[FoRK] why China isn't the next Silicon Valley

Ian Andrew Bell hello at ianbell.com
Tue Jun 2 09:19:47 PDT 2009

Chinese business/technology culture simply doesn't have the maturity  
to build evolved, functional, consumer-facing services.  I say this  
from personal experience but also those of at least a dozen friends  
and business associates who have tried to outsource components or  
entire projects to engineering teams in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai,  
and Shenzhen.  All projects failed because of extremely poor attention  
to detail, a refusal by Chinese engineers to participate in quality  
control exercises, and a general ignorance of any sort of best  
practises.  Unfortunately, China is a culture which has over the  
course of decades de-emphasized pride-of-workmanship (witness the  
presence of melamine and other toxins in most of their food supply)  
but which is currently swept by greed and the desire for a fast buck.   
It is also a society where people think nothing of intellectual  
property theft, or outright theft, and these are crimes for which  
there is no effective legal recourse.

There will be exceptions to this rule, of course.  But 100% of the  
companies I know that have tried to Tango with the Chinese have come  
away singed -- or worse.


On 2-Jun-09, at 6:59 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> Sounds quite interesting, if true. Can anyone deny/confirm?
> http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/06/01/why-china-isn’t-“the-next- 
> silicon-valley”/
> Why China Isn’t “The Next Silicon Valley”
> by Sarah Lacy on June 1, 2009
> Since I got home from China last week, I’ve found myself in a lot of
> conversations where phrases like “the next Silicon Valley,” or “just  
> like
> Silicon Valley used to be,” keep coming up. But while China is  
> swimming in
> capital and littered with start-ups, I’m going to argue it’s not the  
> next
> Silicon Valley. In fact, it’s something far different than I’ve ever  
> seen
> before.

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