Tag Archives: china

Hardware is dead

I bought the device and did some more research. This was a 7-inch tablet, Wi-Fi only with all the attributes of a good tablet. Capacitive touchscreen. Snappy processor. Front facing camera. 4GB of internal memory and an expandable memory slot.

I later found out that these devices are now all over the supply chain in Shenzhen. At volume, say 20,000 units, you can get them for $35 apiece. My device ran full Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and had access to the full Google API, including Gmail, Maps, YouTube and Google Play (not quite sure how that works either).

While the biggest company on the planet makes its money selling hardware, the article suggests that commodity hardware has become just that: a commodity made in China with prices so low the Western companies will not able to compete with. Good read.

Surprise! China’s Stealth Jets Are 2 Years Ahead of Schedule

Last year, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was greeted in Beijing by China’s experimental stealth jet buzzing over his head. Gates didn’t sweat it: He proclaimed that the J-20 wouldn’t be ready until at least 2020. Oops.

The Pentagon’s top China official has now revised that estimate. The J-20, China’s first stealth jet, will be operationally ready “no sooner than 2018,” David Helvey, deputy secretary of defense for East Asia and Asia Pacific Security Affairs, told reporters Friday.

more on m.wired.com

News on American struggles and China’s slow but steady progress in military airplane technology.

Manufacturing: The end of cheap China

Fourth, China’s supply chain is sophisticated and supple. Professor Zheng Yusheng of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business argues that the right way to measure manufacturing competitiveness is not by comparing labour costs alone, but by comparing entire supply chains. Even if labour costs are a quarter of those in China to make a given product, the unreliability or unavailability of many components may make it uneconomic to make things elsewhere.

When we were not paying attention, China graduated from a mere supplier of cheap labor to a country with the most efficient and flexible supply chain on the planet, making manufacturing elsewhere – wasteful.

Chinese business: When fund-raising is a crime

China’s entrepreneurs are left with plenty to worry about. Many have to rely on a form of financing that now seems to be interpreted by the courts as a grave crime. The distinction between being a successful tycoon and being an enemy of the people has been blurred, a step back to the days when China was communist in more than just name.

On of the wunderkinds of Chinese economic revolution faces death penalty. A friendly reminder of what kind of country it still is.

Asian Development Bank Meets the Smiley Curve

The Journal illustrated the pattern this way, through costing out the components of an iPhone. Using current counting techniques, in which the phone’s entire value is assumed to be “Chinese,” on its own it accounts for nearly $2 billion of the Chinese surplus with the U.S. But if it is allocated to its real sources, most of the surplus is from Japan (famous for its “failed” economy), and second-most from Germany. The US-China direct exchange is actually a small surplus for the US.

Interesting information on how export deficit is calculated and why it can be so easily misleading.

I think the Chinese leadership are heading in the right direction

Recently I read about a speech given in China by prime minister Wen Jiabao in which he said :

“China has to resolve the issue of excessive concentration of unrestrained power” and “create conditions for the people to criticize and supervise the government”. He said China should build a society of “fairness and justice.” (3rd September 2010 issue of The Economist)

Interesting quote, but I’m not as sure as post’s author that Chinese government is really going to give up any of its power so easily. Let’s see. Probably time and free market will do more for democracy in China than political moves (or the lack of thereof).

Beijing Renews Google’s License in China

But Google’s approach failed to appease Beijing, and Google was forced to modify it again late last month, by offering users a link on Google.cn rather than the automatic referral to the Hong Kong site. The move, though seemingly insignificant, apparently satisfied China.
more on nytimes.com

Google reached agreement with Chinese government and will provide search services in China, though from its Hong-Kong site. A side effect is that censoring Google’s search results is now China’s burden.