China Law Blog on Shaun Rein

I’ve written about Forbes columnist and China-based marketer Shaun Rein before, notably here, here and here. All I tried to do in these posts was to throw his own words back at him to show why I disagree with him so strongly. My approach may have been “colorful,” but I tried to be fair. In the last of those links I don’t even say a single word about what Rein wrote: I let his own column speak for itself so readers can draw their own conclusions.

A perennial supporter of all things CCP who states as fact that real poverty in China has been wiped out, that the Chinese people are happy, that Google declared war on China, that Deng should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, that China is like a teenage boy clumsily flexing its muscles (and must therefore be given lots of space to grow and develop), Rein has, I admit, irritated me no end. Nothing is ever China’s fault or responsibility. All blame for China’s problems get pinned on “the West” (read the US), and any attempt to call China to account, be it on its currency manipulation or lack of response to IP violations, seems to make him bristle. He is unfailingly hostile to any in the West who have the temerity to criticize China. He frequently uses straw men, along the lines of “Many in the West say…” He also, without fail, promotes his own marketing company in just about every column he writes, whether it’s for Forbes or CNBC or Seeking Alpha and often seems to slip in self-promoting nuggets (“Many of my classmates from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences have been actively recruited…”). It’s okay to promote your company sometimes, and it’s okay to remind people you went to a Harvard grad school and that you go fishing with high-ranking CCP officials, but must it be so often and so blatant?

I could write an exhaustive analysis and prove these things point by point, but luckily Dan Harris of China Law Blog has done it for me. In a painstakingly detailed but typically professional post, Dan goes through a recent Rein column line by line to make the point that Rein “categorizes all those who disagree with him as spewing ‘rhetoric,’ and implying that the only reasons for their doing so are political.” He also points out the typical Rein straw man (“[m]any attribute China’s boom as a result of stealing American jobs and intellectual property, rather than efficient economic policies and hard work ethic”] and then goes on to two of Rein’s most annoying devices, (1) insisting that everyone who criticizes China is wrong while he and he alone is right, and (2) using dubious statistics from his marketing company to draw conclusions that are questionable at best.

Mr. Rein then suggests how it is that he is right and America’s Commerce Secretary and its leading investors and economists are all wrong:

In fact, more than 70 percent of big American multinationals operating in China told my firm they did not want the renminbi to appreciate too much because it will cut into their profits. The majority also said they would increase costs to the American consumer or move to cheaper production areas if it rose.

What does Mr. Rein even mean when he says “more than 70 percent of big American multinationals operating in China told his firm” of their views? What constitutes a “big American multinational operating in China? Something like 80 percent or more of the Fortune 1000 operate in China. Did Mr. Rein really hear from all 800 of these? Who at these big multinationals was doing the talking? I very much doubt it was the CEOs, so who? What led these “big American multinationals” to reveal these views to Mr. Rein’s firm? Were the “big American multinationals” really asked if they wanted the renminbi to appreciate “too much”? Does not the phrase “too much” itself have negative implications? If someone were to ask me whether I wanted the renminbi to appreciate “too much,” I would say, “no, I do not want it to appreciate ‘too much,’ I want it to appreciate just ‘the right amount’ and no more.”

Mr. Rein’s claim that the majority of these “big American multinationals” said “they would increase costs to the American consumer or move to cheaper production areas if it [the renminbi] rose” also means nothing. Is Mr. Rein saying that the majority of these “big American multinationals” would increase costs to the American consumer if the renminbi were to increase by .0001%? Or is Mr. Rein saying that the majority of these “big American multinationals” would increase costs to the American consumer if the renminbi were to rise “too much”? Without a specific percentage rise in the renminbi as a reference point, the views Mr. Rein attributes to these “big American multinationals” are extremely vague.

…I am also troubled by Mr. Rein’s final sentence, which seems to say that because “China has played a critical role in helping the world’s economy recover from the financial crisis and is making great strides in protecting intellectual property and promoting more gender equality,” anyone who expresses disapproval of Chinese policy is “ill-informed.” I too am impressed by what China has accomplished, but I would never claim it is above criticism or that those who criticize it are “angry,” “ill-informed,” or “strikingly wrong.”

