In other words, companies doing business in China are under a lot of scrutiny. Wolf says there is a separate set of rules for them. And a misstep can cost dearly by making the state or people view the newcomer as a threat.
One more thing: David Wolf, who wrote recently about "nine things Facebook must do to better its chances in China," said that "Facebook needs to operate in China as if it were in the US and being simultaneously investigated by the FBI, OSHA, and the EPA."
There is a Chinese Wikipedia which has been blocked by the government several times. It can be edited from anywhere, of course. Currently it claims to have 29 mainland-based administrators and 270,000 articles. It's microscopic in comparison with English Wikipedia.
Actually, @Nicole, there seems to have been a major crackdown on a bunch of sites the government accused of rumormongering. This is an example of how we really don't understand what goes on on China's Internet half the time.
Boy, GroupOn should have asked us first. If it can only differentiate itself from established competition by importing foreign management and telling offensive jokes, it probably should have stayed out of the territory.
@Nicole. I agree, but other than its personality, what makes GroupOn more appealing than the next deal site. I think its overriding problem is that it offers nothing unique. Except that it employs teams of comedy writers to do the jokes.
In regards to the Superbowl Ad -- I've heard various counter-arguments from marketing to its effectiveness. Some feel it was truly bone-headed, while others feel that the gamble of the short-memory of the Internet allows it to work.
For one thing, GroupON seems to have hired foreign management. That is apparently the kiss of death. Perhaps because dealing in the Chinese economy requires such a detailed understanding of things like group buying.
There are lots of obvious things that Groupon did wrong that were simply insensitive. The Super Bowl ad was atrocious, for one. But other things -- like adhering to censorship demands -- present western companies with ethical conundrums.
Questionable accounting methods, expenditure way outstripping revenues, a postponed IPO and apparently no means of differentiating itself from growing competition. No wonder it's having problems in China is its in this kind of shape at home.
The whole Amazon.reader debate is a double-stupid. It's stupid to think that there's any e-book buyer who doesn't know Amazon's URL, and it was stupider to let ICANN launch the whole free-form TLD initiative to start with.
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Ushering in a new era of cognitive computing systems, IBM announced today the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, a technology breakthrough that allows brands to crunch big data in record time to transform the way they engage clients in key functions such as customer service, marketing, and sales.
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