The 8 Best Books on Importing from China: An Overview

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Best Importing Books

As an Importer, you must act as a jack of all trades. You need to understand everything from product development and sourcing, to shipping, customs and taxes.

It can take years of real-life experience to truly understand the ins and outs of managing a supply chain stretching halfway over the globe.

But it’s not all about technical specifications and legal terms.

There’s also the human element. The mindset of your supplier, belonging to a culture that has developed in a very different way from us from the West.

What is common sense to you, may not be so in the mind of your supplier.

I’ve been in China for years, and I am still but a learner. In this article, I share the 8 Best Books on Importing from China – that you simply have to read.

Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the China Production Game

Whether you’re working on a small scale or run a huge corporation that imports or plans to import goods from China, this book is a must-read for you in any case.

The author of this book, Paul Milder, not only has a degree in Chinese history, he has also had a vast amount of experience in the Chinese work industry, which enabled him to understand the mindset of Chinese suppliers and manufacturing over there.

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Why you should read this book

If you’re importing products from China, you must understand the work culture and practices followed by Chinese manufacturers.

This is exactly why you should read this book. This award-winning book highlights the poor practices followed by the Chinese manufacturing industry and warns against them.

One of such practices that he covered in detail is “Quality Fade”. Milder tells readers about the secretive practice of Chinese manufacturers to compromise quality to expand their profits.

Milder warns importers against such manufacturers and shared his own story and experiences working for American companies importing from China.

He discusses in detail about the things that can go wrong when foreigners, especially American businesses, shift production to China.

Even though first published in 2009, the content of the book is still as relevant as it was eight years ago.


It is a very well received book that gained a lot of positive reviews from readers and earned many awards as well for its quality and relevance.

It was ranked among the Best Books in 2009 by The Economist, Best Book for Business Owners by Inc., Best Finance Book of 2009 by Forbes, and Best of 2009 Business Book by Library Journal.

The book has received an aggregate rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars by more than 200 readers on Amazon and 4 out of 5 star rating on Goodreads.

Recommended for: Anyone interested in importing products from China should read this book. Definitely a must a red.

Published: 2009
Pages: 241

import clothing ebook

This practical book breaks down the entire clothing design and production process into an actionable task list. The author guides you from creating a tech pack and finding the right supplier on, to product samples and mass production.

Get your copy on

The Import Bible: The complete beginners guide to successful importing from China

The Import Bible by Manuel Becvar of is another excellent read to better grasp the idea of importing from China.

Manuel has had a considerable amount of experience in manufacturing, sourcing, and discovering new products in China for the most prominent global retailers, such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Amazon and so many others.

Why you should read this book

If you’re just starting with import business or importing from China for the first time, this is where you start.

In this book, he has given a step-wise manual to help you understand the procedure of importing from China. He covers all the key aspects involved, from start till the end.

This makes it a complete guide for beginners. It includes topics like “How to find the right products”, “The 6-step import process”, “Hiring a sourcing company” and many more similar topics that cover the the basics of importing.

The Import Bible is a mix of personal experiences of the writer in China and a detailed course on importing that makes it an interesting read. He explained every process involved in importing with his own personal experience that makes it very easy to understand and follow.


The book is also well received by readers. It was rated 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads. It is also often ranked among the best books on importing.

Recommended for: If you’re just starting with importing from China, this book is your practical guide. It’s on point and will only take two or three hours to read through.

Published (6th edition): 2015
Pages: 97

42 Rules for Sourcing and Manufacturing in China

This book is written by Rosemary Coates and it thoroughly captures all the ins and outs of producing and importing goods from China.

Why you should read this book

The book explains the challenges you can face while pursuing Business in China due to their completely different cultural heritage and other major dissimilarities.

If you’re a company or business who want to shift their production to China, this book is for you.

The book talks about the differences between West and China in terms of business ethics and work culture. The book intends to prepare western businessmen who want to explore business opportunities in China.

