us to make big changes in how we think about ourselves as consumers, workers, citizens, and even as parents. The result is a richly engaging work of penetrating, up-to-the-minute reportage and brilliant analysis that will forever change how readers think about America's future.


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The words “Made in China” has been so rampant in recent years such that it is almost hard to find a product with the words ”Made in USA.” A country that was formally associated with communism and poverty has now become a center of attention when it comes to innovation and inventions. In China Inc, Ted Fishman analyzed how the growth of China is affecting the rest of the world with emphasis on America, and how the rest of the world can react to these changes.
Ted Fishman started by citing examples of how China is becoming the major influence in our everyday lives. China’s hands are in almost every market you could think of, from financial market to technology and other products sold globally. Ted Fishman used several analogies to explain how China has become the place to find solutions and answers to almost any problem you have, be it individually or collectively.
Ted Fishman said, “China is winning because it can make what others did for less money” thereby making products that were ones unaffordable affordable. Because American companies cannot find wages as low as Chinese companies would cost, they are forced to move their operation to China where they can minimize their costs. According to Ted Fishman’s statistics, this paradigm shift can be reversed if the American education is invigorated and the trade gap between China and the United States of America is bridged.

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Ted C. Fishman's China Inc. is an insightful book documenting the rise of modern-day China as an economic powerhouse. It tells of Shanghai skyscrapers growing like sunflowers, and the Chinese manufacturing success making products cheaper around the world. But at the same time, it manages to capture the tales of the sweatshop workers with seventy-hour work weeks, and the impact communities such as those in New Hampshire have felt as over one-fifth of their manufacturing jobs disappear. Only, they don't disappear. They're picked up by the Chinese.
China Inc. is packed with eye-opening facts and statistics. Nothing expresses the sheer power of China's massiveness more than the statement that, "[In China] over 320 million people [are] under the age of fourteen, more than the entire population of the United States" (Back Cover). One cannot doubt that China's workforce is a tough opponent upon learning that "China has more speakers of English as a second language than America has native English speakers" (Back Cover). China Inc. accounts for the uglier side of the recent growth with qualitative measurements. In one passage, Fishman tells the story of thousands of woman who flocked to karaoke clubs after realizing the low wages and hardship entailed in sweatshop jobs.
Seeing China's explosive growth, Americans constantly ask the question: Is China an opponent or ally? On one hand, high-quality products are being made affordable to a larger audience in the United States. Ironically, American consumers afford less when their jobs have been exported to China. Fishman approaches this issue objectively, providing arguments supporting both sides. He described the cost of producing in China as the "China Price". For a corporation's bottom line, the China Price is attractive. Products can be manufactured at lower and lower prices. But the output comes at a cost: the inhumane conditions that so many Chinese increasingly have to suffer through. Companies are able to get away by running front and back operations - one to show the inspectors, and one to manufacture at the China Price.
China Inc. is a must-read for those looking for the complete details behind China's economic boom, and what it means for people everywhere.

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