Book Title – China INC. – How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World

Author – Ted Fishman
Publisher- Scribner USA 2005

A common question I often hear from my trainees is “What did you know about China before moving to China?” If Ted Fishman had published his book, China INC back in 2003, I would have known a great deal about China’s business environment. This book can provide the answers to many questions for western business people looking to do business in today’s China. It is a must read for any businessperson. It is the businessperson’s equivalent to Lonely Planet: China, the traveler’s guide of guides. Ted Fishman, is a former Chicago Mercantile Exchange firm owner, and has been a quest speaker on several business radio programs in the US, most notably “Marketplace’s Special Report From China”. It was from this program that I first learned of China INC.

This book uses vibrant, yet simple business instances of how China’s economy operates, and how it developed to where it is today. With each chapter and story, I could recall a similar experience that has happened to me. As you read through this book, do you think you would be able to recognize your own country’s business methods?

China INC starts off by explaining how China’s economy has affected everyone around the world and in what ways. From the farmers in Zhejiang, to back streets of Shanghai, to the politicians in Beijing, China INC illustrates how China has become the lead actor on the world’s stage of business. You’ll find out who did the actual leading and who followed. It reveals the underlying policies that shifted China to its current global power. As you read through this book, will you be able to recognize these events? Do they still exist in today’s China?

The book explains how the old traditions of guanxi still operate in today’s complicated worldwide business field. Want to have a TV show to grow your school, then take the TV station director to lunch, and he’ll give you all the program time you want as long as he gets a cut from your advertising revenue. Wonder how legal that Chinese contract is, how connected is the lawyer that wrote it for you, does he have the important contacts to fix any problem that may arise?

China INC also informs the reader how the big multi-nationals have changed their business strategies to get the inside track on doing business in China, and with China. Why do they sacrifice their IPR to manufacture in China? How they tolerate piracy for brand awareness and recognition, to grow market share. If China is the world’s seller, then whom does China buy from? Which countries and industry sectors are growing thanks to China’s spending? All these questions and then some are answered through stimulating business stories in this enlightening book.

bflynn's picture

Interesting - this sounds like a book about the realities of working in/with China. A great suggestion, its going on my Christmas list.


eagerApprentice's picture

I've seen this book many times on the bookshelves and wrestled with whether or not I should buy it - there seems to be so many books on business in China that I'm sometimes scared I'll buy one with a bunch of fluff between the covers!

That said, I will go out and buy this one after reading your great summary - thanks for the recommendation!