4 posts • joined 17 Dec 2012
Re: The Chinese govenment is trying to model the education system in China like that in the West
There are those from China who would beg to differ with you:
As someone who lives in China, it has been interesting to see this play itself out "from the inside". As this article rightly points out, the Chinese government has been going after Western companies using their government owned TV programs for a while now. It is Western company bashing at its finest, disguised as a reputable TV program. While some of the complaints lodged at these companies have merit, many do not. But your average Chinese citizen does not have access to the entire story, nor do many care. Many in China could not afford an iPhone even if they wanted one. But money and image have become king in China and many people, particularly in the larger cities, would sell their parents and their left arm if they stand to gain monetarily. You're a nobody if you are not carrying the latest gadgets or weaing designer clothes. The Chinese govenment has played a large role in this because they are beginning to understand a few things. First, China does not have the education system, the culture, nor the know-how (yet anyway) to produce employees who can innovate, design, and create like those in the West. Yes, it's a stereotype, but there is truth to this. The Chinese govenment is trying to model the education system in China like that in the West, but there is a lot of resistence and this will take much longer than people realize. One only needs to consider the number of children from affluent Chinese families who are now educated in the West (from an early age) to realize this. Furthermore, I believe that the sudden increase in hacking into Western companies is a direct result of the Chinese government's realization that it will be difficult to compete with Western companies for some time unless they either acquire the technology by buying up Western companies, or steal it. They have met much resistance on the former from Western governments, thus the increase in the latter. The government also realizes that, as the gap between the middle class and rich widens, people are going to start demanding more, and the days of China's manufacturing dominance are numbered. So the government must stimulate the economy in other areas - consumerism, being one such area. But if they increase sales of goods in China, it's best that the goods are produced by Chinese companies, not Western companies - and so the CCTV program gives them the vehicle to paint Western companies as "selfish", "China haters", "arrogant", "unethical", etc. Perhaps there is some truth to this, but surely there is a benefit to turning citizen's frustrations away from their own government and focusing it instead onto Western companies or governments - the Chinese government officials are masters at this. Many Chinese people see right through this attempt, however, as this article mentions. Speculation began to swirl when Peter Ho, a Taiwanese-American actor and Samsung spokesman, posted some disparging remarks about Apple on his Weibo (Twitter) account.....but inadvertently included the instructions given to him, telling him what to write. Of course, he claimed that his account had been hacked and removed all comments, but the damage had been done. People realized that the government was paying celebrities (or those with large numbers of Weibo followers) to post comments on their behalf, and compensating them quite nicely. China is the land of make-believe. The Chinese government has done a fairly good job of presenting a facade of a powerful country in which the government is taking care of things, but meanwhile the counrty is very dysfunctional and many things do not work the way they should. Corruption is rampant, from the highest levels of government all the way down to the village peasant, and, considering that it's been a part of their culture for hundreds of years, rooting it out is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible. So, you've got government money being funneled into primarily state owned companies (very little of this money goes to fund small, familly owned companies), where people at the top skim their cut, and so on all the way down from there, where perhaps 1/2 of the funds are used for their intended purpose. In order to make due on half the required funding, companies simply cut corners (just thow the chemicals into the nearest river since there isn't money to dispose of them properly; use cheaper materials when building, even though these buildings will age rapidly and become a safety hazard; take land from the poor instead of compensating them (as is supposed to be done) since people in the countryside have few rights anyway; and the list goes on). Meanwhile the people who have immense wealth can use money to get just about anything. Your child wants to go to the top university in China? No problem. Just pay off the president and administrators. You want access to loans for a construction project.? No problem. Just pay off the bank president. You can begin to see how it becomes nearly impossible to run an efficient economy when so many people have their hands in the till. And you can also see that, not unlike the West to some degree, if you have money (and therefore likely a position of influence), life is grand. If you are an average Chinese citizen, however, life is more difficult. Will this change in the future? I hope so. I find Chinese people to be some of the warmest and most hospitable people in the world. And I think the West will benefit from a strong China. But I am not as optimistic as many about this being the "century of China". Their economy will surely grow simply because of the population of China, but whether it will be a real threat to the West in research, design, and innovation, that remains to be seen. I'm not so hopeful - at least not in the near future and perhaps not for several generations. They have a long list of problems that must first be worked out, and, while the government says that this is their first priority, one wonders if this is true, when the people in charge benefit directly from the status quo. There is a much greater incentive for them to do nothing, while their wealth grows in the current climate. That is until the Chinese people finally get tired and fed up - then all bets are off.
You can expect the "50 cent party" (Google it), people paid by the Chinese government to troll the internet and respond to articles critical of the Chinese government, to be out in full force.
Uh........perhaps it has something to do with average income?
Have you given any thought to the possibility that iPhone sales are not higher because, for the average Chinese citizen, paying $700 for a cell phone is just not an option? China is still a poor country. Perhaps you should travel there sometime. The average monthly salary for a college educated engineer is $2500, while the cost of living has increased dramatically in China. Yes, there are some Chinese citizens who have the disposable income to pay for an iPhone, but this is still a very small percentage as compared to the population of an average Chinese city - even Beijing or Shanghai.
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