How Does it Work?
Edited by Claudio Petti
Yan Wan and Shi-Ji Gao INTRODUCTION China’s prowess as the world’s shop floor or factory can be felt not only in ‘Made in China’ clothes and toys found around the world, but also in the labels of ‘Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China’ found on the back of the hugely popular iPad and iPhone. To some extent, this reflects China’s manufacturing competence in mass production of light industrial goods as well as complex high-tech products. China’s fast economic growth over the past three decades has made China such a manufacturing powerhouse, and the driving forces are China’s economic reform and opening up to the outside world. Reform and opening up have brought in investment and technologies from outside China, unleashing the forces of market competition. What is more important is that the Chinese people’s inherent entrepreneurial passion has been rekindled – countless newly created business ventures by Chinese people have contributed enormously to China’s rapid economic growth. The entrepreneurial traits of Chinese people can be observed by businesses ventures flourishing in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta in traditional industries in the 1980s, the earlier years of China’s reform and opening up. These traits were also demonstrated by more and more entrepreneurial innovators entering high-tech industries such as information and communications technologies (ICT) and biotechnologies in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is true that even at present, most exported high-tech products from China such as cell phones and computers are mainly produced by foreign invested...
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