Heard & overheard: China as a dance partner

American manufacturers who feel threatened by low-cost copycat knockoffs produced in China can take solace in this fact: legitimate Chinese manufacturers have the exact same problem. According to globalization expert John Caslione, president and CEO of Andrew-Ward International Inc., these serious Chinese firms are trying to escape these copycats "by globalizing their businesses and extending them outside of China."

Caslione believes the mantra for Chinese firms in the next decade will be, "Don't only export to U.S. and European companies — invest in them or buy them." Although Chinese companies' recent attempts to purchase U.S. petroleum company Unocal and appliance maker Maytag fell through, Caslione expects to see many similar offers made in the near term, especially lower profile deals.

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