Thanks for your comment; one of the most interesting things for me, particularly when it comes to patent infringements, is that what we’re essentially talking about here is a difference more fundamental than business ethics. Essentially, it’s not that they aren’t willing to “play by the rules,” it’s that they believe in a different set of rules, different concepts of ownership. They are, after all, a country ruled by the communist party, in spite of their quasi-capitalism. Do communists recognize the concept of intellectual property, or the same concept of it that we do?
And this, really, is the deeper point of my post: What we have here is not two countries competing within the same system with one not willing to play by the system’s rules; what we have here is two systems, interacting and to some extent competing in the larger sphere of natural law.
Fundamentally, it seems like their system is adopting elements of our own that are recognized to be useful, elements of capitalism like the market economy (although, technically, this is not inherently capitalist) without taking them as absolutes. For instance, finance: They’ve recognized the efficiency of this method of allocating currency, the banking system, but seem not to truly believe in the absolutist notion of borrowers truly “owing” the bank, and therefore are extremely lax in how they hold them accountable. Likewise with intellectual property, they have technically upheld IP in their legal system since the 80s, on paper at least, but it’s hardly ever enforced, and I can’t help speculating that that is because they don’t truly believe that ideas belong to people.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I think they are reasonable suppositions, given the communist control of the country. And, what’s more, it seems to be working, at least from an economic growth standpoint.