The Chinese share an imprecation (the first of three)—May you live in interesting times.1 The other two are considered even more forbidding—May you come to the attention of those in authority; and May you find what you are looking for. In contrast we, as authors, are blessed to live in interesting times; otherwise our search for discourse and rich veins of material might grow ever more taxing. And the internet’s rise in China has made for very interesting times, to say the least. In the coming pages, intrepid reader, we will show how internet entrepreneurs have discovered and invented ways to thrive through clever adaptation to China’s unique environment, and tell gripping tales of entrepreneurs who have gone from the brink of bankruptcy to huge riches.
China now contains 250 million Internet users, the largest in the world, and growing. Fortunes have been made, but more importantly, society and business are being transformed along the unique lines of Chinese Internet development. This will substantially affect the business and political character of the fastest growing economic power in the world. Red Wired takes a fascinating inside look at how China has adopted the Internet at rapid pace. Through unique access to the key players in China's Internet revolution, the authors offer a new perspective on the growth of this superpower and the role that technology has played. Moreover, they offer business lessons from Internet companies which succeeded in this most complex and unique of markets.