This is a long, detail-rich post and I encourage all of you to read the whole thing.

Already on Twitter Rein is showing his usual maturity and professionalism:

Shaun Rein
Not sure why Dan Harris seems so mad at me personally. Criticisms seems more personal than rationale [SIC]. Maybe his business is slow.

This, of course, is what he did with me, crying out that I was unprofessional and was personally attacking him. Shaun, these are your words, it’s what you said, it’s what you always say, and it’s why bloggers like Dan, FOARP, Modern Lei Feng and me have called you to the carpet. I don’t know who you are, I have nothing against you, and I even have said that when you write about marketing in China your columns can be quite good. It’s when you step out of your area of expertise and wag your finger at Google or the US Secretary of Commerce that you leave yourself vulnerable to criticism. And you never seem to learn. Same old same old. (And to readers who haven’t read FOARP’s excellent deconstruction of a recent Rein column, please go there now. Same with Modern Lei Feng’s post.) Shaun, don’t you wonder why so many commenters and bloggers make the same criticisms of your columns over and over and over again? Are we always wrong, while you are always right?

I want to thank Dan Harris for taking the risk to stand up to Rein and call him to account. This is what good blogging is all about. Just be prepared for Rein to bad-mouth you and call you unprofessional. Pot, kettle….

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 51 Comments

Shaun Rein has invented a new writing form: Gonzo apologia!

February 22, 2011 @ 4:03 am | Comment

The wind of revolution is blowing in China! The Jasmine revolution will take hold in China! Massive violent protests begin in China!

Twitter, facebook, people are being rallied around on the online community around China!

20 protesters gathered in front of McDonalds in Shanghai, plus 50 journalists and photographers from CNN.

30 protesters gathered in front of Wang Ju Fing in Beijing, plus 65 journalists and photographs from BBC, and lo and behold, wtf, American Embassador Jon Huntsman was also amongst the 30 protestors, but “quickly left after he was identified by a Chinese crowd”

(http://shanghaiist.com/2011/02/21/jon-huntsman-jasmine-revolution.php)

Revolution is coming to China, I think this is it for the CCP, this is really it.

February 22, 2011 @ 6:24 am | Comment

I am going to criticize Peking Duck for bring up this topic up. Shaun Rein writes based on his opinion and he is entitled to his. You don’t have to agree with him. That’s OK. But it is very low blow IMO to single him out. It is like another blogger decide to write another piece criticizes Peking Duck. Sorry, all those comments just make your blog unprofessional.

February 22, 2011 @ 7:16 am | Comment

But Jim, Richard is also just giving us his opinion. Is he not entitled to that? And I don’t imagine he would mind if you disagree with him.

If a blogger wants to criticize PKD, I imagine that would be their prerogative.

On the other hand, Mr. Rein should probably reconsider whether punditry is his cup of tea if he is unable to take some criticism of his opinions.

February 22, 2011 @ 7:39 am | Comment

@Jim
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
If you read Article 19
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. ”

Whether you agree or don’t agree with what is written is your right. I personally like a lively debate ;-)

@HX
I’m not so sure. Most of the news sources I read say there was very little public interest. Anyway, if it does, I’d like it to wait until at least after the 19th of May. Don’t want my holiday spoiled by people demanding their human rights and governments telling them with bullets not to be so ungrateful….

February 22, 2011 @ 8:06 am | Comment

I understand that Richard can disagree with Shaun Rein’s view and post something on Shaun’s blog to criticize his view or discuss him in private. But it is another thing to create a topic just to criticize another fellow blogger. Richard, IMO, just crosses the “civility” line. Do we really want this “flame war” between fellow blogger similar to Billy O’Reilly and Olbermann for cable news?

Of course, Richard can write anything he want. After all, it is his blog. However, after reading a couple of sentences, I just couldn’t read anymore. It reads like child bickering. The whole message he tried to convey has lost on me.