The book features around 20 executive interviews and translated the discussion into 42 rules for doing business in China.

The writer guides you through how business is done in the country, what are the common mistakes to avoid, and how to make the most out of Chinese outsourcing and manufacturing.

With the practical approach that this book follows, it is a must-read for you or any other big/small company planning to head to China for business.

Rosemary has also quoted her personal experiences in this book, which makes it much more interesting to read.


The book is also rated positively by readers as it received 4.5 out of 5 stare feedback on Amazon, 3.5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and 5 out of 5 on Google Books.

Recommended for: Business people from West who are looking to source products in China

Published: 2009
Pages: 120

The Official Success Guide

If you’re planning to do business through, you’ve got to check out this comprehensive and thorough guide written by Brad Schepp. This book covers all the minute details about bulk purchasing and selling via

Why you should read this book

If you intend to do business through, this is the book that guides you through the process.

In this book, Schepp eloquently explains how you can boost up your existing business or build a whole new one by making your supplier.

It tells you how to use the website, how to find the right products at the right price, how to avoid online fraud, and more insights into using the website the best way possible.

The book also sheds light on the best business practices that you can follow for importing from the suppliers while guarding yourself against virtual scams.


This one received an aggregate rating of 4 out of 5 stars by readers on Amazon and 3.6 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Recommended for: People who want to use as a supplier for imports from China.

Published: 2009
Pages: 288

Where East Eats West

This powerful and highly interactive book is written by Sam Goodman and is vastly acknowledged and well-liked by economists and business experts all across the globe because of its usefulness.

The book, like all the above ones in the list, explains all the basics of doing business in China.

Why you should read this book

This is another book that explains Chinese business practices and basics, how to avoid mistakes, and lessons based on personal experiences of Sam Goodman in China as an entrepreneur.

Goodman has used years of his unmatched work experience in China to sum it up in a very easy to read and all-encompassing guide.

The goal is to help readers keep a distance from all the novice level mistakes. The book uses a very light and humorous tone with personal tales that will not only make you feel highly involved but will also help you comprehend it better.


The book receives near-perfect ratings on Amazon and Goodreads. It is also part of MBA curriculum for Colorado State University, Boston College, and Rutgers.

You can also read the detailed interview of Sam Goodman about the book and his experience in China.

Recommended for: Anyone who is interested in understanding Chinese business culture and mindsets

Published: 2009
Pages: 262

Factory Girls: Voices from the Heart of Modern China

Unlike other books that we mentioned above, this one stands out a bit different as it beautifully yet wistfully captures the lives of average Chinese workers.

China is a country with the world’s largest population and each year, a huge number of drifting workers abandon their rural areas to find better opportunities in metropolises.

These people are the major dynamo behind the economic growth of China as they are highly industrious and disciplined.

Why you should read this book

This may look like a strange book title for importers and businessmen who want to do business in China, but it is a must-read for those who want to learn more about the Chinese workforce and how the work is done in Chinese factories.

This book simply introduces the importers and Western businessmen to the human resource working to produce their goods.

This book is the result of a years-long investigation by Leslie T. Chang into the lives of females migrating from rural China to the manufacturing cities like Dongguan.

The book shows you the reality of the workers’ lives in China, where workload easily consumes one’s private and romantic life.

And where misrepresentation of one’s age, academic credentials, and other prerequisites for moving ahead in their career is a norm.


The book, due to its eye-opening realities, has been taken very well all over the world. It received an overwhelming response from readers on Amazon, Google Books, and Goodreads.

Recommended for: Importers and businessmen who want to learn more about the actual workforce that makes the factory of the world run.

This extremely powerful and benevolent portrayal of the powers that are modeling China is a must-read for you if you’ve been planning to shift your production to China.

Published: 2009
Pages: 420 pages

Mr. China

Tim Clissold has beautifully narrated the wonderful story of a Wall Street financier who took a huge sum of money with him to China for business purposes, only to learn that he has been following the wrong approach all through in this interesting book titled Mr. China.

