China Inc. + more things

5 minutes estimated reading time

China Inc. goes global. Transnational and national networks of China’s globalizing business elite: Review of International Political Economy: Vol 0, No 0The article finds substantial transnational linkages between the globalizing Chinese business elite and the corporate elite networks of Western globalized capitalism – through corporate affiliations and policy-planning affiliations. At the same time the analysis reveals the strong ties of the Chinese state-business elites to the party-state. Rather than presenting an outright threat to the liberal order and the corporate elite networks at its core, or indicating a co-optation scenario, the article finds evidence for a more hybrid scenario in which China as a corporate actor within the liberal world reveals its two faces: partially and pragmatically integrating and adapting to the liberal modes of networking, while simultaneously holding on to its distinctive state-directed capitalism and the (Party) direction this entails – China Inc. challenges the meaning of what the private sector means. Even private enterprises have a communist party cell who take direction from the state. This direction may be against their shareholders interests. Combine this with the lack of transparent audits for China Inc. companies with foreign listings and you have a toxic brew. More business related content here.

Impostor Syndrome from Luxury Consumption | Journal of Consumer Researchresearch proposes that luxury consumption can be a double-edged sword: while luxury consumption yields status benefits, it can also make consumers feel inauthentic, producing what we call the impostor syndrome from luxury consumption. As a result, paradoxically, luxury consumption may backfire and lead consumers to behave less confidently due to their undermined feelings of self-authenticity. Feelings of inauthenticity from luxury consumption may arise because consumers perceive luxury as an undue privilege. These feelings are less pronounced among consumers with high levels of chronic psychological entitlement, and they are reduced when consumers’ sense of entitlement is temporarily boosted. The effects are robust across studies conducted in the lab and in field settings such as the Metropolitan Opera, Martha’s Vineyard, a luxury shopping center, and the Upper East Side in New York, featuring relevant participant populations including luxury target segments and consumption contexts including consumers’ reflections on their actual past luxury purchase

I used Netflix’s DVD mail service to watch movies instead of TV for a year | Slate – interesting observations about media consumption

How Much Are Cars Spying On Their Owners? – SlashdotOn a recent drive, a 2017 Chevrolet collected my precise location. It stored my phone’s ID and the people I called. It judged my acceleration and braking style, beaming back reports to its maker General Motors over an always-on Internet connection… Modern vehicles don’t just have one computer. There are multiple, interconnected brains that can generate up to 25 gigabytes of data per hour from sensors all over the car… Most hide what they’re collecting and sharing behind privacy policies written in the kind of language only a lawyer’s mother could love… The Tesla Model 3 can collect video snippets from the car’s many cameras. Coming next: face data, used to personalize the vehicle and track driver attention… Coming 5G cellular networks promise to link cars to the Internet with ultra-fast, ultra-high-capacity connections. As wireless connections get cheaper and data becomes more valuable, anything the car knows about you is fair game. GM’s view, echoed by many other automakers, is that we gave them permission for all of this… Five years ago, 20 automakers signed on to volunteer privacy standards, pledging to “provide customers with clear, meaningful information about the types of information collected and how it is used,” as well as “ways for customers to manage their data.” But when I called eight of the largest automakers, not even one offered a dashboard for customers to look at, download and control their data…. GM’s privacy policy, which the company says it will update before the end of 2019, says it may “use anonymized information or share it with third parties for any legitimate business purpose.” Such as whom? “The details of those third-party relationships are confidential,” said GM spokesman David Caldwell.

In their own words: why voters abandoned Labour | YouGov – a certain amount of post-rationalisation in this type of research, read with caution. I’d also recommend Datapraxis analysis Tory Landslide, Progressive Split

Catalyst and Cohesion – Worms and VirusesIf there is one word I would use to describe what makes an Apple-like experience, it’s “cohesion”. Any Apple enthusiast is aware of the company’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). The Macintosh has had one since 1984. iOS has had one since the launch of the App Store in 2008. Even WatchOS and tvOS have their own versions. Apple has had opinions about building cohesive user experiences for as long as Apple has been building user experiences – the context dependence of each platform is what makes ‘building once, running many places’ so hard for all but the simplest widgets

China’s $1.3tn global spending spree will collapse, says top US official | Financial TimesChina’s international investments were “100 per cent” like a house of cards because of “debt overload, poor infrastructure, bribes [and] lack of transparency”.  “Everything comes around, it’s only a matter of time. It was only a matter of time before WeWork came around, right?,” Mr Boehler said, referring to the distressed office rental start-up that unravelled this year. “We have to be there as an alternative because I could see China take down a whole bunch of emerging countries . . . there will be more and more cracks and then the glass will break,” he added – but who will be carrying the can for China Inc. if this happens?

Debenhams sparks fears as it seeks fresh rent cuts | Business | The Sunday TimesThe retail chain is said to be targeting a further 25% reduction on about 20 stores in exchange for scrapping break clauses in the leases. The move has sparked panic among some property owners, who have sounded out rival Mike Ashley about taking on the sites when the break clauses become active