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Silicon Dragon: How China Is Winning the Tech Race Hardcover – January 18, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her brisk and flattering analysis of China's charge into the high-tech market, Fannin spotlights 12 Eastern technopreneurs who are giving Silicon Valley mainstays a run for their money. Identifying her profile subjects the next Thomas Edison or the next Rupert Murdoch, and their companies as MySpace China and the like, the former Red Herring news editor supports her observational thesis with data and anecdotes from a variety of Western and Eastern CEOs, professors and financial analysts. Drawing parallels between the Middle Kingdom's growth and the height of the dot-com bubble, Fannin also takes care to note that most of her China-born sea turtles' were educated in the West, but returned to their homeland to take advantage of growing markets there. If anything, her writing overly praises Chinese entrepreneurships' reach in the world, choosing to gloss over negative statistics and paying controversial social issues—such as censorship of China's Internet sites—mere lip service. Overall, Fannin is best at tracing her subject's mostly humble beginnings through Mao's Cultural Revolution to the self-made Internet era as the tech world searches for the next Bill Gates. Given the sheer number of Chinese expected to be alive in the next decade, new media moguls (and profitable IPOs) are inevitable. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Rebecca Fannin recently crisscrossed China to gauge its digital prospects and the dynamism of its computer-based economy. As she reports in ""Silicon Dragon," she spotted a clutch of up-and-coming entrepreneurs and heard echoes of Redwood Drive in places like Beijing's Zhongguancun high-tech district. And little wonder. China's Steve Jobs wannabes are desperately trying to make up for lost time."

Rebecca Fannin recently crisscrossed China to gauge its digital prospects and the dynamism of its computer-based economy. As she reports in "Silicon Dragon," she spotted a clutch of up-and-coming entrepreneurs and heard echoes of Redwood Drive in places like Beijings Zhongguancun high-tech district. And little wonder. Chinas Steve Jobs wannabes are desperately trying to make up for lost time.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (January 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071494472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071494472
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,147,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By George Koo on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Every journalist dreams of writing a book and Silicon Dragon (McGraw- Hill, $24.95) is Rebecca Fannin's. She interviews a dozen of China's most successful entrepreneurs and builds a book around her profiles of their roads to success. These are some of China's movers and shakers in the high tech industry, especially in Internet and wireless communication sectors. All of them are well known inside China but most are relatively unknown to the West. By describing and analyzing the keys to their success, Fannin has provided some lessons learned that are useful to anyone contemplating doing business in China.

As readers go through the 150 pages of easy to read text, they find certain common themes. The first lesson is that a proven business model from the U.S. does not guarantee success in China. Whether it's Alibaba vs. eBay, Dangdang vs. Amazon or Baidu vs. Google, the local version has first mover advantage and can move quickly to localize the business model to ensure acceptance in China.

The established American competitors initially focused on their U.S. market and paid no attention to China. By the time they are ready for China, they attempt to leapfrog via acquisition of a local company. They then make the mistake of replacing the Chinese management team with culturally deaf and dumb managers from home or even move the headquarters back to the U.S. Thus they further handcuff themselves by removing the ability to react quickly to a fast changing market. The book offers many other gems on rules of conduct in China that readers will find useful.

Alas, the subtitle of this book: "How China is Winning the Tech Race" is unfortunately misleading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
TIME FOR PHILOSOPHY TO FLOURISH, REJUVENATION OF CHINA
"Xi, it is time for philosophy to flourish." Rejuvenation of China is the rise of Chinese culture.

Philosophy is human wisdom above religion. It is the soul of a nation. Human created God, not the other way around.

Harmony is the essence of philosophy, rule of nature.

Philosophy is the highest human abstract thinking. It all art form it can soar above heaven. It is human wisdom without limit.

Human strength comes from self-discipline. It comes from within. It must be guided by a well-founded philosophy, not law imposed from outside. U.S. crime and drug problems ultimately can only solved by self-discipline and not by law alone.

Chinese culture is strong in philosophy and self-discipline. Philosophy propagates by resonance. China did not need to use force to spread its ancient culture. American culture is strong in law and ideology. They are not inherent human nature like philosophy. Thus America is inclined to preach and forcefully interfering in other countries domestic affairs.

In today's fast internet world. Harmony and peace can only be achieved by a balance of East and West culture. For world peace and harmony America and China must learn from each other.

In service of harmony

Francis C W Fung, PH.D.
Director General
World Harmony Organization
San Francisco, CA
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Format: Hardcover
Unlike some tomes about China that talk of the nation and its place amid the sweep of history, Rebecca Fannin does something I find more powerful: Using detailed tales of a dozen Chinese entrepreneurs to tell the story. Fannin sets the scene by telling of the impending rise of China, the increase in IPOs born there, the ballooning volume of venture capital investment, and as a fair-minded journalist also talks of the many challenges and potential pitfalls. While the experts she quotes say it will be 10-20 years before China ascends, one can taste that ascent through the creative business class she portrays -- whether a demure "Yu Yu," the creator of an Amazon.com wanna be, the head of the ever-present and powerful Alibaba.com B2B service site, or the engineer and accidental entrepreneur behind the Internet Explorer challenger known as Maxthon. She hints at who from the Middle Kingdom might be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. She draws sometimes amusing parallels between today's China and Japan in its early days of economic ascendancy, and of Silicon Valley of the Web 1.0 boom days. Only occasionally, Fannin tips her hand, telling us, for example, that her bet is with Baidu rather than Google. But she also notes that while the search engine is growing, Google is learning quickly and will challenge.

Fannin (whom I know profesionally) also treads lightly -- some might say too lightly -- over sweeping issues that could have huge consequences, such as challenges from the West over intellectual property or copyright infringement, or the potential strains on the country being placed by a new moneyed entrepreneurial class along the coasts that's leaving peasants to the West out of this industrial revolution. But that may be an unfair complaint.
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Format: Hardcover
Increasing numbers of Western observers, not to mention the Chinese themselves, are coming to realize that Chinese models of innovation and management may eventually drive competitive advantage beyond the home court. It's old news that China has the lead in manufacturing, but what about technology? More specifically, growing technology-based businesses to scale has been the trump card of the U.S. economy for decades. So why are Silicon Valley venture capitalists betting more each year on Chinese tech businesses? Rebecca Fannin's Silicon Dragons is a smoothly written, handy guide to the "who, what, when, where and why" of high profile Chinese tech companies, and an inside look at both the American investors who back them, and the role that American models, education, and capital continue to play in China's development. It's also required reading for anyone who needs to understand Chinese business culture, and why it fosters such nimble, ambitious and technically expert enterprises.
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