Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The China Debate: The Other Angle

I think China should teach Africa how to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty, fast. I think China should teach America the art of total campaign finance reform. I think China should teach America fast trains and clean tech. Those are not new thoughts on my part. And China is right in wanting a new global currency. The American dollar is specific to a country. A lot of the American fiscal recklessness this past decade was due to the fact that the dollar is the de facto global currency.

But then I thought Google's China stand early in the year was right, gutsy. (Sergey Brin's Is The Right Stand) I don't see a contradiction there.

All the political focus is on the War On Terror. But I think the political challenge for this century is to attempt a fusion between the American political system and the Chinese political system. I don't feel like the goal is to demolish the Chinese system to put in its place the America system. The American system has too many deficiencies. The Chinese system has done some things right. I think you want to end up with multi-party democracy of state funded parties in both countries, federalism in China also.

New York Times: Bits: Baidu Struggled in China, Too: Google failed in China because it did not understand the Chinese Internet market, not because the playing field was unfairly tilted against it ..... “China is a very different market,” said Mr. Li. “It’s growing, meaning conditions change every day. If you’re not close to that market it’s difficult to keep up.” ..... Li said that he too had struggled with the government censorship ..... He said that his first inclination when he left the United States to start Baidu was to move to Hong Kong. That way, he could avoid some of the restrictions on the Chinese mainland. But such a move
Larry Page & Sergey Brin (google tycons), art ...Image via Wikipediawould have been impossible for a Chinese company, he said. ..... “They would call me some kind of antigovernment person, my life would be ruined” he said. “If a U.S. company were to ignore Chinese law, they would still call them strategic partners.” ..... Baidu stayed in China and accepted censorship as a price of doing business, along with China’s onerous bureaucracy, slow connection speeds and a low computer penetration rate. It focused on what it could control, he said, and did not worry about what it could not..... American Internet companies should be prepared to deal with difficulties that they do not face at home if they want to expand to China
And while we are at it Sergey, what about Russia? Russia is no democracy either.
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