Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game

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9780470405581: Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game

Praise for Poorly Made in China

"This fast-paced travelogue through the world of Chinese manufacturing is scary, fascinating, and very funny. Midler is not only a knowledgeable guide to the invisible underbelly of the global economy, he is a sympathetic and astute observer of China, its challenges, and its people. A great read."
—Pietra Rivoli, author of The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy

"Paul Midler takes us for a ride through the fastest-growing economy in the world, revealing what can—and sometimes does—go wrong when U.S. companies shift production to China. Working in the heart of China's export hub, in the country's southern region, he has the advantage of a front-row seat to the no-holds-barred games played between manufacturers and importers. He introduces us to a cast of real-life characters and tells his story with a mix of affection and skepticism for what is taking place in China today. Midler delivers a revealing and often funny tale of life and commerce in a country whose exports touch nearly everyone on the planet."
—Sara Bongiorni, author of A Year Without 'Made in China'

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From the Back Cover:

A true story about manufacturing in China—now in a new, updated edition

"Paul Midler's is the ultimate insider's look at China and its dubious manufacturing, by a man who knows the language and, more importantly, knows the subtext of every deal, every gesture, every nuance. I have great admiration for the breadth and depth of this account of being an American middleman in China today, and for the way it humanizes the whole awful business."
—PAUL THEROUX, author of Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China

"This is the story of the world's crappy stuff and the surreally entertaining culture clash that lies behind it. It's funny and illuminating, and I want you to read it!"
—MARY ROACH, author of Stiff and Packing for Mars

"Poorly Made in China is an insightful, often hilarious account of how Chinese manufacturers transformed their country into the world's export powerhouse by hook and by crook. Midler suggests that understanding Chinese business strategies and tactics could benefit not only U.S. business, but also our political leaders. For all of us, his book is a perfect guide."
—ELIZABETH ECONOMY, Director of Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

"Few books on China and its economy are as enlightening as this. This is a fantastic book for anyone who wants to understand how China's export industry really works and indeed how China works."
—JASPER BECKER, author of Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine

"Every Wal-Mart needs a warning label, and Midler, nailing the deceit and dishonesty of Chinese manufacturers, provides it. You will never see another 'Made in China' label without thinking of this masterpiece."
—GORDON CHANG, author of The Coming Collapse of China

"Poorly Made in China is not merely about faltering product quality out of China. One of its broader themes is of people who promise one thing and then deliver another. This is a book about Chinese obfuscation and subterfuge. It is about gaming, strategy, and tactics."
—From the Foreword by Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations, University of Pennsylvania

From the Inside Flap:

It was a world gone wrong, one in which manufacturers thought little of manipulating product quality levels in order to save the smallest amounts, where savvy foreign business leaders were made to feel in control while they were taken for a ride by their partners, where entire manufacturing facilities sometimes vanished right into thin air... Welcome to Poorly Made in China!

At the height of the boom export manufacturing, Paul Midler returned to East Asia, a recently graduated Wharton MBA. In the right place at the right time, he was sought out by a number of foreign companies who wanted help in navigating the new economy. The adventures came fast, as did the business and cultural lessons.

Poorly Made in China is a dramatic romp through China's export manufacturing sector, one that reveals what really goes on behind the scenes. The story follows the author from one project to the next, taking the reader through a diverse set of industries and revealing a number of challenges.

An engaging business narrative told with doses of humor and insight, this true story pulls back the curtain on the rising Chinese economy, providing a closer look at the rough-and-tumble environment in which so many of our consumer products are being made. For those trying to make sense of why so many quality failures could come out of China at once, this book is an especially interesting read.

Poorly Made in China is the tale of a modern-day gold rush and its consequences, the chronicling of a rising economic power and its path along a steep growth curve. Entertaining and eye-opening, the book highlights the extent to which culture affects business dealings, and the ultimate suggestion is that we may have more to be concerned about than product failures alone."

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