Synopses & 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.
"A lively, fact-packed account of China's spectacular, 30-year transformation from economic shambles following Mao's Cultural Revolution to burgeoning market superpower, this book offers a torrent of statistics, case studies and anecdotes to tell a by now familiar but still worrisome story succinctly. Paid an average of 25 cents an hour, China's workers are not the world's cheapest, but no nation can match this 'docile and capable industrial workforce, groomed by generations of government-enforced discipline,' as veteran business reporter (and Chicago Mercantile trading firm founder) Fishman characterizes it. Since Mexican wages were (at the time) four times those of China, NAFTA's impact has been dwarfed by China's explosive growth (about 9.5% a year), and corporations and entrepreneurs operating in China have few worries about minimum wages, pensions, benefits, unions, antipollution laws or worker safety regulations. For the U.S., Fishman predicts more of what we're already seeing: deficits, declining wages and the squeezing of the middle class. His solutions (revitalize education, close the trade gap) are not original, but some of his statistics carry a jolt: since 1998, prices in the U.S. have risen 16%, but they've fallen in nearly every category where China is the top exporter; a pair of Levis bought at Wal-Mart costs less today, adjusted for inflation, than it did 20 years ago though the company no longer makes clothes in China. First serial to the New York Times Magazine; author tour." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] timely look at the Pacific Rim's most powerful economic tiger....A thought-provoking and accessible forecast of strange times to come." Kirkus Reviews
"China, Inc. is the amazing story of how the slumbering Red giant woke up and, at warp speed, transformed itself into the greatest superpower of the very near future with the biggest, tallest, longest, and fastest of just about everything there is. Fishman will forever change your view not just of China's place in the world but of America's as well." Craig Unger, New York Times bestselling author of House of Bush, House of Saud
"Mr. Fishman describes China's miracle economy with a mixture of fear and admiration. He is a lively writer, and some of his most vivid pages are devoted to the wrenching transformations brought about by the government's controlled experiment in free enterprise." William Grimes, The New York Times
"Fishman has compiled an impressive array of facts, figures, and anecdotes about China's business boom. And to his credit, he includes worthwhile interviews with everyone from shop sellers in a Shanghai knick-knack market to Patrick Lo, chief executive of networking equipment giant Netgear Inc. But while Fishman's range of reporting is impressive, his book could have benefited from an overriding argument or rather, any strong arguments at all." Hope Glassberg, The New Republic
(read the entire New Republic review
What will happen when China can make nearly everything the U.S. and Europe can make at one-third the cost? Fishman delves into dangerous question that not everyone wants answered.
About the Author
Ted C. Fishman's essays and reports have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Money, Harper's, Worth, Esquire, USA Today, GQ, Chicago magazine, and Business 2.0. His commentaries have been featured on Public Radio International's Marketplace. A former floor trader and member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he ran his own trading firm until 1992. He lives in Chicago.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The World Shrinks as China Grows
Chapter One: Taking a Slow Boat in a Fast China
Chapter Two: The Revolution Against the Communist Revolution
Chapter Three: To Make 16 Billion Socks, First Break the Law
Chapter Four: Meet George Jetson, in Beijing
Chapter Five: Chairman Mao Sells Soup
Chapter Six: Through the Looking Glass
Chapter Seven: The China Price
Chapter Eight: How the Race to the Bottom Is a Race to the Top
Chapter Nine: Pirate Nation
Chapter Ten: The Chinese-American Economy
Chapter Eleven: The Chinese Century
Chapter Twelve: One Last Story