Author Shaun Rein has to defend his book The End of Copycat China: The Rise of Creativity, Innovation, and Individualism in Asia, against the blockade of internet companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter in an interview with Richard Heffner. This is how China´s protectionism has helped domestic firms.
Richard Heffner´s Open Mind:
HEFFNER: But, but they’re closing off their innovation in the sense that it can’t be an international experience yet and, and Twittter can’t be born out of China because …
REIN: Well, that’s where I disagree with you. Okay? And, and here’s why … the actual protectionism actually has helped proliferate innovation in China. So, in, in the Internet mobile space … especially mobile space, which is sort of the theme of my new book … The End of Copycat China … because the Chinese players didn’t have to compete against well-funded Twitter/Facebook, they were able to make mistakes.
Initially they had inferior products, so you had companies like, you know, Sina, like Ren-Ren come up with virtual clones. Because they were protected, Chinese consumers had no choice, they had to use them.
But over the last five years some of these firms have gotten really great at research and development and they’re actually more powerful than when you … then, then the American companies right now.
Because they’ve been, you know, competing in a non-competitive environment. And they’ve now started to go abroad. So “WeChat” which is ten cents company, actually has replaced Facebook as the biggest social media population in Indonesia in less than ten months.
I was in Indonesia in Q1 of 2013 … and Facebook was all the rage. Indonesians had never hear of “WeChat”. By the end of the year when I went back, everybody was using “WeChat”.
I was in South Africa earlier this year, people everywhere in South Africa were using “WeChat”. So what we’re now …
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