Archive for March, 2007

US Policy Shifts To Tariffs (On Paper, And In Practice)

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

The debate in the US on China trade policy seems to have moved away from what the New York Times describes as Secretary Paulson’s “quiet diplomacy” (see “Threats Don’t Work”) to what one might call aggressive action: “The Bush administration, in a major escalation of trade pressure on China, said Friday that it would reverse […]

FDI: It’s a Big Deal

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I have recently written (and spoken) about China’s two faces for foreign direct investment (as well as challenges for privatisation and private equity), so it is with interest that I read news of some more big deals – from Intel on the one hand, and Arcelor Mittal and Saudi Basic Industries on the other – […]

CSR (And MNCs) On Trial

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a big issue in China for many reasons – because it should be, because the market is developing and becoming more complex, because it is a defense against bad PR, and…because the government (via an NPC official) recently said that it is a requirement. This message was re-iterated at the […]

China the Biggest: Polluter

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

There is an almost endless list of what statistic China is biggest in, and what it consumes / produces most of. But not all of them are positive. The latest projection is that China will become the world’s biggest polluter this year – overtaking the US. The Independent reports that: “China’s emissions rose by about […]

Cheap As Hell For Dell

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Dell’s China hell (see here) seems to be behind it. The company has announced plans to introduce a new, low-cost, Intel / Windows XP-powered PC (the EC280), specifically for the Chinese consumer market (in which 132 million people are already online). The PCs will start at around US$335-US$518, according to reports. People’s Daily reports that […]

Chinese Wings By 2020?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

There has been a lot of reaction to the announcement that China plans to enter the passenger jet business in a big way – with an initial investment of US$10 billion – and to stop lining the pockets of Boeing and Airbus by 2020. This is not the first time China has come up with […]

MG = Modern Gentleman

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Oh dear. How mighty brands can fall! Nanjing Auto, the new owners of MG, the classic British marque, have re-branded it as “Modern Gentleman” (however, it still apparently carries the British flag, so not all is lost). Despite that rather sad news, Nanjing has managed launch its first China-made “gentleman” vehicles. It is also set […]

Don’t Quote Me (On Statistics). Again

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

I know it is not the first time statistics have appeared in the headlines here. And it will not be the last! This time round China Herald is to blame…with an article that points out the problems of comparing different (in all senses of the word) statistics in China. The post notes that Jan van […]

Official Service. With a Smile

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Chinese immigration seems to be investing in customer service. Every passport control booth at Beijing Capital airport has now been fitted with a gizmo that allows the lowly traveler to record how delighted (smiley face icon) or depressed (sad face icon) they are with the service received. I think this investment is right up there […]

A Tale of Two (Sealed) Bids

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Corporate corruption, both foreign and local (here and here), has been in the news recently in China, so it was with interest I heard the following tale (which has been edited for obvious reasons). Two major international companies submitted sealed bids for a contract to supply another big firm in China. The first company (Company […]