Explaining China in 1 hour – possible? Even though this is a challenging task the authors follow a well thought out methodology which explains the key drivers of china‘ s economy. In the end this book delivers a huge amount of viable information all systematically build up, concerning key drivers of business in China. That‘ s said, if you read everything and also think about content you have just read, this book‘ s reading time is more towards 2 hours – which is in relation to the amount of content still very good. The mix of background information and a real life business stories relating to the background information / key driver of business is a great way of making the reader understand certain patterns of business in China. So, is this a 5-star book? Well, no it is not. The book is doing a lot of things very right, but unfortunately it is missing the decisive last piece of unaffected information concerning business in China. The authors deliver a lot of great information, but unfortunately they don’t bridge the gap between information (+business stories) and doing business in China (as a non national company). In addition some drawbacks of business in China are i.m.h.o not communicated openly enough. An exception to a certain extend is the paragraph about finance. Here the authors explain some background of the financial system and the shadow banking industry. Unfortunately they don’t convey this information towards a clear message for companies who e.g. do not have access to this financial system or have to deal with competition fueled by it. To me it seems therefore like some negative points got left out – which gives the impression that this book is somewhat tuned towards conveying an overall positive atmosphere rather then delivering actual state.
In a nutshell I think this book is really worth reading. The authors did a great job in giving the reader an overview of key business drivers in China. In my opinion the book could have been outstanding, if the authors would have emphasized the challenges for companies competing in China more directly. If you read this book with specific attention it is still more then worth the read. For concept, information and fresh writing style I would give 5 stars to the book. Due to the criticism already stated I have to withdraw 1.5 stars. So the book is a 3.5 star book.
The book offers exactly what both authors promise: It decodes the six mega trends that currently drive and will continue to drive China's future. Easy to read. Easy to remember.
Each chapter is condensed into a handful of key points/statements which help the reader to understand and remember the underlying mega trend. Additionally, the utilisation of real entrepreneurial success stories gives immediate understanding how people rode the respective mega trend while also offering casual "edutainment" and a rare "look behind the curtain".
China buffs/insiders will eventually want to read more from these two highly respected China Veterans about each of the mega trends. If the book would claim to be exhaustive, this would be a acceptable criticism, but this is - as stated - not the objective of the book.
Having studied, worked, lived several years in China now, I still very much appreciated this clear and concise 60-90min read to sharpen my understanding about the six mega trends.
This Book really boils down China's recent economic trends into a short and exciting read. However it is really exclusively about today's trends. Don't expect much on China's opening and the development of its socioeconomic system. Definitely recommended for everyone interested in China.