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The Essential Guide to Chinese Culture: Book Blog

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I really enjoyed reading this guide to customs and culture in China. I feel as though it encompassed all of the important things one would need to know in their travels to China. I started reading this book right before we left on our trip and wish I would've started it earlier because of all of its beneficial tips. The book started by describing the land and the people. It talked about the history of China, the environment, and the growth of the new cities. It also taught me very important facts about values and attitudes in China, which I found to be much different than here in America. This part of the book included morals, Chinese philosophy, the meaning of yin and yang, and even guanxi, which we learned about in our classes.
The book also outlined religion, rituals, and festivals in China. I learned about birthdays and weddings and was able to compare them to the U.S. Of most importance to me, this book taught me about business and communicating. I learned negotiating techniques and was able to use them while over in China in the marketplace which I thought was very cool. I was very interested in this section of the book because it all related directly to my major. They described in great detail China's entry into the World Trade Organization and their transforming business culture. I was able to apply these concepts throughout the trip as we learned about business operations at companies such as Lishen Battery and TEDA Hospital. This book was a great tool for me and helped me gain a better understanding for Chinese culture. This book, along with the firsthand experience I was getting while on the trip, coordinated well together to provide a great benefit for me. I would highly recommend anyone who plans on traveling to China to first read this guide as it will make China an easier place to understand and visit.

China Shakes the World

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China Shakes the World is about author James Kynge as he analysis China's history and how its gotten to where it is today. James Kynge reports on different limitations and issues that China currently faces. He describes these issues through interviews with individuals and personal experiences. This leads to a very personal feel and some of the interviews he has a truly shocking. One that sticks out in my mind is the story of a Chinese student who had her identity stolen. The student worked very hard in high school in order to get into a good college. She was surprised when she learned that she didn't score well enough to make it to college. She moved on with her life and continued to life in a very poor town. Many years later she found out that a student had stolen her identity and the grades she earned and went to college in her place. The story is absolutely devastating and was very emotional. It was terrible hearing that someone worked so hard only to have the success that they earned stolen from them. This was a story from a chapter titled The Collapse of Social Trust. This chapter dealt with the problems of counter fitting and its serious impact on China's economy. James Kynge tries to report a problem of counter fit goods to a hot-line number and is told to call different numbers that lead to no where. China is lacking in Intellectual Property rights which can be extremely difficult for a business.

Another chapter talks about China's growing consumption of natural resources and the environmental impacts due to pollution. This chapter dealt with the issues that China's pollution is having on its society. Such matters such as illegal deforestation, abused oil drilling, and extreme water and air pollution. These issues obviously have harsh effects on the nature in China. There is less accountability for factories to manage what pollutants they leak out into the environment which is only harming the natural resources of China.

In the chapter Communism vs Democracy James Kynge describes that while China is no longer a communist country it is still run by a communist party. However, he describes how China is becoming an economy driven country and how that is effecting government reforms. One interviewee describes how if China changes to quickly, thing will turn to chaos. However, if China doesn't reform fast enough, it leads to economic stagnation. This chapter also a address the issues of corruption in Chinese companies and its government. Illegal business practices of falsifying corporate earnings, issues of intimation and black mailing, and how the government does enforce or help. The author describes how China is trying to form a government structure similar to ours where different aspects of the government are equal and acts as checks and balances while still allowing the main communist party to remain in control.

Overall James Kynge's story is a very detailed book that describes in great detail hurdles China is currently facing, and how the world can interact with China's growing economy. James Kynge perspective of China was much different then my own so it was very interesting learning about some aspects of China I never got to witness or fully understand. It will be interesting to see how China changes in the future and if James Kynge's predictions will unfold as he describes them in his book China Shakes the World.

Inside the Chinese Business Mind

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The book I chose to read for the trip was a book written by Ted Sun. His book is titled as a tactical guide for managers which sounds dull but it really had a lot of good and useful information. The most helpful thing about the book is that it not only shared the Chinese side to management and business but it compared the two cultures, American to Chinese. This allows for his readers to pick up a better understanding and see the perceived differences and similarities between the two cultures. It starts off with a section about the increasing economic state and national power of the Chinese nation. After this brief section it goes into depth on topic such as context versus content and later compares business context in the west and east. The next section takes into account the westerners beliefs, values, business principles and challenges followed directly by the eastern Chinese views. Most of what is discussed in this section relates what we learned in class about family, gender, congruence, relation of government, business management, relationships, power distance, collectivism, individuality, and purpose. The main goal of this book is to communicate the differences between cultures in beliefs and values that drive business in the rapidly developing Chinese economy. Understanding the differences helps individuals and managers to develop functional and beneficial relationships. The book has multiple survey results and charts to help create a better picture for its readers. It also provides a few short stories to help the readers grasp lessons and main points. It was an interesting read that came along with helpful insights referred to as "mind gems" and each mind gem was followed with tactical steps to execute the topic at hand.

