Shaun Rein writes the single most irritating article on the Google-China calamity

[UPDATE: Rein has once again outdone himself. Check the comments and the links to the original blog post by Modern Lei Feng. Yikes.]

I’ve been wondering for a couple months now how Shaun Rein got one of the sweetest deals in China – a column in Forbes that lets him link to and plug his own marketing company in nearly every column as he tells readers how great business is in China and how rosy things look there. In one recent column, modestly titled, Yes, China Has Fully Arrived As A Superpower, he takes James Fallows to task for pointing out that while China is rising fast it is still far too poor and wracked with internal challenges to be considered a true superpower along the lines of the US, a not-so-outlandish assertion. These are the lines from the article that jumped out at me:

“China is certainly not altogether as wealthy as the US or Japan, as Fallows correctly observes. But it is emerging confident and relatively unscathed from the financial crisis.

Not altogether as wealthy as the US?? As if it’s almost as wealthy as the US? China’s great. I love China. But hundreds of millions of Chinese are still dirt-poor, and while China is improving and getting wealthier, to compare its society’s wealth with that of the US and Japan, even with all of their problems, is irresponsible. “Not altogether as wealthy as the US”?? But let’s get back to Google.

If Rein’s column on China emerging as a great superpower was awful, his new column on Google with the provocative title Google’s Act Of War Against China is way worse. Like all of Rein’s columns, it echoes the party line and is resoundingly “pro-China,” always playing up the great market potential of China, (where, coincidentally, Rein heads a marketing company). It’s fine to be pro-China. I consider myself to be pro-China. But we expect to read stuff like this on Chinese BBS’s, not in Forbes:

Has Google really thought through the implications of its actions, beyond just giving up the world’s fastest growing digital advertising market and the welfare of its employees and legal representatives in China? Or is this the impulsive move of an arrogant and immature leadership team used to getting its way?

Looking beyond the implications of what is, in effect, a new mode of statecraft, we should ask whether Google isn’t using censorship and cyber terrorism as an excuse to get out of China because of business failings there. If Google were making more money in China, would it necessarily have taken this stand?

Here’s what James Fallows, a real journalist who writes consistently great posts on China, has to say about the argument Rein is embracing (that Google was creating an excuse to leave China because it was trailing in market share).

Sky Canaves of the WSJ in Beijing has saved me a lot of time (and done readers a favor) by producing a catalogue of the biggest “misstatements and misunderstandings” people have promulgated about this situation.She starts with the most preposterous: that Google deliberately picked an extremely public fight with a notoriously thin-skinned government, merely to distract attention from its commercial struggles in a market where it enjoys “only” a 35% share. That Chinese officials and “netizens” would claim this is understandable. The Westerners who took it up reveal their preference for the counter-intuitive and “clever” rather than the believable.

Rein goes on to wag his finger at Google, as if he has a better grasp of their situation – as though Google is stumbling and bumbling and screwing up, with no idea how they’re damaging themselves. He almost makes it sound as if they need a good China marketing company.

Its mistakes may have long-term effects on its bottom line. Beyond giving up search for China’s 380 million netizens, the company may now find handset makers being pushed not to carry its Android operating system. That could mean a serious long-term loss of revenue in a country with 720 million mobile phone users.

Google’s China experience also illustrates that anyone operating in China needs to empower local employees to make decisions early and fast. You also need a head of your business in China who has the credibility and headquarters support to champion such decisions.

I assure you, Shaun, Google has taken the possible loss of potential revenue from its Android phone into account, but I’m sure they appreciate the free advice.

Earlier on in the article, Rein tells us, ominously,

If other foreign firms and activist investors in companies conducting business in China banded with Google, they could launch a serious threat to the stability of China, or of any country.

