Wednesday, August 12, 2009

US Defeats China in WTO

. Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The case revolves around US exports of creative property, especially digital media, that China had insisted be distributed through Chinese firms. US firms wanted to offer their products directly to Chinese consumers, and China was clearly in violation of WTO rules by preventing them from doing so. So while this ruling was not surprising, it does speak to a broader friction: China wants the benefits from global trade that membership in the WTO ensures, but does not want to be fully integrated into the global economy: they still want to be able to control what information is available to Chinese citizens. This is obviously more difficult in the internet age, and rulings like this one from the WTO explain why.

Now I'm not saying that giving Chinese citizens the freedom to buy the new Jay-Z/Kanye/Rihanna track direct from iTunes is going to bring down the Chinese regime. But increasing integration into the global economy will bring increasing exposure to outside ideals and influences. China worries that those influences will gradually mutate into popular reformist movements that challenge the Communist Party.

As expected, Emmanuel is already all over this.


US Defeats China in WTO
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