Thursday, September 21, 2006

Been away, back now

I've been on the road again. A week ago, I was in Amsterdam speaking at the SIIA's Global Information Summit. An interesting cross section of technical and B2B publishers, database folks and the usual array of consultants and bankers. We talked about Asia and surprised a few people by pointing out that China and India weren't all roses....not many roses at all, actually. It was the first session of the conference and got people quite fired up.

My co-panelists were Joachim Bartels of Intrepid Explorers, EPS and the Business Information Industry Association Asia/Pacifc & Middle East, Karen Chistensen of Berkshire Publishing and Macmillan CEO Richard Charkin.

This week I was back in Seoul working with my Thai clients. From yesterday, all eyes were on the situation in Bangkok with everybody hoping that, as it seems, things will settle quickly and peacefully. So far, business appears to have been fairly sanguine about the impact of all this and is looking forward to a reasonably speedy return to 'business as usual'.

Now back in Hong Kong and catching up on the news. Picking up on the themes we discussed in Amsterdam, I see an interesting piece in Foreign Policy reporting a media briefing from Li Wufeng, the director-general of China's State Council Information Office (SCIO). The magazine describes him as "China's top Internet cop". Li apparently claimed 'We have neither the technology nor the manpower" to censor or filter the Internet. "We have just dozens of people in the Internet affairs bureau. Half of them are here today [in the room]"'. Make of that what you will along with this statement: "If someone is shouting bad things about me from outside my window, I have the right to close that window."

No comments: