If you’re not reading Evan Osnos’ “Letter from China” blog in the New Yorker, you should be.
For much of the past two decades, the obstacles facing foreign entrepreneurs have been structural: bureaucratic delays, restrictions on moving foreign currency, and so on. But in my conversations with foreign business people these days, the current malaise centers on a less concrete–and, thus, fixable–sense of obstruction. The concern these days is not about the vagaries of what was once called the Iron Rooster, but about the reality of a canny, powerful, well-equipped, urbane counterpart in the global economy, which is beginning to express its own beliefs about fair trade and free flow of information. That, I’m afraid, is a far more difficult gap to bridge.
And the Time piece that is improperly linked to from Evan’s blog post is this one (also worth reading):
In my more than two decades in China, I have seldom seen the foreign business community more angry and disillusioned than it is today. Such sentiment goes beyond the Internet censorship and cyberspying that led to Google’s Jan. 12 threat to bail out of China, or the clash of values (freedom vs. control) implied by the Google case. It is about the perception that antiforeign attitudes and policies in China have been growing and hardening since the global economic crisis pushed the U.S. and Europe into a tailspin and launched China to its very uncomfortable stardom on the world stage.