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In the Shadow of the Dragon by William Dowell, Winter Nie

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SIXKangnai, Haili, and Li NingMoving Up the Value Chain

It doesn’t make sense to have our people run in foreign clothes, with foreign ads on their backs.

—Li Ning, China’s greatest Olympic athlete

The Kangnai Group Builds a Brand

WENZHOU DISCOVERS THE LIMITS OF LOW-COST PRODUCTION

ZHENG XIUKANG began working as a shoe-making apprentice in 1979. He was living in Wenzhou, the port providing access to the sea to the mountainous interior of southeastern Zhejiang Province. The first official license to an individual to engage in private enterprise thanks to Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms was issued in Wenzhou in November 1979, and the city was eager to embrace the tidal wave of entrepreneurialism that was about to sweep through China. But Zheng’s ...

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