You see, this is Google “declaring war on China.” There is one bad guy here, the one declaring war, and other companies might follow suit leading to a potential crisis for China (which would be bad for marketing companies in China, no?). But has China no say in this matter? Why is there not a single word about what foreign companies need to go through to enter the China market? Not a word about the actual reasons Google spelled out for its decision? Instead, we are fed pablum like this:

They [China’s leaders] have also seen how 30 years of economic growth brought happiness to the Chinese population. Let’s not forget that the Pew Center has found that 86% of Chinese are happy with the direction the government is taking the country.

Normally I wouldn’t bother writing a post like this about an article that’s so blatantly one-sided and suck-uppish. But this is Forbes, and they have such a great Beijing bureau chief and the quality of most of their articles is so outstanding – I am at a loss as to how self-advertising puff pieces like this are allowed to run. I read it with disbelief.

Updated with cosmetic edits, January 17 1PM Mountain time.

The Discussion: 71 Comments

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Richard Burger, 牛B! niubi!. 牛B! niubi! said: The single most irritating article (@shaunrein) on the Google-China calamity according to @ThePekingDuck: […]

January 17, 2010 @ 1:29 pm | Pingback

He should just get married to Jim Rogers, and get it over with. They could both wear traditional red Chinese dresses with their faces covered.

January 17, 2010 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

He’s got other posts that are almost as bad…

January 17, 2010 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

Admiral, I know. I didn’t mean to be harsh (well, maybe I did, just a little), but this one just went too far, painting Google as declaring war on China and threatening business there, without a single word about what China has done, or at least tolerated, to let this happen.

January 17, 2010 @ 2:03 pm | Comment

Thanks for sharing Richard. While I myself have disagreed many a times with SR’s insights, i dont necessarily think he is that far off the mark with his commentary on the google issue. But then again i dont really care all that much either way. However, what i still cant possibly comprehend is this 35% market share figure that keeps popping up. That simply cant be anywhere near accurate. Google is a wonderful company and i adore and use its products and services, but to say it claims more than 1 in 3 web users in China is hard to believe. Even in Shanghai, an epicenter of the educated white collar audiece it apparently attracts, it hard to find local web users that only use Google as an (ocassional) alternative / suppliment to Baidu for Chinese language search, let alone exclusive Google users. Does being used as a second choice somehow figure into market share now? Anyway, point is, i am very dubious of this 35% figure.

January 17, 2010 @ 2:24 pm | Comment

An online campaign is underway against Google and is showing the illustrations that the Google search can yield things which are degrading to the Chinese people, the CCP and Baidu (in no way can I verify such search results myself). Effectively, the Chinese people have been turned into the victims of Google. Feeling hurt, some seemed unable to control their anger towards Google and posted offensive comments. Google has become the public enemy of the Chinese people.

Previously, Google was also accused of generating obscene search results, which in fact resulted from massive input of obscene inquiries on incest originated in Beijing, making it a popular search subject

January 17, 2010 @ 2:25 pm | Comment

Adam, I’ve questioned the 35% figure as well – it is obviously too high. I’d love to see the actual source for that number. But that’s a whole other issue.

I can see agreeing with some aspects of Rein’s column. It’s lines like this that touched the nerve:

Or is this the impulsive move of an arrogant and immature leadership team used to getting its way?

That’s terrible. Anyone who knows anything about Brin’s life knows this is simplistic, and wrong.

January 17, 2010 @ 2:27 pm | Comment



But, I’ve just come to accept that SR’s articles will be riddled with outlandish remarks. However, I think he often shares very relevant and insightful commentary. The trick is to just pick out and ponder the good stuff (and not let the random stuff impede you from doing so). I do the same with Tom Friedman (and you, and just about everyone I bother reading)…(not that SR is Tom Friedman or you, but….you know what I mean.)


Hope all is well with you…

/// AjS

January 17, 2010 @ 3:02 pm | Comment

The trick is to just pick out and ponder the good stuff

I was looking hard for the good stuff in this column, without any luck. 🙂

Appreciate your input – thanks for commenting here after all these years!

January 17, 2010 @ 3:11 pm | Comment

Wow, you go against the sacred China expert there.

