Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Local Authorities Role

Role Local Authorities Underexposed In Wilson's Article

Doug Wilson is trying to wake up America, in an article for Townhall.com.

First he writes about Foxconn, which is supposed to be China's largest manufacturing plant, with 190.000 female workers. Then he writes about the work ethos they have. Wilson goes on quoting "a seasoned business professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology", who remained unnamed, about China.

"“They play for keeps.” He said, “If you as an American build a plant in China, they don’t give you protection of intellectual property. They gradually start taking workers from your plant and build another plant just like it. They sell to your customers and undercut your price. They then buy your plant back from you for a dollar.” Obviously this is an entirely different way of thinking about business than what we are used to as Americans."

With the best intentions one cannot call this article nuanced. First of all the article relies to much on hearsay. All these statements lack arguments. For example: According to Wilson's anonymous professor "they" gradually start taking workers from your plant and build another plant just like it. As a foreign company you can retain workers giving them good working conditions and thus creating loyalty. Besides, you can prevent that some critical processes in the plant be copied. Wilson's "entirely different way of thinking about business" is just called competition. The article gives a distorted view of what the problem really is. It pretends businessmen think differently in China, but they are just competitive. What is underexposed, however, is that local authorities don't adequately protect and enforce intellectual property. Wake up Wilson. If you use a anonymous source, you should at least give some arguments pro or contra the things he or she is claiming. And give some context.

Wilson writes: while the US is getting more laws and regulations, China has minimum regulations (This is not true: China has a pretty complete framework of laws, regulations and judicial interpretations on the books. However, the challenge is that these will be enforced). Preluding to Wilson's four key initiatives he will write next time. What a cliffhanger. Hope they are better argued.

Read Wilson's article here.

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