EAST BOOKS – The uncanny Chinese


Understanding China’s current industrial revolution from a company perspective.

Speculation about China’s potential crash has been ongoing since 2001 when The Coming Collapse of China by Gordon G. Chang first came out in print. Now, 14 years later, the country is an economic powerhouse that calls US dominance into question. Beijing has fuelled growth by changing the structure of its economy, reviewing its production processes and developing a market economy. Discussing the Chinese market is still a complex matter, but innovative forms of capitalism have nevertheless emerged. The most recent? Alibaba. This is the destructive and creative world described by Edward Tse in his latest book, China’s Disruptors: How Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Other Companies Are Changing the Rules of Business.

These names may be unfamiliar even to professionals, but these businesses are shaping our lives. Just think of your smartphone. 95% of the device’s components available on the global market are made in China, produced by companies holding a de facto monopoly. When we look at our device screens, it’s Beijing we see. Or consider Alibaba, the planet’s largest online marketplace. In September 2014, it raised $25 billion (€22.8bn) in the world’s biggest-ever initial public offering (IPO). 

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