I actually agree with SR that leaving China is a business mistake for Google, whether their market share today is 15% or 35%. But I can see why you find it annoying, and it is by far a less nuanced analysis than Fallows and many others.

The thing is Forbes is a magazine “for the Worlds business leaders”, who like to see opinions from other business leaders. And business leaders are not meant to be nuanced, but direct and decisive. This column is in the section Leadership, and it is well identified below that SR is the manager of a market intelligence firm, so one can easily see that he is not neutral in this matter.

If those leadership articles peeve you just ignore them like I do, there is enough good stuff on the internet to go read instead. I like G. Epsteins analysis from Beijing, but otherwise I strictly avoid the “leadership” media stuff, unless it is in my own industry and for my own day job.

January 17, 2010 @ 3:16 pm | Comment

Gady Epstein is great.

I couldn’t ignore something this blatantly biased that was being blasted out under the Forbes banner. And I promise, based on the emails and twitter messages and facebook messages I’ve received over the past few hours about this post, many people agree with me but prefer not to go on the record about it.

January 17, 2010 @ 3:23 pm | Comment

Nothing annoys me more than expat hacks like this guy writing pro-CCP garbage in the apparent belief that it will work out in their favour. It won’t, simple as that, and you’ll make yourself look a damn fool and a tool in the process.

January 17, 2010 @ 4:32 pm | Comment

Wow, that guy’s article could be re-posted on a humor website, without making any changes, and it would fit in perfectly. I must thank Forbes for a rare laugh in generally gloomy China-related news this year.

January 17, 2010 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

Thanks for the post Richard and I also appreciate the comments from Adam. While I will not get into the issue of self-promotion and the possible motives behind these types of columns, I strongly disagree with the assertion that this will widely impact the Android operating system within China. The recent adoption of the Android OS by the likes of Motorola, T-Mobile, HTC, and soon others means Android is set to be the #2 operating system behind Nokia’s Symbian. While I guess China could put pressure on local hardware manufactures to prevent their adoption of Android, I believe that the global demand for such a powerful operating system on a smart phone will negate this factor. It will be interesting to see the adoption of the Nexus One in China as Google will ship internationally.

January 17, 2010 @ 4:42 pm | Comment

twitter opens a door for me into the minds of “china expert” columnists and commentators, and there are none who impress me with their vision or insight. old paradigm bs, all.

January 17, 2010 @ 5:46 pm | Comment

Thank you Richard; I also don’t get it, how this guy get’s to advertise his company like that on Perhaps they read his profile on his website and believed him instantly:

> Shaun Rein is the Managing Director of CMR, the world’s leading strategic market intelligence firm. He is one of the world’s recognized thought leaders on strategy consulting.

For the MD of a market intelligence / research firm, his columns are surprisingly lacking in the research department (or to some, in intelligence).

January 17, 2010 @ 5:47 pm | Comment

Shaun appears intent on making his name synonymous with the second part of Forbes’ famous motto: Capitalist Tool.

January 17, 2010 @ 7:02 pm | Comment

I agree with you, it’s really not good enough that Forbes is publishing such biased material on China. Good on you for making a point of it, Richard.

January 17, 2010 @ 7:07 pm | Comment

*snickers* – so much attention for that little idiot, writing for Forbes or else. You might as well start a weekly column with Lisa Carducci’s latest opinions on China.

January 17, 2010 @ 7:33 pm | Comment

“…he takes James Fallows to task…”

Enough said, really.

But if I must, from his lamentable article:

“Not only is China becoming ever more powerful economically; it is also starting to exert its political power more responsibly.”

Say what?

It’s entirely possible that Rein (or the person who got him the gig) is being overly obsequious because someone at CCP HQ has compromising photographs after he was caught in a honey trap.

January 17, 2010 @ 8:00 pm | Comment

He is the worse China ass kisser I have ever read about. Well, some people can say anything for money.

