China, a superpower emerging at breakneck speed. It’s the Holy Grail for risk-taking entrepreneurs. Every day, hundreds of British businessmen arrive full of hope and expectation. It’s the land of opportunity. It’s a place where dreams can come true. But Chinese entrepreneurs, unleashed after 50 years of communism, are taking no prisoners in their own relentless quest for wealth. In the wild east, only the toughest will survive.
These British businessmen are risking everything as they venture into the real dragon’s den. Who will make their fortune and who will return home penniless? Tony Caldera’s cushion business has been ruined by cheap Chinese imports. Today, his Liverpool factory stands deserted. There were hundreds of people working there. They all had jobs for life. They were the number-one cushion maker probably in Europe. Everything was made in England, and life was great, and they were all happy. All of a sudden, China has come along, and they just can’t compete anymore.
In a last-ditch attempt to salvage his business, Tony is taking a huge gamble. He’s borrowed two million pounds to build a factory in a paddy field in China. Thirty-six-year-old Tony has bought a one-way ticket to Linping, a city in the heart of China’s vast textile industry. If everything goes according to plan, Tony can rebuild his business and regain his crown as the king of cushions.
On his first trip to China, Tony had a chance encounter with a woman called Miss Di. She convinced him that for a 30% share of the company, she’d make an excellent business partner. If you’re going to do some business in China, you need a good Chinese business partner and he’s got one. Miss Di has been supervising the construction of the factory and has now invited Tony to see the completed two-million-pound building. But when he arrives, things aren’t quite as okay as he expected.