Commentary From This Week's Paper

By English Edition Staff
Published: 2010-11-11

Morality Is Not a Weapon, It's the Bottom Line
Zhang Bangsong
Comment, page 16
~Let’s take inventory of what caused the blow up between Tencent QQ and Qihoo 360.
~For years, 360 cornered the antivirus market with its free product. Tencent entered the market with a product very similar to 360safe. 360, to protect its turf, used its software to delete QQ’s countless commercial plugins. Tencent, in a panic, declared war on 360, and we know the rest.
~ In this war, there are no good guys, only commercial interests and questionable means.
~But both QQ and 360 have attempted to claim the moral high ground. We have heard CEOs from the two companies complain about their “difficult decisions” and their concerns about customer safety.
~Choosing QQ or 360 is rapidly evolving from a choice over software to a moral choice between good and evil, truth and lies.
~ But in reality, the companies are protecting their own interests through unethical means, and turning the user’s consumer choice into a moral decision. They are trying to deceive their customers by talking ethics.    
~Morality is not a weapon used to destroy opponents and beat customers into submission; it is the bare minimum code of conduct for ourselves. Tencent and 360 should both start practicing what they preach.  
Original article: [Chinese]

A Country's Strength Lies in the Prosperity of Its People
Ding Li
Observer, page 42
~The state exists to carry out the interests of the people. But the people, especially the poor, have been struggling.
~China is wealthy now, but many of the country’s workers have yet to see any of this wealth. Even if the next five year plan does not result in significant GDP growth, but affects a more even distribution of wealth, then it will have been worth it.
~A historical perspective: China’s average standard of living growth rate peaked during the Song dynasty and slipped during the Ming and Qing dynasties, along with China’s share in the world GDP (about the time of Europe’s industrial revolution). 
~Angus Madison attributes the low per capita standard of living to China’s reliance on state-led economic growth and a large bureaucracy, both of which place private citizens in a subjugated role.
~China’s GDP is ranked 2nd in the world, but its average minimum income is less than 15% that of the world and ranked 159th.
~The country’s pension system is ranked next to last in the world.
~The international poverty line is at $1.25 per day, which converts to 8.34 yuan, or an annual income of 3044 yuan a year. For many in China, this is considered high.
~The government holds on to most of the GDP, the money largely goes toward public projects, new technology etc. The cake is already half eaten before most of us even take a bite.
~Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto wrote in his 1989 “The Other Path,” about the economies of developing countries. He suggested that governments give citizens access to capital and management rights and encourage entrepreneurship, and not treat the poor as beggars and riffraff looking for handouts.
~De Soto is right. China’s poor are not the problem; they are the key to solving the problem.
~The question comes down to rights. People have the right to earn their livelihood and pursue wealth. These rights must be protected by the law.
~The ancients, too, realized that the distribution of wealth decides the ultimate fate of nations, even if they disagreed about how distribution should be carried out.
~There is one good thing about the new policies. They will benefit the middle class, and shed light on the conditions of the poor. 
Original article: [Chinese]

The "Disruptive" Asian Games
By Wei Liming
Comment, page 16
~The Asian Games, following the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo, has become another indicator of China’s rising power. But, just as its two counterparts experienced, while being widely praised for its organization and preparation, the Asian Games is being criticized for “disrupting” the normal work flow and lifestyle of Guangzhou’s locals.
~Traffic restrictions, expropriating houses, construction noise and requiring locals to “temporarily” move out of their homes due to “security concerns”… all of these have “disrupted” the lives of the local people. We all know that the local government took these actions for the Asian Games, but could preparation for the games be a bit more human-oriented?
~Another criticism is the absence of locals’ participation in the whole process of preparing for the Asian Games. Since locals have no say in a huge project which will definitely influence their life, it is natural for them to give some “unharmonious responses” to the project itself as well as the government. 
Original article: [Chinese]

Questions for Chinese Private Entrepreneurs
By Li Xiang
Comment, page 16
~As the first generation of Chinese private entrepreneurs is about to retire, the question as to who will be their successors has gained increasingly more attention.
~Ren Zhengfei, board chairman of Huawei Technology Group, has recently stated that he would not base the selection of his successor on kinship. But that has not stopped people from spreading the rumor that his son and daughter will be his only choice.
~The public is interested in the answers to four questions:
-First, are Chinese entrepreneurs planning to establish a family company or a public enterprise?
-Second, do the children of Chinese entrepreneurs work for their company?
-Third, are there any set mechanisms to supervise and restrict the behaviors of those entrepreneurs?
-Last, are they willing and ready to import a modern management system to their companies?
Original article: [Chinese]

Time to Shift the Government's Role to Public Service Provider
By Huang Xiaowei
Comment, page 16
~As local governments want to obtain more land by destroying farmers’ homes and forcing the latter to leave, the government’s role as a provider of public services is once again being questioned.
~The reason for the frequently occurring “forced expropriation” lies in the absence of a shared view on law, the market and the role of government. The current regulations on expropriation allow local governments to forcefully destroy residents’ homes before reaching a compensation agreement, which forces residents to fight back and in some cases go so far as to protest by committing suicide.
~To solve the problem at its source, local governments should shift from being an administrative provider to a provider of public services. They should also pay more attention to improving the quality of economic growth instead of simply focusing on the quantity of GDP.
Original article: [Chinese]

Suggestions for how to Form a "Good Government"
By Sheng Chao
Economic Observer Online
~A good government is well-supervised, restricted, always willing and ready to serve people while a bad one is always trying to grasp more social wealth at the price of people’s security and prosperity.
~The Chinese government has stated it has determined to be a “good government”, but it still needs to do more if it really intends to reach that goal.
~The first thing it should do is eliminate “forced expropriation” which a good government would never do.
~It also should try to protect its people, ensure social order and punish those officials who have damaged people’s interests. 
Original article: [Chinese]

September and October's Rising Housing Prices are only Temporary
By Yang Hongxu
Economic Observer Online
~ New figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics show that housing prices have consecutively increased in October, even though the government just further strengthened macro-control of the real estate market at the end of September.
~The reason why housing prices have kept increasing despite the massive pressure is inertia.
~The key to housing prices is trade volume, which changes relatively slowly, but this winter, especially around Spring Festival, the low season for real estate, the national control policy will be more effective.
~By the second quarter of next year, trade volume might rebound, but it is hard to judge how vigorous it will be because the distance between supply and demand is too uncertain.
~Rising housing prices are only temporary. Macro-control, market oversupply, and the liquidity of real estate companies all put pressure on housing prices. Over the next half year, the housing prices of 70 cities, especially first-tier cities, will fall.
Original article: [Chinese]

Creating a Happy China
By Xu Jingan
Observer, page 41

~ Up until now, China's officials have been obsessed with development as can be seen in the official slogan of Upholding a Scientific Outlook on Development. This obsession with development has bolstered the government's domination of the economy and tied the evaluation of government officials to the rates of GDP growth in their jurisdiction, all of which prevent the establishment and fostering of government policy devtoed to serving the interests of the public.
~ New social problems have emerged, impelling us to adopt new approaches, but despite this we still uphold development as our first priority.
~ We should instead begin paying attention to the national happiness index.
~ In order to create a happy China, a happiness index should take the place of GDP.
~ One possible model for these reforms can be found in the city of Jiangyin in Jiangsu Province, where local development goals include things like, "everyone having a good job, everyone having adequate income, everybody enjoying access to a clean and healthy environment, everyone being in a good mood and everyone being in good health."
~ However, we need to be aware that aside from changing government behavior; we also need improve the social behavior of individuals.
Original article: [Chinese]