January 17, 2010 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU RICHARD! OMG SO GLAD YOU WROTE THIS, I had read both of these so called “articles” and was so mad that although I never leave a comments I did this time.
I had never heard of this guy, but interesting now knowing that his column in Forbes lets him link to and plug his own marketing company.
He is a shining example of the greed, inhuman and irresponsible condition that exists in the world today. Corporate grabbing for anything within reach with no thought for anyone else.
Maybe he aught to spend some time in the small provinces and villages of the “wealthy China” where people are loosing their homes, living in unfit polluted conditions and fight for everything they have.
Maybe he should spend so time with Hu Jia, Shi Tao or Liu Xiaobo who instead of grabbing for all the money they can make, have spent their lives fighting for the basic rights of the great Chinese people knowing that money does not get you much in this world with out your basic rights.

He is pathetic and hopefully Forbes will kick him to the curb so to speak!

Thanks Richard for eloquently putting this ass in perspective and hopefully soon The Peking Duck will be read by your admiring Chinese audience again.

January 17, 2010 @ 10:44 pm | Comment

Thanks for sharing, Richard.

I suppose the question is, does he believe most of what he writes or does he write it deliberately as a way of looking out for number 1?

January 18, 2010 @ 12:25 am | Comment

January 17, 2010 at 7:43 am

Douglas A. McIntyre

“Hello, I must be going. I cannot stay,I came to say I must be going. I’m
glad I came but just the same I must be going.”–”Hello, I Must Be Going”
lyrics by Groucho Marx.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), just days after its threat to leave China, now says it
will not be out of the world’s largest internet market. At least not
anytime soon. Instead, it is negotiating with the Chinese government, a
government which is comprised of people who are specialists at not

Google is certain that the Chinese government, or people working for the
government, hacked into its service particularly it e-mail files. Initial
reports were that Google would leave China almost immediately after it
informed the People’s Republic government that it would no longer censor
its search results. China has made it clear to all search engines operating
in its market that they must block results that are critical of the
government including references about controversial incidents like Tiananen

Google cannot win a negotiation with the government because the government
has almost nothing to lose if Google leaves. There are a number of search
engines used in China, including home-grown Baidu (BIDU), Yahoo! (YHOO), and
Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing. One more or less will not greatly alter the
ability of the Chinese to search the web.

Reuters points out that Google’s relationships with the Chinese government
and local advertisers may have already been damaged by the search company’s
attack on the central government.

Now, a few days after its initial threat, Google may have changed its mind.
It may believe that it cannot afford to leave the world’s largest internet
market. Any “negotiations” will get the American company very little. It
will have to give in the Chinese censorship demands if it wants to stay. And
, Google will have knuckled under.

January 18, 2010 @ 12:49 am | Comment

I second Diane.


January 18, 2010 @ 1:21 am | Comment

I second Diane.

I presume that he has got himself into some kind of inbetween position between forbes, his business, and the chinese government, which is why he is spouting this propoganda.

A fool and a tool! couldn’t have put it better myself. Hes probably a rich fool though.

January 18, 2010 @ 1:34 am | Comment

Raj, I think we all know the answer to the question you raise.

UK Visa, thanks for the laugh.

HX, I am not saying Google is a company of saints, and maybe they will regret or reconsider their decision. That doesn’t redeem the cloying obsequiousness and tortured logic of this puff piece.

January 18, 2010 @ 2:28 am | Comment

“HX, I am not saying Google is a company of saints, ”

They are not, and that is not the point either. Have a look at this

January 18, 2010 @ 2:51 am | Comment

Richard, I sometimes wonder that even if people approach the writing of these sorts of articles in a cynical (i.e. making heap-big-money) way they don’t start to believe it after a while.

January 18, 2010 @ 3:00 am | Comment

This is the quote that leapt out at me: That could mean a serious long-term loss of revenue…

Because lord knows, nothing, NOTHING is worse than that!


January 18, 2010 @ 4:24 am | Comment

The video records that whenever a user input “chinese people”, google would
prompt the user to search “chinese people eat babies”. It is very strange
for such an obvious racial slander to be the number 1 prompt on a prominent
search engine claiming “do no evil”.

