The era of Cheap China is over. How do we know this? Good looking whores are much more expensive than they used to be.
So begins Shaun Rein’s new book The End of Cheap China. It’s a provocative beginning, but feels out of place in a book whose chapters end in bullet points cribbed from power point presentations advising newbie foreign managers on market entry.
Rein founded China Market Research Group and has been in China a long time. He’s distilled his considerable experience into this compact “whither China?” effort. It makes a generally positive assessment of the rising superpower’s prospects as in the “Stability Is the Key Happiness” chapter where Rein contextualizes government leadership against the background of the Cultural Revolution.
He scores his points via personal anecdotes, whether his own marriage to the granddaughter of a hero of the revolution, or personal conversations with a range of Chinese people in many walks of life. The parts where he lambasts China critics for being cultural imperialists in the Edward Said mode, though, cheapen the book. Regardless, inside there are plenty of talking points for backseat CEOs.
What: The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World
Where to buy: Wiley