Monday, May 26, 2014

How long must you hire a consultant? China, McKinsey, and the Boston Consulting Group

Last Thursday, I wrote a post about the government of China's decision to ban Windows 8 for governmental use. And yes, I noted that the Apple/Linux fanbois would think this is way kewl.

Well, I'm not sure if the fanbois will be so hot about this move:

[T]he Financial Times, citing “people close to senior Chinese leaders,” reported that Beijing has ordered state enterprises to cut dealings with U.S. consulting firms, accusing them of spying for Washington.

Unlike the Windows move, it's clear that this is retaliation for the United States government's indictment of five People's Liberation Army officers for cyber espionage. And as Forbes notes, this may violate international law:

China, when it joined the WTO, confirmed that state enterprises would make purchases based “solely on commercial considerations, without any governmental influence or application of discriminatory measures.”

It's good that Forbes has taken a clear stand on this, and I hope that Forbes continues to campaign against the discrimination against foreign suppliers that is practiced by governments other than China.

Such as...the United States.

The Buy American Act (Act) is a federal legislation that requires the U.S. government to prefer U.S. made domestic products over foreign goods.

Now there are a number of exceptions, but frankly we shouldn't be throwing rocks at the Chinese government for preferring Chinese operating systems and consultants when we do the same thing here.

Oh, and I should clarify that the companies affected by this include McKinsey & Company and the Boston Consulting Group, who are not to be confused with the Kinsey Institute and the Boston Medical Group. The latter organizations are involved in a whole different type of consultation.
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