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China Closing Doors

September 2nd, 2009

uphillSomeone forwarded me an article by Malcolm Moore of UK’s The Telegraph, and its theme is a familiar one:

“Doing business in China is getting harder, not easier, according to European businesses…the business climate is getting worse…[T]here had been ‘a slowdown, and in some cases partial reversal, of the reforms of recent years.’”

This trend is one of the points of “Poorly Made in China,” and it also coincides with the theme of an article I wrote eighteen months ago. For anyone who may find the view of interest, a small excerpt:

“One of the big questions going forward is whether the [Chinese] government will allow foreign companies to compete unfettered, or whether they will burden foreign firms with increased taxes, regulation and the unequal enforcement of laws that were meant to apply to foreign and domestic firms in equal measure. China has been more open than either Japan or Korea at comparable stages in economic developmentā€”but one has the sense that profit zero will play out on the macro scale, that the day will come when the nation will come to see the work of foreigners as largely done.”

What do we make of a place that is becoming increasingly difficult to work with over time? What does the trend suggest about things to come? China was supposed to become a more convenient partner as it grew and became more successful. This was the promise made by U.S. politicians and advisors.

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