Tuesday, 11 October 2011

China blocks Google (again)

I found this story remarkable. The Chinese authorities seem to be taking a more and more hardline approach to international businesses and markets, which flies in the face of the "common knowledge" that exposure to free market capitalism will inevitably soften the regime's economic and political control on the economy.

Many of my clients are seeing toughening up of import restrictions, increasing requirements for technology transfer and great efforts being made to replicate or substitute technologies in the ICT space. TD-SCDMA is a great example of the latter, which has been pursued despite its obvious flaws, principally because its use avoids patent payments to foreign enterprises.

I'm increasingly of the believe that technology companies should regard China as less of a market opportunity and more of a threat. I can't believe I've just written that, but I hear too many stories such as the above regarding market shaping and asymettric competition to ignore them. Interesting times.

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