The irony of the US companies getting a warm welcome in China

China retail
Image credit: Suzanne Tucker |

The world seems full of irony at the moment. The irony of the week is the success that US companies are enjoying in China. At least, some US companies.

It is a greater (and more enjoyable) irony than even the fact that the cost of data breaches will increase mainly because of the tighter regulation around users’ data. This is at a time when companies should be investing in security, awareness and education and not setting aside money to pay fines.

The irony is complete because of the US, China trade war, in which the President of the United States is trying to become the dominant economy and slow China down.

The first US company to enjoy a warm welcome and boost its efforts in China is Tesla. Going against its grain of spending nothing on advertising, Tesla is now promoting events in the country and possibly because of this (possibly not) is about to benefit from exemption from purchase tax in the country.

Two other US company enjoying an explosion of interest in China is (more irony) Costco. When Costco launched in Shanghai the other day, employees had to limit the number of people allowed in the store at any one time, such was the interest and the number of people.

Another company, albeit not American, that is getting the same treatment is Ikea. Similar scenes were reported at its launch in Henan Province in Central China.

The real reasons behind this open arms welcome is perhaps for another time, as is the fact that high tech companies seem be getting the opposite treatment and some are taking evasive action.

More relevant is the fact that Costco and Ikea have been welcomed and as a result bricks and mortar retailing is getting an enormous boost in the country.

You have to ponder the disconnect in welcoming retailers and car manufacturers while making it difficult for high tech companies like Amazon and Google and it is probably about data.

You also have to ponder the irony of a US President who seems to be attempting one thing and achieving quite another.

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