Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Books I Recommend

I spotted this book at Popular bookstore last Saturday and I made the decision to buy it. It tells about “The China Price” – accordingly, the three scariest words in U.S. industry. In general, it means 30% to 50% less than what you can possibly make something for in the US. In the worst cases, it means below their cost of materials. Makers of apparel, footwear, electric appliances, and plastics products, which have been shutting US factories for decades, know well the futility of trying to match the China price.

The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage takes readers behind the headlines and into the country’s vast ecosystem of export factories to meet the people who produce what we consume. This book is an exposé about the consequences of China's ceaseless pursuit of economic growth, from unethical business practices to pollution to an epidemic of occupational diseases.

Author Alexandra Harney takes readers into Chinese factories and their dormitories to show mainly young people who have flocked from the countryside to take dangerous manufacturing jobs. She visits model factories, where rules on working hours and product safety are followed, as well as "shadow" factories where anything goes in the drive to produce cheaper products. Harney also finds stirrings of change; aided by regional labor shortages, rising wages and intrepid activists, Chinese workers are demanding-and gradually winning-more rights.

I just finished reading this book and indeed, it represents a landmark investigation into the heart of China’s booming economy. A must-read for students of International Business and related disciplines. And anybody else who wants to know about the real China.

Talking about books which provide for interesting reads – finally, here’s a book on understanding women! But I don’t think you can get it at MPH or Popular or even at Kinokuniya Book Store though.

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