Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Made in, But Can't Be Used in, China

Barbara Jorgensen

What if all the plans to penetrate China as the world's largest consumer electronics market suddenly came to naught? The idea isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. As EBN contributor Marc Herman points out this week, iPhone users in China can't use their phones in the same way the rest of the world can. The reason? China's strategy regarding access to information.
Twitter, for example, is blocked in China, Herman writes. There are ways around it, but that's not the real issue, Herman says: "How long can China bar its population from using the products it makes?"

It's a great question -- and not one that should be posed solely to Chinese citizens. People in the West are used to freedom of information and find these policies limiting, but there are economic consequences as well. One of the main reasons many US manufacturers moved to China -- in addition to access to low-cost labor -- is the ability to sell into the domestic Chinese market. Local content laws in China have already made this difficult, and now, it seems, the functionality of the devices may also limit potential sales. Find out what Herman and other readers think in Made in, But Can't Be Used in, China.
Limits, or rather the lack thereof, concern the battle taking place in the US Capitol this week. With US debt spiraling out of control, factions within the US government are seeking to limit the amount of money the government can borrow. But without additional funds, there's the possibility of the US defaulting on its current loans. Failure to secure more money could limit US economic growth. EBN Editor-in-Chief Bolaji Ojo looks at the impact these scenarios could have on the electronics industry in 5 Ways a US Default/Downgrade Could Hit Electronics.

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