This white paper was developed after a 2013 conference confronting the question: “Is China losing its competitive edge?” Much of the material is still relevant today. This white paper is first in a series of three, it discusses and depicts the background (historical, cultural, geo-political etc.) of China as a source and evaluates the impact of rising labor costs and such factors as “hukou”. The other two papers in the series will address The Chinese Suppliers (who they are, how they are changing) and How to Win in China as an importer.

“Is China losing its competitive edge?” Find out why not in the first of this series of three white papers which examines the question from a historical, cultural, geo-political perspective and which addresses the salient issue of labor cost and the relevance of “hukou”.

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“So how can labor costs be rising when China has the largest reservoir of working people in the world? Or, to put it differently, if there is so much labor in China why is there so much talk about shortages and why are labor costs going up?”