Wednesday, June 14, 2006

China Inc.

I am in the airport lounge in San Francisco. Wireless connection is slow - bad for my time management.

I have just finished 5 straight days of executive meetings and presentations. I have tons of things I need to do. Not only does my normal work back up but the meetings show me the many things I still have to work on. Inspiring and daunting.

I read a great book last night. China Inc. - How the rise of the next superpower challenges America and the world. The following review includes sections from Winston Kotzan's review on Amazon. I figure why reinvent the wheel.

The rise of China to a global power is going to happen and is happening.

The first few chapters of the book astonish the reader by putting China's massive population and economic figures into their mind-boggling perspective. Most interesting is the ambition the Chinese government has for building every aspect of China's cities into world-class centers of attraction. The book particularly examines Shanghai, which has perhaps the fastest developing areas and the most exciting night life. China is a country where if you are one in a million, there are a thousand others like you. This is driving fierce competition among Chinese university students to be the best at their trade. In turn, China has a large crop of bright, young engineers to plan for her future. On the other hand, China's humongous supply of available manufacturing workers makes human labor less expensive than machine labor in many cases. Because labor in China comes at a low cost - from the assembly line worker to the factory's plumbing repair man - Chinese manufacturing firms are able to sell their goods to the world at an unbeatable "China Price."

China Inc. investigates with great depth all the major controversies that surround China today. A lack of intellectual property protection, questionable currency conversion policies, and even prospects for war sparked off by heated international conflicts such as Taiwan.

As the book closes out, it leaves open an eerie "what if" scenario wondering about the global military force that would belong to a richer and more powerful China. Business leaders, politicians, travelers, and even ambitious college students in the United States should read this book. A major concern addressed in China Inc. is the lack of American understanding about the rise of China and an apathy for competitiveness that will leave America left far behind in the upcoming century of global competition.

The book does not well address the beurocratic nature of the government and the challenges doing business there.

I am pleased that SYNNEX is already in China (with over 500 people) and already using some of the resources China offers. We are even begining to use our office there to sell our services to other companies. I already have over 50 people in China supporting our Canada and Mexico operation.

Some people are nervous about China and the changes it might bring. Not everyone like change like I do. I actually made a comment in the press today about change at http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=39789. Change is opportunity. Just figure out how to benefit from it.

2 Comments:

At 1:08 AM, Anonymous shel israel said...

Jim,

You sould get an EVDO card. For a (steep) flat monthly rate, you have your own connection with you and at least my Verizon card gives me plenty of speed anywhere in North America, even at Lake Tahoe where connection has been an historic nightmare.

 
At 10:21 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Jim-
right on with your assessment of China, and I would also be interested in hearing about your management of the Chinese division of your business. There was an article at another China CEO site called managingthedragon.com where an American CEO of a Chinese Company talks about his management and issues in the Chinese market. He spoke about the cost issues that you commented on and how they translate into other opportunities and drawbacks.

 

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