Selective Regulation

china flagThis morning’s Times article on dangerously high levels of pollution in China presents an¬†interesting¬†contrast with much of the country’s other, hands-on policies. By virtue of being a Communist state, China owns – outright or in part – and regulates virtually every major national sector. China Mobile? State owned. Phone maker ZTE? Formed from the ribs of state organizations. PertroChina? You betcha. What these degrees of ownership and oversight mean is that, obviously, Beijing plays favorites with homegrown enterprises, and will squeeze or sanction any foreign firms that don’t play by its rules. The Party knows that it has a large consumer base, and it uses that fact as a fulcrum in ensuring that corporations like Disney don’t depict subversive content, Google filters its search results, and Apple provides upgraded customer service. In fact, the latest Apple charge seems strongly government-instigated, demonstrating that if you can’t join ’em (at least in a venture), you might as well beat ’em. Continue reading “Selective Regulation”

Fiber in the Diet

Yesterday, internet services company Akamai released its annual “State of the Internet” report, which tracks the various changes in internet speeds and penetration across the globe. When it came to broadband speeds, the US pulled in at 14th place, behind smaller countries such as Germany and South Korea. Before the alarmists clamor about the loss … Continue reading Fiber in the Diet