Google search may have left China, but does Google owe responsibilities to the people of a place it has recently left?
This is not an academic question, especially since many believe that Google’s exit will hurt average people in China. According to this CNN article,
Businesses and universities could be substantially affected by the departure of Google from China.
Most of the country’s nearly 400 million Internet users may not be affected by the closure. But academics, university students and other researchers rely heavily on Google’s search services to access information not available through Chinese search engines, like Baidu.com, China’s most popular search portal. Small businesses that depend on Google applications such as Google Docs and Gmail may also suffer, analysts said.
Recently, a rising chorus can be heard in the U.S. accusing China of “manipulating” the value of the RMB. In a recent op-ed, Krugman characterized Chinese policy as an “anti-stimulus” to the rest of the world. In an editorial op-ed, the NY Times staff accused China of playing a “beggar-thy-neighbor competitive devaluation” that is “threatening economies around the world … fueling huge trade deficits in the United States and Europe … [and] crowding out exports from other developing countries, threatening their hopes of recovery.” 130 Congressman sent letter to the Obama administration urging Obama to take action against the yuan.
On 3rd July 1914, as Ivan Chen made his way down the steps of the Summit Hall building in Simla, he must have been aware of mixed feelings rising up inside him. He had done something which would have far reaching repercussions; and which would for years be remembered by many people on both sides of the Sino-Indian border, albeit in very different ways – He had just left the Simla conference.
After refusing to sign the agreement himself, he was made to sit in a separate room, and behind his back, was signed one of the most controversial and bizarre treaties in human history – The Simla accord.
For over a century, the intricacies of the border between India and China/Tibet have baffled scholars. In fact, the plot leading to the Simla conference and beyond actually plays just like a thriller movie or book. The sheer complexity of this problem can be judged by the fact that 36 rounds of negotiations have taken place between India and China at different levels since 1981; but they have yet to reach a settlement.
陈海汶 (Chen HaiWen) lead a team of 14 photographers, traveling over 100,000 km from 2008 through 2009, photographing all 56 ethnic groups making up China. They took roughly 570,000 photos during this period. It was a massive undertaking. Over 150 people, including historians and cultural experts worked with Chen to come up with the final compilation, “和谐中华——中国56个民族剪影” (“Harmonious China – Silhouette of China’s 56 Ethnic Groups”), officially released in the Shanghai Book Fair on August 18, 2009.
[Click on image to launch slideshow of the individual ethnic “family” portraits.]
Under U.S. pressure, the Japanese government revalued the Japanese Yen 200% from end of 1985 through early 1988 to address the trade deficit U.S. had with Japan. Did it make any difference for the U.S.? What happened to the Japanese economy as a result of that revaluation?
Sometimes – it is good for the mind and soul to take some time off, take a step back and just think about the world in broad strokes – without too much political takes or ideological traps. I hope you enjoy this little 20 minute talk from Prof. Hans Rosling as much as I did last year…
As Google prepares potentially for a highly politicized exist of China, we’ll hear a lot more accusations on how closed China’s Internet is. The presumption of Google’s move would be that China’s Internet is closed while the rest of the world (in which Google still does business) is open.
Of course, anyone who has even remote experience with China’s internet (and Chinese society for that matter) will understand the Internet in China is amongst the most dynamic in the world, as well as amongst the most explosive and important.
Champagne corks are undoubtedly popping in Redmond on reports that Google is planning to close its Chinese search service.
Google will try to maintain its other operations in China but this is unlikely to succeed. Any foreign business requires the approval of the Chinese government. Google has shown itself to be in opposition to the Chinese government — this is an untenable position.
This also means that Google will unlikely be able to take part in joint ventures with others in China. In early February, Reuters reported that Google is a member of a consortium led by Disney, to buy a large stake in Bus Online, a large Chinese advertising company.
It’s difficult to see how this deal will go through with Google as a member, if it is an opponent to the government.
