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

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NINEHan’s LaserCreating New Markets

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

—Lao Tzu

GAO YUNFENG FOUNDED Han’s Laser Technology Company, Ltd. in 1996. Gao was 29 years old at the time, and China’s economic landscape was vastly different from what it is today. Then, there were only 10,000 privately owned industrial enterprises in the entire country. While private enterprises were very much on their own, the more than 80,000 state-owned companies not only received generous government funding but also had close connections to provincial politicians, many of whom depended on the state-owned industries to provide employment for their constituents. These bureaucrats naturally tended to be suspicious about the approaching transition to ...

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