JCL Blog

China is Not Like Us

Two of my favorite subjects, Google and China, collided in a big way yesterday.  With the media industry all lit up over the event, I doubt I can add much new commentary except to say that this is going to be very interesting and 30 days from now it is going to look much different than today.  

I may be able to add a little value by directing traffic to the best coverage I have seen.  I will leave the New York Times and Wall Street Journal off of my list because I am sure everyone has already read those articles.

First: I have to cite Mark Anderson's newsletter posting on January 4th as not only timely but a bright light on our blindness to China's nature.  He writes a paid newsletter and I would encourage anyone interested in technology to subscribe.  You can learn more at Strategic News Service.  Here is a quote from his China piece:

In summary, China should not be treated as though it were just another fast-growing free-market nation, with inevitable road bumps making things a bit uncomfortable; it isn’t. China is a top-down, completely controlled system, running on a zero-sum economic model made to produce one winner, and many losers.

You can read this article on Mark's Blog.

We are clearly enabling the behavior we are getting from China.

Second: The Economist thinks Google may not be doing the right thing.  I think those in Europe prefer things to move a little more slowly -- so this is not that surprising.  The Brits have been active in China for a lot longer than we have -- so I am sure they have a point.

Third:  Robert Scoble has a good piece on our attraction to China and why we often compromise our standards in order to do business there.

So I hope our eyes are open and we see China as it is -- and we must resist the urge to think of China as a reflection of ourselves.  China has no interest in being like us, but they are perfectly willing to let us think they are.