The rise of China and its impact on economies all over the world isn’t a new story, but this overview in the New York Times is worth reading. The tone is one of looking at the downside of China’s economic empire and the unwillingness of desperate partners like European nations to assert themselves. But there is an upside, as China can provide much needed capital to struggling countries, and this also gives China a huge stake in stability around the world. There are certainly concerns on issues like the environment and human rights, but one needs to look at the big picture as well. Fortunately, President Obama’s foreign policy is aimed at engaging but also containing China, and he has been willing to use our own leverage in this relationship.
The shale gas fracking boom in the United States has been a game-changer for the US economy and energy needs. Now other countries are looking to exploit this potential in their own country, and the potential in China is huge. That said, there are also many challenges to making this a reality in China.
It will be interesting to see how this develops. Some environmentalists hate the fracking boom, while others acknowledge that new natural gas tends to replace the much dirtier coal as an energy source, which is a huge plus for the environment. China’s future coal plans have terrified the rest of the world. If they can figure out fracking, perhaps the net gains in carbon emissions can be mitigated.
Tags: challenging geography, China fracking, China shale gas, China shale-gas reserves, energy, energy issues in China, fracking, fracking boom, fracking in China, fracking issues in China, fracking risks, gas boom, gas industry, gas industry risks, hydraulic fracturing, hydraulic fracturing risks, natural gas vs coal in China, producing shale gas, shale gas, shale gas boom, shale gas in China, shale gas risks, shale-gas boom in China, Sichuan province, Xinjiang, Zhou Xizhou
Well, this is embarrassing.
Of course this stuff doesn’t only happen in China. Fraud occurs everywhere. But you would think that a company like Caterpillar would be a little more careful here.
China’s march towards a modern economy continues unabated, even with reports of a recent slowdown. While the country is still held back by the restrictive policies of the government, censorship and corruption, many changes are afoot that will transform the culture over time. While Internet access is somewhat restricted, Chinese citizens can find information and entertainment if they are determined to do so. They can communicate through social networking, play online games or track poker on Party Poker Television. There’s only so much the government can do to hold back the desires of the Chinese people. They want the brands we have and want to play the games we play. Consumerism is a very powerful force, as people around the world want access to what Western citizens have. With the Internet, they can see what others have, and that influences behavior. Just look at the Middle East and see what social media and online access can do to a restrictive culture.
With gambling, the government has actually accelerated the cultural shift with the support of the massive growth in Macau. Gambling revenues continue to grow rapidly even with a slowdown looming in the overall Chinese economy. Given the size of Macau’s gambling presence this is still impressive growth. The casinos in Las Vegas aren’t happy about it, as the Asian high rollers no longer have Vegas as their primary destination. Macau is closer and bigger.
This isn’t lost on the Chinese people, who now have their own glittering destination for gambling. Naturally, this helps fuel the growth of games like poker in China. The poker popularity explosion is around 15 years old in the United States, but can you imagine the growth of this game as over a billion Chinese people become exposed to the game with the hype surrounding Macau and access to online gaming sites?
Things like this might seem trivial, but small things like poker and gambling can have a huge impact on culture. People demand the right to enjoy entertainment options once they are exposed to them. You can’t put that genie back in the box.
Some of the numbers coming out of China lately have spooked economists and investors, and there’s a real debate as to the strength of the Chinese economy. This article in The Economist takes a more positive outlook.
Check out the entire argument presented in the article. This issue will be front and center as the world grapples with the problems in Europe. A real slowdown in China could be catastrophic.
There is nothing like when a culture experiences a strong and sudden change. With China going through a revolution over the past generation that is larger than anything since Germany’s military ramping up prior to World War II, the world has to take notice. While there is nothing violent about this change, wise people notice when a hard working people begins to develop a whole new vision that changes their entire lifestyle.
Speed and classical design have begun to mix in China in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Japanese began modernizing in the 19th century. These types of changes do not come around very often, and the world can only ignore this powerhouse at its own risk.
Few things have hit China or the world with quite the speed of the smart phone revolution. While the Blackberry Bold may not seem like a massive change from the old standard, its departure from the classical mold is downright striking when you take it in context. Few inventions or improvements of the past few generations can even come close to comparing to this technology, considering how it has changed life for so many people.
Consider that a generation or two ago, most Chinese people barely had what many westerners consider to be basic utilities in place. Nowadays, they not only have the utilities and infrastructure but the information access capacity that used to be the domain of extremely affluent and well established countries. It’s a whirlwind of change happening all at once.
The Classical Elements
It has been said that the perfect design is one that a person can easily and instinctively figure out how to use. If that is the case, modern smart phone technology has a nearly perfect hold on the minds of its users. When a person can figure out in mere moments how to access just about any information that exists, this is a victory that has few precursors. While the technology itself is very new, the purposes behind it are as old as humanity itself.
The classical appeal of something that contains massive amounts of information and allows you to communicate with others is the modern epitome of what it means to be human in the first place. In China and everywhere else, being able to connect with anyone and everyone is an incredible achievement for everyone. The fact that it’s accessible to anyone is a feat that could not have been performed in generations past.
Keeping Them Merged Seamlessly
It’s an interesting juxtaposition to merge the fast and the classic. When the quest for knowledge and the speed of its access come together, everyone wins in ways that most people could not have previously imagined. This ability to share communication and knowledge is a victory of human intention that was first tested in Europe, perfected in the United States and brought to China for its ultimate realization. As the Chinese learn and communicate more effectively than ever before, their wealth and freedom cannot help but grow exponentially.
Apple is ramping up audits of factories in China.
Apple’s image has taken a beating with the problems at Foxconn, so let’s see if this is a new trend.
A Chinese rock band hired by Puma, a leading sports lifestyle company, plays American music covers during a public marketing event at an international fashion mall in Beijing. Foreign companies hoping to do business in China often hire local musicians, celebrities and athletes to help promote their brand to the largest consumer market in the world.
Not surprisingly, use of apps is growing fast in China.
The implications here are huge. Of course from a business point of view, sellers of apps have a huge opportunity in China. But it’s also important from a cultural point of view. The Chinese government wants to control its population by controlling information, but mobile apps present yet another source of information. Like the despots in the Middle East, the dictators in China will have to face a more educated and informed citizenry, and that will cause them problems.
Executive Vice President Andy Palmer announces that Nissan will establish a global headquarters for Infiniti in Hong Kong from April 2012. This is a big move for the automaker and demonstrates the huge importance of the Chinese car market, particularly for luxury brands like Infiniti.