BBC: Few westerners understand Chinese business better than Liam Casey. From his base in the industrial powerhouse of Shenzen close to Hong Kong, he gave Peter Day a stream of insights into how China works … and how its influence is rippling through companies and consumers all over the world.
Casey was James Fallows' guide to the Chinese manufacturing economy in this article in the Atlantic. Shortly after reading the article I met Casey at Foo Camp. He's surprisingly quiet and low-key given his career path -- not the bombastic entrepreneur that you'd expect, but instead quite thoughtful.
At the end of the podcast Casey takes the interviewer to see the new public library in downtown Shenzen (beautiful flickr photo set here), which he views as emblematic of the future of China. His comments remind me of what I wrote in my earlier post on the Fallows article:
I first visited Shenzhen on a day trip from Hong Kong in the early 90's. I was excited to see it, since it was one of the first Special Economic Zones (SEZ) set up by the communist government. My friends in HK couldn't understand why I would want to visit -- they suggested scenic Guilin instead. But I was already fascinated by the rapid economic changes taking place; I wanted to see China's future, not its past. At the time, everything was rough: roads were terrible, new buildings had no sidewalks or landscaping, our bus was caught in some of the worst traffic jams I have ever seen. Now you can take the subway/train there directly from HK, there are 8 million residents, and (I'm told) the city is full of parks and green spaces.