We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage | [Alexandra Harney]

The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage

To write The China Price, Alexandra Harney has penetrated further and deeper into China's enormous ecosystem of export-oriented industry than any outsider before her. She uncover the disturbing truth about how China is able to offer such amazingly low prices to the rest of the world.
Regular Price:$20.72
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

To write The China Price, Alexandra Harney has penetrated further and deeper into China's enormous ecosystem of export-oriented industry than any outsider before her. She uncovers the truth about how China is able to offer such amazingly low prices to the rest of the world. What she has discovered is a brutal, Hobbesian world in which intense pricing pressure from Western companies combines with ubiquitous corruption and a lack of transparency to exact an unseen and unconscionable toll in human misery and environmental damage. The recent scandals about Chinese-made toys, tires, and toothpaste drive home a central tenet of this book: What happens in Chinese factories affects all of us, everywhere.

In a country with almost no transparency, where graft is institutionalized and workers have little recourse to the rule of law, incentives to lie about business practices vastly outweigh incentives to tell the truth. Harney reveals that despite a decade of monitoring factories, outsiders all too often have no idea of the conditions under which goods from China are made. She exposes the widespread practice of using a dummy or model factory as a company's false window out to the world, concealing a vast number of illegal factories operating completely off the books.

Some Western companies are better than others about sniffing out such deception, but too many are perfectly happy to embrace plausible deniability as long as the prices remain so low. And in the Gold Rush atmosphere that has infected the country, in which everyone is clamoring to get rich and corruption is rampant, it's almost impossible for the Chinese government's own underfunded regulatory mechanisms to do much good at all. But perhaps the most important revelation in The China Price is how fast change is coming, one way or another.

©2008 Alexandra Harney; (P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A vivid portrait of factory life in the country that sells consumer goods for the lowest price possible." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Packed with facts, figures, and sympathetic portraits of Chinese workers and managers, Harney's is a perceptive take on the world's workshop." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (47 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
3.6 (12 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
3.8 (12 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Alexandra Ardmore, PA, United States 02-07-09
    Alexandra Ardmore, PA, United States 02-07-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    "Thoroughly Research, Balanced Account"

    This book is very thoroughly researched -- unlike many journalists who write about China, it is clear the author both speaks Chinese and has a good understanding of the culture and history. Furthermore, it is a very balanced account - neither demonizing Walmart, the Chinese government, nor factory owners, but provides a good understanding of how each part fits into the big picture. Personally, I found the level of detail just right and the anecdotes very revealing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Pinole, CA, United States 12-02-14
    Robert Pinole, CA, United States 12-02-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "many mistakes in china's success"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The China Price to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    That there are many human stories behind China's rise in the world. Like elsewhere, China's success was and continues to be built on the backs of the poor.


    Which character – as performed by Karen White – was your favorite?

    N/A


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    That China faces the same problems as everywhere else in the world and that and that they face them with the same political mixture of approaches as any other country.


    Any additional comments?

    I think that western education has given us the impression that China is a one mind totalitarian state. The book makes clear that this is not true.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    j.tran 10-23-14
    j.tran 10-23-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book is Garbage Propaganda"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Marxists, Socialists, Stupid people


    Has The China Price turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment and a little anger that I bought this book. Don't trust the other reviews. They don't know what they are talking about.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is anti-capitalist propaganda. It's written by a journalist with no economic insight. They blame capitalism and free trade on everything. The focus is on the exploitation of third world workers though. The author blames global warming, job loss, and chinese worker not getting paid enough on capitalism and free trade. It is seriously typical socialist garbage. Get a book that is more centered on economics. Otherwise, you'll just be misinformed by this fear monger.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noah Bryan, TX, United States 08-25-10
    Noah Bryan, TX, United States 08-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Very informative, a little bit dry"

    This is a very good survey of the hidden costs of cheap Chinese manufacturing. The anecdotes are poignant and powerful. The prose is a little dry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David SUNNYSIDE, NY, United States 03-28-10
    David SUNNYSIDE, NY, United States 03-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Could have been shorter"

    Another reviewer said this could have been shorter. He/she was right. Could have been a magazine lenth article. That being said, worth alisten if you are interested in the other side of outsourcing and want to get an idea of how life is like for the slave laborers that probably made 9/10ths of the consumer good in your house.
    Also helps you understand how and why America got screwed in the last two decades

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 12-06-08
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 12-06-08 Member Since 2004

    audiobookaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    225
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    168
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    1
    Overall
    "Great concept for a magazine article"

    ...but not for a book. I would read this in the Sunday Times Magazine or the New Yorker, but as a full-length book the premise gets stretched pretty thin. The author's point is completely valid and the supporting detail is exhaustive, but listening got very tedious for me. I may be betraying my own prejudices more than I am reviewing this book, so if you would love to listen to a detailed analysis of the social and political consequences of China's rise as a world power, then this is a great audiobook to dig into.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.