Let us then to do a simple analysis (by using google’s own search insight how this racial slander jumps up to be #1.

According to google’s analysis, it turns out that since December 2009 ”
chinese people eat babies” has been frequently searched by USA users.
Further investigation reveals that the well educated Californian (from one
of the richest states) are mostly interested this term. You may wonder how
it could be possibly be? California is actually the most friendly state to
Chinese people and there is a large Chinese population there.

Where does Google’s headquarter (search databases) reside?


Now you get the big picture: google is manipulating its search frequency
database to spread racial slander upon Chinese People! Right around its
hypre of withdrawing its business in China because of censorship and cyber

Google == doing evil

January 18, 2010 @ 4:25 am | Comment

[…] Further reading on the Google-China issue. […]

January 18, 2010 @ 7:01 am | Pingback

Because lord knows, nothing, NOTHING is worse than that!

But lisa, what else is there to life other than making money?

January 18, 2010 @ 7:16 am | Comment

After reading Rein’s articles for awhile, I remember reading an article a few months that confirmed he was a tool of the CCP..

The money quote:

“Most of the Chinese government officials I’ve run into in the decade or so I’ve been here are not corrupt or bad.”


January 18, 2010 @ 8:17 am | Comment

“what else is there to life other than making money?”
Stealing it 😉

January 18, 2010 @ 8:27 am | Comment

Hmmm…hope you have your foil hat on. They’re listening to your thoughts, you know…

January 18, 2010 @ 8:32 am | Comment

AGREED! I have been following this SR guy for a while now. Unfortunately I don’t have a website to post an article such as this, thanks for doing it for me Richard.
I live and work in Beijing and have been astounded by the absolute garbage that SR trots out. I’m glad people other than myself and my colleagues feel the same way.
I hope there aren’t people out there who don’t know any better and actually take what this guy says seriously, and even worse – maybe employ his services. That’s gotta be a waste of money. Anyway, good job Richard.

p.s. Hongxing…That was classic. An absolute lack of logic or reason. Thanks for the laugh.

January 18, 2010 @ 9:33 am | Comment

“The Tool” award for the Three Useful Idiots of December 2009 – January 2010:

Number 3…. Tom Doctoroff who thinks “we” should “calibrate western response” to the disgusting imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo.

Number 2…. Phil Cunningham, CCTV9 regular for his article “‘Do No Evil’ lays bare Web giant’s hypocrisy” which does not even get Google’s slogan right (should be ‘Don’t be evil’)

But the winner is unquestionably Shaun Rein for the article cited above!

January 18, 2010 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Someone thinks this story is fantastic…

This story was submitted to Hao Hao Report – a collection of China’s best stories and blog posts. If you like this story, be sure to go vote for it….

January 18, 2010 @ 12:52 pm | Trackback

Is that true that Google management may be changing their mind and re-thinking to stay in China? That would be a smart move. There is no reason for Google to get stuck to their ethics “Don’t Be Evil”, when it comes to deal with China. Google should continue to offer the people in China the mutilated version and self-censor as much as Baidu does, as long as it can make money in China, the Chinese govt is happy and the people in China are satisfied. Most people is China can put up with so many evil things imposed on them and many don’t appreciate freedom. We can’t accept censorship, but the people in China don’t mind. They can be offended and even hate you if you tell them that they are being mistreated by their govt. So why bother to tell them the truth? They should be given what they deserve and a double (or lower) standard is justified for them

January 18, 2010 @ 12:54 pm | Comment

Some westerners frequently complain that Chinese government keeps on blocking some websites. Indeed, certain websites related to certain religious organizations, as well as some pornographic websites are inaccessible from China. But the blocking is just a means of protecting the welfare of the general public. The internet is providing people with a vast quantity of information, a significant part of which is harmful, especially for those who can not tell the right from the wrong, and the good from the bad.

Some ill-intentioned people are using the internet to carry out illegal activities, including pornography, drugs, and financial swindlings.Therefore, the governments have the responsibility to protect the interest of their citizens, preventing the good guys from falling prey to internet-related crimes.

