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International -- Readers Report
The Chinese Won't Give Up Piracy Anytime Soon (int'l edition)
So what's new? "China's pirates" (Asian Business, June 5) are a fact well-known by everyone doing business there. This problem will continue whether they join the World Trade Organization or not. As you put it, "it's not just the little guys--state-owned factories add to the plague of fakes." The sad part is that they may be a major part of the problem.
This piracy eventually will stop--but only when China becomes so advanced that other countries start pirating her products. That's when China will cry foul. In real time, that will be about 50 to 100 years. China's current political and economical system is unable to cope with the problem. For now, be patient and wait.
John C.M. Lee
Hong KongReturn to top
The Third World Wants Knowhow, Not Handouts (int'l edition)
Poor countries don't need aid from the U.S. or other nations ("Uncle Sam, global scrooge," Economic Trends, June 5). What we need is to improve our productivity, production, and open markets, leading to greater wealth. It's evident that U.S.--and European--aid policies have helped entrench poor standards in less developed countries as well as the poorest standards in our political modernization.
So the best goal for the U.S. and Europe is to expand their technological efforts to improve local and global productivity and help open the possibilities for us to achieve them through a more open socioeconomic system. No more aid but more productivity and technology should be our good common goals.
BogotaReturn to top
When Daimler Met Chrysler (int'l edition)
I enjoyed "Taken for a ride" (Book Excerpt, June 5). As a European with long experience of working with U.S. companies, I took some delight in reading how Americans struggled to work in the European culture. Such adaptation to their ways is just what Americans expect of the Europeans and Asians, so now your U.S. readers know how it feels.
Brighton, EnglandReturn to top
Why Should the Judge Care Whether Microsoft Survives? (int'l edition)
In "Put down the stopwatch, your Honor" (American News, June 5), Mike France intelligently argues that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson may be guilty of more haste but less speed in executing the remedy portion of the Microsoft Corp. case. However, there are some questionable points in his article. "Will the post-breakup companies be economically viable?" asks France. This is a red herring. When a judge commits a felon to prison, is he bound to consider whether his spouse and children possibly deprived of their breadwinner will have an "economically viable" lifestyle? I think not. I also cannot really imagine that Jackson "wants to restructure the software industry." He's just trying to do his job in coming up with a remedy which will make it difficult for Microsoft to misbehave again in a similar way and will act as a deterrent to other software companies.
LondonReturn to top
Investors Keep the Faith in Vimpelcom (int'l edition)
We read "Is Vimpelcom racing to the bottom?" (European Business, May 8) with disappointment. An attempt was made to analyze objectively the strategy of our company and the situation of Russia's telecom market. Opinions of market participants and analysts were included. But the headlines and subheadlines were unfortunately not the most objective.
It's enough to look at the price of our American depositary receipts (ADRs) to understand that the "bottom" for the company passed in October, 1998, just after Russia's financial crisis. Then, the ADRs were worth about $4--and we were losing clients because of the economic collapse, and competitors were trying to contest our GSM-900 license.
Today, the company has more than 500,000 subscribers. Our ADRs are at a price of $30, which is seven times the 1998 level. Our market capitalization is more than $1 billion, despite last year's losses. Moreover, a couple of hours after the announcement of the loss, our share price had risen 3.5%. This shows investors' faith in our strategy.
MoscowReturn to top