This is Howard C. Park's blog. Interests: live music, simulations and modeling, languages, iPod, social and business networking, systems thinking, history of science, management, BBQ, trivia, good coffee, organizational learning, traveling, personal histories.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
The China Question
There was a time, not too long ago, where every corporate executive had to address the "Internet Question". What was the company's Internet Strategy? Much ahead of the curve (ca 1995), one of my business school colleagues asked a visiting exec from Coca Cola about the Internet Question. I don't recall a very strong response--the use of the WWW as a corporate medium was still very early, and no one really had any idea what the answer was supposed to be.
I think a similar question confronts companies today: What is your China Strategy? Many comapanies already have a well-developed strategy, mostly companies that have been doing business for ears in the PRC. It's the companies who may incorrectly believe that they are NOt affected by China taht will be caught off guard in the not-so-distant-future.
You may not sell to China, and China may be far removed from any of your activities. Or are they? A quarter of the world's population increasing their living standards at multiple times that of the US will have (and has already had) an impact on the supply (and prices) of energy. It's no longer just call centers and hi-tech manufacturing that finds a nice home in the well-educated populace of the PRC. Many bio-tech companies are looking at outcourcing their R&D efforts in places like China. Surprise yourself by looking for pictures of Shanghai on the Internet.
I am behind the curve if my claim is that China's role in the global economy is something not to be ignored. My claim is that many companies will find themselves underprepared for the "China Question" from a lack of understanding of HOW China will affect them.