Thursday, February 17, 2005

what intimidates Bill Gates?

clue? it's not Firefox or Google...

it's China! and that's coming from good ol' Bill Gates.

see this excerpt from ABC's Peter Jenning's interview with Gates. There's also an interesting part about Firefox ;-)

JENNINGS: Is there any part of the world that intimidates you?

GATES: Well I could say that every time I go to China I am amazed by the level of energy and activity there. And you know its like super charged capitalism where they're creating new jobs and they are being very efficient. And you know that's daunting. It's a challenge to the rest of the world that we got this great opportunity that they're going to build good products, but we all have to become more efficient to work at that level as well.

JENNINGS: Should we be worried that China will best the United States before long?

GATES: Well in the area of economic activity, no one bests anyone. As their people are more college educated and creating inexpensive products. That's just a great thing for our consumers. It does mean that the companies here need to think about selling to China. About how they work with partners there. And measuring their efficiency against the best in the world which in my business will be the leaders in China.

JENNINGS: Is the U.S. as competitive as it needs to be?

GATES: I think we need to renew our competitiveness.

JENNINGS: How do we do that?

GATES: Well we need to look at particularly our education system. I'm very passionate about the fact that our high schools are not doing the job they should do. They were really invented for an era where really not every one needed to get a good college education to get the jobs of the future, and so I think we need to start there. I think we need to look at some of the efficiencies in our medical care, legal system, but education would be at the top of my list in keeping the U.S. at the forefront, where it clearly is today.

and what we get here in Singapore are parents whining about their kids being outcompeted in local schools by PRC whiz kids (see last Sunday's ST). They are afraid of their children being outcompeted by Chinese students later on in the job market. Their implied wish is that the gahmen should limit the numbers of Chinese students coming to S'pore, akin to protecionist measures.

yo people! wake up and smell the roses! our young Singaporeans will be facing a GLOBAL competition when they grow up, not just Chinese or Indians but bright young talents from the whole world. shaking my head at myopic Singaporeans...

altho most parents and students would complain about our education system being high pressure, the Chinese edu system is probably much worse. With 1.3 billion people, China churns out about 2.6 million fresh grads every year. The competition to get into top Universities is cut-throat. As expected, when Chinese students come to S'pore, the better ones would find it a cinch despite being handicapped in English. neber mind, these Chinese students can probably catch up in 1-2 years for English. then they proceed to beat the crap out of local competition.


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