China: Making Free Enterprise Click

It is shortly before 8 a.m. in Harbin, a city of 2 million in northern China. Bai Shiming, 29, an energetic young bachelor, is preparing to open his shop, the Xiurong photographic studio. Bai sports a gray, Western-style suit and light tan shirt but no tie. He checks to see that all the lights are working properly, then readies his ancient-looking plate camera. A few minutes later the first customers arrive, usually in groups of two or three. Most request simple unsmiling head shots, but for more elaborate wedding pictures, Bai can provide...

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