From small villages in sub-Saharan Africa, to the bustling cities of the Asian sub-continent, from Latin America to China and Eastern Europe, people everywhere are striving to improve their lives. People seeking the same things: opportunity to learn, an identity and ownership that allows them to prosper, a chance to earn a living for themselves and their families, to use their imaginations, to take risks and possibly fail, but to increase their options and to reap the rewards if they succeed. Join us now to see what can happen when ordinary people have the tools to help themselves. Somewhere on Earth, at this very moment, a child is beginning its journey through life. Two-hundred-and-fifty babies are born every minute; fifteen-thousand an hour; 132 million a year, each and every year. And among them may be the potential to cure disease, to reinvent the future, or to change the course of world history, because people are the world’s ultimate resource. In only 25 years, more than 400 million Chinese have climbed out of deep poverty, where they were living on less than one dollar a day. Shanghai, often called “The Head of the Dragon” is a dramatic symbol of the fastest growing major economy in world history. Little more than a dozen years ago, the financial district of PuDong was swampy farmland. Today, hundreds of thousands work in skyscrapers, some among the tallest in the world. Designer boutiques line the city’s streets, and Shanghai is a destination for tourists and business travelers from across China and around the world. The World Bank says average real incomes in China rose 440 percent in just 20 years. It would seem that Communist China is using free trade to reinvent itself. For much of the twentieth century, it was a poor country. And under Chairman Mao, private property and private business were illegal. Even today, new ideas flooding into China’s cities mix uneasily with ancient cultural traditions. Everything is changing, especially personal expectations. Merrill Lynch estimates that there are at least 300 thousand millionaires in China. There are ten Ferrari dealerships; it’s Ferrari’s fifth largest market in the world. People are now able to use their imaginations and intelligence to create more options for themselves and to get paid for their hard work. China has become the world’s third largest trading nation. Zhang Jun is an economics professor at Fudan University. I think this is a great country, I think that especially, you know after the rapid economic development and making the country rich today, I think the majority of the Chinese are proud of being Chinese. This is totally different picture you know from fifteen years ago, so it’s a big change. The Chinese government openly encourages the free market and aggressively courts foreign investment. Government development zones are springing up throughout the country. Sun YanYan is the promotion director for the Suzhou Industrial Park, near Shanghai. It’s a partnership between China and Singapore. We provide a kind of platform-like facility, and also offer low rental and to encourage them to developing faster, and if they need any people we will help them to recruit nationwide. Young people are flocking to the wealthy eastern coastal areas in search of jobs. These managers often retreat to the nearby mountains to brainstorm new ideas. One of the top managers in the company, called “Snail Game,” is Yiou Zhang. His nickname is YoYo. The owner of the company is Shi Hai. He’s 34-years-old. In his search for talent, he has hired young people like YoYo from across China. Within two years, they expect to be listed on the NASDAQ exchange in New York. The nearby Buddhist Shrine has as much attraction for Shi Hai today, as it did when he first visited this mountain lake park as a child. These entrepreneurs are navigating a path between China’s cultural traditions and their bold, new ideas. I think the free market gives the sense that you know they are really the part of the economy, you know, this is not economy by the party, by the government, this is the economy of everyone. YoYo often spends his afternoons with his camera. His photographs will soon take on a new life. The office of Snail Game is here in the Suzhou Industrial Park. YoYo is the art director. Snail Game was one of China’s first internet gaming companies. They believe their 3-D animation engines are the best in China. YoYo’s ship is destined to become part of an adventure. The artists create virtual worlds complete with life and death challenges. From their imaginations, they develop every object and every character in this virtual world. The company has 120 game developers, and maintains 20 sales offices across China. Because of the Chinese economy’s been changed so fast, it created a lot of opportunities for the small companies to merge and to expand. Shi Hai’s home is more traditional than the virtual worlds he creates at Snail Game. He and his wife, Cho, have known each other since high school. They have two young sons. Together, they created Snail Game in 2000. Their older son is just starting school. His childhood is very different from that of his father. Shi Hai’s parents worked in a factory at a time when there were many shortages. Shi Hai and other children often had to stand in line for food rations. Shi Hai represents the success of the new China, still much of the country lags far behind, especially in the vast rural areas. Many of the young people at Snail Game have moved from the poor countryside, and cannot afford housing. They live in a dormitory financed by the company. Despite industrial problems in many parts of China, unemployment, poor working conditions and long hours, these young entrepreneurs epitomize the explosive potential of modern China. Shi Hai and Cho work hard and take risks. Both go to Snail Game every day, where Cho is the chief financial officer. The Industrial Park has simplified the bureaucratic process so much that a business license can be obtained in just a week or two. This is a domestic, creative business here in China, but recently they are developing well because the market demand is quite good. Their competition is international, but much of the market, is in their backyard. Throughout Asia, gamers pack internet cafes to play on-line games. Tens of thousands play at the same time, and they can do it from anywhere in the world. Here in China, the number of people playing internet games has risen fifty-one percent in just one year. The gaming business is intensely competitive. At this stage of development I think the majority of Chinese believe that competition is a good thing, because in the past we did not really have the competition. You know all the industry being monopolized by the government, but now I think the competition provided more opportunities for the consumer, you know for everyone. Still, its people face immense challenges, pervasive corruption, deep poverty in the countryside, and an under-developed legal system. They also face the complex question of whether this new economic freedom will lead to political freedom. The oldest continuous civilization in the world, China has remained intensely self-reliant and innately entrepreneurial.

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