February 22, 2011 @ 8:15 am | Comment

@Mike Goldthorpe, where is civility in this country? Of course, there is freedom of speech, however there is right and wrong way to do it. It is like that Republican congressmen who shout lie to President Obama during the his State of Union Speech. Sure, he has right to speak, but it makes him look ridiculous during the national TV.

February 22, 2011 @ 8:20 am | Comment

Jim
This country being…? Being the internet, we’re international (except where it’s been banned ;-) )
Jim, in a way, I agree, but it is Richard’s blog. We’re just people who happen in, people who are, I guess, nosey and opinionated and then like to get into discussions.
Anyway, flame wars are infinitely better then bullet wars. No one gets killed, only end up embarrassed (or not). It’s people like us who reply and make comments on it that make the topic live. If we didn’t write anything, it wouldn’t survive long and soon become replaced by another topic (like some non-revolution in some large empire somewhere).

February 22, 2011 @ 8:39 am | Comment

@Jim

There are three things that most of us find grating about Rein:

1) his sucking up to the CCP (because it pays)
2) his endless self-promotion (because it pays)
3) the logical flaws in whatever arguments he’s making (because he doesn’t know better)

Exposing frauds (especially well-connected ones) is a public service. I say thanks to the bloggers who bother to do it.

Maybe Rein is well-intended and all of this is just cultural misunderstanding (showing off one’s education, income and networking, for whatever reason, puts off most anglo-saxons; praising people in power puts them off even more).

But I don’t think we’re roasting him because of character flaws; hell, I personally have a weak spot for arrogant bastards. (They’re usually competent men of great drive and stamina.) We’re roasting him because he’s wrong to the point of being immoral in his opinion pieces. His endless self-marketing, that’s just one more thing to make fun of…

I know it all sounds terribly mean, but we’re just trying to make the world a better place :)

February 22, 2011 @ 8:50 am | Comment

Laws in China? Neat!

February 22, 2011 @ 10:08 am | Comment

To Jim,
we can agree to disagree. Richard has a blog and can wax on about anything that moves him, or pisses him off. He puts it out into the public domain, and readers can choose to read it or not, or pass judgment on whether it’s worth their while to come back. Similarly, if Mr. Rein chooses to put his opinion out in the public domain, then there should be no expectation of criticism only on his terms, and only where and when it is convenient for him. So I see no reason why Richard or anyone else needs to go to Rein’s blog to tell him he’s being an idiot; nor should there be any expectation that such an assessment only be conveyed in confidence.

As for ‘flame war’, as Mike says, one of those never hurt anyone. Besides, if Rein trolled through here and told Richard his mother wears army boots, well, I for one would find that hilariously amusing.

Furthermore, Rein is not the POTUS. His articles are not the State of the Union. We are not at a Joint Session of COngress. There is no protocol to adhere to here.

When CLB takes a meat-tenderizer to Rein’s writing line-by-line, and Rein comes back by trying to characterize it as “personal”, there is no doubt in my mind about who needs to look in the mirror.

February 22, 2011 @ 10:09 am | Comment

Jim, Shaun knew he was putting himself out there when he took on his various columns. It is not a low blow at all to criticize him, unless I’m making stuff up or being vindictive. If Shaun wants to say outrageous stuff I see nothing wrong with calling him on it. I am in good company, too. About civility – I believe I’m more than civil.

I am going to criticize Peking Duck for bring up this topic up. Shaun Rein writes based on his opinion and he is entitled to his.

He is entitled to have his own opinion, but not his own facts. The distortion of his pseudo-survey cited in the post is a perfect example of Rein basically making stuff up, just like he presents China as being almost as wealthy as the US. I do not begrudge anyone his right to have an opinion. But if you’re going to put your opinion out there in the media, be prepared to have others call you on it when you’re being ridiculous.

February 22, 2011 @ 11:57 am | Comment

I think what Rein’s critics find annoying is not that he takes a not-so-anti-CCP stance, nor that he has flaws in his logic, nor that he is a self-promoter, nor that he makes generalizations based on skewed samples: it’s that he is successful, widely read, and taken seriously while doing these things. I come across a hundred straw-man-using, self-promoting, logic-ignoring bloggers and commenters a day, but I can safely ignore them. But when Rein writes something, ohers repeat him, he is quoted as an authority, and his opinions (sometimes infuriatingly) become common/received wisdom.

Now, how does he manage this? Because he is a master of a good story – and of “not letting the truth get in the way of a good story”. He takes a grain of fact and packages it in a way that *appears* simple, well-informed, and authoritative.

He posits an overly uniform perception of what “people might think” (like “the CCP is unfettered evil” or “100% of MNCs demand RMB appreciation”) and highlights the fact that there might be another side. And he’s right! Of course the CCP isn’t, as one, holding Satanic masses and cackling while the masses starve – it’s a big, complex organization of individuals with thousands of diverse motivations and opinions and policies, and does some good things while bungling many others in the most serious ways. Of course there is controversy and discussion about RMB appreciation. He then takes his “contrary” positions (CCP might do some good things! RMB appreciation might not be the panacea for all business problems in China!) and elaborates them into a somewhat controversial, but not too controversial, short opinion pieces.

It is very difficult to do this! I admire his skill.

At the same time, I also believe that accurately, fairly, and faithfully conveying the complexities of his topics is much more difficult … and he does not attempt it.

February 22, 2011 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

“However, after reading a couple of sentences, I just couldn’t read anymore.”

It usually doesn’t pay to make a comment about a whole article if you haven’t even taken the time to read it in its entirety. Richard painstakingly presents his arguments and usually goes out of his way to be civil, evenhanded and fair, even when those of us who make comments on HIS blog aren’t quite so generous.

Civility, like justice, is for those who can afford it. I know that’s a fatalistic view of things, but in my mind it is reality.

February 22, 2011 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

What bugs me about Rein:

1) His articles contain glaring inaccuracies (“real poverty is almost gone in China”, “Deng Xiaoping enacted laws to prevent his offspring taking power”, “the ‘west’ awards the Nobel prize” etc.).

2) His self-promotion in his articles (education, business, CCP-connects) often without even the bare excuse of it being necessary to make a point in his article.

3) His inept use of Blair/Clinton-style triangulation (“give Deng and Ghandi the Nobel”, “China doesn’t get credit for growing sexual equality”, “The US should invest in North Korea” etc.) to try to find a way of please his (presumably) US audience at the same time as his Chinese audience. As if people will go along with the moronic idea of awarding a Nobel to Deng Xiaoping just because we can also award it to Ghandi at the same time, as if people are going to give China a pass on its relatively poor enforcement of IP just because women aren’t as oppressed as they used to be, or will go for lavishing money on North Korea.

4) The kissing-up to the CCP that happens as a result of 3)

5) The way he reacts with what are essentially personal insults when people point these things out to him (Dan Harris’ business must be doing bad, Richard Burger is old and has little experience of doing business in China, to paraphrase a couple).

6) The fact that he is treated as a “China” expert when he indulges in all of the above. The fact is that many of the “facts” in his articles seem to come off the top of his head, and are true merely because he feels them to be true, or are not actually “facts” at all (i.e., “80% of large US businesses in China I’ve spoken to say they don’t want Y to be too X” – What is “large”? Which ones have you spoken to? Who in their sane minds would want “Y to be too X”?).

February 22, 2011 @ 2:55 pm | Comment

I’d never heard of Rein until Richard drew attention to his columns. I read a couple and gave up, finding them trite and full of the flaws that Richard highlights. What I don’t understand is why people still keep bringing his name up. Does he command a large audience or great deal of respect that I’m not aware of?

February 22, 2011 @ 5:37 pm | Comment

@Jenny Chu

Are you the person I met on New Year’s Eve 2008 in Hong Kong while I was jumping on a bar with a pink rabbit hat on? I believe you were dancing on the giant speaker to the DJ’s left. We had a great conversation, abruptly ended by the fact that I inadvertently spilled a drink on your husband.

February 22, 2011 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

I think Shaun Rein should be happy about the attention he gets, and improve his rationale if genuine flaws are pointed out. To suggest that a (pretty civil) critic’s “business is slow” is unprofessional indeed. But being criticized doesn’t make a man look bad. How he is perceived will mostly depend on how convincingly – or unconvincingly – he reacts.
Is Mr Rein really in the marketing business? He should apply some of his professional knowledge to the way he presents himself.

February 22, 2011 @ 6:36 pm | Comment

@ Mick, #16:
When someone writes for Forbes, you may as well bring his name up on a blog. That’s the nice thing about blogging – the mere fact that you write for an established paper doesn’t make all your statements appear to come from the Sinai anymore. There can be genuine public debate.

February 22, 2011 @ 6:39 pm | Comment

@Res Poet – Wait, so that was your Piña colada that got splashed all over my ruffled shirt/lederhosen two-piece? A laundry bill is on its way . . .

@Mick – Yeah, it’s the fact that Forbes lends him credibility which his opinions do not deserve.

February 22, 2011 @ 7:37 pm | Comment

Jenny, I respect your opinion. Please read this earlier post carefully and let me know if you don’t see my point. I think you’ll see he is sloppy and, unfortunately, sexist (you can see the undisguised sexism in this post). It’s not about point of view. it’s about arrogance, sloppiness, silliness (see the post on giving Deng the Nobel prize posthumously, even though it’s not awarded posthumously), being a know-it-all and being predictably one-sided. I encourage all viewpoints of China. I infuriate some of my own readers by highlighting the CCP’s successes – no story is one-sided, and the party can’t be described as all evil or all good. In Shaun’s columns, it is literally always one-sided, and presented in a way that shows contempt for those who think differently. That’s my take on it, and that of many really smart bloggers like Dan Harris, who don’t write posts like this lightly. Take it or leave it.

February 22, 2011 @ 11:26 pm | Comment

There are two ways to look at progress in China:

1. Comparing with the West: you get a very gloomy picture.
2. Comparing with China in the Past: you see hope and even success.

February 23, 2011 @ 12:00 am | Comment

I see hope and success, and also some huge challenges and some painful mistakes. And compared to the West today, China isn’t doing too badly.

February 23, 2011 @ 12:02 am | Comment

@FOARP

I know this will do nothing except make you giggle even harder, but that was a serious post. I once met this extraordinarily well-educated and pretty girl named Jenny Chu (or Qu or Choi or something along those lines) in a bar and man, I would have loved to take things further (ahem, to intellectual realms of course) but gravity played some nasty tricks with my drink and apparently the person I showered was her significant other. Sigh… Now I’ll never see her again.

February 23, 2011 @ 1:07 am | Comment

@Res Poet – Lol, but seriously, you’d better pay the bill . . .

February 23, 2011 @ 2:56 am | Comment

Is this Rein the clubfooted Joseph Goebbels of the 21st century?

February 23, 2011 @ 7:00 am | Comment

I wouldn’t go that far. I don’t think Rein has a clubfoot. (Joking.)

February 23, 2011 @ 7:05 am | Comment

Okay. No deformities. Does he tryst with numerous actresses whilst producing a six pack of children with his lawful.

Seriously, I would be looking to see how China looks after its 1000 or so expats presently walking to safety after being robbed blind by gunmen in Libya this morning.

February 23, 2011 @ 7:29 am | Comment

Ahem. Comparing Rein to Goebbels is going a bit far don’t you think?

February 23, 2011 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

Thanks for the clarification. Not being a ‘business leader’, I don’t read Forbes. However, I note that its motto is “The Capitalist Tool”. I suppose Rein represents the Capitalist Tool with Chinese Characteristics.

February 23, 2011 @ 8:40 pm | Comment

FOARP, much too far. I think (hope) the analogy was in jest.

February 23, 2011 @ 10:32 pm | Comment

I don’t uanderstand all of the complaining about Richard writing about Shaun Rein. Rein is a columnist. That means we can criticize what he writes about. Rein is so often blatently critical of the views of others and even of the other writers themselves. I will not soon forget the vicious way Rein went after Modern Lei Feng on Twitter after MLF had written an article on his blog mocking Rein for having criticized the United States for not engaging in more trade with North Korea. We should not be complaining when Rein gets a taste of his own medicine.

Does anyone know why Rein does not defend himself? If I were him, I would be on here with the statistics to back up what I had said. I think he is not coming on here because those statistics dont exist.

February 23, 2011 @ 10:47 pm | Comment

Wow, and add to the list, if it isn’t there already, that Rein is incredibly thin-skinned for a so-called “expert” with a significant public platform. Dan is “mad” at him? Wowzer.

February 24, 2011 @ 2:10 am | Comment

Unfortunately that’s Rein’s standard MO. He turned on Modern Lei Feng and me and on Dan. His mind is a simple mechanism: to criticize Shaun Rein is to be a fool and a hater, and he never addresses the issues his critics raise, but instead goes after them in personal slights. He has yet to answer for his sexist remarks on Hillary Clinton; an apology for that is way overdue. As someone on Twitter wittily remarked in imitation of Mr. Rein, “I don’t understand why people call me an apologist. I never say I’m sorry for anything.”

February 24, 2011 @ 2:45 am | Comment

Shaun Rein just tweeted:

shaunrein
Certain bloggers send unwelcome, anonymous hate mail again & again & use same words as in posts

He also says some bloggers compare him to Goebbels.

I want the record to state that I have never, ever even thought of sending Shaun mail of any sort, let alone hate mail. Never. Also, when someone in this thread made the comparison to Goebbels I made a joke about it, and then said this was going “much too far. I think (hope) the analogy was in jest.” I would love to know how he is certain the hate mail is coming from “certain bloggers.” Couldn’t they just be certain readers?

Anyone who sends anyone hate mail is an idiot. I get it all the time, and consider it one of the risks of being out there blogging.

February 24, 2011 @ 11:51 pm | Comment

Of course, that depends on your definition of hate mail. Is it hate mail to write to say you disagree with him and question his facts or stats?

February 25, 2011 @ 1:12 am | Comment

If it’s written anonymously and is obviously intended to hurt, as opposed to constructively criticize, I would call it hate mail. Here is an example of a hate email I received earlier this week:

From: Mark Lau
Fucking hook nose….fucking oven dodger – you and your fucking family –you need to be skewered on the end of someones bayonet —you fucking flea ridden greasy hook nose!!!!! Fucking juden lice…..go get a delousing!!!!!! hahahahahahahhahaa

Now that’s hate mail.

Sending any anonymous email is cowardly. If it’s hateful on top of that, it’s disgusting. Shaun’s tweets incriminate me, intentionally or not, and it’s further evidence of – well, call it what you will. I don’t hate Shaun, no more than I hate other pundits I’ve criticized in the past. They may irritate me, but I don’t hate them.

February 25, 2011 @ 1:26 am | Comment

I’m also going on the record as saying that I have not contacted Shaun Rein, would not want to contact him, and am 100% certain that whoever got in touch with Rein is no-one known to me.

February 25, 2011 @ 1:42 am | Comment

I’d like to go on record and state that I DID send Shaun an email – about 15 minutes ago, telling him in no uncertain terms that I never sent him any prior email, hate mail or any other category. Once, many months ago, Shaun wrote me an email about a comment I left on Forbes, and that was our only previous interaction.

I can’t tell you how disturbing this is. By saying “certain bloggers,” Shaun is once again creating a straw man, and damaging the reputations of bloggers who’ve dared criticize him, like me, FOARP, Modern Lei Feng and China Law Blog. I know each of these people, at least through my blog comments and emails, and I can swear on a stack of bibles or Red Books or Qu’rans that none of them would EVER send hate emails to Shaun or anyone else. The accusation is nothing less than disgraceful.

February 25, 2011 @ 1:54 am | Comment

What a way to sully what’s left of the Forbes name. They are highly remiss in not fact-checking Rein’s crap, but they should look into his character first and foremost.

February 25, 2011 @ 5:19 am | Comment

Really shocking. Has he no moral decency? How can Forbes tolerate this?