There is no such thing as absolute freedom. Every country needs some kind of social rules and guidelines to keep the society harmonious.

January 18, 2010 @ 2:27 pm | Comment

Thanks for your 50C post crab

January 18, 2010 @ 2:54 pm | Comment

@el Chino
“China can put up with so many evil things imposed on them ”

What would you do in their place? They don’t put up with such things because they want, but because they are forced to.

It is easier to be a hero when one does not has to suffer the consequences of his own heroism. Anyone can feel to be a Schindler far from Nazis.

Do you think that they like to be remember every time of the shortcomings or their political system? A system that they have also to suffer every day of their life. A system against which they cannot do anything meaningful at personal level without suffering serious consequences. Consequences not only for them but also for family and friends.

Most Chinese love their country, deeper than any of us love our own. Don´t throw salt in the wounds that they have to suffer but which they cannot heal… which they are forced not to heal by.. you know whom.

What you said is unjust.

January 18, 2010 @ 3:08 pm | Comment

Thanks for your analysis of Shaun’s article. I completely agree with you and I must admit to enjoying your disdain. His CCP brown-nosing is enough to make me sick. Does anyone personally know the fellow? His he really an expat that should know better, a businessman with no morals, or a CCP member with English-ability?

January 18, 2010 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

Sounds like ICM couldn’t even be bothered to paraphrase the party handbook with that post.

January 18, 2010 @ 8:02 pm | Comment

So that’s who this Shaun Rein is. I’d seen some of his posts at China Herald, and they seemed rather glib. I had wondered why they were giving column space to such a blatant and uncritical China booster.

January 18, 2010 @ 8:45 pm | Comment

I sincerely hope Shaun Rein is fully invested and leveraged to the eyeballs in China. After all it is clearly a one way bet.

January 18, 2010 @ 10:06 pm | Comment

Check out the latest from the NY Times. Hacking into foreign journalists’ email? What are these people (the hackers, not the Chinese people as a whole) so afraid of?

January 18, 2010 @ 10:16 pm | Comment

Many people in China have warped mentality in that instead of blaming the govt for depriving their right to access the uncensored Google and many other websites, they blame Google for its search which, very curiously, led to hints offending the Chinese and the CCP and suggesting sex between son and mother . Some who got angry with Google posted comments like “Google out of China!”, as if Google, not their govt, have made them so miserable.

In order to beat Baidu and earn more favor in China, Google should manipulate its search mechanism, so that whenever someone types in the words like China or Chinese People, it turns out statements like, Chinese century is coming; Chinese people are smart and cool; China rules the world. Or try Tibet, it would give you the hints like Tibet is a part of China. Or the United States, Google would say: the United States is doomed; the United States will break up; the United States will soon be replaced by China as the world leader, etc.

January 19, 2010 @ 12:24 am | Comment

I had wondered why they were giving column space to such a blatant and uncritical China booster.

Do you understand what an opinion column is? So it’s ok to give columns to blatant and uncritical China basher, but not to China booster? Explain the logic to me.

See Gordon Chang’s column in Forbes magazine.

January 19, 2010 @ 1:03 am | Comment

Shaun Rein is spot-on that, on the surface, Google’s decision does not look thoughtful to say the least. You do not want to start the negotiation by announcing in a blog, by making a big accusation without presenting evidence. For pete’s sake, why do you need PR department and spokeman/woman in the first place?

Google’s amateurish behavior may be due to its shock on the possibility of inside job as shown below.

Google’s employees are usually top-notch engineers and Google treats its employee very well, as testified by my friend in Google. So in a material world like China, why would anyone risks his future to go against its employer for non-monetary objective, especially against an employer like Google. I suspect that is why Google quickly decides that this insider work is government sponsored.

However, Google failed to understand that the gap between Chinese and the west on Tibet and Xinjiang independence is so vast, that it is very possible that young talented individual Chinese feel patriotic and honored to attack Tibet independence movement, such as its email system.

