China is coming up in the world at a pace unmatched by any culture or economy in history, and it’s got the world’s attention. Naturally, people have a lot of questions about what makes China tick.
Authors Jeffrey Towson and Jonathan Woetzel believe that they can answer those questions fairly succinctly in their book, The One Hour China Book: Two Peking University Professors Explain All of China Business in Six Short Stories. They stated that the aim of this book was “a speed-read China book that explains everything and sticks in the brain.” I think they’ve done just that.
Is it excruciatingly comprehensive about every detail of China? No, because that’s basically the polar opposite of their goal.
Do they go into the politics behind China’s expansion in the world? No, their focus is definitely on the economy and business.
Does it explain these baby wigs or why Star Wars tickets only went on sale three days before opening day? No, because those things defy explanation.
The authors seek to give a framework of six “mega-trends” that will help any China observer, expat, or other citizen of the world better understand the forces that are driving “most of China’s business today – and its interaction with the West…These six trends are also driving much of China’s impact on the world.”
The six mega-trends they explain are:
2. Manufacturing Scale
3. Rising Chinese Consumers
4. Money – And Lots of It
5. The Brainpower Behemoth
6. The Chinese Internet
I have definitely seen these mega-trends at work, even in aspects of life that are not necessarily “business.” In particular, I’ve seen how urbanization is pulling people from villages to towns, and from towns to cities, and how that is affecting the social fabric of this country. I’ve seen how lots of money is playing a huge part in people’s everyday lives from what they eat (more meat) to how they get around town (evolution from bikes to electric scooters to private cars) to what they do for Spring Festival (traveling abroad is now possible). We are continuing to see how the Internet and social media are playing a foundational role in how people work, play, shop, get news, hail a taxi, make decisions, do everything. Therefore, although the book presents a framework for viewing China business, it also provides an interesting way to view people’s regular, workaday lives, and the decisions they make as China changes at a breakneck pace around them.
The authors introduce each mega-trend and explain it briefly, then give an accompanying story, and that’s about the whole kit and caboodle. They say it should take you 60 minutes to finish the book if you skip the stories, and more like 90 minutes if you read everything. I timed myself, and even with reading the entire book, it took me 70 minutes. It truly is quick!
So, grab yourself a copy! If you start now, you can finish before bedtime. If you use this link, Amazon will even drop a few coins in my tin can which helps me pay for this website. Thank you!
Know of a great China book? Please share it in the comments!