China Dawn: Culture and Conflict in China's Business Revolution

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9780066621197: China Dawn: Culture and Conflict in China's Business Revolution

What happens when 600 million Chinese get wired
and become the world's largest group of Internet users?

What happens when China's state-owned companies link
up with the global marketplace?

In answering these questions, journalist David Sheff goes into the trenches of the Chinese technology revolution and introduces the players who are leading China into the 21st century. Bo Feng, the former sushi chef who is now a leading venture capitalist, and Edward Tian, who has been dubbed China's Bill Gates, are some of the unlikely revolutionaries making history as they struggle to transform a nation. But presiding over all these developments in China is a repressive government caught between craving business dominance and fearing the results of giving its population uncensored information and a voice.

In this compelling book, David Sheff provides an in-depth account of what is happening now with the tiger at the keyboard and a cautious prediction that, if caught within the World Wide Web, China may become a free market to be reckoned with globally.

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Review:

"In China, I feel the explosive combination of forces aligning to create the kind of change that alters the course of history," writes David Sheff in the introduction to China Dawn, his book on the entrepreneurs who are trying to spark a social transformation and make a mint as they bring the latest information technology to the planet's most populous country. The idealistic heroes of this story are Bo Feng and Edward Tian, both friends of the author. Feng is a Marin County busboy who becomes one of China's top venture capitalists; Tian is the cofounder of AsiaInfo, the first private Chinese firm to go public in the West. Like so many others, Feng and Tian were deeply affected by the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, and they believe the Internet can set their country on an irreversible course toward freedom. At bottom, though, China Dawn is an engaging business book that chronicles the "unlikely group of revolutionaries" who hope to become the Bill Gates and Andy Groves of their country. It is difficult to know whether they will succeed, but hard not to wish them luck. --John Miller

About the Author:

There is a new revolution in China, one which intends to unite the people of this vast and populous nation as never before; both highways, roadways and the information superhighway, are being constructed simultaneously, leapfrogging a rural economy into the modern-day information age. "In China, I feel the explosive combination of forces aligning to create the kind of change that alters the course of history," writes David Sheff in the introduction to China Dawn, his latest book. About the entrepreneurs who are trying to spark a social transformation by bringing the latest information technology to the planet's most populous country, China Dawn, researched over three years, is the chronicle of the nascent Chinese technology revolution -- a movement with, Sheff says, "the immodest goal of transforming the life of more than a fifth of the world's people."

David Sheff's articles and interviews have appeared in Playboy, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Wired, Outside, Forbes ASAP, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Esquire and Observer Magazine in England, Foreign Literature in Russia and Playboy (Shueisha) in Japan. He is currently on assignment for Fortune and Vanity Fair. His book, Game Over, was published by Random House in the United States and Hodder and Stoughton in Great Britain as well as in Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Israel, and other countries. Vintage published the paperback edition in 1993. The book, reissued in 1999 with a new introduction, was universally praised by reviewers for Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes, USA Today, The New York Review of Books, and hundreds of domestic and international magazines and newspapers. The New York Times called it "beguiling" and "irresistible. . . almost as hypnotic as a successful video game." The Houston Chronicle said, "This book is a must-read. Game Over is about as readable as a business book can be." The Chicago Tribune called it "A cross between Barbarians at the Gate and The Soul of the New Machine."

The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, conducted in 1980, became a Literary Guild Selection book. Other interviews, including those with Ansel Adams, nuclear physicist Ted Taylor, Gore Vidal, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Sting, Scott Peck, Betty Friedan, and Keith Haring, received wide recognition, as did his "Portrait of a Generation" in Rolling Stone. His radio documentaries for National Public Radio on John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird won several awards. He also wrote and edited "Heart Play: Unfinished Dialogue," which won a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Recording of 1984.

Sheff is currently a contributing editor of Playboy, Wired, and Yahoo! Internet Life and is on assignment for Fortune and Vanity Fair. He was formerly an editor of New West and California magazines..

He attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a degree in social science. He lives in San Francisco, California with his wife and three children.

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Sheff, David
Published by Harper Paperbacks 2003-03-04 (2003)
ISBN 10: 0066621194 ISBN 13: 9780066621197
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