Human rights won’t get in the way of business

Swiss companies are like firms from all over the world: they are hoping to make it big in China. Many are hoping especially to strike gold at the Beijing Olympic Games by using the world’s largest sporting event to sell their products and services in one of the fastest growing international markets. They even have a temporary base in Beijing, the House of Switzerland. In doing so, they are displaying a very pragmatic outlook, preferring to ignore problems such as human rights abuses in Tibet in favour of their bottom line.

One has to wonder though if this approach is even worthwhile given the way the Chinese consider business. Chances are if you have a good product it will be copied and the Chinese authorities will do nothing to protect your intellectual property. Some major companies prefer to put up with this kind of piracy, betting that their sales in China will be good enough to overcome their losses to counterfeiters and makers of cheap knock-offs.


One Response

  1. China promised that bringing the Olympics to Beijing would improve human rights – it’s time to deliver.

    Human rights are not political. They’re the basis for all human life – from the right to life and shelter to the right to the freedom of expression and religion. Standing up for human rights is standing up for the values enshrined in the Olympic Charter.

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