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I was hoping for honest insights and a straight-forward exposé on the changes in China. Instead, the data presented relies heavily on interviews with Chinese officials who make useless generalizations and sweeping statements, as well as anecdotal evidence that often lacks context. It feels like a presidential state of the union address for China (think vague statements that admit just enough fault to allow for the optimism that follows). I think that Dealing With China was a much more insightful read. While it does offer criticisms of China, I'm quite sure that the Chinese censors will give this book the green light. That doesn't necessarily mean a book isn't honest or hard hitting, but it should give one pause to consider the incentives that influence the author.
What did you love best about The End of Copycat China?
Rein has a lot of very compelling anecdotes and insights from his years of market research that are very engaging and informative.
Any additional comments?
While the author's insights into the Chinese market are invaluable, he is clearly out of his comfort zone when he went abroad in the last chapter to talk about China's relations with SE Asia. It is painfully obvious that he lacks the background to speak competently on Sino-Vietnamese, Cambodian and Filipino relations. Take his description of the US relationship with Vietnam as "rocky." That is so far off it's laughable. Moreover, he greatly misread the importance of the 2014 anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam. Ultimately, I don't hold this against him as I know it's not his expertise which is why I highly recommend the book up until the last chapter.