Corruption is an issue that doesn’t seem to be going away as the country develops. In China’s low-trust environment, building relationships is important. But Rein, who is half Chinese and speaks the language fluently, argues that connections can be a double-edged sword. ‘They will not get you everything, but they can cost you everything’, he writes, adding that whenever a key government official is arrested, so are the business leaders surrounding him, and the government often gives businessmen tougher sentences than officials. Just after the book came out, British businessmen Neil Haywood was murdered by his patroness, the wife of the former chief of Chongqing.
Rein also examines a broad range of other issues, including modern Chinese women, education and neo-colonialism in Africa. The founder of China Market Research Group would have been wiser to focus more on the proper positioning of multinationals. But his writing is engaging. ‘The End of Cheap China’ is full of vivid anecdotes from different levels of the Chinese society, from Chinese billionaires to senior party officials to waitresses and even prostitutes. He gleaned some unique insights about how the Chinese society works from his wife, who comes from a well-connected Chinese family. For any foreigners thinking about doing business in the Middle Kingdom, ‘The End of Cheap China’ is a good place to start.
- The End of Cheap China – review Atimes (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Why China is not cheap anymore – Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Saving habits change with the generations – Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- More losers than winners in fashion brands – Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)