Friday, November 30, 2007

The thuggery behind the harmonious facade - International Herald Tribune, Part 2

The thuggery behind the harmonious facade - International Herald Tribune: "Ma: Enough of this. I've heard from the 'relevant departments' that people like us are not allowed to make big bucks. We're just doing enough to make a living. The police: We haven't bothered your business, have we? Ma: Really? Unless I remember it wrong, you guys once talked to my partner and said, 'if we see him dealing with your company, your business will end.' The police: That's because you did something we didn't want you to do. Over the last few years you haven't made any trouble for us, so we haven't made any trouble for you. Ma: Is that so? You asked me to come here today. Isn't this trouble? The police: How can you say this is trouble? We're friends. Isn't it O.K. to have a cup of tea together? Ma: It's a pity we're not sitting here as friends. Enough beating around the bush, let's talk about why I am wanted here today. The police: O.K., are you or are you not planning to go to Beijing soon? Ma: I am. I'm flying there tomorrow. Any problem? The police: You have to go? Ma then insists that he is only going for business, and the police reply that if that's the case, they won't try to stop him. But they warn him, for good measure..."

This article makes me question the ethics of investing in the Chinese market. Another important question it brings up is whether or not the Chinese government will be able to continue to allow business in China to prosper or whether this type of harassment of the populace will lead to serious economic issues. In any case I am uneasy about my investments in emerging markets at this point...

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