International -- Readers Report
HEWLETT-PACKARD HAS THE RIGHT PICTURE (int'l edition)
A Hewlett-Packard financial calculator is the only influence that this data-processing giant has had on my life so far, but I know an "HP moment" is dawning ("HP pictures the future," Information Processing, July 7). I applaud HP's dedication to technology development. As technology increasingly is power, photo filmmakers who do not take technology and customers' convenience as seriously as HP will lose their competitive edge in the photography market. Well done, HP.
Guangzhou, ChinaReturn to top
IS MICROSOFT WORTH FIVE MULTINATIONALS? (int'l edition)
According to the figures in "The BUSINESS WEEK Global 1000" (Cover Story, July 7), if I had $148.5 billion, I could buy all of Boeing ($37.9 billion), McDonald's ($34.7 billion), Texaco ($28.7 billion), Time Warner ($26.0 billion), and Anheuser-Busch ($21.2 billion); or I could buy companies No.960 through 1000 ($145.4 billion) of the Global 1000--or I could buy Microsoft.
Either the latter is overpriced or the others are underpriced.
Nussloch, GermanyReturn to top
AN UNSKILLED LABOR POOL HURTS ARGENTINA (int'l edition)
I have been a BUSINESS WEEK subscriber since 1996 and I appreciate the articles you publish. I especially like Gary S. Becker's column, because he often focuses on unemployment, which is currently Argentina's biggest problem.
In his last column, however ("Don't blame high tech for Europe's job woes," Economic Viewpoint, July 7), Becker says that the high cost of labor--not technological improvement--is the real cause of the high unemployment rate in the '90s. This might be true in developed countries, where they have expertise with new technology. But the situation is different in other countries--including Argentina.
Here, the main problem, in my opinion, is that new companies need workers with more skills than the average unemployed worker has. This is a big social problem that lower labor costs might help, but will not solve.
Buenos AiresReturn to top
CHECK YOUR FACTS, SAYS THIS HONG KONG DAILY (int'l edition)
I have become wearily familiar with the distortions and lies told about my newspaper by foreign correspondents based in Hong Kong, but it is still a pity to see BUSINESS WEEK joining the pack. In your special report on Hong Kong (Cover Story, June 9), you say the South China Morning Post is among the newspapers here that are "hiring new editors from the mainland." That is untrue.
I assume you are referring to a former editor of the China Daily who was taken on by our company as a consultant. He is a consultant, not an editor. I am the editor. I know it doesn't make much of a story, but that's the way it is.
A couple of other points. You say the sacking of an analyst who had been critical of a Chinese company was a case of self-censorship. The sacking became public knowledge only because the Post investigated and ran the story.
You make the blanket statement that the press here is "putting stories about Chinese dissidents and Hong Kong opposition politicians on inside pages or not running them at all." Why, then, did the Post recently run the prison letters of jailed dissident Wei Jinghseng all over the front of our comment section? Why did we do a front-page news story on Chinese dissidents and devote the whole of our second-section page one to another dissident, Han Dongfan?
I know how easy it is to go along with the conventional wisdom, however wrong it is. I just wish somebody would read my paper before picking up the mantra. The trouble with following the conventional wisdom is that it risks taking the wind out of the sails of press freedom here.
South China Morning Post
Hong KongReturn to top