Slumping Tiger, Driven Dragon

Article that quotes David saying that MOT will move much (all) of its manufacturing to China.
MOT hasn’t of course, and while I may have egg on my face for the prediction (especially since MOT is for all intents an purposes bailing out of its PRC semiconductor commitments,) I still believe that Motorola needs to accept the fact that China is and continues to be its competitive advantage. The company only has a short time left to leverage that advantage. Most Japanese mobile phone manufacturers are here, the Koreans are setting up shop, and even NOK starting to outsource in the PRC.

Perhaps the new adult supervision at Motorola will change things. Anyway, read the original quote at this posting at

Cool Tools Marketing Conference, Shanghai

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai held their annual marketing conference in September 2003 on the topic of “Cool Tools.” The conference focus was on using innovative tactics and channels in the marketing process in the PRC. David’s keynote speech at the conference was intended to remind the delegates that specialization in marketing was the enemy of real craft, so the more tools you can use, the better problem-solver you’ll be.
Agenda here . I’ve got the speech somewhere around here, and I’ll post it when I find it.

Political Correctness Be Damned: Ten Things You Aren’t Supposed to Say About China

Ten truisms about China that usually upset my fellow Americans…and others.
1. China is not a democracy because the Chinese don’t want one. Not yet.

2. The human rights situation in China is steadily improving.

3. The Falun Gong is a genuinely dangerous fringe group and should be controlled, even supressed.

4. Tibet is better off a part of China than independent.

5. The Communist Party is China’s best shot at this time.

6. Most foreign companies who fail in China do so more from incompetence than anything else.

7. The Sino-Foreign joint venture in its classical form is the worst business structure imaginable from a management point of view. Just because some very bright people have made it work does not make this point less valid.

8. What we think China’s real problems are, and what they think they are, are different. Neither side is completely right.

9. IPR issues in China cannot be solved by legal processes alone, or even as a primary focus of effort.

10. Localization is a good thing as long as you dont take it too far. There are some things foreigners still do better than locals.


The Great Silicon Sucking Sound

The Semiconductor Industry Association reported this week that 2004 is looking good, with shipments this in January up 26.6% over a year earlier. Of particular interest to those of us here in the Hutong, the SIA noted that the Asia-Pacific region was up 34% thanks primarily to China.

While this is not terribly surprising, given the growing concentration of manufacturing in China, it is growing evidence that the strategies followed by Intel, TSMC, RFID, and a host of other semiconductor firms to build capacity in China is likely driven far more by a shift in the center-of-gravity in the semiconductor market worldwide than in any effort to capture savings in inputs.

It also calls into question the recent decision by Motorola to cast aside their chip business in China. Was this a move too soon?