Apple and Didi is about foreign cash and the future of motoring

DidiAppApple this week invested $1 billion in Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc., known as Didi — by far the dominant car-hailing service in China with 300 million customers. While Apple has long admitted being interested in car technology and has deals to put Apple technology into many car lines, this particular investment seems to have been a surprise to most everyone. Analysts and pundits are seeing the investment as a way for Apple to get automotive metadata or even to please the Chinese government. I think it’s more than that. I think it is a potential answer to Apple’s huge problem of foreign cash and a grab for leadership in what may well be […]

Chinese talking cybersecurity means security is already lost

A longtime reader and good friend of mine sent me a link this week to a CNBC story about the loss of fingerprint records in the Office of Personnel Management hack I have written about before. It’s just one more nail in the coffin of a doltish bureaucracy that — you know I’m speaking the truth here — will probably result in those doltish bureaucrats getting even more power, even more data, and ultimately losing those data, too.

So the story says they lost the fingerprint records of 56 million people! Game over.

Remember how this story unfolded? There had been a hack and some records were compromised. Then there had been a hack and […]

Yes, Phil, there is an iPhone Mini

iphoneminiHas Apple peaked? Yes and no. I think the company is still struggling somewhat to find its path following the death of Steve Jobs. But there’s still plenty happening and room for growth in Cupertino. So let’s start a discussion about what’s really going on there. I thought this might be possible in a single column, but looking down I see that’s impossible, so expect a second forward-looking Apple column tomorrow.

The catalyst for this particular column is word coming over the weekend from the Wall $treet Journal that Apple is cutting back component orders for the iPhone 5 signaling lower sales than expected. I’m not saying this story is wrong but I don’t […]

Yet another way China and Google are different

I spent much of the summer of 1982 in Beijing. China was a very different place 30 years ago. Foreigners were rare, foreigners actually working in China for Chinese organizations were rarer still, and I was there to work. I was an editor at China Daily, the English language newspaper created for foreign visitors as a preferred alternative to allowing western publications into the country. The way I got the gig was simple: much of the reporting staff had been students of mine at Stanford the year before.

Once the decision was made to start China Daily, there was a need to find Chinese reporters who could write in English. Whoever was in charge decided it […]

By |February 28th, 2012|2012|93 Comments

The Chinese Decade

Something has been bothering me lately and it is our assumption that China is the world’s next superpower and that we’d darned well better get used to it. Hogwash. We’re into the Chinese decade, not the Chinese Century.

The century belongs to India.

Last century was all-American. We came into the 20th century a huge but unsophisticated nation. Our industrial might made us a factor in World War I. Our cultural ingenuity caught the world’s fancy in the 1920s and — 90 years later — still hasn’t let go. As a result this will not be the Bollywood Century. The Great Depression secured our place at the table by showing we could take much of the world […]

By |October 31st, 2010|2010|153 Comments