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China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World [Paperback]

Ted C Fishman
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 2006
What will happen when China can manufacture nearly everything that the United States and Europe can, at one-third the cost? It's a ground-shaking question and, when it comes to the West's future economic health, not everyone will want to hear the answer. The burgeoning output of China's vast low-cost factories and the swelling appetite of its 1.3 billion consumers, both of which are driven by infusions of foreign capital and technological know-how, are rapidly altering global commerce. So are China's newfound freedoms, national ambitions, and growing prestige. In CHINA INC., veteran journalist and former commodities trader, Ted Fishman, shows that economics is just where the story begins. Fishman paints a vivid picture of how the mega trends radiating out of China are shaping the day-to-day lives of people everywhere. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with Chinese, European and American workers, managers, and executives, Fishman also tells 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 reportage and analysis.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company; Reprint edition (1 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743257359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743257350
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 14 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,854,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ted C. Fishman's work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Money, Harper's, Esquire, USA TODAY, GQ and Chicago Magazine. A former floor trader and member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he ran his own trading firm until 1992. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative and enjoyable read 30 Jun 2005
With China's inclusion on the world news/economic agenda becoming more conspicuous by the day, I wanted to gain an insight into the inner-workings and effects of it's rapid expansion and rise to global prominence in the last few years.
After reading about this title in a newspaper, I ordered it and became immediately engrossed. Quite aside from the fascinating subject matter, the writer presents it in a very fluid and highly readable style, deftly weaving human interest stories, political considerations, economic/business analysis and Chinese history in a subtle and effective manner, making the book that rarest of beasts: a socio-economic pageturner.
There are very few downsides: it might be perceived to be slightly USA-heavy in terms of comparisons/contrasts with China on an international scale, but let's face it: the US is still the dominant world economic superpower (for the short term at least, as you'll discover upon reading the book!). Also there is a slight bias towards business analysis as opposed to say politics, culture or history, but the latter elements are in no way neglected and the book is entitled China INC after all.
All in all, I thoroughly recommend it on all levels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars China marches on 9 Aug 2005
By dave
China is emerging as the next great global economic superpower and this book pulls together lots of examples to show this. Recent reports of Chinese oil, electronic and automotive companies moving into western economies abound.
The book may not present much new information to the business professional but it certainly provides the general reader with an excellent overview of a potential new world economic order, while the racy journalistic style of writing makes it a pleasure to read.
The story is entertaining and to some will be worrying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chinese century? 22 Jun 2006
This well-researched reveals China as an awakening giant, experiencing roaring growth and impressive technological advances. Not only does the country have the unrivalled productive power derived from its vast low-cost labour force but its one billion plus consumers have made it a lucrative market.

One of the reasons for its breathtaking economic growth is that rural people have been moving to the cities in large numbers. Three of the most interesting chapters are titled The Revolution Against The Communist Revolution, Pirate Nation (which examines the problem of counterfeits and brand theft taking place in China), and chapter 11: The Chinese Century.

The author examines the implications of this rising colossus for the world, and for the West in particular. What if China manages to produce everything that the West does at half the cost? And at the same time as its industrial and knowledge economy is booming, the country is aggressively pursuing reliable sources of raw materials and acquiring foreign companies.

Its geopolitical influence is increasing, as is evident in its potentially dangerous friendship with Iran(as part of an Asian Economic Co-operation Group that includes Russia), and its growing influence in Africa (especially Sudan) and even in South America (Venezuela).

Time will tell if the Chinese economy is inherently sound and how far the country will take its alliances with rogue states like Iran. China's involvement in the Middle East might prove its undoing. The book provides all the latest statistics and plenty of intelligent analyses. It concludes with Notes, a Bibliography and Index.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By J. Axup
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fishman regurgitates the contents of scores of much more credible books to produce a seemingly random collection of misunderstands and dated facts and figures about China. Even worse, although this book was first published in 2004 and updated in 2006, most of the figures date back to 2002 and earlier.

Fishman is quick to state 'a book about China would be out-of-date even before it were published'. Having condemned himself to this untruth, he then compounds the problem by filling every single page with out-of-date figures, which demonstrates a clear insecurity about his absence of first-hand China experience. Pages are peppered with out-of-date billion dollar figures which seem to be more to fill space rather than support any argument.

Fishman does however excel at writing very visual snapshots of the major tourist spots he visits on his brief stay in China. Unfortunately, he can't speak Mandarin so these snapshots are mostly devoid of human interaction.

Annoyingly, Fishman even goes on to spout falsehoods about the history of the Japanese Ramen noodle. Infuriating. If you are looking to read about China, then I recommend buying one written by a China-hand journalist, rather than a Princeston graduate who admits a 'good friend at Harper' helped him have his book published. The following two books are excellent and not in any way dated:

One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China
China Shakes The World: The Rise of the Hungry Nation
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful! 4 July 2005
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Squarely addressed to people with scant knowledge of China, this anecdotal excursion into the economics of the Middle Kingdom is dilettantish in the best sense of the word. Those who know China will learn only illustrative tales here, but those who do not know China will learn what even the most scrupulously accurate journalists cannot always convey: the feel of the place. Author Ted C. Fishman explores Shanghai shops, Shenzhen factories and markets for female companionship euphemistically known as karaoke halls, and he manages to put everything in the context of China's economic development. No doubt many readers will come away convinced that China is a threat - indeed, part of the author's purpose is to show how China challenges the world. He does that convincingly by alternating vignettes of China with vignettes of America. Critics may quibble, and not without reason, that the book is superficial, uncritical and nave. Granted. But we counter: it's a heck of a read.
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