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Last updated: August 11, 2008 4:16 pm

The new shape of Chinese manufacturing

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An economic weakling only 20 years ago, China is now the world’s second largest manufacturing power next to the US. Peter Marsh, the FT’s manufacturing editor, recently took a two-week, 8,000km tour in China to visit 15 companies - including locally owned businesses and the Chinese offshoots of multinationals.

He finds that China’s manufacturing prowess is growing rapidly, using technology that is increasingly similar to that in the developed nations. The interactions between China and the rest of the world are on the rise with a great cross flow of ideas and people.

In this audio slideshow series he examines three Chinese manufacturers. They are in various stages of expansion and together they represent the new shape of Chinese manufacturing.

Part 1: Peter Marsh looks at the history and ambitions of Anshan Steel, China’s second largest steelmaker, and takes a plunge into its magnificent swimming pool

Part 2: Peter Marsh looks at how China plays a bigger role in the global operation of Luxottica, the world’s biggest maker of spectacle frames

Part 3: Peter Marsh speaks to a British entrepreneur who started in China with just £5,000 but is aiming to achieve an annual sales of £15m in five years

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