Google getting googlied in China

It’s with great amusement that I am watching the ongoing battle between Google and China. What started as an almost diplomatic allegation over “hackers” gaining entry to Google’s developers’ desktops in its Chinese offices, is now threatening to blow over to a full scale war.

But however, is it only me who is seeing Google and China as unlikely opponents? Here are some similarities I found between them:

  • Google operates as a monopoly, so does the Chinese government.
  • The Communist party has a two tier membership – one for the influential and one for the masses. So does Google – Class A & B shares divide the influential and the peasants.
  • Chinese practice an open “people’s government” in which it chooses what should be open and what not. Google too practices an “open internet” policy, in which it chooses what is open and what not.
  • A world economy without the Chinese manufacturing backend cannot be imagined in any way. Similarly, a world economy without Google’s information peddling backend cannot be imagined.
  • China aims to achieve global superiority by being totally self-reliant and also by buying up other countries. Google also is trying to be self-reliant in its own sphere of economy by entering into diverse areas such as Electricity, Broadband, Wireless, TV/Radio and even Real Estate.

These similarities do not end here. But does continue in other areas. Nevertheless, we will never know the actual reasons behind the current face-off between Google and China.

But, IMHO Google must strike a deal with China and stay back just in order to live to fight another day.

Pension fund(a)s!

Something funny happening on the pension funds scene.

Remember Argentina a decade back ? Almost bankrupt, they liberalised their economy based on the directions of the World Bank/IMF. Pension funds too were privatised and people were given more choice and freedom. Now they’re reversing the decision. They figured that the private guys were too risky to be entrusted with their life’s savings.

Back here, private pension funds are to start operating from April 1, 2009. What a day! Symbollic ??!! Of course not. It’s the first day of the financial year and they can’t help it :-) Of course it’s not without it’s share of controversies.

Meanwhile in Japan, public officials discover to their chagrin the penalties for mismanaging pension records – vigilante style. :-(

Overheard on the pipes,

Q: Why did the Credit Card agencies start their own Pension Funds in the USA ?

A: They figured out that the people might have learnt a lesson from the market meltdown and start investing their remaining credit worthiness in savings plans like pensions.



The morning on the other day, was not very cloudy. I didn’t think it would rain either as it was quite cool and there was a soothing breeze even at around 10 in the morning. As usual I drove to our client’s site alone. After an uneventful morning session, when I came out of the building it was raining heavily. I didn’t even have my windcheater. Cursing my luck, I came out and waited for some time until the downpour turned into a drizzle. The dark clouds forebode rain for the entire day. Not wanting to get stuck in a heavier downpour, I started driving the two wheeler back home, hoping the rain gods would ceasefire for the next hour or so before I could reach home. The road is located through scenic and landscaped surroundings, with nothing to come by, except the occasional vehicle or some kids on their shepherding routine.

Somewhere in the middle of this road, I saw a middle aged man walking briskly in the drizzle. Hearing my vehicle, he suddenly turned and waved his hand. I stopped near him and he asked me if I could drop him. I said I could and asked him where he was headed to. He asked me to drop him somewhere further in the road from where he could take a bus to the city. It started raining heavily by now and as a car passed us by, I was wondering if I did a right thing by offering him help. He could have hitched a ride in the car and saved himself all the drenching :-)

As we neared a bus stand where a bus just overtook us and stopped, my passenger asked me if I too were going straight towards the city. When I replied in the affirmative, he asked me to drop him somewhere near my place from where he can go further. Though puzzled by his request – he could have chosen to board the bus and travel safe and warm – I consented and continued the journey inspite of getting drenched thoroughly.

After about 30 minutes of driving through the varying rain I almost reached my place. Just before I was to take a turn, he asked me to stop at the nearest bus stop. I stopped and he got down. But he kept his bag on the seat and asked me to wait. I was puzzled. He then started searching through his shirt pocket. I asked him as to what happened. He didn’t reply, but took out all contents from his pocket and started shuffling, sieving and vigorously searching through them. All the while, I was standing there trying not to look like a fool.

Finally with a winner’s look on his face, he took out his visiting card out of the mess and handed me the same. And said, “I’m an insurance advisor with this company. We’ve very good tax saving plans. Please do call me to know more. Please tell your friends also”.

I broke into a wicked smile, thinking I should tell him that I was also one of his breed some time back and that the only client I could manage to snare — was myself and sped. :-P

But ruminating about the whole event, I am amazed by the tenacity these people demonstrate. I know several people who have managed to achieve considerable businesses even under extreme adverse conditions.

I need to learn a lot from them.