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The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World [Hardcover]

Shaun Rein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 April 2012
As China evolves, so does the global marketplace—all the way down to the consumer 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.

Frequently Bought Together

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World + What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism and the Modern Chinese Consumer + All Eyes East: Lessons from the Front Lines of Marketing to China's Youth
Price For All Three: 46.02

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (27 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111817206X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118172063
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 421,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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“…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

From the Inside Flap

China is known for manufacturing cheap products, thanks largely to the country′s vast supply of low–cost workers. But China is changing, and the glut of cheap labor that has made everyday low prices possible is drying up, as the Chinese people seek not to make iPhones, but to buy them. This evaporating labor pool will disrupt supply chains and consumption habits around the world. Rein takes an engaging and informative approach to examining the changes taking place across all levels of Chinese society, talking to everyone from Chinese billionaires and senior government officials, to poor migrant workers, and even prostitutes. He draws on personal stories and experiences from living in China since the 1990s, as well as hard economic data. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of China′s transformation—from trailblazing Chinese companies to newly employed Chinese women to the role of China′s government—and at the end breaks down key lessons for readers to take away. You′ll learn: How rising labor and real estate costs are forcing manufacturers of cheap Chinese products to close, relocate, or move up the value stream How China′s move away from exports to domestic consumption will create opportunities for foreign brands to sell products in China rather than just producing there How Chinese consumption will build pressure on the global commodities markets, causing both inflation and friction with other nations How China′s economic transformation spells the end of cheap consumption for Americans China′s days as a low–cost production center are numbered. The End of Cheap China exposes the end of our consumerist way of life, and gives clear advice on how companies can succeed in the new world order.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book. I am hungry to learn more about China and like everyone else trying to workout for myself where it's story is leading it and by implication the rest of the world economy. Reading this book has made me feel like I have substantially improved my understanding of this extraordinary country.

The author is an American of part Chinese heritage. Add to this his economics background and thriving Chinese business in market research and he is well qualified to be a type of ideal "our man in Beijing" correspondent. However he does provide a tangibly sympathetic and pro China (and it's leadership) feel to this book.

I found the "End of Cheap China" thesis suggested in the title to be both less central and not as completely convincing as one could have expected. The book is more like a very good synopsis of what is happening in China generally rather than a focused treatment of this specific economic question. In terms of casting doubt on the thesis of China becoming too expensive for cheap manufacturing, there was a section which detailed the high wages of seamstresses in a furniture factory on the one hand, but then an example of a couple whose husband returned to the countryside because he could not find high paying work in another section. For me a mixed picture emerges rather than a black and white case.

The labour markets in China are obviously tightening a bit, and many would think this is long overdue, but I did not read anything in this book which convinced me that China is likely to see bottom end wage rises like which has happened in South Korea any time soon.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars sanitised view of China 11 Jun 2012
This is one of those books that seems to presume that everything is reducible to China and America. It is aimed for airport book shelves (light reading)and is subsequently laced with anecdotes and simplistic generalizations. It is an excellent marketing book for the Chinese government; this is probably not surprising as the author continues to work in China and criticizing the regime is not going to add to guanxi. Lines like 'most everyday Chinese do not care about measures limiting Internet access' are uninformed: what is an everyday Chinese? How does he know this? Most Chinese (everyday or not) know there is little they can do. Aside from the lack of critical analysis and many incorrect statements (i.e. the price of coffee in Perth Australia is over $US7!!) the book's main proposition is correct. China is moving up the value chain and the cost of labor is getting more expensive. There is some useful information if you can get past the smooze. However the book does not deal with China's informal labor economy in any meaningful way; there is only a brief mention of shanzhai culture (and this is in the context of one fake sandwich shop)and while there is a chapter on real estate there is no mention of the problems of how government manipulates real estate pricing via land use regulations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read lately 24 Dec 2013
The book made a strong impression on me from the first pages and I knew I would postpone all other readings before finishing it. It's very well structured and comprehensive and you will find the title very well covered in the content. I would recommend the book to both China fans and those who still think that China means mainly cheap low quality goods. I am glad that I chose this book from a very long list of appealing titles because reading it was a very rewarding experience. I'm looking forward to reading more materials written by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End Of Cheap China 2 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dear All,

I am currently half way through reading this book and the first half has been very informative and in my humble opinion very well written. Shaun uses a good style of language for any reader to get a good understanding of China.

I am a banking professional with a specific focus on individuals that reside in the Asia Pacific and had bought this book in the hope to get a better understanding of my client base. This book has so far delivered me in depth knowledge - which has resulted in large success.

I would be happy to endorse this book for its layout, style, detail and relevance to a world in which the dominance of an East is quickly raising and where wealth is now raising from the 2nd generation.

A clear winner from similar books and I would definitely recommend you have a read if you have any interest in this part of the world or a fellow banking professional.

If any of you potential readers wants a further insight feel free to contact me directly.
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