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China's Amway top sellers tour Los Angeles -- and have a lot to say

June 6, 2010 | 11:11 am

Chinese Amway salespeople

Amway is booming in China — and this month it is sending about 13,000 of its top sellers on an all-expenses-paid trip to Southern California.  "Independent business owners" who earned the perk with annual sales of at least $160,000.

"Since joining Amway, my health and confidence have improved so much. I see Amway as a career for life," she said on the Universal Studios tram as she and her husband, fellow Amway rep Wu Jiayun, 37, snapped photos of a "Jaws" attack and a simulated earthquake.

Amway broke into the China market in 1995, but three years later the government cracked down on direct sales, calling the business model an illegal pyramid scheme. The Michigan-based company changed its approach, opening actual stores, hiring some employees and eliminating its practice of paying direct commissions to sales reps on the sales made by their new recruits.

These days the Amway brand is a favorite among China's fast-growing middle class. An army of at least 200,000 peddles more than 200 products, and Amway's approach works well in a society that values personal connections and word of mouth.

Read the full story here.

--Ching-Ching Ni

Photo: Chinese Amway salespeople see the WaterWorld stunt show at Universal Studios in Hollywood. The company is sending its top sellers in China on an all-expenses-paid trip to Southern California this month. (Francine Orr, Los Angeles Times / June 6, 2010)