China’s Instant Cities

China cities

Excellent in-depth National Geographic feature story by Peter Hessler (of Oracle Bones fame), on the National Geographic site, entitled, China’s Instant Cities [link no longer exists]. Subtitled, “How one supercharged province cranks out lightbulbs, buttons, and bra rings, as well as instant cities for the factory workers,” the story is about the legendarily entrepreneurial province of Zhejiang (and its cities of Wenzhou and Lishui) and a new boomtown there of rapidly built small factories, with no business plan at all. Based on my dealings with small Chinese factories, the story is dead on, including the part about the lack of any business plan at all.

Stories like these help convey what it can be like doing business in China outside its major cities and, to a certain extent, within those cities as well.

It makes for a very interesting read.

4 responses to “China’s Instant Cities”

  1. A great story; Hessler is about as good as it gets. He also has an excellent piece in this week’s (May 21) New Yorker, profiling American David Spindler’s (a friend, actually) quest to hike and research every foot of Great Wall in the greater Beijing area.

  2. how do I contact David Spindler. We are on our way to Beijing and would love to contact him regarding a hike on the Wall.

  3. Craig —
    China has at least 1.3 billion people and, admittedly, I do not know all of them. I have absolutely no clue on how you can find David Spindler, though I would think the first place to look for him would be at the wall, though it is rather long.

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