Last year’s backlash against western media and Tibet independence is a good testament for this sentiment among young Chinese. The west media certainly never bothered to understand this. They will keep feeling puzzled, as they have always felt.

January 19, 2010 @ 5:28 am | Comment

“Many people in China have warped mentality in that instead of blaming the govt for depriving their right to access the uncensored Google”

The Google and the west feels it is championing Chinese right. So why the heck Chinese people does not appreciate it?

I think that is because CCP has found a wedge issue, i.e., Tibet independence. Go check young Chinese and tell them that someone inside Google attacked Dalai’s network.Count how many of them approve or disapprove this job. If approval rate is below 85%, I will be surprised.

January 19, 2010 @ 5:39 am | Comment

What point do you think Rein makes that is spot-on? The link you point to does not seem to have anything to do with Rein’s assertion that Google has declared war on China, that it is an enemy of China, that they are making up an excuse so they can leave a market in which they aren’t doing well, that it’s a stupid business decision, that other companies may follow and hurt China, etc. The most that link tells us is that there may have been a mole inside Google. It doesn’t say Google was shocked by this or that they never considered the possibility of such a thing (I’m sure they had), nor does it make even a hint that they were naive. What exactly do you see in that link that proves Rein is “spot on”?

Your comment seems to rank really high on the Dumb-O-Meter, but I’ll give you a chance to prove me wrong. All that stuff about Google not understanding how Chinese people see Tibet – you seem to be babbling the usual, “The West doesn’t understand China” claptrap. How on earth do you know what Google’s perceptions were about Chinese attitudes toward Tibet? (I ask because I knew some Google employees who were very, very aware of these attitudes, but if you know something different you can share with us….)

January 19, 2010 @ 5:46 am | Comment

“What point do you think Rein makes that is spot-on? ”

The decision by Google is not thought through. That is the key point. Staying or leaving china is a business decision. It is kind of stupid to start negotiation by throwing accusation in public, especially in china. Declare a war is actually a fair description on Google’s idiotic behavior.

“Your comment seems to rank really high on the Dumb-O-Meter”

That is fine. Hopefully by putting sentence like that will increase your intelligence.

January 19, 2010 @ 6:03 am | Comment

Sorry if I offended you but I saw that irritating non-sequitor and thought you were making a dumb assertion. Turns out you were indeed. Still, I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, and said it “seemed” dumb, but gave you a chance to explain. Now it’s official – you were being dumb. Rein may indeed be spot-on, but you didn’t back up the assertion nor did you explain the relevance of the CNN link you gave.

Apologies if I was a little harsh.

January 19, 2010 @ 6:44 am | Comment

Crabmeat, funny how your comment can be found, word for word, over here. Word for word. The trolls are out in force today.

HongXing Do you understand what an opinion column is? So it’s ok to give columns to blatant and uncritical China basher, but not to China booster?

No one should be given a column if they use it to shamelessly promote their own service and constantly pump out stories that make highly questionable claims all designed to help line their own pockets. (I’m not saying the columnist in this case is doing this, of course. But looking over his past columns, one does see some pretty clear trends.)

January 19, 2010 @ 7:49 am | Comment

#46 “Sounds like ICM couldn’t even be bothered to paraphrase the party handbook with that post.”

#57 “Crabmeat, funny how your comment can be found, word for word, over here. Word for word. The trolls are out in force today.”

Wow, never knew how close I was with that call. Way to get busted, Crab.

January 19, 2010 @ 8:06 am | Comment

I read this blog article in the Times of India and had to chuckle. Here we read about how nasty Google is and how they just don’t understand the Chinese but nary a word of thanks about how Google has increased China’s landmass at the expense of India…
You just can’t please everyone, can you?

January 19, 2010 @ 9:52 am | Comment

One thing can make this alright: full disclosure.

A professional commentator and journalist uses full disclosure; a marketer, salesman or promoter tends to not use full disclosure (though some do).