Last month, Xinhua News had an interesting piece of “被时代” – which translates roughly to “era of being forced” or “era of acceptance.” 被 (bei) in Chinese indicates a passive clause. Thus when you get hit (撞), you say 你被撞了.
According to an Internet poll, the most popular Chinese character of 2009 was “被.” Why? Part of the reason is that living in a society charging full steam ahead, many Chinese no doubt feel they are losing control of their lives. But the more important reason is that it provides a satirical platform for many to express the indignity many average Chinese have suffered at the hand of social inequity and irresponsible governance. Here is a rough translation of the Xinhua article. Continue reading Translation: Living in an Era of Change – Era of Acceptance→
Following is an open letter posted on the popular Chinese BBS forum, bbs.huanqiu.com, by a member named “LTML.” The English version of it follows the Chinese in this post. It is addressed to U.S. President Obama on his decision to sell weapons to Taiwan.
President Obama has repeatedly stressed that he wants to reach the people of China. Well, based on what we’ve read in some of China’s BBS’s, we believe the sentiment expressed by LTML is widely and deeply held inside China.
We urge President Obama or his administration to take this view seriously, and to respond and change course. Sovereignty is amongst the highest of core interests of China. There is a huge gap between the Chinese and the U.S. perspective regarding the extent of Chinese sovereignty. Closing this dangerous gap will be better for the two countries and will lead to a more peaceful, stable world.
The following letter has circulated in Chinese blog-sphere for a while. A recent submission of a copy by a reader to Fool’s Mountain, our sister blog, and a call in the Chinese blog-sphere for people to help spread the word has compelled us to publishing it here.
The two Asian Giants are still not able to figure out the line which divides them – in the longest running border dispute in modern history. This dispute offers interesting lessons on how to, and how not to, handle boundary issues. The analysis of Chinese behavior in the negotiations is doubly important given China’s perception in the west of it ‘flexing its muscles’, and China’s theory of ‘Peaceful Rise’.
About a century ago, Sir Henry McMahon, the then British Foreign Secretary, took a think red pencil and sketched a line between India and Tibet on a map – a line which has resulted in the two most populous nations in the world going to war, costing more than 2000 lives; and which has created enormous mistrust on both sides, especially in India.
The term, “cooperatition” was coined by economists to describe corporations both cooperate and compete at the same time. For example, Apple and Google cooperate on getting Gmail and Google Maps integrated well into the iPhone, resulting in a better finish product and while helping both companies in the market place. However, Google also makes the Android phone operating system which helps strengthen Apple’s iPhone competitors.
As is customary for many over the Chinese New Year, I spent a lot of time cleaning up old junk in my house the last few weeks. As luck would have it, I happened to run over a December article in BusinessWeek reporting that the U.N. had stopped awarding carbon funding of green projects in China. An excerpt of the article (cnn copy) is provided here:
The United Nations body in charge of managing carbon trading has suspended approvals for dozens of Chinese wind farms amid questions over the country’s use of industrial policy to obtain money under the scheme.
China has been by far the biggest beneficiary of the so-called Clean Development Mechanism, a carbon trading system designed to direct funds from wealthy countries to developing nations to cut greenhouse gases.
China has earned 153m carbon credits, worth more than $1bn and making up almost half of the total issued under the UN-run programme in the past five years, according to a Financial Times analysis. The credits are currently trading at about $10-$15 each.
Industrial countries can meet part of their commitments under the 1997 Kyoto protocol to battle global warming by financing projects that mitigate emissions in developing nations. Projects only qualify for credits if the applicants prove they would not have been built anyway, a condition known as “additionality”.
If Deng Xiaoping is asked this question today, despite the incredible progress China has made in the last three decades, I’d expect him to say “no!” Besides the cat quote, Deng has a number of other ones which are less well known in the West. He said, “keep a cool head and maintain a low profile.” In fact, this quote is particularly important today, as a “Red Scare” seems to be brewing in the U.S. recently. See this February 26, 2010 Washington Post article, “There’s a new Red Scare. But is China really so scary?” It said: Continue reading The 21st Century the Chinese Century or No?→