What happens when the world’s classiest brand meets Chinese toilet makers with a flexible understanding of trademark law? You get Trump toilets — high-end flushing machines with self-changing seat protectors available in both green and blue.
Continue reading “In China, Trump Toilets Make Pooping Great Again”
When American Internet companies do business abroad, they are sometimes forced to do a repressive government’s dirty work.
theatlantic – When Google shut down its Chinese search engine in 2010, it gave up access to an enormous market. There are more than twice as many people on the Internet in China as there are residents in the U.S., and the number of Chinese Internet users is growing at a rate that far surpasses that of any other country. Google has plans to return to China in the near future, but why did it turn away from the country for so long?
Censorship is why. Google effectively shut down its Chinese operations after it discovered a cyberattack from within the country that targeted it and dozens of other companies. And while investigating the attack, Google found that the Gmail accounts of a number of Chinese human-rights activists had been hacked.
Google had set up shop in China four years before the breach, offering a version of its services that conformed to the government’s oppressive censorship policies. At the time, Google officials said they’d decided that the most ethical option was to offer some services—albeit restricted by China’s censors—to the enormous Chinese market, rather than leave millions of Internet users with limited access to information.
But the 2010 attacks prompted the company to reverse course. Instead of complying with government requests to filter its search results, Google directed all of its Chinese traffic to the uncensored Hong Kong version of its search engine, a move that left the company vulnerable to being completely shut down in China. Indeed, Google’s services became inaccessible to most Chinese users within months.
Nobel-winning economist Angus Deaton argues against giving aid to poor countries
Federal Nigerian troops walk along a road to the frontier with Biafray, Oct. 13, 1968. On the roadside two emaciated Nigerian boys suffer from starvation and malnutrition. (AP Photo/Dennis Lee Royle
Washingtonpost – It sounds kind of crazy to say that foreign aid often hurts, rather than helps, poor people in poor countries. Yet that is what Angus Deaton, the newest winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, has argued.
Deaton, an economist at Princeton University who studied poverty in India and South Africa and spent decades working at the World Bank, won his prize for studying how the poor decide to save or spend money. But his ideas about foreign aid are particularly provocative. Deaton argues that, by trying to help poor people in developing countries, the rich world may actually be corrupting those nations’ governments and slowing their growth. According to Deaton, and the economists who agree with him, much of the $135 billion that the world’s most developed countries spent on official aid in 2014 may not have ended up helping the poor. Continue reading “Why trying to help poor countries might actually hurt them”