Tuesday, November 16, 2010

[Videos] ABC Nightly News from China Part 1

ABC Nightly News is running special reports from China all week; considering Chinese economic reports seem to impact our markets more than American ones, I thought it worthwhile to bring them to the website.  If the rest of the week is as interesting as Monday's reports, it will be a good thing.

Monday's videos include: (a) a general overview of the growth in China (b) an interview with Alibaba founder Jack Ma (looks like the Steve Jobs of China) (c) the growth of the English language in China and (d) a story on factory towns.

All these videos had some compelling factoids that are at one level astounding and at another intimidating.  The main questions as I think out 10-15-20 years is how China is going to continue to provide these jobs as wages increase, and how will the current generation of 1-15 year olds turn out as many are the center of their parents universe due to the 1 child policy.  One can only hope they get "Americanized"... then we don't have much to worry about! ;)  It is amusing to hear how "democracy" is slowing America down - hard to argue with it on some fronts... i.e. if they want to build a road it just gets done, in the U.S. it takes years just to get permits.

Some interesting facts about the English language piece for example.  More people speak English in China now, than do in the U.S.  All government employees below the age of 40 are requires to know 1000 common English phrases.  All children will begin learning English at age 5!

In the video about factory towns, they highlight 2 adults who work in a town, while their child lives in a town somewhere else with grandparents.  They see the child one time a year.

Video 1 - China's Stunning Growth  [5 minutes]

Video 2 - Working for the Future, China's Factory Towns [3 minutes]

Video 3 - An interview with Alibaba's Jack Ma... educated in the U.S. he came back to China 15 years ago and had to insist to government officials there was such a thing as the internet.  (this piece starts with the normal American "rah rah" piece by Prez Obama "The U.S. does not play for 2nd place!" - let's walk the walk sir, not talk the talk) [4 minutes]

Video 4 - Learning English (2 minutes)

As an aside, on the 'comments' section of this story I saw a comment by a person who says "see this proves my point! If everyone in China is learning English why can't we have that rule here?"

First, yes it makes sense that all immigrants should learn English to assimilate. But second, the commentator MISSED the entire point of the story - and is so telling about the way we are inward looking. Instead he should have said "I think it might be a good idea for our children to learn Chinese so that we can easily converse with the world's 2nd largest economy, and potentially largest by the time my child is 40-50."

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