February 25, 2011 @ 5:30 am | Comment

SR and Goebbels. OMG. I was simply indicating that I thought all this attention that SR was getting was both disproportionate and boring to read. A retread thread.

February 25, 2011 @ 5:48 am | Comment

Tub, Shaun of course used your comment as proof that this site compares him to Nazis. Good grief.

February 25, 2011 @ 6:05 am | Comment

Well, this “one of the worlds foremost thought leaders” needs to develop a teflon exterior. To respond to such a throw away comment indicates a certain basic insecurity, and since his self-promo-reputation resides in his ability to provide strategic sino-advice, one has to wonder about the latter.

Is there any aphorism dealing with gullible western investors and glossy, crafted websites?

Anyway, two very average degrees only entitles one to provide advice on Albanian investment opportunities.

February 25, 2011 @ 6:57 am | Comment

Have you seen where the Duck’s posts show up when you google Shaun Rein? No wonder the guy is stewing.

February 25, 2011 @ 7:55 am | Comment

To Richard #37:
writing the sort of crap this one Mr. Lau did there debases the writer far more than it ever will the intended recipient. The need to implement profanity is also something that occurs with alarming regularity among new English speakers. Even though that word is remarkably versatile in its ability to be used as a noun, verb, adjective, and adverb, its overuse simply reflects on the lack of depth of the user.

It also amazes me that, as a visible minority in a foreign land, such individuals would actively engage in racism themselves. On the other hand, I long ago realized that we’re not dealing with budding Einsteins.

As for Mr. Rein, it’s truly time for him to grow a pair. Anyone who focuses on the critic rather than the criticism belies a rather shallow intellect. Perhaps Harvard isn’t what it used to be.

February 25, 2011 @ 9:32 am | Comment

@KT – Hate to say it, but I knew that was the exact line that Rein would take when I read that comment.

@SKC – Mark Lau, AKA Wayne Lo, AKA Mongol Warrior, has emailed pretty much every China blogger from the mighty Fallows down to the somewhat-less-mighty FOARP with the same kind of garbage. For the people that love to throw around the terms “ad hominem”, “personal insults”, and “trolling” when they are actually just talking about people criticising their opinions – this is the real stuff.

@Richard – I’m sure you’ll have been cool and calm in making your response to Rein, still, it’s probably wasted effort.

February 25, 2011 @ 2:54 pm | Comment

To FOARP:
I guess there are losers, and then there are losers who need to use multiple aliases despite the anonymity already afforded by the internet. The capacity of humans for absolute nuttiness never ceases to amaze me.

February 25, 2011 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

http://www.reddit.com/user/reddithatesjews28

I had never read Shaun Rein’s stuff before, but seeing him mentioned here, he reminded me of some of the stuff written in the threads of Reddit by ‘reddithatesjews28′. Check out the posting history, there are some things that jump out from his blog and the reddit posts.

I feel like I have become part of the human flesh search engine. “Half American-Jewish and half Chinese, Rein must be a frightening sight in the rear-view mirrors of his competitors.” The posts on reddit I presume contain a degree of fiction to disguise the trail, but there seems to be a corresponding tale. “Let me tell you about my main experiences with North Koreans. In the mid-1990s I found myself the only non-North Korean in a class studying Chinese in northeast China.”-Forbes; “I live in northern china, we have millions of koreans from north and south korea living in china as a minority in cities like shenyang”-Reddit. This may seem like a large disparate connection, but if this is his alternative identity in another sphere, then there is further insight into his psyche. Reddit has the function to delete your posts and erase your connection to comments, ‘reddithatesjews28′ has erased many of his ‘far out’ comments going back.

Any chance?

February 25, 2011 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

@Taleem – Doubt it. The Redditer you link to claims to have been in the IDF.

February 25, 2011 @ 7:29 pm | Comment

[...] latest case in point isn’t even Shaun Rein, instead it’s a column by another Forbes contributor, about how China is welcoming in [...]

February 16, 2012 @ 11:03 pm | Pingback

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