• United States


Jan 12, 20062 mins
Data Center

I first thought the lead story for the day would be the explosion of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) products at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) that just finished in Las Vegas. Then I saw the note about Web site domain registrations in China topping the one million mark, and that made me nervous.

When IBM sold their PC business to Chinese-based (and partly government owned) Lenovo Corp., I thought it a big mistake. I said so in this column at, and I still stand by that political rant. By all accounts, the Chinese people work harder to become capitalist than most of us, and that’s great. But the government hasn’t decided if market-driven Communism can work, and political crackdowns still happen. Politicians interfering in business is bad enough in the states, but when politicians who aren’t accountable to their people get involved, anything can happen.

Yet a growing optimism about business beating politics in China, as it has in Europe, gives me hope. If you compete against Chinese companies, you know they now make excellent products and fight hard for business. If you don’t compete against Chinese companies, you will soon. Use some of those million new Web sites to scope out your competition and look for partners. Soon, every company will concurrently partner with and compete against China. Get ready.

And call your Chinese partners using Internet telephones. They’ll like that, since they make so many of them. Since IP-based telephone systems now outsell traditional telephone switches in the small and medium business market, that should reinforce my concerned optimism over China’s growing business presence.