Execs from Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Cisco under fire yesterday in House hearings on their doings in China, the International Herald Tribune reports.
Reps from both sides of the aisle wringing their hands and asking the execs how they sleep at night, having buckled under to China's requirements that they restrict certain services.
The execs cringed, and hemmed and hawed, but this is what one of them should have said:
"Look it's really very simple -- if you want to do business in China, you abide by China's laws.
If you don't want to play by those rules, then stay home. There's really no middle ground on it, and the Chinese government isn't interested in discussing it with you.
What you have to weigh here is where is the greater good? Is it in providing some, if only limited, services in a country like China, promoting growth which could lead to greater cultural and social freedoms. Or is it in staying away, leaving China isolated and festering?"
And if you think you're off the hook because you're not one of those companies, think again. That laptop you're using? Made in China. That DVD player? Made in China. The CD player, the television, the game system? China, China, China.
If you think that's a problem, you're not just part of the problem -- you ARE the problem.
I remember my in-laws once complaining about how everything is made in China now. But they love the inexpensive electronics and consumer goods they buy.
So I told them, look you can either complain about offshoring or you can buy cheap stuff, but you can't do both. Walmart is the single largest importer of goods from China -- they're one percent of the Chinese GDP.
So if you don't like globalization and you don't like the Chinese government, STOP SHOPPING AT WALMART!