E-waste capital of the world, buying up US pork, and continuing HK troubles

1 Jun

Life in many parts of China is not a cakewalk, and certainly a far cry from Beijing and Shanghai. Yet for many Chinese, such as these people extracting materials by hand from discarded electronic parts with little safety precautions and equipment, they willingly and stoically take on hard and dangerous work to make a living, that in this case benefits much of us in the developed world indirectly. This CNN feature article flatout describes China as the electronic waste capital of the world and it’s a sobering read.

A mainland Chinese woman who studied and now works in Hong Kong gives the hard truth about HK in this SCMP opinion piece. Tensions and slights abound on both sides and worse, things have seemed to be getting worse now than they were 14 years ago, when the author was an undergrad at a HK university.

A Chinese company bought the largest American pork producer this past week, the latest in a line of big overseas acquisitions by Chinese companies. One of the biggest benefits for Chinese buyers is gaining international brandname recognition, expertise and market share, such as Lenovo’s purchase of IBM’s PC business, one of the more successful of such Chinese moves so far. Yet, as this BBC piece says, China still receives more investment than it invests overseas and it’s much too early, if impossible, for its exaggerated headline to be realized.

The headline of this post might seem to mock China, but it’s not. All three articles illustrate several fascinating aspects of China- how it’s covered by Western media, the incredible work ethic of its underprivileged even at the cost of their own health, its gradual economic power overseas, and the mainlander-HKer tensions, which are not so simple as commonly presented.


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