The Peoples Republic of China may be a communist country, but what is on display this week in Southern California is Chinese capitalism, American style.
A huge contingent of China's finest entrepreneurs is on the move for the next six weeks -- with more than 13,000 visiting Universal Studios, Disneyland and at the finest outlet malls in Los Angeles.
They are enjoying the reward of being Amway Corporation's best salespeople in a growing Chinese market.
Amway operates in more than 80 countries worldwide, and in China it has experienced massive growth selling a variety of household products such as vitamins and detergents, and personal items like toothpaste.
The company's top sellers are being rewarded with all-expense-paid whirlwind trips to some of California's most popular tourist attractions. Over four days, they are experiencing theme parks, upscale discount shopping and visits to several Amway corporate facilities in the Orange County region.
The cost of the trips is reported to be more than $80 million, although company officials would not confirm that figure.
For many of the loyal devotees, the highlight of their brief vacation is the VIP trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios.
[The Walt Disney Company, parent of Disneyland, also is the parent company of ABC News.]
"It's magic to see how the films are made here," Hua Ying of Fujing Province said. "We like to see the films but we didn't know how they were made."
Her husband, Fang Bi Yu, said that they had to sell more than 1,500,000 Yuan [$219,500]-worth of Amway products to qualify for the free trip.
"It's a reward for achievement," he said. "You work hard the whole year. It's a dream place -- America, the U.S. We're realizing our dreams. It's a perfect trip. [There is] just not enough time to travel around."
Qi Rui Yi, from a village in a rural farming area of Henbei Province, believes Amway has given him opportunities that he could not have otherwise found.
"It's a great business opportunity," he said. "I'm from a village, from the countryside. I was poor when I was a child. I didn't have any university studies. But I can achieve this."
He added proudly that the Southern California visit is his fourth overseas trip.
Amway has been in China since the mid-1990s. After a rocky start, the company has seen tremendous growth as the Chinese people have embraced Amway and its unique form of marketing.
Although door-to-door sales have been a staple of American life, the Chinese government was wary of such sales techniques, which were viewed as being akin to a pyramid scheme. Officials even went so far as to suggest that Amway's sales pitch was an "evil cult."
The American corporation persevered and eventually convinced Chinese officials that building sales through direct marketing was a viable business model.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission investigated Michigan-based Amway in the 1970s and decided that it was not an illegal pyramid scheme.
Baizhu Chen, an associate professor of finance and business at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and an expert on investment in the Chinese market, said that throughout Chinese history, political and religious movements have been organized on a grassroots level.