Chinese are moving away from the American dream, they adored in the past, to a Chinese dream with more pride, and less copy-cat behavior, tells author Shaun Rein of The End of Copycat China: The Rise of Creativity, Innovation, and Individualism in Asia at Public Radio.
Tencent is one of the companies moving from copying the West into real innovation, offering services like audio in their chat, buying shares, driving users away from traditional telecom firms, much more than in the west, Shaun explains
Is China an innovation powerhouse yet? This has been a hot topic lately. China may not be quite an innovation powerhouse yet but Rein argues in his book that China has been shifting away from simple coping of successful business models from the west. True, China used to pick the low-hanging fruit in the investment-driven economy. With China’s economic restructure, intensified competition, higher labor costs and changing consumer tastes, Chinese companies have been forced to move up the chain value.
Rein uses the success stories of Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi to make his point. And he knows the CEOs of those companies or interviewed them.
I learnt a lot from the book.
Some chapters are well-crafted, for example the first part of chapter 7 China’s Expanding Consumer Class, set in new mother Vanessa Zhu’s flat. It reads like a well-written feature piece, with full-fledged scene, interesting dialogue, vivid description of the people and atmosphere. “The lingering scent of spicy Sichuan food hung in the air.” Such descriptions help the western readers, who have little idea what a Chinese home is like, to build a mental picture and make the book a pleasure to read.
Personally my least favorite are the Q and As. Dry in parts, it demands readers’ patience. They can also do with a bit of trimming.
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