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The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World

ISBN: 978-1-118-23994-0
240 pages
February 2012
The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World (1118239946) cover image
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.

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Prologue ix

Chapter 1 Chinese Billionaires Outnumber American Ones 1

Chapter 2 Cheap Chinese Labor? Not Anymore: China’s Workers Are Demanding Better Pay and Better Conditions—And They Are Earning Them 19

Chapter 3 Stability Is the Key to Happiness: How China’s Government Thinks and Why It Acts the Way It Does 39

Chapter 4 The Modern Chinese Woman 63

Chapter 5 Why Chinese Consider Kentucky Fried Chicken Healthful: China’s Iffy Food Supply Chain Is Putting a Premium on Safe Food 85

Chapter 6 Understanding Corruption in China: What China’s Underground Sex Trade Shows about Its Government 103

Chapter 7 China’s Real Estate Sector: Boom or Bust or Something Else? 125

Chapter 8 Chinese Neo-Colonialism in Africa and the End of American Hegemony? 147

Chapter 9 China’s Educational Sector: Preventing China from Cementing Its Superpower Status 171

Chapter 10 What the End of Cheap China Means for the Rest of the World 189

Epilogue 203

Postscript 205

Acknowledgments 209

Index 211

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SHAUN REIN is the founder and Managing Director of the China Market Research Group, a leading strategic market intelligence firm that advises Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, and hedge funds about profiting in China. Millions read his weekly CNBC column on business in China. He regularly appears on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, CBS News, CNN, and NPR, and is often featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the Financial Times, Bloomberg.com, and the New York Times.

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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

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