International -- Readers Report
KEEPING A DISTANCE FROM DOLLARIZATION (int'l edition)
In "A heavy hand in Hong Kong" (Asian Business, Sept. 7), the article quotes sources saying that "Hong Kong's elite Central Policy Unit is at least exploring dollarization [of Hong Kong's monetary system] with Washington." This is unfounded. We have not looked into the issue of dollarization, and we have not been in touch with Washington.
Gordon K.C. Siu
Head, Central Policy Unit
Government of Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region
Hong KongReturn to top
WELCOME INDIAN SOFTWARE FIRMS TO A BIGGER AUDIENCE (int'l edition)
While Indian software companies would have much to gain from a New York Stock Exchange listing, so would the U.S. investment community. This was overlooked in "Look who's looking to Wall Street" (Asian Business, Sept. 7). All the Indian listings have ISO-9000 quality ratings. Some (Infosys, DSQ, and Wipro) also have certification from the U.S. Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, considered the world's most stringent software quality standard. The move toward Indian listings in New York is thus also driven by a U.S. demand for quality.
BrusselsReturn to top
HOW PRICES GET TWISTED OUT OF SHAPE (int'l edition)
"Globalization's dirty little secret" (Economic Viewpoint, Sept. 7) alludes to Tony Blair and his "New Labour" government's opportunity to end overcharging consumers and raise standards of living. How sad that already the dream of a fairer Britain is being shattered by the hand of sharp business. Perhaps Robert Kuttner is unaware that government ministers have already backed away from the muscle of auto-industry giants, helping to maintain their exorbitant charges. Yes, please let us have antitrust laws now in Britain, supported by lower income taxes, a reasonable interest rate, and rewards for entrepreneurs.
Bill Gates needs to read this story. Trying to stop software piracy in China by selling Internet Explorer 4.0 when he gives it away in the U.S. in his attempt to capture Internet access from Netscape Communications Corp. is as blatant an example as can be found. Piracy losses claimed are vast exaggerations and are primarily caused by pricing well beyond the target country's PC owners' ability or willingness to pay. This applies here, as well. If it is very good shareware, I buy it. If it is lousy pay-ware, I would copy it, try it, and discard it.
Portola Valley, Calif.Return to top
CHINA: WHAT THE `RED CARPET' TREATMENT REALLY MEANS (int'l edition)
Regarding "Tough questions for an Ambassador" (U.S. Government, Sept. 14), I can understand wanting to set the tone for the story, but I disagree with characterizing normal occurrences as "red carpet" treatment. The "red carpet" treatment is, in fact, quite typical of the experience of the average American visiting Beijing, particularly if he or she is being hosted by a friend. Ambassador James R. Sasser lives in the ambassador's residence, and it is reasonable to expect him to host his friends.
The vast majority of American visitors to Beijing tour the Great Wall and often bring food along. In fact, since there is a real threat of getting the hepatitis virus from any of the food vendors, it is a matter of safety to bring one's own food. The cashmere markets and silk stalls are not luxury stores, but normal flea market-type areas selling clothing and souvenirs of all types to all people. By exaggerating issues on one level, the credibility of the remaining issues are called into question.
Franklin Square, N.Y.Return to top