Why you should read this book

This book is an inspiration and a true tale with a lot of lessons for businessmen and importers who want to do business in China.

In this true tale, the writer highlights the struggle and efforts of the Wall Street banker, Jack Perkowski, who had only moved to China with the aim of multiplying his investment.

The book tells how he collaborated with an Englishman (the author) and an ex-Red Guard to gather an enormous sum of 400 million dollars for purchasing factories and manufacturing units all over the country.

But, things don’t go as per his expectations and when the investment doesn’t proliferate as it should have been, he and his mates come to the realization that China has its own set of rules that it follows.


The book also received a mostly positive rating on Amazon, Goodreads, and Google Books.

Recommended for: For those who want to learn from the personal experience of other businessmen in China.

Published: 2006
Pages: 288

The One Hour China Book

The One Hour China Book has been written in a very simple and easy to grasp language to benefit everyone from a newcomer to a skilled professional.

Why you should read this book

If you want to master the art of doing business in China, you’ve to read the “The One Hour China Book”, written by Jeffrey Towson and Jonathan Woetzel.

You can finish reading this whole book in just an hour’s time and by the time you reach the last page, you’ll be a person with all the ground information about business and production in China these days.

The book also sheds light on how the Chinese industry is affecting the rest of the world. It provides an insight into the Chinese businesses and work culture with the help of six short stories.

Both writers of the book have more than 30 years of experience and knowledge regarding China’s current and emerging markets, which enabled them to come up with this highly informative manuscript to aid the businesses.


According to the some readers, this book is enough to make you an expert on business in China (or at least set you on the path to become one). Overall, this one also received near-perfect ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.

Recommended for: If you want to grasp the basics of the Chinese business landscape in just one hour.

Published: 2013
Pages: 123

Quick Summary

Poorly Made in China: Highlights foul practices common in the Chinese manufacturing industry. The book warns importers and companies, helping you avoid poor quality products and distinguish between good and bad manufacturers in China.

The Import Bible: A detailed step by step guide on importing for beginners with personal experiences of the writer in China.

42 Rules for Sourcing and Manufacturing in China: Talks about differences in Chinese and Western work culture and business ethics, and rules of doing business in China based on 20 executive interviews.

The Official Success Guide: An in-depth official guide to use, the world’s largest online B2B marketplace, as a supplier for imports.

Where East Eats West: An insight into Chinese business practices and a practical guide for Western businessmen who want to do business in China.

Factory Girls: An insight into the lives of people who work in Chinese factories through the personal tale of two Chinese women who migrated from rural China to manufacturing cities in search of work.

Mr. China: A true story of a Wall Street veteran, Jack Perkowski, and the mistakes he made in China doing business that resulted in a loss of $400 million.

The One Hour China Book: A short book written by two Peking University professors about the business basics in China in the form of six short stories.

  • Free Webinar

    We can help you manufacture products in China, Vietnam & India?

    • 1. Product design and material selection
    • 2. Finding suppliers in Asia
    • 3. Product samples and payments
    • 4. Quality control, lab testing & shipping


  • 5 Responses to “The 8 Best Books on Importing from China: An Overview

    1. Phillip Heaslip at 5:59 am

      Thanks Fredrik, I’m looking at sourcing some used Cat loaders eg 950 h 966h from China , any advice regards phil

    2. Phillip Heaslip at 4:17 am

      Where do I buy these books

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:17 am

        Hi Philip,

        They are all available on Amazon

    3. Renaud Anjoran at 3:35 pm

      ‘Poorly Made in China’ and ‘Mr. China’ (and ‘Managing the Dragon’, the other side of the same story) are my personal favorites!

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:00 am

        Interesting! Didn’t know about that one.

        Any other book you recommend? Anything in the quality assurance field?

    Comments are closed.

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