Chapter 1

Tail of the Dragon—Interpreting Innovation in China

Why does the dog wag its tail?

Because the dog is smarter than the tail.

If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.

—From the 1997 film Wag the Dog

When I first visited China in 2005, I quickly realized that while business was booming and an entrepreneurial spirit existed (the kind that is more associated with business exploitation than major change), an innovation spirit was lacking. I had the chance to visit and speak with people at Chinese companies like the Baoshan Steel Company, Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems, and the Fujikon Industrial Company. I also visited some universities such as Jiaotong University in Shanghai and the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou. ...

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