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An in-depth look at the forces and trends changing China and its place in the world

China has dominated the news for nearly a decade and will continue to grab headlines as it moves inexorably toward becoming the world's largest economy. It already has the largest middle class in the world; the most Internet users; the largest army; and is the world's largest polluter. Yet all this growth causes problems as China adapts to the laws of other lands in which it has investments; learns how to meet international guidelines and safety standards for its products; stretches its resources to the limit; and struggles to maintain stability and control over an increasingly restive population.

China Inside Out explores the social and economic forces unleashed by China's relentless drive to modernization. Bill Dodson presents the stories of average Chinese workers, along with interviews with experts interlaced with his own experiences. The end result is an insider's view of the forces reshaping China as it takes an increasingly prominent role in the new world order.

  • Looks at the trends reshaping China and reveals how China's place in the world is evolving
  • Written by an industry analyst, advisor, and business manager in China, who is also a columnist for the China Economic Review
  • Explains important changes for investors and business leaders interested in China

For business leaders, investors, and China watchers, China Inside Out offers a truly in-depth examination of China's changing role in the world.


Bill Dodson has been writing and advising on business in China since 2002. He has been quoted on China-related topics in Newsweek, The Economist, Shanghai Business Review, China International Business, China Economic Quarterly, National Public Radio, and others. He is a columnist for the China Economic Review and Eurobiz on economic and foreign investment issues in China. He is a Partner and Director of Strategic Analysis at TrendsAsia Ltd., in Shanghai. You can follow his blogs and podcasts at




Chapter 1 The Rise of Generation W(eb).

Chapter 2 The Anxious Class.

Chapter 3 A Tale of Two Countries.

Chapter 4 Not in My Backyard!

Chapter 5 With the Appetite of a Dragon.

Chapter 6 China 24/7.

Chapter 7 China, at Your Services.

Chapter 8 The Global Sugar Daddy.

Chapter 9 Hot Pot Nation.

Chapter 10 In the Shadow of the Emperors.





A first-rate guide to today's China. Gets under the skin of the emerging super power.
-- Jonathan Fenby, Author, Penguin History of Modern China

Bill Dodson's book is a wonderfully clear-headed, no-nonsense guide to the internal forces that are propelling China forward, backward, and sideways. It is properly assertive about the things that can be known, and open-minded about the many things that can't. Anyone who wants to understand China better will enjoy this book.
-- James Fallows, Author, Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China

Dodson presents each section of his book with an engaging balance of large- and small-scale narrative. China Inside Out merits its title by zooming in on the real power players in China's evolution-its citizens. Dodson clearly knows China and understands that its people, not its policies, have been and will continue to be China's defining force.
-- Dan Harris, Publisher, China Law Blog

An extraordinarily accurate, complete, and coherent depiction of the daily reality that China's 1.5 billion individuals confront, cope with, push back against, and ultimately-through extreme tenacity, resourcefulness, intelligence and courage, hallmarks of the Chinese identity and spirit-shape. Dodson's framework makes sense of and puts into perspective what foreign observers might otherwise find an overwhelming torrent of snapshots: he ends the need to surmise, based on scattered data and anecdotes, what structures underlie China's tectonic struggle to evolve.
-- Janet Carmosky, CEO, The China Business Network

Bill Dodson provides a reasoned and balanced ground level analysis of China's social and economic fault lines and stress points. There's no pulling of punches here as he concentrates on the often uncomfortable, but necessary, truths anyone connecting with China needs to know.
-- Paul French, Chief China Analyst, Access Asia Shanghai  and Co-author, Fat China: How Expanding Waistlines are Changing a Nation

A crisp and very readable introduction to the key issues driving change in China today. Recommended.
-- Graham Earnshaw, Publisher, China Economic Review

Bill Dodson provides a grown-up look at modern China and its growing pains, introducing some of real people there. It's a smooth, quick read. We predict this rising power's future at our peril; Dodson lays out a reasoned narrative. If you care about the China behind the label-the aspirations, challenges, and insecurities-give it a spin.
-- Scott Tong, Former China Bureau Chief, Marketplace Public Radio

Bill Dodson takes readers beyond the usual expats hubs of China and offers a wide view of the momentous trends boiling below and above the surface of China today.  With energy and insight, China Inside Out updates, often startlingly, much of what you think you know about the country.
-- Ted C. Fishman, Author, China, Inc. and Shock of Gray

Bill Dodson knows more about China business and society than just about anyone writing today. In China Inside Out Dodson does an outstanding job of connecting the dots from international headlines to middle class Chinese households. It has become accepted wisdom that China is an economic powerhouse, but this work helps to flesh out bare statistics and gets to the heart of what is driving 21st Century China-its people. In this ambitious work Dodson has identified the big trends that will push China to new levels of global influence-for good or ill-and analyzes how China will interact with the world and environment to shape its own future.   
-- Andrew Hupert, Publisher, and Adjunct Professor, NYU in Shanghai

With years of consulting experience in China, Bill Dodson not only studies China's trends, he lives them. Dodson is an astute observer of China's society and economy.
-- Rob Schmitz, China Bureau Chief, Marketplace, American Public Media