There is a small disclosure at the bottom of each of his articles, but rarely any mention of ‘I have an interest in…’ in articles. There’s no disclosure on his profile page on Forbes. That’s enough to discredit any journalistic integrity in my book.

I’d conclude Forbes could do a better job at fully disclosing the interests of their writers. I’d also remember the magazine is Forbes, who tend to twist into whatever market tailwind is prevalent at the time, picking commentators that write what their readers want to read. In terms of business magazines it’s a cheap tabloid.

January 19, 2010 @ 1:50 pm | Comment

I didn’t know SR before, but his style and rethoric is just CCP’s home Brew.
I would be surprise if its great firm was in fact founded or financed somewhat by the CCP.

February 5, 2010 @ 7:28 am | Comment

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi is suspected of delaying the release of donation funds she had garnered for victims of the 2008 Szechuan earthquake during her fundraising activities at the Cannes Film Festival that same year.
  Zhang’s fiance, multi-millionaire Vivi Nevo, had reportedly set up the Zhang Ziyi Foundation on her behalf in the United States to conduct fundraising activities for the earthquake victims.
  Citing information from Nevo’s close friend in Hong Kong, Chinese media reports alleged that the Foundation’s donation funds, earmarked for the Chinese Red Cross Foundation of at least$2 million, were channelled into Zhang’s personal overseas account and remained there for almost 18 months after her fundraising efforts at the film festival.

February 6, 2010 @ 12:51 am | Comment

[…] Either they are incredibly naive or incurious, or they’ve been bought and paid for. Just like our friend Shaun Rein, they point to the exact same poll he does to tell us how happy the Chinese are: What does […]

February 11, 2010 @ 5:04 am | Pingback

Just posted a comment on SR’s USA TODAY editorial about Google.

March 30, 2010 @ 1:04 am | Comment

[…]  The Peking Duck tore apart Rein’s writing on the Google China situation, calling it the single most irritating article on the topic, now Rein’s wrote the single most irritating article about North […]

August 5, 2010 @ 10:18 am | Pingback

[…] Shaun Rein’s latest creations. (For those of you who are new to this site, here’s my first post about Rein from half a year ago.) Go read the new post […]

August 5, 2010 @ 10:42 am | Pingback

[…] We take on one of the great creatures of China punditry, the China Apologist, in this week’s Sinica podcast recorded in Beijing. Actually, this creature has been around for a very long time, sometimes referred to imprecisely as a Panda Hugger, but we chose to tag and analyze — dissect? vivisect? — the present-day animal as we find him walking the Earth. And talking on CNBC, attacking Google, recommending that Nike and General Electric should invest in North Korea because similar engagement with China by Apple, Mattel and other Western companies has helped give the Chinese people “more freedom than they could have imagined even a decade ago.” The alleged apologist I refer to is Shaun Rein, who has staked out strong positions in commentaries here at Forbes and drawn the ire of some other China watchers, notably The Peking Duck. […]

August 13, 2010 @ 6:22 pm | Pingback

[…] already. You can’t really understand why Shaun is an issue without studying this column (or my post about it). In particular, his assertion that real poverty has been nearly eradicated touched a number of […]

August 15, 2010 @ 2:03 am | Pingback

[…] The discussion centered around an article written by Shaun Rein and ‘responses’ on The Peking Duck and A Modern Lei Feng. I’m not going to rehash these articles, but they form the background […]

August 20, 2010 @ 9:40 pm | Pingback

35% was the high water mark of Google market share post 2005, although if you go back to early 2000s it was much higher. It’s probably in the mid teens now.

China was the first market where Android surpassed iOS

And Google China is still profitable, even if China market share drops to zero, due to export oriented Chinese enterprises

May 8, 2011 @ 12:09 am | Comment

Nice. I presume Shaun will now write a column on how he got it wrong about Google in China. Heh.

May 8, 2011 @ 1:45 am | Comment

In resume. Don’t complain while i am fucking you, you hurt my feelings.

May 8, 2011 @ 8:46 am | Comment

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