International Brand Management of Chinese Companies

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International Brand Management of Chinese Companies by Sandra Bell are case studies on the Chinese household appliances and consumer electronics industry entering US and Western European Markets. This book is a must read for all those interested in building successful global grands and for all those interested in China and Chinese companies. Based on extensive research and interviews with Lenovo, Haier, TCL, Hisense and key decision makers worldwide, Sandra Bell gives reasons and identifies a Chinese way of international brand management. Sandra Bell reveals who the Chinese branded companies are, where they are coming from, and where they are heading for. She explains their strengths and weaknesses regarding branding, marketing and going global. She also explains how an appropriate brand strategy look like, when Chinese branded companies enter developed markets in the US and Western Europe. The book talks about how the Chinese economy seems to have reached an important threshold line of economic development and global integration. In the first quarter century of reform and global opening, Chinese enterprises have been largely confined to a 'passive' role int he global division of labor. The study presented by Sandra Bell is dealing with these new chinese 'global players'. Focusing on the Chinese household appliances and consumer electronics industry she is taking a very detailed look at the strong brands in the OECD markets will be of fundamental importance for a successful market entry by Chinese enterprises. But the successful placement of new brands is known to be a very complex and resource consuming exercise, requiring very advanced management skills. However, the concepts of marketing or branding have only recently become common features in China's transition economy. Sandra Bell has done thorough research and provides an analysis of how Chinese enterprises have ventured out in order to conquer the global markets. by doing so she provides us with highly valuable insights in the realties of brand management in China's new corporate elite. She dissects the international branding activities of some of the most prominent Chinese enterprises and provides the reader with an insider perspective not to be found elsewhere. Obviously most Chinese enterprises are still in an early stage of their pro-active globalization and are still paying high price for learning from the markets. However, the learning curves seem to be steep and it does not appear to be too far fetched to assume that Chinese brands will be soon a regular feature of the European and American consumer markets.
Sandra Bell explains the role of brand management when going international:
The last decades have seen growing market saturations in US and WE markets, a huge variety of similar products, globalization processes and an accelerating speed of innovations. As a result companies have been forced to differentiate their products from competitors in order to remain competitive, attract customers, and finally to secure future profitability.
One brand that drew my attention was Haier:
Haier Group decided on the brand name Haier in 1992. The joint venture contrat with German Liebherr had run out in 1991 and CEO Zhang was not satisfied with the corporate name 'Qindao Qingdao Haier Group' which they had established between 1991 and 1992. In the domestic market, Haier has promoted its corporate identity and brand values since 1984. Besides 'The Haier Brothers' and advertisements on Haier's going-international, Haier has built its grand image by the slogan 'zhencheng dao yongyuan' ('sincere and forever'), addressing customers' endless demand and Haier's trustworthiness. What was really ironic was how she continued on and started talking about Milan, where I have spent 6 months studying marketing. In Milan, Haier erected an advertisement billboard by the expressway near Malpensa Airport.

China Shakes The World: Book Blog

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Before we left for China everyone in the group had to pick a book about China that interests them and then right a blog about it. I have an interest in economics and finance so I Decided to Read China Shakes The World by James Kynge. I figured this book was a good pick because it does a great job analyzing just how big of an effect China is having on the world as a whole. The book focuses on the effect of China's rise on other countries and people. The book starts out describing how a steel company in a small port on the Yangte River bought an entire steel mill from a company in Germany and transported it all the way to China. It took over 1000 Chinese workers to disassemble the mill. It was rebuilt in china and began producing steel. The company that bought the mill is Called Shagang. The mill was bought for 12 million dollars which was a good deal for both side. The cost would have been many times greater if the company had bought new equipment instead of rebuilding the old mill. Shagans' smart business decision helped china as a whole because steel is an essential part of China's development.

China has come a long way economically in the last few decades and is starting to be looked at as an "economic superpower". China is reaching all over the world in search of natural resources to provide for its rapidly expanding economy. I think this is what James Kynge is referring to when he says "China Shakes the World". China has used its resources well to build a strong economy. The negative impact of this fast economic growth is that it is destroying china's environment and people at the same time. China has been in such a rush to catch up with the rest of the world that it has exploited its natural resources and severely damaged its environment. China's population growth is a big problem also because the world simply does not have enough resources to provide for 1.3 billion people.

China has failed to develop into a capitalist market economy similar the United States. The author says that China tries to run a sophisticated capitalist economy with a political system that is controlled by a single source of authority. He is referring to the Communist Party. The main problem with China's Political system is that it does not permit the checks and balances needed to supervise and regulate a capitalist economy in an efficient manner. The book analyzes a good example of how China has tried to blend communism and democracy together in order to achieve a world-class economy. This effort failed because the Communist Party does not accept democratic principles and institutions. The author also talks about the idea of China making friends with the rest of the world. He believes that Chinese views on the world have not changed even after its strong efforts to reach out to other countries.

In conclusion, Chinas rapid economic growth is not only affecting its country, but the entire world as a whole. Chinas massive amount of construction and huge population are one of the main contributors to the problem. The scary part is that no one really knows how this problem can be fixed. China has a high demand for natural resources and the way the country is growing it doesn't look like anything will change.

