Wednesday, January 29, 2014


...all laws are not created equal.  In countries with a strong history of accountability and oversight (which include, at least nominally, countries of anglo saxon tradition) such laws can increase transparency and competition.  In other countries that have history steeped less in rule-sets, such laws increase arbitrary enforcement and generally lead to further concentrations of power within the ruling class (in this case, the Communist Party)

China’s government has always made life difficult for firms in some sectors—it has restricted market access for foreign banks and brokerage houses and blocked internet firms, including Facebook and Twitter—but the tough treatment seems to be spreading. Hardware firms such as Cisco, IBM and Qualcomm are facing a post-Snowden backlash; GlaxoSmithKline, a drugmaker, is ensnared in a corruption probe; Apple was forced into a humiliating apology last year for offering inadequate warranties; and Starbucks has been accused by state media of price-gouging. A sweeping consumer-protection law will come into force in March, possibly providing a fresh line of attack on multinationals. And the government’s crackdown on extravagant spending by officials is hitting the foreign firms that peddle luxuries

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