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China Communications Government

China Telecom Companies Pledge To Stop Monopolistic Practices 68

Posted by timothy
from the take-it-with-a-mine-of-salt dept.
hackingbear writes "China's two telecommunications giants, China Telecom and China Unicom, announced Friday they will substantially raise their broadband speeds while further lowering broadband costs by 35% over the next five years. They also acknowledge the existence of monopolistic practices in reply to a recently launched investigation, which is the first of its kind against major Chinese state-owned enterprises. Being state-owned companies, their profits supposedly belong to the nation, but they have also become 'golden rice bowls' for their management and employees, and their supervising departments and officials." If the Chinese government would like to investigate these companies' monopolistic behavior, I have a suggestion on where to start looking.
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China Telecom Companies Pledge To Stop Monopolistic Practices

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  • by captainkoloth (99341) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @10:03PM (#38262022)

    We can show you how to have a duopoly instead!

    • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @10:04PM (#38262030)
      How can a communist government's state owned corporation have anything but a monopoly?
      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @10:14PM (#38262082) Journal
        Architecturally, there isn't anything requiring a communist government to not pit multiple state-owned enterprises against one another in an attempt to make them more efficient(in fact, a communist government might actually be the shareholder most willing to do so; because it can maximize its effective 'value' by making the enterprises it owns more efficient, rather than by making them more effective rent-seekers, as an owner who can profit only by collecting rents and not by collecting taxes would have to...).

        There is absolutely no assurance that they would actually be thus motivated, and, in practice, you'd probably see roughly the same level of monopolistic behavior and general rent-seeking obstructionism from a state-owned corporation as you would from an ostensibly-private 'regulated monopoly', like old-school Ma Bell; but there isn't any theoretical problem preventing it from happening...

        Pitting individuals, departments, project development teams, etc. against each other in order to induce greater effort is hardly unknown among organizations that 'own' both sides of the competition they set up. Sometimes it's a good idea, sometimes it is a terrible idea; but it is empirically undeniable that (if they think that the benefits of internal competition will be greater than the waste of internal duplication of effort) people will sometimes pit their assets against one another.

        After all, if it were necessary that state-owned telcos be a monopoly, why would there be more than one?
        • I'm still wondering how a country that touts a communist style government (and China is not the only country that does this) is able to produce billionaires and a wealthy social class that mirrors US and European social hierarchical class structures.. China's rhetoric is always focused on running a government that is solely dedicated to making sure everything is shared equally for the "people".
          • by Anonymous Coward

            As opposed to the free market capitalist utopia Amerika?
            Land of the "American Dream"?
            Land where the 20% of the population who's future was sold as collateral protests the 1% who bought it?
            Land where the remaining 79% tells that 20% to get back to making collateral so they can finish what they started?

            Face it, central management or otherwise: the golden rule is "those who have the gold make the rules", and "equality" is a lie used to convince everyone but the billionaires they got as much as they deserved an

            • by AJH16 (940784)

              I believe that was cavreader's point. China has the same problems as America, the difference is that in China, the corporations ARE the government where as in the US, the corporations have to keep buying the government and it is at least theoretically possible to change that equation. There are enough of a vocal idiot minority in the Occupy movement that think socialism is a good idea and don't see it is just making the current problem permanent instead of fixing it.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            It's the same as other countries that tout the democratic free speech thing but do their very best to minimize democratic effects and free speech so that those in power stay in power.

            For the record, I think any attempt of Marxism we have seen has started with violating it's biggest cornerstones: everyone equal, including those in 'power', and no personal ownership of stuff.
            Calling it by a different name with communism helps me more easily explain the difference to the ignorant who can only accept capitalism

            • Communism, Marxism, and hardcore Socialism have a tendency to begin with mass slaughter of anyone who might disagree with those "freeing" the people from their capitalist masters. The funny thing is that the most outspoken cheerleaders for these types of governments are usually the first ones to end up in front of the firing squad. The liberal and progressive minded students that agitated for the glorious Iranian revolution in 79 where shown the door when the revolution was complete. Too bad they wasted the
          • by cyfer2000 (548592)
            Politicians are liars, aren't they? BTW, do you think all share holders are "equal"?
      • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @10:28PM (#38262134)

        How can a communist government's state owned corporation have anything but a monopoly?

        It's easy. A five-star general runs a corporation, a government minister runs a corporation, and a party chief also runs a corporation. Each interest wants their own cut of the industry in the state.

      • Monopoly or not - they have pledged to both raise speeds and lower rates. AT&T engages in "monopolistic practices", but I don't see them lowering their rates any time soon.
        • Boycott att. Now that the iphone doesn't force the necessary evil fire iphone fans, lets see a boycott!

        • The Chinese don't have quite the sophistication in bread and circuses technology that we do; but this deficiency does lead them to the salubrious habit of occasionally having an unpopular former occupant of an important position shot to appease public anger or for losing some political power struggle...
      • by JDG1980 (2438906)
        Ever since Deng's administration, China has been communist in name only.
    • In soviet China, the government owns the largest corporations
  • Pedant point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Sunday December 04, 2011 @10:53PM (#38262250)

    They are lowering their broadband costs by 35%, but what about their prices?

