Huawei might need the Chinese media’s help in doing some defamation against Cisco before that American protectionism truly drops. It’s hard to imagine any other way. Huawei’s Chen Lifan is asking for ideas!
Instead of Cisco, Apple is an ideal target. For one, its user base is much larger than Cisco’s. Samsung’s phones with Android are better in my personal opinion, so iPhones are not indispensable. Apple’s customer service is probably above average in China relative to all the other companies. Certainly, there are legitimate grievances, but I wouldn’t consider them egregious. Also, remember, the Chinese media criticisms were targeting a basket of foreign firms. China is merely playing catch-up in this protectionism game others have been playing these last few years. In this kind of ugliness, everyone should remember who started first.
So being a repeat customer of Apple, or going to Apple Store to pick up products you already paid for online, may be dangerous to your health? Perhaps only if you are Chinese like Ms. Li, and don’t expect to receive much sympathy from the media. The news coverage this poor woman received so far is decidedly biased. Many sensationalized Nashua police department’s announcement she had $16,000 on her, in order to make the “black market scalper” smear stick. Fox News even gone as far as questioning if the woman was stealing American technology for China (note to Cavuto, these iPhones are made in China, and are available for sale in China.)
In all likelihood, Li Xiaojie was buying iPhones to bring back to China for resale, or as she claims, for relatives (and friends). When the Apple store manager in the New Hampshire mall refused to sell her more than two, she argued other customers were allowed. [Update: See Charles Liu comment below, Apple has lifted the number of phones restriction for the holidays.] Details beyond that are still a bit sketchy, but what caused the headlines in the U.S. press is that this tiny woman was stunned by Taser and then tackled to the ground by two Nashua police officers. All of that took place in front of her 12 year-old daughter. Brutality? No doubt about it in my mind. Court date is set for next month.
American politicians and media love to blame China for ‘stealing’ jobs. Following is a pie chart showing Apple’s profits and percentage contributions from its global supply chain. Blaming China is like blaming one’s gardener for his financial woes. This chart is a true pie in the face to those who have so clouded reality in the American public discourse about trade with China. The true tragedy here is that China is polluting her environment at such alarming rates on behalf of companies like Apple. What Apple is getting away with is not shown – a wedge is yet to be made representing environmental damages done.
[Editor: this piece was co-written by Charles Liu and Allen]
To the credit of “This American Life” – a popular program on Public Radio International – its producers over the weekend officially retracted its January airing of a version of Mike Daisy’s popular monologue titled “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” in which Daisy described first-hand terrible work conditions at Foxconn, a key supplier to Apple’s iPad and iPhones. There were simply too much distortion and fabrications of facts to ignore.
I usually prefer to keep my posts on general, important issues – and not nit-pick on other bloggers. However, just as once in a while one is permitted to get drunk, I will indulge in a very short post here on Stan Abrams of China Hearsay.
A few weeks ago, when China lost the WTO Appellate Body dealt China a blow in ruling that its practices on restricting exports of certain minerals / raw materials violated WTO rules, I had written a post on how unfair the decision was. An agreement that categorically prohibits a nation of 1.3 billion from making any sort of export restrictions to protect its citizens and their environment is unfair. An agree that does so by discrimination – taking away such basic rights from China while preserving such them for other WTO members cannot be conscionable and cannot stand the test of time. I openly sided with an op-ed in the Global Times calling out the injustice and calling for China to renegotiate the grossly unfair terms under which it acceded to the WTO.