China

A few China articles

It’s become a staple in the media to see bad news or critical articles about China. These three articles are no different, despite the differing issues – livability, technology, and economics. The first is about the telecom giant Huawei, one of China’s leading multinationals. Huawei has just become the largest telecoms equipment maker, doing business all over the world but still causing a few nervous reactions. But, there are some who stress that shunning a firm just because of its home country is not the right way.
Interestingly an accompanying article mentions that Chinese firms like Huawei and Haier and Lenovo are becoming the top companies in their fields. This is a good thing, especially as their technology and products are becoming more world-class, though there’s still some way before Chinese brands can become as well-known and trusted as Western and other Asian brands.
Yet, in my own work experience, I’ve seen how surprised big name tech brands can become by Chinese competition, because of prior negligence and a sense of hubris in regarding Chinese firms as competition.

The second one is also a good read, but is a bit misleading. Basically the article is all doom and gloom about Beijing, suggesting that Beijing is one of the worst major cities to live in because of its terrible pollution. Foreigners are fleeing Beijing, the food is questionable, the article says, and then English is not widely spoken (which also happens to be the case in every major East Asian city including Hong Kong). However, at the end, the writer admits “Yet the city and China generally remains an attractive place to live for many, especially as its economy booms despite turmoil in Europe and a slow recovery in the United States.” And this is followed by: “The people with some of the best knowledge about expatriate movements — moving companies — say Beijing keeps drawing in foreigners. “China’s certainly a popular destination,” said Nick Dobson, Corporate Services Manager North China for Crown Relocations.” So in essence, Beijing is one of the worst places to live in and foreigners are leaving, except that many people find it attractive and more foreigners keep coming. The article basically contradicts itself.

And the third is about Guangdong, who is lagging behind in economic growth (a paltry 7.4 percent) due to slowing exports amid a weakening worldwide economy while also suffering worker shortages. This article is disjointed and sparse in details. For instance, there’s a paragraph that starts off about Huawei and ZTE’s patents, then talks about a hotel receptionist reminiscing about better times. More importantly, the article doesn’t really get to why there’s a worker shortage. There are several factors, but the main ones include rising wage and working condition expectations from workers, and more opportunities elsewhere. The whole article seems like it was hastily combined because there is no coherent point. I seriously wonder about media bias when I see articles like this.

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