Getting Rich
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Getting Rich

2006, Economics  -   41 Comments
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Ratings: 8.45/10 from 83 users.

It is one of the most extraordinary transformations of our time - China. A country long in the grip of communism is now devoted to private enterprise. That is what they had to do for the ordinary people of China to become richer. This new economic superpower is taking on the West. But China's surging economy has a dark side. Can China keep moving forward or will the forces of change tear it apart?

The city of Chongqing is a sprawling metropolis of seven million people. It's the scene of one of the latest chapters in China's remarkable economic rise. Back in the 1980's China's communist party decided to permit the return of private enterprise. In cities along the coast thousands of new factories sprung up fueling an economic boom. Now, China's trying to extent that boom to the interior of the country to places like Chongqing. The government is pouring in money to improve and modernize the city.

Chongqing today is a city on the move; a place where if you're smart enough and tough enough, you can get rich. Like the man who lives there, secluded high above the city. His name is Zuo Zongshen. Zuo is one of the richest men in China. He's a charter member of China's new business elite. A self-made man with a powerful will to succeed.

His family and he were ordinary people. In the eyes of Westerners they would have been considered very poor. When he had the opportunity he cherished it and worked hard. When China's leaders allowed the return of private enterprise Zuo was ready to make his move. His home is a monument to his success. Zuo's palatial estate is tended by a private staff of more than sixty. The interior of his sprawling mansion recalls the splendor of old Europe. On his manicured grounds he keeps black swans and an assortment of animals. English thoroughbreds and Zuo's special passion, a collection of pedigree dogs housed in kennels kept immaculately clean.

For most of the year Zuo lives there alone. His wife works for him in the United States where she lives with their young son. That way he has more time to work because he's by himself and he has nothing to worry about. At night he has a lot of time for work. He works on Sundays too. Work has become a habit for him.

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Bill Farley
Bill Farley
5 years ago

What a condescending bunch of BS seen thru the eyes of American capitalism. China only began to flourish when the government allowed private enterprise to flourish??? Give your head a shake America. The Chinese have been excellent business people for centuries regardless who was in power. You think those "Boat People" who fled Vietnam were Vietnamese? Most of them were second and third generation Chinese who controlled 99% of all businesses in Vietnam. They were getting the hell out because they knew their time had come. And the assumption that China's new wealth was limited only because their government controlled a large portion of the economy??? C'mon America, better take a look at your own situation. From where I sit your country is fast going down the tubes and you guys live and breath private enterprise.

james
james
5 years ago

i dont often comment on topdocs but that son of a bitch calling is workers idiots.
he want knocking out, the silly little dog touching bastard

i_drink_Scope
i_drink_Scope
9 years ago

my favourite part of this doc is exactly @40:00

the sales associate at Estrada is visibly picking her nose behind the counter. a place where dresses are sold for $1000USD. i'll bet a lot of customers just say "keep the change" to her...

why are Chinese people such disgusting pigs???

BattoRem
BattoRem
9 years ago

I love it when people say how awful the system is but refuse to give an ideas on how to change it. Just more meaningless words.

Richard Neva
Richard Neva
9 years ago

As China rises America falls into hell!

StockyOne
StockyOne
10 years ago

A superb documentary. Very balanced, and with a very interesting cross-section of people presented.

ksm_mmd
ksm_mmd
10 years ago

Okay, out of pure disgust, I had to stop watching after only 9 minutes. That was more than enough time to realize that "successful" businessmen in China are no different than anywhere else in the world: virtually all of them are nothing more than a bunch of narcissistic psychopaths. Corporations reward psychopathic behavior, so it's not surprising that people who are completely incapable of compassion or empathy are the ones who excel in such a world.

The piece-of-sh** Zuo, who owns Zonchin (sp?) Motorcycle Group, is a perfect example. Even though it's obvious that he possess no more than average intelligence, his baseless disdain for his employees (the people that have made him rich) and his eagerness to blame them for everything that doesn't go his way is an all too familiar "management" technique employed here in the United States, as well as in similar corporate environments elsewhere around the world.

FERENC CSICSERI
FERENC CSICSERI
10 years ago

1.3 billion people in China alone and a City with 7 million and one i*iot with a manson of 23 bedroom and he lives alone there the only way I' see this unbalanced world will tear itself apart and will collapse

ronsfi
ronsfi
10 years ago

2000000 lifted out of poverty? I would like to see that standard of poverty applied to the west. What a cry and hue! Bah. That was desperate poverty. Bull shid propaganda.

bringmeredwine
bringmeredwine
10 years ago

Watching this doc, I met some very interesting and worthwhile people, except for the first man, who was a pompous a$$hol@ in my opinion.
It was heartwarming, (for me) to meet the young worker who dreams of becoming a doctor; the lawyer who crusaded for disabled factory workers; and the man who amassed a fortune creating non-polluting A.C.'s. He also happens to grows organic food for himself and his employees. What an interesting man!
I am really enjoying this series.

systems1000
systems1000
10 years ago

this doc is about an unstainable third world walmart.And with all the millions who are being swept under its rug,its only a matter of time before the whole thing comes crashing down.