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

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3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  173 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
An expose on how the rise of China will affect the American way of life Many Americans know China for manufacturing cheap products, thanks largely to the country's vast supply of low-cost workers.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by John Wiley & Sons (first published February 13th 2012)
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Luaba
May 16, 2012 Luaba rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economy
Shaun Rein, gives the reader a balanced, critical, balance in-depth picture of China that is alas voiced in North America. The usual narrative of China, gives most people in the West the wrong impression that, Chinese society is a completely monolithic society ruled by an omnipresent oppressive government.

Like most things in life, the reality is quite different than that. The author takes us on a great journey to understand the complexity of today's realities in China. The good, the shocking,
...more
Breakingviews
Jul 12, 2013 Breakingviews rated it liked it
By Wei Gu

For multinationals, “The End of Cheap China” is a mixed blessing. Shaun Rein, an American marketing consultant based in Shanghai, has written an interesting book with that title. The good news is that customers can afford to pay more. The bad news is that they’re increasingly reluctant to spend their higher incomes on anything multinationals have to offer.

Rein, who has advised Apple and restaurant operator Yum on their China strategies, has some useful advice. To start, China should be
...more
Erez Davidi
Sep 08, 2015 Erez Davidi rated it liked it
Despite what the title "The End of Cheap China" suggests, for the most part, this book doesn't concern the rather clear fact that China will not remain a low cost producing country for much longer. Labor costs are rising dramatically, partly due to inflation, and partly due to labor shortages. Nobody wants to work in factories anymore. These labor shortages have resulted in a rather remarkable phenomenon of factory workers making similar wages to white collar workers. Another factor driving up c ...more
Darren
May 10, 2012 Darren rated it liked it
There is a lot of puffery in this book - is that really a word - the author really could have said what he wanted to say in a long New Yorker style essay. He does, however, provide the point of view of ordinary people, sales clerks and the like, which is a very interesting counterpoint to that of academic China experts.
Rommie
Sep 17, 2013 Rommie rated it liked it
It's telling that the subject of the opening sentence in all 10 chapters is "I." While Rein's tree-tops analysis of the Chinese economy and its sociopolitical underpinnings offers a number of valuable insights, the overwhelming bulk of the so-called evidence for his thesis is purely anecdotal and subjective. Nearly every quote in the book is attributed nebulously to "a senior government official," "the CFO of a powerful multinational corporation" or a random expat with only a first name. Conscio ...more
Charlotte Fong
Feb 19, 2016 Charlotte Fong rated it liked it
This is a non fiction book about the way China is changing from being a push over country that the Western countries like USA, UK think they can just walk over them, to a super power country which may soon be able to walk all over the USA and UK.

The book is written like a story and Shaun Rein gives us his life experience of living in China. In each chapter he focuses on one area of change and explains the behaviour of the factories, how they trade with the West and the Chinese people as consumer
...more
Kerry
Jun 08, 2013 Kerry rated it really liked it
There’s been plenty of heavy literature written on China becoming the next big superpower, but it’s hard to find something up-to-date that’s informative without reading like a textbook.

Fortunately, Shaun Rein’s ‘The End of Cheap China’ is a refreshing read with some very personal accounts about the author’s life in China over the past ten years, meaning that people outside of the business and research demographic will also find something in it for them. Rein (founder of the China Market Research
...more
Amir Moin
Apr 20, 2013 Amir Moin rated it really liked it
When Fareed Zakaria (in his book The Post American World) says that we are moving towards a multi-polar world wherein America will have to factor in the position of countries like China and India, then it must mean something. There are hundreds of authoritative commentators out there writing about the rise of China. Unfortunately, most of them are based out of China. So what we generally get to read is a ‘view from the top’. From that perspective, Shaun Rein’s The End of Cheap China: Economic &a ...more
Foxthyme
Jul 08, 2012 Foxthyme rated it it was amazing
This is not the kind of book I'd usually pick up to read. However it came highly recommended, and as I love so many things Chinese, such as the martial arts, the food, the TCM approach to medicine, I thought, Yeah, I should read this.

And I was blown away by the many changes occurring in China, as well as how those changes are being distorted or ignored here on the North American side of the world.

We all know about China's one child rule, and how that skewed births towards male children. Well,
...more
Robin
Sep 29, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
VERY interesting book about China becoming an economic super power. The author seems to be one of the most knowledgeable people in the world about this, since his company, China Market Research Group, researches and advises international companies on how to do well in China.

