Regular price: $24.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2009 Paul Midler (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    241
  • 4 Stars
    126
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    172
  • 4 Stars
    117
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    198
  • 4 Stars
    100
  • 3 Stars
    42
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hours of jaw dropping amazment

Midler is direct, pulls no punches and leaves you with a clear understanding of the hows and whys behind all those news stories you hear of yet another recalled product that was made (poorly) in China. I can truely say, I could'nt put it down and listened every moment I could until the end. Having just investigated a the recall of a life-protecting and China-made spring for Scuba Diving that corroded in salt water, this book made it all clear as to the likely scenario.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating look at what "Made in China" means

Midler worked as a consultant to firms, mostly American, wanting to manufacture in China, and served as a translator/mediator/man-on-the-ground for his American employers. As such he often discovered the ways the Chinese factory owners play various quality games to increase their profits, regardless of contracts, previous understanding, or even what we view as basic safety and quality standards.
His book provides a fascinating view into what goes on in such factories, and the different point-of-view the Chinese manufacturers have of things, both economic and cultural, which make dialogue often difficult and frustrating.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, which was very ably read by Midler himself (a reasonable choice, as he often mentions and explains Chinese words and phrases).

I found only two issues with this book - first, the points he makes are sometimes repetitive, making the same observation twice or more. Some judicious editing would have removed these instances. Second, being mostly a collection of different experiences, the book feels disjointed at times. Though every tale serves a purpose, and Midler ties them together reasonably well, it doesn't feel continuous enough.

These points are minor, though, and did not seriously affect my enjoyment of this enlightening work.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JoAnn
  • Mequon, WI, United States
  • 03-04-11

Really enjoyed this

This is more of a memoir than a nonfiction information book. I was really expecting it to be dull but it was fun and fascinating. The author discusses his personal experiences with Chinese manufacturing and his job facilitating the manufacturing. I learned a great deal including how factories can hide worker abuse, why purchasers of goods cannot up and change manufacturers, and how products are changed at the factory to make the manufacturing cheaper despite how the product turns out. Also, I learned why its not as easy to check for bad chemicals and ingredients that might have been substitutued by the manufacturer. This is a good book

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Insightful but curtailed

An informative as well as interesting book about some current and future crucial international issues, but, in some way, it feels incomplete, as if the author has left - either deliberately or unconsciously - something out of the picture.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Most important book on importing from China

My small company has been navigating the China landscape for several years. It is a difficult terrain at best. If you are currently or are considering doing business in China then this book is an absolute must. The author's insight into the inner workings of China are sobering and anyone working with China needs to understand the experience Mr. Midler has achieved. I cannot recommend this book highly enough....get it, devour it, learn from it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • PC
  • 05-06-17

Biased intro to business in China

China is not a straightforward country to conduct business in. However, the anecdotes in this book were hard to resonate with. If you don't know the details about the product you are trying to manufacture in China or anywhere else in the world, you are prone to be influenced by manufacturers' misconduct. Interesting story though.

What bothered me the most was the narrator (no offense) Perhaps hiring a Chinese American or Chinese native would have been a better choice, since all the Chinese nouns in this book were read as if they were French.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • norton
  • charlotte, NC, United States
  • 08-31-10

Must read before shopping

What a great story. The author leaves nothing unanswered. I feel like I took a trip to China with a friend that knows his way around. Anyone who plans to be alive in the next few decades should read this. This book is not just for those planning to do business in China but for anyone who use manufactured goods at all. I can't wait for a part two.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Nasal Narrator

Would you consider the audio edition of Poorly Made in China to be better than the print version?

I have two young kids so audio books during my commute are my only option.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Poorly Made in China?

I like the opening story and what it foreshadows for the rest of the text.

How could the performance have been better?

I rarely enjoy author's reading thier own work. The author often sounded like he had a cold as he was reading, and it took away from the overall enjoyment.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Probably not quite, but it was enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kim
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 07-01-13

Snore

Unless you're looking to do business in China or you are super interested in manufacturing this book probably won't interest you. I will say that it rates #1 as the best book to fall asleep to because the narration is very calming and pleasant. I wasn't expecting much and this book delivered that and much less.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Completely Enjoyable

I looked forward to my drives to and from work all week as I listened to Paul's stories about doing business in China. It's an easy listen but at the same time there are very valueable lessons enbedded in this book. If you've ever been curious about Chinese manufacturing and culture then don't hesitate to buy this audiobook!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 09-05-11

Unusual and thought provoking...!

Certainly a must listen to for anyone contemplating finding manufacturers for their goods in China. What we realise is the Chinese are a completely different culture to ours in the west and play the business game to their own set of rules - and the rules frequently change as they go along!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-27-17

Bitter but interesting

Author goes over many interesting scenarios and stories which are eye openers how China culture is different from the Western. However, I am unsure if I would recommend this book with the notion "it's a must have if you want to import from china" because the book leaves you with a bitter sweet taste in your mouth. You might even end up hating Chinese after listening to this.

The author focuses only on the parts how Chinese always have the upper hand. There was only one story in the whole book where Bernie used smart tactics to get the upper hand with the negotiations. I feel like there should had been more positive lessons.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • george schweitzer
  • 07-16-17

General view for new comers

Found it an easy listen. Did feel the author only really touched the surface of business in China. So much more he could have discussed. Think it is good read for someone looking to skim the surface of business of manufacturing and exporting from China.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Russell A. Everitt
  • 04-14-13

Thought provoking and eye opening.

The best insight and most eye opening details of the pleasure of trying to do business in China.

I know, I tried and failed. Hats off to those who survived!