By Russ Imrie from San Francisco, February 17, 2017.
Over 700 million Chinese are online today and that Internet market has room to grow; in technical development and global influence—a lot of room to grow.
Meanwhile the United States, with a total population of a mere 340 million or so struggles and tries to uphold its Internet primacy.
Yes, the Internet emerged in the US but control of standards, managerial values, and culture of users’ social values is slipping away, eroding as Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway was chewed up as unprecedented volumes of water flowed over a backup that had never been needed in 48 years.
The sheer mass of China’s user base enables a robust divergence from the ebbing paradigm, another “Spillway” if you will. This extends to politics, national security issues, and social issues such as crime, climate change, water, etc. etc. China’s dealings with these is often problematic for the US, as they are in China ‘s self interest and less and less under US control.
An example of these huge global issues is the near-extinction of wild Rhinoceros [to the disgust of the West] herds by poachers supplying the horns for their so-called medicinal powers to the Chinese market. Huge influence there but the slaughter goes on. China’s “Great Firewall” blocking offshore Internet, and a murky regulatory environment awash in corruption and crony collusion are components of a western mindset of China as well; sort of ugly.
On another note though, the outsized sway of Chinese markets is breaking ground on another nasty problem. Controls have been laid on carfentanil, a synthetic drug that is fueling a deadly epidemic in China and the US. Struggling law enforcement has been hapless in stopping the rash of overdoses and criminal marketing of opioids.
So size does matter, enhanced with Rhino horn or not as the world changes and China edges into the “good guy” circle.