China or Bust

2007, Economics  -   25 Comments
Ratings: 8.37/10 from 79 users.

China - a superpower emerging at breakneck speed. It's the Holy Grail for risk-taking entrepreneurs. Every day, hundreds of British businessmen arrive full of hope and expectation. It's the land of opportunity. It's a place where dreams can come true. But Chinese entrepreneurs, unleashed after 50 years of communism, are taking no prisoners in their own relentless quest for wealth. In the wild east, only the toughest will survive.

These British businessmen are risking everything as they venture into the real dragon's den. Who will make their fortune and who will return home penniless? Tony Caldera's cushion business has been ruined by cheap Chinese imports. Today, his Liverpool factory stands deserted. There were hundreds of people working there. They all had jobs for life. They were the number-one cushion maker probably in Europe. Everything was made in England, and life was great, and they were all happy. All of a sudden, China has come along, and they just can't compete anymore.

In a last-ditch attempt to salvage his business, Tony is taking a huge gamble. He's borrowed two million pounds to build a factory in a paddy field in China. Thirty-six-year-old Tony has bought a one-way ticket to Linping, a city in the heart of China's vast textile industry. If everything goes according to plan, Tony can rebuild his business and regain his crown as the king of cushions.

25 Comments / User Reviews

  1. oQ

    I wonder how different this doc would be if it was made this year.

  2. TheDanishViking
  3. TheDanishViking

    Yes - it would be very interesting to see how the projects have evolved.

  4. dmxi
  5. dmxi

    great doc...

  6. megatron_mcdaniels
  7. megatron_mcdaniels

    how do you say sausage fest in Chinese?

  8. systems1000
  9. systems1000

    @Megatron.Thats why all the sausage mongering yanker trader (e.g.the ferringie) are Headed their.

  10. Imightberiding
  11. Imightberiding

    It's interesting that you should say that. I watched this doc several years ago & when i saw it posted here I was wondering how these people are getting on today.

  12. Nada nada
  13. Nada nada

    Gee hope none of them ended up like that guy killed by Bo Xilau's wife.

  14. disqus_DckmtFvCrE
  15. disqus_DckmtFvCrE

    Wow! Good documentary making at it's finest.Inspiring!

  16. bionara
  17. bionara

    香肠节 - "xiang chang jie". Note that this is a literal translation! no idea what connotations it has to the natives :)

  18. Luyang Han
  19. Luyang Han

    Mr. Vance has a very interesting character, and a even more interesting interpreter, who carefully evens the rudeness from both sides.

  20. TheDanishViking
  21. TheDanishViking

    That is very interesting and good news for the West. Now all we need to find out is if the guy with power savers for aircons was ripped off? Any news on him?

  22. John Melendez
  23. John Melendez

    Hmmm. The glory days of conquesting in China were back in the 1980s and 90s. Anyone going there now is just picking up scraps.

  24. Nicholas Hewlett
  25. Nicholas Hewlett

    gave me a couple of ideas! would like to know more.

  26. TheDanishViking
  27. TheDanishViking

    Thank you. No, there is not much happening on the company homepage...

  28. timothy
  29. timothy

    Thank you for that injection of courage to my nerves.

  30. Paneye
  31. Paneye

    Is it really that clever going to China and using a poor, downtrodden, slave-race of people to build your bulls*it for you?
    I don't respect these so-called business men ie. slave drivers.
    America got rich using black people to pick cotton for free, That was also very 'clever' business.

  32. Sippin Soda
  33. Sippin Soda

    HeHe, that's the difference my man, right what you mentioned, I just think you've misunderstood it. You see, that would be right if it was about a western country, but this is East my man, they don't have that way of thinking. It's like a track-runner (no better yet, the Tour de France), once you're past the goal line, you slow down to eventually stop, because the race has been won. But in the east, they never stop, cause for them there's no such thing as a "finnish"-line, they just keep going. While we where thinking that we've won the race, they saw it as the part where they slow down to "catch a breath" to get that second wind, and third, and fourth, and so on and so on...

  34. John Melendez
  35. John Melendez

    Like I said, the glory days of "conquesting in China" (Western method of doing business, back then) are over. As you say, and yes I agree, it's time for a new way of interacting with China.

  36. ogger151
  37. ogger151

    Sounds good on paper. But yet we the consumer continue to the stuff from China because its cheaper. The question is would you be willing to pay more?

  38. Paneye
  39. Paneye

    It totally depends on what you value more. Cheap goods or human life. Incidentally, I don't think people need to be exploited and suffer for goods to be produced cheaply. We just need to put the brakes on this mad, repulsive fixation on profits and endless growth.

    Inequality is starting to (finally) capture the public imagination now with the recent oxfam report on global wealth distribution. The 85 richest people in the world have wealth equaling that of the bottom 3.5 billion.

  40. ogger151
  41. ogger151

    I hear people complain about slave labor all the time. But those same people complain about every price. Pay these people more and raise the prices and those same people cry a river. However the money these company's make does not justify what they pay. There profit margin on some things are incredible. We the consumer have to refuse to buy. We buy goods for cheaper but the quality is poor. So we replace it every year. So are we really saving money. We are just destroying our own economy and exploiting the Chinese people. But the question still remains would you be willing to pay more?

  42. Namaste Sommer
  43. Namaste Sommer

    The west plays checkers, the east are masters of chess. These "business men" will soon hear, "Price go up". They've betrayed the honest workers at home thinking to take advantage of the Chinese. Hahahahahahahahaha

  44. Unfolding Universe
  45. Unfolding Universe

    So, Chinese are the "slave-race"? Looks to me we are that that far from what America was 100 years ago. LOL

  46. Unfolding Universe
  47. Unfolding Universe

    This is this "US, VS them" mentality. You know, Chinese people are not a evil as you make them out to be, or a "slave race". They are people that just wants to make a living, just like the Americans that want to make a living. Don 't be so evil, and your live might be happier.

  48. bluetortilla
  49. bluetortilla

    ACK! Worthless.

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