Once a factory is built, the next key challenge is making sure it’s adequately staffed. Chinese operations typically employ a large number of people, as Figure 4.1 shows.

Figure 4.1 Labor-intensive manufacturing

Source: Courtesy of Peng Zhiqiang.

In 2009 roughly 112 million people worked in Chinese factories.1 That means roughly one out of every four members of China’s workforce (excluding agriculture) is employed in manufacturing. Chinese factories account for half of all people working in manufacturing globally.2

The project manager accepted a 3-year assignment in China. With local government health check complete, work and ...

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