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May 25, 2004

Techno-nationalism

"Nationalism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. You wave the flag if you need financial assistance, because maybe you're not able to compete." That according to Duncan Clarke managing director of BDA China Ltd Consultancy. Apparently a consultancy firm whose clients are at the wrong end of this development.

China is charting a new path here. Just a quick scan of technologies which they are influencing will give an idea of how innovation and market moves can be manipulated by the power of market size. Want a new DVD standard - EVD, Want new CDMA - try TD-SCDMA, new wireless standard WAPI, separate Linux kernel - Red Dragon Linux and many more such go-native initiatives in the pipeline.

As technology is becoming integral to society and provides the biggest leverage in achieving market share superiority, using captive market size to drive and manipulate market will pose an unusual threat. What if every country (with sizeable internal market size - BRIC countries and other developed world) starts following this approach. Then very soon you will have (like domain names) country specific variant to every conceivable standard out there. If you want wireless standard then you will have choices - 802.11x.us, 802.11.x.Ch, 802.11.x.In etc.
And having more choices in standards can be really debilitating, according to the book which I just started reading. More on the book in later posts. It's a real eye openener.

Note: BCG in collaboration with Wharton is running a series on Chinese economy. Painting a dual picture of go-slow but can't ignore the long term growth prospects. Good high level overview.

May 25, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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