Category Archives: China

Huawei in the US

The Chinese equipment manufacturer is doing its best to crack global markets.  They now have operations in the US, Europe, India, Vietnam, Mexico and a bunch of other countries.  As with any Chinese company, they carry a lot of baggage.  They face regular accusations of undermining national security and of being a Trojan horse for the Chinese government.

Economically, however, they have been successful, having built a brand with a reputation for cheap, but quality products.  Business Week has an interesting piece on how the company has grown its operations in the US, its missteps and its attempts to woo the US political machine.  One key element of their strategy is transparency: they allow regulators to study their products with a fine-toothed comb.  Another element is to hire an international workforce: to smoother fears about Chinese domination as well as to navigate tricky cultural straits.

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Oil Spill

A minor oil spill in the Bohai Gulf off the north Chinese coast.

[ConocoPhillips and the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC)] said about 3,200 barrels of oil had been spilled (compared with the millions in the Gulf of Mexico last year).

But the incident has raised a disproportionate stink as

THE attitude of ConocoPhillips, railed a Beijing newspaper, shows that the American oil company regards China as an ordinary developing country, “and not, as Westerners often call us, a ‘rising great power’.”

All Sino-American collaborations are vulnerable to bad press as often sentiments of jingoism and nationalism rear their heads apropos of nothing.  Here, at least, there is a putative hook on which to hang the the nationalist sentiment.

Perhaps unusually, some Chinese news outlets have even gone on to criticize the government for its handling of the issue, insinuating nepotism, corruption and “special care.”

More at The Economist.


Is China trying to “lock up” the world’s natural resources?

Got your attention didn’t I?  Here more:

The rapid emergence of China as a major industrial power poses a complex challenge for the world’s natural resources. This column argues that the Chinese government-backed investments in natural resource supplies are predominately in areas that will help expand, diversify, and improve competition in the global supplier system. But potential geopolitical consequences remain a reason for concern.

In non-jargon-speak, Chinese actions will actually benefit non-Chinese buyers of natural resources by increasing potential supply.  This is because China invests in the smaller resource extractors, who now have the capital to explore and develop virgin fields.  We need not fear or resent aggressive Chinese moves towards resource procurement.

But as always, the devil is in the details.  T.H. Moran makes his cheery prognosis only with respect to physical supply and not with respect to the attendant political machinations, where the elites in poor, but resource-rich nations jockey for a share of the spoils in an orgy of violence and corruption.  But then, one cannot single out the Chinese in this regard.  US and European resource extraction is similarly dogged by political violence and / or corruption all over Africa and Asia.  Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Tajikistan immediately come to mind.

The full article is here.