    • by syousef (465911)

      They are lowering their broadband costs by 35%, but what about their prices?

      Easily achieved by pulling 35% of the cables out of the wall every week. As a boon, all that cable pulling creates jobs!

      We could also re-connect the ones we pulled out the previous week, but while this creates jobs it also raises costs in the long run.

      Long live the great firewall!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 04, 2011 @10:56PM (#38262266)

    in fonts where m looks like rn.

  • Yep, in Canada is different, we are capitalist country, without monopoly, and with free market, and.....actually with only two big telcos, but don't say that they are de facto monopoly, as we live in free country. No, no and NO. And the little fact that these two big non-monopoly free market companies are pushing the government to accept some bills which could effectively kill any competition is just naked, communist, anti-capitalist lie.
  • Gee, the article kinda sounds like it's talking about AT&T and Verizon. Except the part about them promising to raise bandwidth while lowering costs. "Golden rice bowls" definitely applies.
  • What is amounts to is that America is about to keep them out of here due to their spying, but they are hoping that if we they open up what should NEVER have been blocked in the first place, that we will not close them down.
    At this time, it is in the west's best interest for us to kill that idea as well as start raising trade barriers unless they will start honoring their treaty obligations.

    Hopefully, O will not be as stupid or greedy as W/neo-cons were.
    • I'm glad to read, in the face of a 2+ trillion dollar trade deficit, that someone here agrees we need protective tariffs! Every economy that its still solvent has them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't know if you are being sarcastic or not but the USA does have protective tariffs already. It was amusing to see the free trade agreement come in between Australia and the USA where the USA wanted tariffs to be removed off their exports but no mention was made regarding the USA tariffs on lamb, wheat and steel...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          As a Canadian I would like to note that it is also not unheard of for the US to illegally raise tariffs on goods that are already under a free trade agreement.

          Personally, I'm not against tariffs. They are an effective way to deal strategically with important policy. In Japan, for instance, there are tariffs on food imports that are intended to deal with food security and ensure that an agricultural industry can exist on a series of islands full of volcanoes. It is arguably much more cost effective to imp

      • I am not saying that we need or want trade barriers. However, when somebody is cheating badly, there is just no sense in going this way. They were suppose to have honored the treaties nearly 7 years ago. They have actually made things worse with America and are trying hard to get EU to be just as stupid. Thank God that EU has NOT given into that. They still have the bulk of their manufacturing in place.
  • There's just gotta be something wrong with that picture.

    What next? "'The Cool, Fresh Taste of Marlboro Cigarrettes is the Opiate of the People' -- Karl Marx".

  • by LS (57954) on Monday December 05, 2011 @03:53AM (#38263564) Homepage

    As an internet developer in China, I can tell you that the duopoly posed by these two companies is wrecking havoc on the Chinese internet. First, a bit of history:

    Around 2001, there was only one company controlling most of China's internet access, and that was China Telecom. Jiang Mianheng, the eldest son of the Chinese President at the time, Jiang Zemin, took in hundred of millions in investment to start a new telecommunications company, China Netcom. They struggled for a while trying to compete, but China Telecom's dominance prevented them from getting much headway in the market. Jiang Zemin then used his massive leverage to break up China Telecom, and give 1/3 of its business, all in northern China, to China Netcom. This caused serious enmity between the two entities. Eventually China Netcom was purchased by China Unicom, the second largest mobile provider in China. So now you have China Telecom and China Unicom as the two major telecommunications entities in China.

    Do to the bad blood between the two, the connectivity between the Unicom and Telecom backbones is utter shit. International lines are connected through Telecom's backbone through Shanghai and other hubs further south, so if you are on Unicom, expect international connections to be utter shit. I'm in Beijing, and most home and small business connections are on Unicom. 90% of the time international connectivity is slow or non-existent.

    We have clients in Shanghai, which is mostly Telecom, our server is on Unicom here in Beijing, and they get dropped connections 1 out of every 5 or 6 requests. We had to set up a proxy in Shanghai to get around this. If you do a traceroute from a Unicom ADSL connection to a Telecom server, you can see response times jump to 300-400ms where the hand-off occurs.

    It's fucking infuriating. You basically have to either build a convoluted topology and set up some serious monitoring, or pay exorbitant extortion fees and get on a BGP network to have solid nation-wide service for your customers. As a small start-up we are opting for the first for now.

    Hopefully this government probe will also deal with these sorts of deeper issues as well, because these problems are seriously crippling the Chinese internet as a good place to do business.

    LS

  • Malice or Stupidity? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    As a long term expat in china its nice to see some improvement in the Speed department. The internet here is besides being censored just slow here compared to...well somalia maybe. it also depends on location for example if your in BJ you can get (for $$$) lightningfast internet. But just outside the provincial border (hebei) its like 56k on good days and it does not matter how much you pay.

    But i dont think its all greed. If there is the choice between malice and stupidity its usually the latter. China beca

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