Since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, many of the old Communist-era restrictions for setting up business have been removed. For some logistics companies, the largest barriers to entry come not from Chinese red tape but from other Western competition.
A group of very important guests were transported on flight QR 8197 from Amsterdam-Schiphol to Las Vegas via Qatar Airways this past April. A 777-200 freighter was reserved for just 40 well-pampered passengers from 17 different countries, who flew "first class," so to speak, on the 11-hour, 20-minute flight. The combined net worth of these clients was about $160m. As rich as they were, they did little more on the flight than eat and sleep, with an inflight dining menu of 120 pre-packed haynets, water, oat bran for mash, mixed feed, apples and carrots.