It is written for both the layman and professional. I didn'
t have any trouble understanding what he was saying, yet the professional also could get valuable information from it.
Solemn
Apr 27, 2015 Solemn rated it it was amazing
After reading this book I came away with a working knowledge of the chinese economy as it sits today. I can now see some of the blatant lies that I have been fed by the media. That said a lot of this book is rationalization, so I took some of it with a grain of salt. But even with all that I feel like I learned a lot and I don't know what else I can ask for in this day and age.
Susannah
Dec 06, 2012 Susannah rated it did not like it
Finished this a while back but was so peeved that I didn't review it. Some catchy bits (the prostitute anecdote...) but at times draws on now-questionable examples (such as milk) to make a point; as with many commentaries on present day China, aspects of this one has quickly become dated. The main thing about this book that was good was that it irritated me so much that it definitely prompted active reading.

Another reviewer refers to the author's "puffery". It is unfortunate that a better edito
...more
Veronica
Feb 07, 2016 Veronica rated it liked it
An insightful analysis talking about all the hot topics in China, food pollution, education, Africa economics, imbalance gender population and housing bubbles.

Some shows deeper thinking. But the book poses too many questions and didn't relate too much how the end of cheap China will disrupt the world.
Michael
Jun 18, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
The is a great read and gives a look into the new China trends. The shift from producing to consuming. The rise of the Chinese middle class.
Tim Jin
Dec 06, 2013 Tim Jin rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting read. Instead of focusing of Chinese factories and the human slave labor to maintain its economy, the author writes a general view of the country. There is no longer cheap labor in China, but through it's growth, many of their citizens are becoming the new Chinese by rapid change in its policy. China might not be the next super power as we known today, like the United States, but the country might be the world bank by bailing on other countries that are financially ba ...more
Teresa
May 17, 2012 Teresa rated it it was amazing
A current and engaging primer on the economic policies and cultural trends of China. Shaun Rein writes a thoughtful and insightful book that should be at the top of the list for anyone interested in China. Writing in a journalistic style using personal anecdotes, 'End of Cheap China' was an informative and easily comprehensible read for us readers with no background in economics and politics. I definitely enjoyed it more than 'Getting Rich First: Life in a Changing China' by Duncan Hewitt, a den ...more
Jack Feka
Jan 26, 2016 Jack Feka rated it it was amazing
Excellent insights to a culture that Westeners do not know/
Reenita Hora
Dec 20, 2012 Reenita Hora rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I especially love the way Shaun takes real life experiences to illustrate the end of cheap China. His first chapter opens with the example of prostitutes. It's brilliant - a must read for those interested in the economics of China.

I would also suggest listening to this audio podcast by Asian Threads on RTHK Radio 3: http://podcast.rthk.hk/podcast/item_e...
Alanood Burhaima
Jul 24, 2012 Alanood Burhaima rated it it was amazing
In this book, Shaun basically addresses most issues China faces today and describes how it has been developing since Mao's era. He also mentions his own experiences with a sense of humor. I was actually waiting for this book to be available in Kinokuniya for like 300 years until I ultimately gave up and purchased it via ibooks, I still regret not owning the actual copy though, sad
Robert Chapman
Dec 14, 2014 Robert Chapman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economy
I found this book truly fascinating and insightful. My previous view of China was very much rooted in what I now know are outdated ideas, one example being poorly paid workers making goods for Western companies at low cost.

I very much enjoyed the educational journey about China which this book took me through.
Maria
Mar 29, 2012 Maria rated it liked it
Not a bad read, but given my work involves China not really a lot in there that I wasn't familiar with. Probably interesting for someone who wants to better understand structural trends as well as aspects of Chinese culture who does not have much background on the country. Written in an easy, conversational style.
Sharad Jain
Apr 24, 2013 Sharad Jain rated it really liked it
A good and detail description of how china is evolving. The stuff that author talks about breaks down some sugar-coated and false propaganda in media and helps make better screening of news about China. Overall a good read for the recent times.
Percy Yue
Nov 19, 2012 Percy Yue rated it liked it
I am disappointed with the fact that the author keeps on praising the existing Chinese government. If he were a Chinese, I doubt he would give such a positive comment on the CCP.
Sara E.
Nov 29, 2013 Sara E. rated it it was amazing
a really good account on the recent changes from someone who knows the country from the inside. required reading :)
Michele
Sep 19, 2014 Michele rated it really liked it
Just started this fascinating read. Here's a tidbit: Foxconn has more employees than the entire country of Iceland!
Michael
Jun 17, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
A good read if you want to stay informed on China and the changing Global Market conditions.
Steven Hodgson
Feb 08, 2014 Steven Hodgson rated it liked it
Really great read. So many great personal stories were included, which added to the books depth.
Kevin
Kevin is currently reading it
Jul 23, 2016
Keirn
Keirn marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2016
Tomas S
Tomas S is currently reading it
Jul 20, 2016
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