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NO ANCIENT WISDOM, NO FOLLOWERS: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism Paperback – October 2, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
There's a lot of what you would already know if you read the newspaper every day (which was basically the source material for this book, plus a few books by China watchers):
1. Consumption as a percentage of GDP is too low, and the leaders of China know this.
2. The SOEs (less government subsidies) yield negative rates of return-- and yet they are the backbone of the economy.
3. The innovation strategy of China, Inc is emphatically NOT to innovate, but to find some way to trick their foreign partners out of their hard-developed technology through some variety of dishonest means. (Did you ever doubt this? "Co-innovation"? "Re-innovation"? "Assimilation of imported technologies"?)
4. It's not quite clear even what *is* an SOE nor how much they participate in the economy. But the (vague) answer is that they are "many" and participate "a lot."
5. The Chinese companies use the technology that they have stolen from foreign companies against those very same companies in the role of competitor.
6. Yes, the Chinese are in Africa. No, they are not popular there.
7. The strategy of the Chinese government is tit-for-tat and intimidation of the foreign companies that work for them. What McGregor included was a few more examples than what we might remember from reading the papers every day.
8. No, the WTO has no teeth to solve the problems put before it.Read more ›
This book, however, is less enjoyable than the first one. But I will still recommend it to anyone who cares about China's economy and reform. By the way, this book has been published in Taiwan, not in mainland China.
China seems to close the door once again. But this time, the lock up policy causes trouble to multinationals. Any market of this size can not be ignored. No opium trade nor battle ships are allowed this time. It seems no way to get access without compromise.
I'm personally a casualty in the credit card war between VISA, MasterCard and UnionPay. Citi Bank China gave me two separated credit cards at the same time. The one with UnionPay logo is for in China use and one with VISA for the rest of the world. It is the most ridiculous policy I've ever seen.
James wanted to show me every aspect of China's authoritarian capitalism. Therefore, he explained where this came from, how it challenged the GATT/WTO system, and the future of this system. But he didn't do it very well. It seems all his points are based on existing papers by Unirule and World Bank. In fact, I found there are few original findings by James.
So my suggestion is like this. If you have no idea of how to do business in China, read his first book One Billion Customers. If you need in depth info regarding Chinese economy, you could have a better choice than this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pragmatic, exceptionally well written and researched insight into the real nature and structure of the Chinese economy. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Wine Lover
James McGregor uses his expertise and understanding of the China Model to give us an accurate insight to China's past, present, and future as contingent on its economic success.Published on March 2, 2014 by Varun Menon
Mr. McGregor is among a small group of journalists who spent a long time in China and understand the country and its culture in politics on a level rarely achieved. Read morePublished on February 15, 2014 by Peter M. Herford
Despite some useful facts and information on the Chinese authoritarian capitalism, the author's treatment on the subject is superficial. Read morePublished on September 20, 2013 by Koo Tat Kee
Fairly easy to read, but as of yet not much new. It does reinforce much of what is out there however. Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by Jeffrey A, Brueggemann
Will China own the future? To many informed observers, both within and outside the country, an equally apt question is: can China cope with its current problems? Read morePublished on April 10, 2013 by W. Hutchens
Refreshing antidote to the raft of glowing, over-the-top books on the boundless riches of the China market. Jim McGregor is one of the canniest commentators on China business.Published on January 28, 2013 by FONG F MEI
China's authoritarian capitalism may be a victim of its own success. It is getting harder to satisfy a population that is devoid of ideology and which demands non-stop lifestyle... Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by Reuters Breakingviews