China Shakes the World (Book Report)

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Each student on our study abroad trip was assigned to pick a book that's related to China's current meteoric rise in the global market place. The purpose was to enrich our knowledge and our observations made throughout the trip. Our professor provided a pretty long list of acceptable titles for the assignment and I ended up picking China Shakes the World, by James Kynge. Kynge, a journalist, provides a first-hand account of his observations made by touring various locations in the quickly-developing China and the relative regression of other locations throughout the world.

The theme and goal of this book was identifying and explaining how China is, and how they can continue, shaking the world. The act of "shaking the world" can be best described as the reverberations felt by the rest world by each large economic move and decision coming from China. The "shaking" has been felt throughout the world by direct and indirect influences from China, and China has the potential to shake the world in a big way in the future. China's new influence in the foreign market, its affect on the environment, and its governmental complexion all can go a long way in influencing the rest of the world.

China has a long history of rich empires that are well documented. However, outside of the Tang dynasty China hasn't historically been an economic superpower. Its reluctance to actively participate in foreign markets has kept it rather stationary and isolated in terms of worldwide economic dominance. According to a classic quote, China is currently sleeping but when she wakes, she will shake the world. That's exactly is currently happening in the global marketplace. After centuries of isolation, China has finally knifed its way into the global marketplace and reached an unprecedented level of economic growth.

The artificially low labor prices China is able to pay its workers has allowed it to reach a level of economic prominence. Salary-wise the relatively low value of the RMB has already given China an advantage as far manual labor wages goes, and while China is considered a communist or socialist country it doesn't provide as many government benefits as European governments do. So the cheap labor costs allows China complete more work for less, and it has also enticed other companies to export labor and business to China. China is also starting to develop a virtuosic understanding of the technological world, which has enabled to reach levels of economic growth unknown to history. The pace of the economic growth carries plenty of burdens. The speed of industrial and urban development in China is becoming very burdensome to the environment. In order to save the environment, China may have to slow down its level of productivity, which in turn would slow down its economic growth, which according to the book could be disastrous to the rest of the world. The author describes China's growth like an elephant riding a bicycle, it has to ride fast enough to carry its immense load because of if it slows down it could fall and end up shaking the world.

China is on pace to pass the US as the world's economic superpower by the year of 2040 based on its current pace. While the government as a whole will be the richest in the world, the standard earnings for Chinese citizens will be around US citizens in the 1970s or 1980s. The question is whether or not China's growth is sustainable for that amount of time; will surrounding influences force China off track in terms of the pace of its growth, and what does that mean for the rest of the world? These are issues the entire world should concerned with, because the safety of the future global economy may lay in the hands of China.

Life as a Foreigner

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I have gained a much different outlook on foreigners or tourist after studying abroad in China. I had originally thought that I might be frowned up or disliked as being American. I quickly learned that this was not the case. I felt very welcomed while studying abroad as every was very friendly and helpful. This really enhanced my trip and is something I really hadn't expected. What it made me realize is how I treat those that I meet that are traveling abroad. It isn't as if I have ever treated someone visiting America poorly, I've never just been as enthusiastic and friendly as I experience in China. I really want to behave more friendly and helpful as I feel it really effects your experience when traveling abroad.

Book Blog

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I read the book, Made in China, by Donald N. Sull. This book explains the hardships that China's economy has gone through and what makes it the second largest economy in the world after the United States. I am very glad I read this book after my stay in China because I was able to read facts and relate it back to real life examples I experienced in China. For example, one fact in the book states that homegrown competitors rank high on the list of competitive challenges while global brand leaders such as Coca-Cola have come across stiff competition in China. I can relate this back to learning about how Best Buy did not succeed in doing business in China because they were not able to adapt to changes that had to be made. Other businesses, such as IKEA, have succeeded in China. This is because IKEA adapted to changes and designed their room displays to fit the Chinese culture.
Another example from the book I can relate to a real life experience is when the book explains the SAPE cycle: managers sense the overall situation, anticipate emerging threats and opportunities, prioritize necessary actions, and execute these priorities in a timely and effective manner. This cycle allows for flexible priorities, strategic decision making, and operating improvements. In a simple way, this relates to the market right next to our hotel in Tianjin. The managers or owners of these vendors or food stands must sense or analyze how much they plan to sell for the day or review how much they made the day before. If a new vendor or food stand enters the competition, owners of other food stands must anticipate how this food stand will affect their sales. To make the most profit, owners of the food stand must prioritize their plans for the day and follow through with these plans throughout the day. The SAPE cycle is an alternative to the traditional strategic planning process that is often used throughout businesses in China. The SAPE cycle has helped China's economy succeed and become the second largest economy in the world.
There are many other examples from this book about China's economy that reminded me of real life examples I experience while studying abroad. This book and my study abroad experience gave me a new perspective on what I thought about China's economy. By 2045, some analysts believe China's economy could overtake America's. The future of China's economy is unknown, but with courageous leaders, there is a good chance China's economy will continue to succeed.

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