This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

China Is More Capitalistic Than You Think

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I was tired and exhausted as I sat down on the train for the ride to the Hong Kong airport.

Six days of non-stop meetings and factory tours -- while my body attempted to adjust to a time-zone opposite my own -- takes a toll. Trying to navigate four suitcases doesn't help either, but the guy sitting next to me on the train gave a very needed and welcomed helping hand.

Once the train was moving along, I asked what had brought him to China, as is standard practice for two Westerners greeting each other in the Middle Kingdom. I think he said he represented Altria Group (MO - Get Report), Phillip Morris (PM - Get Report), or maybe it was another American cigarette maker, it's hard to say. I was tired.

I commented that there are more Mercedes Benzes in the city of Hong Kong than in all of Wisconsin, and they are quickly moving north. He laughed and commented on how much different the border was when he started.

He was speaking of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border. Shenzhen is the gateway border town to mainland China from Hong Kong. Hong Kong is part of China, but is treated as a separate autonomous area. Entering and leaving is handled as if it is its own country.

Shenzhen is a modern first-rate city, full of high-rise buildings and often called China's Silicon Valley because of its high-tech focus.

The cigarette seller explained that in the early 1980s, Shenzhen was little more than rice paddies with few buildings, and that when he crossed at night (carrying cigarettes that may not have been "fully sanctioned" for import), the guards would turn on the lights for him to cross the bridge.

You can visualize the transformation through these photos. The only difference between the old Shenzhen, from the Communist takeover in 1947 until 1980 and then from 1980 forward, is abandoning central planning and embracing free markets with private ownership.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
MO $55.88 0.86%
PM $82.67 1.40%
AAPL $110.72 -0.53%
FB $92.40 -0.43%
GOOG $642.24 -0.50%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,912.29 +122.10 0.73%
S&P 500 1,995.82 +15.90 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,791.1520 +42.7910 0.90%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs