Labour unrest 
Danger zone 
A huge strike in southern China shows that migrant workers are starting to demand more than just higher wages 
Apr 26th 2014 | DONGGUAN | From the print edition 



THE Pearl river delta in the southern province of Guangdong is no stranger to strikes, most of them small and quickly resolved. But a walk-out by workers at factories owned by a Taiwanese company, Yue Yuen, the world’s largest maker of branded sports shoes, including big names such as Nike and Reebok, has been remarkable for its scale and duration. It began on April 5th and has grown to involve tens of thousands of employees. On a sprawling industrial estate, angry workers watched by riot police rage about an issue few cared much about until recently: their pensions. For bosses and officials, this is a worrying sign of change. 

riot police:機動隊 

広東省の南部にある珠江デルタはストライキには無縁ではない。そのほとんど小規模ですぐに解決されている。しかし、ナイキやリーボックといったビッグネームを含む世界最大のブランドシューズメーカーである台湾企業のYue Yuenが所有する工場の労働者によるストライキはその規模、期間の点で注目に値するものである。4月5日に始まり、数万人の従業員を含むまでに大きくなっている。広大な工業団地 で、機動隊に見張られた不満を持った労働者は最近までほとんど気にされていなかった1つの問題を巡って怒っている。年金である。経営者や役人達にとって、これは憂慮すべき変化の現れである。 

The government has imposed a virtual news blackout on the unrest in the city of Dongguan, a place synonymous with the delta’s manufacturing heft (nearly 80% of its 8.3m people have moved there from other parts of China over the past three decades, or are the children of such migrants). Foreign journalists have been allowed onto Yue Yuen’s main estate in Gaobu township, a Dongguan suburb, but strikers complain that Chinese media are kept away. This contrasts with a relatively free rein given to Chinese reporters in 2010 to report on a large strike over pay by workers at a factory owned by Honda in Foshan, another delta city. That incident involved putting pressure on a Japanese company, an uncontroversial target for most Chinese. This latest, bigger strike (one of the largest in years involving a non-state enterprise in China) has touched a more sensitive government nerve. 

news blackout:報道管制/報道禁止措置 

政府はデルタの製造業の要所(830万の人の80%近くが過去30年間に中国の他の地域から来たか、そうした出稼ぎ労働者の子供達)である東莞での争議に実質的な報道禁止措置を課している。外国のジャーナリストは東莞の郊外にある高埗商業エリアのYue Yuen社の主要な団地に入ることは許されている。しかし、ストライキをしている人達は中国メディアは遠ざけられていることに文句を言っている。このことは、他の珠江デルタの都市である仏山にあるホンダの工場の労働者による賃金を巡る大規模なストライキの報道に関して、2010年に中国人レポーターに与えられた比較的自由な統制とは対照的である。その事件は日本企業に圧力をかけることであったので、多くの中国人にとって議論を引き起こすものではなかった。この最近のより大規模なストライ キ(中国の非国営企業を含め、この何年かで最も大きなものの1つ)はよりセンシティブな政府にとって痛いところに触れているのである。 

The workers accuse Yue Yuen of failing for years to make due contributions to their pensions, which are administered by the local government. Lax application of social-security laws is common, since local authorities do not want to drive away business. “The government is corrupt,” calls out one man among a group of strikers who have gathered near a row of factories. Such comments—directed at local officialdom, not Beijing—are almost as commonly heard as tirades against Yue Yuen itself. Workers fume at the heavy deployment of police, and the beating of some of the thousands of strikers who have been marching through nearby streets, most recently on April 18th (see picture). 


労働者達は地方政府によって運営されている年金に対して為されるべき積み立てを何年もしてきていないことでYue Yuenを非難している。地方の当局が企業を追い払いたくはないと考えているため、社会保障法の緩い適用は一般的になっている。“政府は腐敗している”と立ち並ぶ工場近くに集まったストライキの集まりにいた1人の男は大声を上げている。中央政府ではなく、地方の官僚に向けられるそうした批判はYue Yuen自身に対する非難と同じくらいよく耳にすることである。労働者達は警察が大規模に展開されていること、ごく最近では4月18日に行われた街頭行進をしている数千人のストライキを行う人達の一部に対する殴打に対して苛立っている。 


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中国の革新 中国はグローバルの革新の活発な場所か?(20)

It has often been argued that piracy of intellectual property is a healthy stage in a nation's economic development, and that, once China has acquired a sufficient store of its own intellectual property, it will begin implementing real protections. 

piracy of intellectual property ; 知的財産の侵害


Even assuming that such a trajectory exists, weak intellectual property protections are only one and not the most important of the obstacles to innovation in China. Weak IP protections form just one layer in the cocoon insulating China's state sector from competition. It should not be at all remarkable that, in an economy where political elites and the government itself own all the most valuable property, laws and their breach should be tools used to protect those assets. 

trajectory ; 弾道、軌道
insulate ; 隔離する
breach ; 違反


The Chinese economic strategy is fundamentally one of a wartime economy and is brilliantly successful at aggregating resources and deploying them quickly at single targets. Perhaps no nation in history has created so much wealth so rapidly and done so amid low crime rates, little hunger or social misery, and a basic level of health care and education for all. The state economy, with its ability to marshal and focus capital resources, has delivered huge benefits to the Chinese people. 

amid ; 〜の真ん中に、真っ最中に
marshal ; 集結させる


But this type of economic organisation also has its weaknesses, and the inability to foster innovative companies that can compete worldwide is among them. As the economy has grown huge, innovators expect to be able to realise benefits from their efforts, and yet, as soon as they achieve success, their profits are somehow curtailed, whether by unfair competition or by predatory regulation. 

curtail ; 切り詰める、削減する、縮小する


Stepping back from the economy is not something that will come easily to the small, closed group of political leaders who run China, but developing an innovative economy requires it.  


Winner announcement
November 22, 2013
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran

November 22, 2013 
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran 

All good things must come to an end including, alas, our debate on innovation in China. The motion in front of the house was this: "China is a global innovation powerhouse." The battle was well fought by Edward Tse and Anne Stevenson-Yang. Neither gave an inch of ground during the debate. The two sides were egged on by many thought-provoking contributions from readers, as well as pointed guest commentaries by Peter Williamson and Vivek Wadhwa.

alas ; あぁ!、悲しいかな!
egged on:さとす
thought-provoking ; 示唆に富む

楽しい事にも終わりがやってくるもので、あぁ悲しいかな、私たちの中国におけるイノベーションについてのディベートもこれで終わりです。冒頭掲げた論題はこうでした。"中国はグローバルの革新の活発な場所か?”。そしてEdward Tse氏とAnne Stevenson-Yang女史によるディベートはなかなかのものでした。ディベートにおいて両者一歩も譲らず、です。両陣営は、司会者指定のゲストであるPeter Williamson氏とVivek Wadhwa氏によるコメントとおなじくらい、読者からの多くの示唆に富む意見にも助けられて、それぞれの論陣をけしかけました。

In the end, the side opposing the motion carried the day.
Congratulations to Ms Stevenson-Yang. But hats off to Mr Tse as well, for he did manage to reduce the lead held by the side opposite in the course of the debate. I thank both of them, as well as Messrs Williamson and Wadhwa and our readers, for making this debate such a lively and informative affair.

carry the day ; 成功する

Stevenson-Yang女史、おめでとう。しかし同時にTse氏にも敬意を表します。彼はディベートにおいて、相手方が優位を獲得するのをうまく防ぎました。私はお二方に感謝をするとともに、Williamson とWadhwaの両氏、そして私たちの読者の皆様全てに、このディベートをこれほどまでに白熱したものにし、また大変有益な機会としてくれた事に対して感謝いたします。


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中国の革新 中国はグローバルの革新の活発な場所か?(19)

The opposition's closing remarks
Nov 20th 2013 
Anne Stevenson-Yang 

Nov 20th 2013 
Anne Stevenson-Yang

China often tells us that it is a nation in transition and that its own people, as well as its trading partners, should tolerate imperfections. The problem is that China is perpetually in transition. Indeed, its economic and political reforms were never meant to be permanent but instead a necessary historical stage on the road to communism. As in Marx's conception, the endpoint is undefined, representing as it does an indefinite ideal future: the communist should be able to hunt in the morning and criticise in the evening, but how and when this ideal state may be achieved is left uncharted. The measures to be taken to promote this transition must therefore be discretionary and ad hoc. 

tolerate ; 大目に見る、寛大に取り扱う
imperfection ; 不完全、欠点
perpetually ; 永久に、永続的に、ひっきりなしに、年がら年中
hunt ; 狩る
criticise ; 非難する、酷評する
discretionary ; 任意の、自由裁量の、
ad hoc ; その場しのぎ、行き当たりばったり


Without a definite process for determining laws and regulations, China will always need time and the indulgence of its people and businesses. That discretionary process, however, takes a serious toll on the economy, hobbling the companies that otherwise would innovate and compete internationally. 

indulgence ; わがまま、放縦、ふけること、耽溺
hobbling ; 妨げる、困らせる


In China, growth and independence stand in contradiction. A small business may be established based on an innovation, but in order to grow, it will be forced to give up equity and control to government interests, initially in return for their "support" and ultimately to fend off their attack. The top executives of businesses in China spend their time not on product, staffing, distribution and finance but on courting the attention of government officials, keeping a close eye on changing policies, and moulding strategy to fit the stated goals of government agencies. Every Chinese company of size has in its reception area a gallery of photos showing the government officials who have visited the company, and the luckiest companies of all are those that have been granted a permanent inscription by a government leader. Those companies whose names have been written in the calligraphy of a city or provincial party secretary, or, if truly among the anointed, Mao Zedong, will protect and display the calligraphy as something holy. 

fend off ; 発生を防ぐ
inscription ; 碑銘
the anointed ; 救世主


Giving up equity is no more than the expected compensation for large contracts, permission to list on a public exchange, or other benefits. In many ways, there is a logic to this: China's is an ancient and antiquated political system, and, without any systematic way to determine the best allocation of resources, government officials may rely on equity in companies to achieve control and to decide how to focus public goods and services. State companies are obsessed with capturing whole vertical value chains, for example when an auto company owns everything from a rubber plantation to dealerships, because ownership conveys a degree of control over pricing and quality that would not be achieved through regulation. 

compensation ; 代償
antiquated ; 時代遅れの
put sweat equity into 〜に労力を注ぎ込む
obsessed with ; 〜に熱中する
convey ; 伝える、伝達する



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中国の革新 中国はグローバルの革新の活発な場所か?(18)

This gives Chinese entrepreneurs (as well as foreign businesses) more opportunities. Many of these people are driven by a strong desire to be successful. They can be fast on their feet and fluid in their actions. They often don't mind "giving things a try", observing the outcome and then adapting their approach to become better. They can be creative in their business models and innovative in their products or services. Of course, not all of them will be successful, and eventually only a small percentage will remain so. Nonetheless, a lot of these people are highly resilient. They bounce back even after multiple failures. TCL was cited as an example of failing in its European acquisitions. This is indeed true, but Li Dongsheng, its leader, has since learned the lessons the hard way and re-emerged as a much more prudent investor. Lei Jun, the founder of the now well-known Xiaomi, had started several businesses before launching the company. Even Jack Ma, now the high-profile and successful chairman of Alibaba, didn't have success in his first entrepreneurial attempts. As China evolves and continues to deregulate, Chinese entrepreneurs will become more experienced and their hit rate in driving more innovation will also improve. 

fluid ; 機動的
resilient ; 弾力の或る、回復力の或る
TCL ; TCL集団股份有限公司(TCL、TCL集団、TCL集团股份有限公司、TCL Corporation)は広東省恵州市に本社がある電気機器メーカーである。TCL集団は携帯電話、パーソナルコンピュータ、家電機器、照明、電子媒体を中国内外に販売している。TCLは深圳証券取引所と香港証券取引所に上場している。(Wikipediaより)
Li Dongsheng ; 李東生、TCL代表
prudent ; 用心深い、慎重な、懸命な
Lei Jun ; 雷軍(レイ・ジュン、1969年12月16日生まれ、拼音: lei jūn)は中国のエンジェル投資家,小米科技創始者、兼CEO、金山軟件有限公司董事長(取締役会長)である。(Wikipediaより)
Jack Ma ; 馬雲、アリババの創業者
high-profile ; 世間の関心をひきつける


China's innovative companies are not just the "new companies". Some of the most innovative are the "first-generation" companies formed as a result of Deng Xiaoping's call for economic reform. Haier, Gree, Midea, Lenovo, ZTE are some of the most innovative companies in this batch. Huawei, arguably the stand-out company, which was started in the late 1980s, is now the world's leading player in the telecoms equipment sector. Product innovation plays a big part in Huawei's success and over the years it continues to invest heavily in R&D. It has built a network of R&D centres not only in China but also in many other countries, and recently started to collaborate with Britain's Imperial College on big data research, signifying an open mind and a desire to push for continuous improvement. 

Deng Xiaoping ; 小平
calling for economic reform ; 経済躍進政策
arguably ; 間違いなく
stand-out ; 目立つ、際立つ
signify ; を意味する


China, similar to other markets, is not one where every company will be a success story, but there will definitely be some that will be. And the successful ones will serve to motivate more people to join the innovation race. The future of China belongs to Chinese entrepreneurs. They will lead China's innovations. Their impact will be felt not only within China but also increasingly in the rest of the world. 



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中国の革新 中国はグローバルの革新の活発な場所か?(17)

The battle has been well fought, with the side opposing the motion holding a consistent lead throughout. However, there is still time for you to make your voice heard and have your vote counted. 


The proposer's closing remarks
Nov 20th 2013 
Edward Tse 


The demise of the Chinese national soccer team was cited as an example that despite all the capital and energy that the Chinese possess, there are some things that just will not work. Ironically, just last week, a Chinese soccer club, Guangzhou Evergrande, won the Asian Champion Cup—the highest club-level competition in Asia. True, Evergrande has a foreign coach and several high-performing foreign players, but the mastermind behind this recent success is a Chinese entrepreneur, Xu Jiayin, who was able to marshal the needed capital and energy to make Evergrande the top soccer club in Asia in four short years. However, this case is probably just an interesting anecdote as it does not prove that China can be successful in innovation, just as the previous soccer failures do not prove that China cannot succeed in innovation. Going back to the basics of the key forces at play fostering innovation, I believe China's innovation ability will continue to improve through time and the country will become a real force to be reckoned with. 

demise ; 崩御、(企業などの)消滅、活動停止
Guangzhou Evergrande ; 広州恒大淘宝足球倶楽部(広東省広州市を本拠地とするサッカークラブチーム)
mastermind ; 指導者、首謀者
Xu Jiayin ; 許家印
marshal ; 整列させる、組織する、準備する
anecdote ; 逸話
reckoned with ; 無視できない


China is undergoing an incredible economic transformation. In this process, more sectors are being deregulated, allowing more non-state capital to participate. Technology, in particular the internet, is playing a more important role in China, enabling disruptions to emerge. These forces are creating intensive competition against the backdrop of the world's most populous country with huge diversity and complexity and a fast speed of change. Competition breeds innovation. Companies, be they state-owned enterprises, private Chinese companies, foreign companies or companies with mixed equities, will need innovation to help improve their competitive advantages. 

disruption ; 崩壊、混乱
backdrop ; 背景


The Chinese government has reaffirmed the direction of this transformation at the recently completed Third Plenum. Market forces will play a "deciding role" in China's economic development. Access to more sectors will be made available to non-state capital. While the SOEs are still important, the non-state enterprises are, for the first time in the country's history, to be an equal pillar to the SOEs. The experimental economic free zones will be established in more cities across China, following the first one in Shanghai. 

reaffirm ;  もう一度断言する
pillar ; 支柱、記念柱、標柱
economic free zone ; 経済特区、経済自由区域



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中国の革新 中国はグローバルの革新の活発な場所か?(16)

Some of you joined the side arguing for the motion, offering reasons to think China is indeed an innovation power. F6Bz5JpVST wrote, for example, that "in the developed world patents actually stifle innovation, and the diffusion of innovation; whereas, China epitomises the evolution of product development through reverse engineering, leading to incremental innovation of new products. Go China, go." umghhh challenged those complaining about China's rampant theft of intellectual property (IP) by reminding readers of America's similar behaviour in the past: "At the beginning US did not have any problem with stealing IP from Europe—at the very beginning of the republic—this was a huge bonus to US economy back then." For good measure, this reader adds that perhaps America now overprotects IP: "Now its IP rights seem to strangle the economy especially in IT and Software sector." 

For good measure:おまけに

読者の何人かは論題について賛成した陣営に参加して、中国が実際にイノベーションパワーがあると考えられる理由を提供してくださいました。例えば、F6Bz5JpVSTは次のように書きました。”先進国では、特許は実際、イノベーションとイノベーションの普及を阻害する。であるのに対して、中国はリバースエンジニアリングによる製品開発の改革を具現化して、新製品の逐次的イノベーション実行しています。頑張れ中国。” umghhhは、中国の知的財産の勝手気侭な窃盗に対するそれらの訴えに対抗して、過去アメリカでも同様な行為があったことを読者に喚起しました。”当初、米国は欧州から知的所有権を盗む事について特段の問題は無かった。アメリカのまさに初期の時代には。しかしこれがその後米国経済へ巨大な冨をもたらしたのだ” おまけとして、この読者は米国による知的財産に対する過保護であることを付け加えています。”今や知的財産の権利は、特にITとソフトウェア市場における経済を押さえつけているようだ。”

Others remained firmly on the side opposed to the motion. A representative comment came from vnDhkiJKE7: "innovative countries are open countries, which is not the case for China. China still has a de facto caste system called 'hukou' system. This hinders the flow of talents … [and] foreign players are not welcome." James Landray, who worked at Microsoft's research labs in China and at Beijing's celebrated Tsinghua University, argued that there are "large cultural and structural barriers in the way of China reaching its innovation potential". 

de facto caste system;事実上のカースト制度
Tsinghua University;清華大学

その他の読者は論題に対して強く反対の立場を維持しました。vnDhkiJKE7のコメントはその代表的な物でしょう;”イノベーティブな国々は開いた国々であり、中国はそうではない。中国はいまだに「户口」という事実上のカースト制度を有している。この制度は、才能の流動性を阻害する。[そして]外国の参入者は歓迎されない。” 中国マイクロソフトの研究所と北京の有名な清華大学で働いていたJames Landrayは、”中国がその可能性あるイノベーションの高みに達するには巨大な文化的・構造的障壁が存在する”と論じました。

In their closing arguments, the two debaters seem no closer to agreement than they did at the beginning. In arguing on behalf of the motion, Mr Tse emphasises the power of technology and the internet to breed disruptive business models and encourage competition. He puts quite a lot of faith in the outcome of the Third Plenum, a recent political gathering of China's leadership that has produced promises of liberal economic reforms. In particular, he believes that the government is now determined to end the supremacy of state capitalism: "markets will play a 'deciding role' in China's economic development." He closes his remarks by circling back to the power of entrepreneurs as the carriers of innovations that he claims will shake the world. 

no closer to ; 〜にはほど遠い
disruptive ; 崩壊的な、破壊的な
Third Plenum ; 三中全会
supremacy ; 至高、優位性
shake the world:世界を揺るがす


In her closing arguments against the motion, Ms Stevenson-Yang returns to the theme of deficiencies in China's rule of law. She believes that the overbearing role of the state and the meddling of politicians in the market ends up "hobbling the companies that otherwise would innovate". She acknowledges that there are innovative start-ups in China, but argues that in order to grow such firms inevitably must strike devil's bargains with politicians—giving up equity and control in return for political support. She believes that the lack of proper protection of IP is but "one layer in the cocoon insulating China's state sector from competition". She insists that China's leaders must step back from the economy if its companies are to innovate, but questions their ability and willingness to do so. 

deficiencies ; 欠乏、欠損
 rule of law:法の支配
meddling ; 干渉、おせっかい
hobbling ; 妨げる、困らせる
equity ; 公正
cocoon ; まゆ



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