Poorly Made in China

  • by Paul Midler
  • Narrated by Paul Midler
  • 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- John Mckenzie

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.
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- Praetor

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-23-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios