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April 21, 2006
China's President Hu Does Not Get The Red Carpet Treatment at The White House.
Carpets can tell you a lot about people and when a red one is rolled out in Washington DC it means a lot, so the fact that a red carpet was not rolled out for China's President Hu but was rolled out for India's Prime Minister Singh is meaningful. According to our resident China watcher/specialist Joyce Barnathan, Washington is signalling it is unwilling to embrace Beijing politically as closely as it wants to embrace India.
For global corporations intimately tied to China in a huge variety of ways--and for Chinese companies seeking to establish their brands and their products in the US--this carpet treatment should be disconcerting.
Disturbing to me as well is the lobbying going on against Lenovo selling computers to the US federal government by protectionists and others. I don't know many companies in China but I do know the design and innovation people in Lenovo and I respect their work and integrity. Plus--all the ThinkPad laptops have been manufactured in China for years, way before Lenovo bought the brand. No complaints about "listening devices" inside Thinkpads yet, are there?
Let's get a grip folks.
India vs. China in Innovation
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Perhaps Sunday's NYT magazine piece on Google gives some indication of why the red carpet was not available. I posted this in your previous blog entry but this snippet was particularly resonant for me:
The penalty for noncompliance with censorship regulations can be serious. An American public-relations consultant who recently worked for a major domestic Chinese portal recalled an afternoon when Chinese police officers burst into the company's offices, dragged the C.E.O. into a conference room and berated him for failing to block illicit content. "He was pale with fear afterward," she said. "You have to understand, these people are terrified, just terrified. They're seriously worried about slipping up and going to jail. They think about it every day they go into the office."
I simply don't understand how China get's away with this.
Get a grip indeed,
Posted by: Douglass Turner at April 24, 2006 12:08 PM