Dragons at Your Door: How Chinese Cost Innovation Is Disrupting Global Competitionby Ming Zeng, Peter J. Williamson
The new competitive challenge from Chinese businesses is like nothing seen by Western companies since the Japanese arrived twenty years ago with their cars and consumer electronics. To fend off these fierce competitors, managers must forget yesterday's image of Chinese companies as producers of cheap, low-quality imitations flooding world markets. In fact, by
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Chinese firms have a cost advantage. That is not news. However, this may be the first book to point out that emerging Chinese competitors ¿ companies as powerful as the ¿dragon¿ metaphor of the book¿s title ¿ also have a managerial advantage: Cost innovation, which involves much more than simply manufacturing products cheaply. Ming Zeng and Peter J. Williamson show how some of China¿s leading manufacturers combine cheap labor, competitive domestic markets and technological innovation to forge a very powerful edge. The authors contend that Western firms may have to relocate high-value activities to China to counter its cost innovation advantage. We suggest that all companies can benefit from this suggestion to march forward instead of retreating in the face of Chinese cost-innovation competition.