I am fluent in mandarin and I have lived in China for 11 years, with respect, I feel the author of this piece is being culturally ignorant. You cannot view China through the lens of Western culture. The country just seems insane if you attempt to do that.
At almost every company I have worked for, stealing ideas off other people has been par for the course. In China there is no such thing as a win-win situation, everything is a zero sum game. You either win, or you lose. If someone else works hard and puts in the effort and cash to come up with an original idea, which you then steal, then you are considered the smart one, the virtuous one, and the fool who wasted all that time working hard is the loser.
Just the other day, a colleague asked me to draft a copyright policy to protect our company’s IP. I informed her that I’m not a lawyer, and wouldn’t be comfortable writing an air tight legal document, her response was: “Don’t worry about that, just copy if off an american company and put our name in.” It took me about half an hour to explain to her why I was laughing so hard.
That’s literally all they do.
The CEO of our company gave us a speech during the summer, in which he talked about innovation – the gist was, we need to focus more on innovative companies to rip off. We need to become more innovative in our methods of stealing ideas from succesful Western companies.
A burglar you can stab with a screwdriver, what about someone stealing your life’s work? Something you spent decades and millions researching?
It’s not racist to say this, i’m not saying that Chinese people born in Britain, America or Malaysia are the same, it’s a cultural issue.
Sure it is.
Genes magically change at the border.
It isn’t like all of Asia is corrupt.
Much of this comes from the Chinese education system. Students aren’t taught to be creative, they are dissuaded from asking questions, the Chinese method of learning is via rote and repetition. This probably springs from the method for learning Chinese characters which has been passed down through generations, rows of obedient students sitting silently, following a teacher’s brush strokes. Learning to write Chinese is orders of magnitude more difficult than trying to write a language which uses an alphabet, and this method was undoubtedly useful, but it has infected the rest of the education system, and been bolstered by isolationist, communist notions of unquestioning obedience.
They want those systems. When they escape, like Muslims, they vote for more of those systems.
Chinese schools aren’t like British schools, there aren’t many naughty kids, and anyone acting up is swiftly dealt with. In Chinese schools you don’t learn how to answer a question, you just memorise what the answers are.
No actual thought, good conscientious test-takers but no individualism allowed in collectivism, which is genetic.
This stifles creativity, and makes learning a one-way street where you have information poured into you like an empty vessel and you don’t do anything individually to increase your knowledge of a subject, you don’t ask questions, you don’t reason, you don’t pick holes in arguments, you just accept the received wisdom….
Unfortunately, John Noughton hasn’t hit the nail on the head. Now if we’re referring to China as the economic state and the lawful state (not the people or culture) it still leads the world with roughly 90% of the world’s piracy originating there. Only 0.7% of the country’s exports are for original copyright, compare that to 20-30% in the UK and US.
The fact of the matter is big IP owners across the world have to spend years battling to keep Chinese copies at bay only for the copycats to have made enough profit from their product, drop it and continue to copy something else.
This has to stop, there can be no economic recovery in the West while it continues.
Scientific papers which are increasing in number from China are having their quality continually questioned and despite ALL science graduates mandated to publish their work, they are often duplicates or increasingly similar to western work.