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According to business professors Zeng (of Cheung Kong Graduate School in China) and Williamson (of INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and Singapore), the slogan of the China International Marine Containers Group, "Learn, Improve, Disrupt," could just as easily apply, with global consequences, to any Chinese corporation busy using those principles to reinvent manufacturing. The authors reveal that low labor costs are only one advantage enjoyed by Chinese companies, and that the "three faces" of cost innovation (offering high technology at low cost, a near-impossible range of choice and "specialty products" at volume prices) have allowed them to make impressive inroads into markets long assumed impenetrable. This is sobering reading for Western audiences; while the authors avoid the alarms that sound throughout many current business books on China, their dry, factual approach may prove even more unnerving. Though it may paint a disturbing portrait of a competitor formidable even in its infancy, this volume brings to light anecdotes and analysis that are bound to inspire anyone serious about global business or politics today. (June 12)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Posted November 28, 2007
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.