Question of the week; China?

Last week we heard from William Hague that a foreign Government – thought to be the Chinese – had attempted to hack into Foreign Office computers. As the Guardian reported it:

William Hague told a security conference in Munich that the FO repelled the attack last month from "a hostile state intelligence agency". Although the foreign secretary did not name the country behind the attacks, intelligence sources familiar with the incidents made it clear he was referring to China.

We also featured some thoughts on outsourcing here and asked whether we are mad to keep putting business China's way while they appear to appropriate our intellectual property (see Jason's thoughts on the topic here and here).

So..here's a provoking question of the week.

Should we be worried about China, their economic development and attitude to concepts such as intellectual property and protectionism?

And even if we are, is there anything practical that procurement people could or should be doing about it (other than whingeing in the bar or on a blog?!)

Or should we embrace China as a low-cost sourcing destination and take advantage of it while we can? Comments please.  Doesn't have to be a 500 word essay, just let us know what you think.

Voices (3)

  1. Christine Morton:

    Well, by that logic, perhaps we should consider what it means to have a “special” relationship given this :http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8304654/WikiLeaks-cables-US-agrees-to-tell-Russia-Britains-nuclear-secrets.html

    Like anything, it is fair to say any country is looking out for what they perceive to be their best interests first. That includes China.

    Should we be worried about China? Yes, but mostly because of the currency situation, in particular the state of the renminbi and the dollar, the concept of “reserve” currencies, and the perils of quantitative easing on the value of currencies.

    What the practical things are that buyers can do is to hedge their contracts from a currency perspective, at a bare minimum. Good buyers would also be considering the reputational management issues as raised in a previous posting – so that’s checking everything from labour standards, environmental impact, etc. – but that should be done for any strategic contracts, not just ones in China.

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