Shawn Mahoney

Shawn Mahoney has travelled the world and his mind and still isn't sure which is which. He looks forward to continuing the discovery and journey with everyone out there on the internets.
Shawn Mahoney has written 21 posts for China News

China’s supposed top world education ranking is designed to deceive

The Program of International Student Assessment (PISA) scores for 15 year olds around the world were recently released. While these scores do offer some indication as to how students from a given country compare, we should be reticent to make took much of these scores. Shanghai in particular is a city where much ado has been made about apparently high … Continue reading

Why big American businesses fail in China

If Tolstoy had written a history of foreign corporations in China, it might have started something like this: “Companies that succeed in China do so for similar reasons; every company that fails, fails in its own way.” Since China opened up to foreign investment in the late 1970s, some of America’s most powerful corporations have … Continue reading

China gender issues

Great amalgamation of some recent articles on gender issues in China at the China Digital Times (China’s Gender Gap Reaches from Rural Areas to Cities). For anyone who is interested in this topic this review of my good friend Professor John Osburg’s book at Tea Leaf Nation adds a lot to this conversation. One of the key … Continue reading

China: Chengdu protest silenced

The article below by Fox News is a very insightful, albeit quick look, at the ongoing struggle for transparency and reform in China. The tone of the piece is focused on a key idea – If China’s government would be open and transparent about what’s being done and why in regards to the environment, maybe … Continue reading

The real cause and impact of China’s labour shortage

China continues to suffer a labour shortage in its key coastal manufacturing regions. This, no doubt, is impacting U.S. and other foreign companies operating in China. But the labour shortage is not due to a lack of available workers. Instead, it is prompted by Chinese government policies, as well as prevailing work and living conditions … Continue reading

China: Lighting three fires or the dead hand of Deng?

As the months have progressed since Xi Jinping became General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, there has been intense public scrutiny into his current and potential actions. One day you can read an article saying he is not a reformer and all hope is lost, the next an article saying he will finally be … Continue reading

China sends mixed messages

After last year’s leadership transition, many U.S. firms doing business in China hoped to see an expansion of trade and an easing of regulations in 2013. The sudden openness of the Chinese media and Xi Jinping’s apparent crackdown on corruption has fueled this speculation. Unfortunately, this year is shaping up to be nearly as vexing … Continue reading

China needs new enforcement incentives over food safety

Reuters is reporting on a new proposal in China to pay up to a 300,000 RMB (just under $50,000 USD) reward for those that inform on food safety violations. This is the precursor to a series of laws to strengthen food safety and enforcement expected over the next few months. Unfortunately, this will do nothing to abate … Continue reading

A Chinese education, for a price

For Chinese children and their devoted parents, education has long been seen as the key to getting ahead in a highly competitive society. But just as money and power grease business deals and civil servant promotions, the academic race here is increasingly rigged in favor of the wealthy and well connected, who pay large sums … Continue reading

China’s stopgap leadership

The unveiling of China’s new leaders is a great disappointment to those hoping to see real reform. Neither of the two reform minded candidates Wang Yang and Li Yuanchao was promoted from the Politburo to the Standing Committee. However, the ultra conservative Meng Jianzhu did not follow his predecessor Zhou Yongkang out the Public Security Apparatus … Continue reading

China’s one-child conundrum

The China Research Development Foundation has caused a fury of media speculation with a leak of its recommendations on changing China’s one-child policy. This is the newest proposal added to the clamour for change to the three-decade old policy. As a think-tank of the Development Research Centre, which is under the State Council of the … Continue reading

The ethereal China dream

On my recent trip to China I kept thinking about Thomas Freidman’s article “China Needs Its Own Dream”. In it he discusses the fact our planet cannot sustain China following the American path of consumption simply for consumptions sake. I was drawn to compare Friedman’s thoughts with those of Richard McGregor. In the last line of The Party … Continue reading

China and the CCP in the next decade

As we approach the upcoming leadership transition at the Chinese Communist Party Congress on November 8, the trend in China news and reporting is decidedly negative. In addition to a focus on the Bo Xilai scandal, East China Sea standoff, and the slowing economy, there has been an uptick in doomsday reporting on China. The … Continue reading

China is not a functioning meritocracy

Two months ago Professor Daniel Bell of Qinghua University wrote an article in the Christian Science Monitor about what American democracy could learn from China’s one party rule. The focus of his piece is on the positive values of meritocracy in a one-party system versus the flaws of modern American democracy. There are a plethora … Continue reading

Modern Chinese ethical dilemmas

Two pieces of news out of China in the last few weeks really caught my eye. I specifically focus on these as neither is directly related to the upcoming transition of power, the Bo Xilai scandal, or the current Sino/Japanese tensions. Unfortunately items such as these typically get lost in the headlines of larger stories. … Continue reading

China’s ghost infrastructure

As the Chinese economy continues to slow there is a growing consensus additional stimulus packages are forthcoming. What will be interesting to see is the exact nature of any new stimulus the central government enacts? Will it be focused again on infrastructure building at the local and provincial level? Will it be construction centric like … Continue reading

China: Where in the world is Xi Jinping?

A NY Times article talks about the fact that the expected New President of China, Xi Jinping, is currently “whereabouts unknown”. Over the last week he has cancelled meetings with two Prime Ministers and the US Secretary of State. The fact he seems fully unavailable to attend what should be great photo ops in the run up … Continue reading

Science Fiction in China

This past weekend I attended my first World Science Fiction Convention at Chicon 7. During the convention I listened in on several panels about Science Fiction in China. These panels were extremely interesting and very informative. There were discussions of many historical facts and ideas regarding the history of Chinese science fiction, which dates back to the … Continue reading

China needs less stone lifting and more communication with Japan

The current increase in anti-Japanese fervour in China is a worrying trend. Neither Japan nor China is free and clear in the escalation of tensions, with hawks from both sides seeking to take advantage of the situation for their own political needs. With the attack on the Japanese Ambassadors official vehicle yesterday, the tone of … Continue reading

China’s next six months

In his post on August 19, Patrick Chovanec included these thoughts on the immediate future of China and what the US Presidential candidates ought to be paying attention to in regards to China. 1) China’s economy is not just slowing, it is entering a serious correction.  The investment bubble that has been driving Chinese growth … Continue reading

Graduate unemployment in China and USA

Unemployment of recent graduates is hovering at 50% in both China and the US. The lack of available employment for the best and the brightest is a symptom of what is wrong at a macro level with each of our respective economies. While the overall symptoms are the same, the disease, and its treatment, is … Continue reading

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