The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage Audiobook, by Alexandra Harney Play Audiobook Sample

Download The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage Audiobook

The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage Audiobook, by Alexandra Harney Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Alexandra Harney Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Tantor Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781400176090

Publisher Description

To write The China Price, Alexandra Harney has penetrated further and deeper into China's enormous ecosystem of export-oriented industry than any outsider before her to uncover the truth about how China is able to offer such amazingly low prices to the rest of the world. What she has discovered is a brutal, Hobbesian world in which intense pricing pressure from Western companies combines with ubiquitous corruption and a lack of transparency to exact an unseen and unconscionable toll in human misery and environmental damage. The recent scandals about Chinese-made toys, tires, and toothpaste drive home a central tenet of this book: What happens in Chinese factories affects all of us, everywhere.

In a country with almost no transparency, where graft is institutionalized and workers have little recourse to the rule of law, incentives to lie about business practices vastly outweigh incentives to tell the truth. Harney reveals that despite a decade of monitoring factories, outsiders all too often have no idea of the conditions under which goods from China are made. She exposes the widespread practice of using a dummy or model factory as a company's false window out to the world, concealing a vast number of illegal factories operating completely off the books. Some Western companies are better than others about sniffing out such deception, but too many are perfectly happy to embrace plausible deniability as long as the prices remain so low. And in the Gold Rush atmosphere that has infected the country, in which everyone is clamoring to get rich and corruption is rampant, it's almost impossible for the Chinese government's own underfunded regulatory mechanisms to do much good at all.

Perhaps the most important revelation in The China Price is how fast change is coming, one way or another. A generation of Chinese flocked from the rural interior of the country to its coastline, where the factory jobs are in the largest mass migration in human history; but that migration has slowed dramatically, in no small part because of widespread disenchantment with the way of life the factories offer. As pollution in China's industrial cities worsens and their infrastructure buckles, and as grassroots activism for more legal recourse grows, pressures are mounting on the system that will not dissipate without profound change. Managing the violence of that change is the greatest challenge China faces in the near future, and managing its impact on the world economy is the challenge that faces us all.

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Quotes

  • “A vivid portrait of factory life in the country that sells consumer goods for the lowest price possible.”

    - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “Packed with facts, figures and sympathetic portraits of Chinese workers and managers, Harney’s is a perceptive take on the world’s workshop.”

    - Publishers Weekly
  • A vivid portrait of factory life in the country that sells consumer goods for the lowest price possible.

    - Kirkus Starred Review

Customer Reviews

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  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " The individual stories in this book are solid, giving a great sense of what China's economy means for working people, managers and foreign investors. Her descriptions of the weird world that is the Pearl River Delta are right on target. Harney is especially good when she challenges the CSR industry. "

    - Manfred, 1/3/2014
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Meh, ok. Think American Industrial Revolution but twice as fast, five times the volume of problems, and ten times the amount of people. "

    - Johnny, 10/9/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " An enjoyable combination of understanding the author's views of modern Chinese society, business culture, and issues of the day through meaningful, personal interviews and clear analysis. "

    - Stephen, 9/16/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I am enjoying this book so far -- it's accurate about what's occurring in industry and I look forward to reading the rest soon. "

    - Tara, 3/30/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I need to read more books about China. This was one was really good. "

    - Colleen, 1/15/2012
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " An important book. It explains why you can buy a DVD player at Walmart for $30. "

    - carl, 11/9/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A complex illustration of the consequences of China's factory based economy. "

    - Nadira, 7/13/2010
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Falling prices...and how big companies around the world are able to get products so cheap! This is a good overview of how China is able to be the big producer for the rest of the world and it explains what the true costs are to the Chinese people. "

    - Sharon, 4/14/2010
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Interesting information. Too optimistic about asuming China will reform and give their people rights and better working conditions. The labor pool is just too huge. "

    - Anna, 3/25/2009
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I've been to China, rural and tourist China, and it would be interesting to go back there later on in life, to the very country village I went to and see if anything's changed. I bet it already has. "

    - Joan, 7/29/2008
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I must admit this book did not cheer me. It is a series of vignettes that reveal the costs and benefits of China's economic surge . This was so interesting, scary and well written. "

    - Joant, 6/22/2008
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Read this book and watch "Manufactured Landscapes" for an eye-opener of where and how our cheap products are produced and the impact they have on people, the environment and the economy. "

    - Deniseh, 6/4/2008

About the Author

Alexandra Harney has been writing about Asia for a decade. She covered Hong Kong, China, and Japan for the Financial Times and was an editor at the newspaper’s main office in London. From 2003 until 2006, she was the South China correspondent for the Financial Times. She has contributed to National Public Radio and the BBC World Service and was a business and economics commentator on Japanese television. A graduate of Princeton University, Alexandra speaks Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

About the Narrator

Karen Grey is the pen name for award-winning narrator Karen White. A stage, screen, and radio drama actor in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles in the late twentieth century, she started recording books in 1999. Now back in her home state of North Carolina, she shares a home with her family and (probably) too many pets, where she continues to narrate audiobooks as well as make up stories.