Although it’s been two weeks since I returned from China I am now totally engaged in developing our sinomarketingus.com division. I am being tutored by a terrific woman Grace (her American name) twice a week and my head is swimming with Chinese words and phrases day and night.
At this same time I am also focused (in this blog) on marketing, new media, personal technology, and social networking. So my challenge was to find a way to reconcile the China interest with the blog raison d’etre.
This week I saw the new ads for the Amazon Kindle 3G. In fact one of our team members had one in her office fresh and new and being charged. It looked really cool. I had severe device envy since I have the ORIGINAL kindle. The one I paid $399 for three years ago when it debuted. And I was so proud to be an early adopter.
If you are paying any attention to the news this week you’ve heard about the tiff that China and the United States are currently engaged in over China’s currency policy.
And then the idea came to me – why not do both in the same post?
The Amazon Kindle (like many technology devices) is made in China. Today you can buy a better Kindle than the one I bought for less than half of the cost. I really like Amazon.com as a company as I’ve noted in earlier blog posts. Yet the refusal by Amazon.com to reach out to early adopters (or any prior buyers for that matter) with ANY kind of offer for the latest technology is stunning to me. If Amazon would come out and offer me a NEW Kindle for $159? $129 $99? I would take them up on the offer and likely offer my current edition to someone else in my family. What would be the result? For one thing they’d have another new potential customer to buy books from Amazon on the Kindle. And this current customer could then crow about the new technology and how Amazon keeps on working to make things better and better. But…No.
OK, so where does the China-U.S. currency spat figure in? It’s obvious this is a political issue in front of mid-term elections. This week the House of Representatives in an ‘unusually confrontational’ manner voted to give the Obama administration expanded authority to impose tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States. The thinking being that China in holding down the value of the Yuan, (or RNB – Renminbi), which is making their goods less expensive to sell into the United States while at the same time making U.S. goods more expensive in China. Supposedly this in turn hampers the creation of jobs in the United States.
I readily understand that the value of the RNB has to be allowed to rise to a more ‘natural’ level. But imposing tariffs on Chinese-made goods like Chinese made tires is not going to help make things better for Americans. The Chinese are unlikely to respond to U.S. admonitions and penalties other than to boycott American goods and services. And how would that make things better?
What makes more sense to me is to continue to work with other nations such as Japan (ok they are having their own issues with China right now), and European nations that are insisting that China halt the ‘manipulation’ of its currency. It will take longer but it has a much better chance of success in the long run. And the Chinese are all about the long run.
So the Amazon Kindle may get to be more expensive at least in the short term – but probably not. This is all political rhetoric and grandstanding to capture American votes in front of important mid-term elections.
Do you really think putting tariffs of 105% on Chinese goods coming into the United States will create any American jobs?