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Why Review This Book?

March 22, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 12

I am a Chinese grad student studying chemistry in North America, and usually C&EN is one of my favorite publications. However, the review of the book "Poorly Made in China" makes me feel extremely uncomfortable (C&EN, Dec. 21, 2009, page 41).

First of all, the word "CHINA" with a broken A on the book's cover and reproduced in the review is very insulting. How would you feel if you saw "USA" or "CANADA" with a broken A?

Second, as a high-impact scientific magazine, C&EN is famous for keeping a neutral attitude toward controversial issues. This book, however, draws biased conclusions on the basis of some specifically selected individual cases. I do not believe this is suitable for review in C&EN.

Last but not least, as the reviewer stated, the differences between Western and Chinese cultures and business practices cause these pitfalls, which are commonly found by anyone good at doing business in a new place. There are thousands of books introducing the correct way to do business in China, in Asia, or in any other nation or area, and they are based on more successful stories and offer more positive and useful suggestions and information. (At least they have better covers.) I don't understand why C&EN picked this controversial book to review and introduce.

I still have faith that C&EN will continue to present high-level articles, and look forward to reading them with pleasure.

Chao Fang

The review of "Poorly Made in China" was interesting, and the reviewer gave interesting advice on doing business in China. What troubles me is the book's cover, which was reprinted in the magazine. It makes one question the political position of the book's author, its publisher, and even the review's publisher toward China and the intent behind torturing the word "CHINA."

Yong-Kang Zhang
San Jose, Calif.



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