Book Reviews

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The following reviews were provided by the China-Britain Business Review, the publication of the China-Britain Business Council.

The Chinese Century:
the rising Chinese economy and its impact on the global economy, the balance of power and your job

By Oded Shenkar
Wharton School Publishing
H/b, 191pp, 17.99

It was not so long ago that people were strenuously advocating that everyone would benefit, the closer that the Chinese economy was integrated into the world economy. As the Chinese aphorism goes, be careful what you wish for. Chinas impact on the world economy is now greater, and more important, than most people anticipated. Chinas accumulation of vast foreign exchange reserves, and its investment in US government bonds, is helping the US to maintain its considerable budget deficit. The countrys continuing rapid growth accounts for much of the growth in the world economy. When the yuan was revalued earlier this year, the impact spread far beyond the US dollar into all other currencies. And, finally, attempts by Chinese companies to acquire overseas businesses, although not yet successful, are generating anxiety and support in equal measure. Professor Shenkars book endeavours to apply a more rigorous analysis to the issue. It is thoroughly researched and cogently argued. As one might expect from a professor of business and management, the arguments are supported by countless stats and figures. That does not make for an altogether flowing read, but a valuable addition to the canon, nonetheless. HK

Kellogg on China:
strategies for success

Kellogg School of Management
Edited by Anuradha Dayal-Gulati and Angela Y. Lee
P/b, 254pp, 17.99

This could easily have been a management-speak book of which a distressing number about China seem to be being written these days. But it is not. Using considerable research, excellent editing, a variety of contributions and some clear, concise writing, Kellogg on China deserves praise.

The writers analyse the impact of Chinas increasingly important role in the world economy (see previous review), but provide some valuable pointers for businesses arising from the changes that are happening, seemingly day by day. There are useful sections on Chinas economic zones and Chinese trading companies, as well as on the impact of World Trade Organisation membership.

In the second part of the book, there are chapters which go into more detail about doing business, with a slightly random selection of sectors and business approaches. Thus, there is an examination of the benefits of franchising with particular reference to fast-food restaurants; the use of sports and sports personalities in advertising and marketing; and the marketing of Western snack foods; and the challenges and opportunities arising from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. – HK

The Greater Pearl River Delta and the Rise of China
Michael J. Enright, Edith E. Scott and Chang Ka-mun
Wiley
H/b, 325pp, 19.99

With the rise of the Yangtze River Delta region and the reemergence of Shanghai as a genuinely international city, the engine of Chinas economic growth from the late 1970s onwards the Pearl River Delta has not received quite so much attention of late. Yet, the region is powering ahead. Most recently, there is an ambitious scheme to try to replicate the success and fast growth of the Pearl River Delta further afield into Chinas interior. This is the strangely named 11 + 2 initiative, which seeks to create a market of well over 400m.

Dont bet against that happening, is the thrust of the books argument. The Pearl River Delta has been the driving force of the whole countrys economic development for the past 25 years, being its most significant trading area and source of inward investment, and will continue to be so in future. The reason for this lies in its proximity to Hong Kong, which provided capital, expertise, knowhow, trade and logistics and, simply, access to an international financial centre. Indeed, the authors argue that the Pearl River Deltas development has arisen because of a unique set of circumstances. – HK

China Business Guide 2005
China Economic Review Publishing
P/b, 658pp, US$35
Via: www.chinabusinessguide.biz

With over 600 colour pages, China Economic Reviews China Business Guide 2005 includes practical information for businesspeople travelling to and living in China, from business and industry reports, to economic statistics, maps and travel tips for every region across China. Published annually, this guide has been the source of China business information for 15 years. It allows first-time business travellers and relocated expatriates to hit the ground running. This books content is comprehensive, with useful internet sites listed, and it is well laid out with data and maps. But it is a pity that half of the photos dont have captions. – KP

Reviews by Humphrey Keenlyside and Katie Poon. The views expressed are those of the reviewers and do not necessarily reflect those of the China-Britain Business Council.

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