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【卫报】中国政府紧逼 外企前途渺茫


十年前,只有谷歌需要担忧处于政府严密监管之下的中国市场;十年后的今天,即使是最普通的外企进驻,也会面临监管困境。似乎在全球化时代,存在这样两个互不相容的市场,一个是中国,一个是中国以外。一边是巨额利润,一边是用户数据,面对这一无法预料的困境,外企将何去何从?


中国政府紧逼 外企前途渺茫

作者:Paul Mason

译者:徐嘉茵&邹世昌

校对:王津雨

编辑:赵萌萌


What hope for future forays into this repressive state?

对于未来进军中国,我们能抱什么期望?


本文选自 The Guardian | 取经号原创翻译

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As a movie plot, it would work better for Johnny English than James Bond: the lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret saw its launch in China mired in controversy when the People’s Republic refused to issue visas to invited celebrities and journalists. Katy Perry was barred for seemingly supporting the independence of Taiwan, while model Gigi Hadid transgressed by squinting in a way some Chinese people thought was racist, while posing with a fortune cookie that looked like Buddha. Add in China’s standard unpredictability when it comes to issuing press visas and you have loss of face all around.

要是去拍电影,以下情节显然更适合憨豆特工,而非詹姆斯·邦德:女性内衣品牌维多利亚的秘密(以下简称“维密”)在中国刚刚起步,就已深陷争议泥沼。政府拒绝给受邀的名流和记者颁发签证,凯蒂·佩里疑似因支持台独而被禁止来华;模特吉吉·哈迪德在一段视频中拿着状如佛像的幸运饼干,做出部分中国人认为带种族歧视意味的“眯眯眼”动作,这也属于越界行为。加之中国在签发媒体签证方面的标准让人捉摸不透,维密可以说是处处碰壁,颜面尽失了。

transgress /trænz’ɡrɛs/ v. act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises 违反、违法、越界


Victoria’s Secret staff are said to believe their emails are being watched. To which seasoned business travellers to China might respond: why do you think we’ve been carrying burner phones and disposable laptops there for years?

据说,维密的员工认为他们的电子邮件正在被监视。对此,经验老道的来华商务人士也许会这样回应:要不我们怎么会这么些年一直在这边用一次性电话和笔记本电脑呢?


This is serious business. Demand for high-end women’s underwear is surging in China, as real wages rise and women’s social attitudes change. Sales volumes have doubled in five years, to $18bn (£14bn). For reference, the combined efforts of all the queues of sheepish men outside Britain’s knicker shops this Christmas will drive the UK total to just $2bn. But the average Chinese retail outlet still prefers functionality over seductiveness – with shop window displays that would make the ladies underwear section at Marks & Spencer look risque. Into this gap have surged numerous online-only Chinese underwear brands, selling designer garments at less than half price of the equivalent VS product. But their presence in the malls, where the young salaried women shop is still minimal. So battle is commenced – with the Chinese brands engaged in a price war against each other, while being relentlessly boosted by the state-owned media against the foreign competition. The ultimate prize is significant: whoever wins brand supremacy, once China’s 200 million young adult women are prepared to buy bras at $90 (£68) a time, will be raking in large profits.

这是个严肃的问题。随着实际工资的上涨和女性社会态度的改变,中国对高端女性内衣的需求日益增加。高端内衣销售额在五年间翻了一番,增至180亿美元(约合1190亿人民币)。作为参考,在英国,男性虽然脸皮薄,会不好意思,但仍会在今年圣诞节各女性内衣店外排队购买。即便如此,该国在内衣方面的收入也仅有20亿美元。一般的中国零售商店仍然更注重内衣的功能性,而非性感度——在橱窗展示性感内衣会让人觉得玛莎百货的女士内衣部是在败坏风俗。因此,众多仅在网上销售的中国内衣品牌应运而生,它们销售设计师品牌,售价比同样的维密内衣的一半还低。即便如此,在那些年轻工薪女性常逛的商场中,中国内衣品牌的存在感仍是最低的。因此,战争开始了——中国品牌彼此之间打响了价格战,同时中国官媒也在无情推动着中外品牌之间的竞争。最终的收获很可观:对于拥有最大优势的品牌,一旦中国那两亿年轻成年女性愿意敞开口袋一次性购入90美元(约合594元人民币)的内衣,巨额利润是板上钉钉的事情。

risque /ris’kei/ adj. suggestive of sexual impropriety 败坏风俗的

commence /kə’mɛns/ v. take the first step or steps in carrying out an action 开始、着手


Under Xi Jinping, everything is political. Hadid was hounded across Chinese social media for having “mocked Asian people”, according to the newspaper Jing Daily, which added that the company’s “insufficient response” – ie refusal to sack her – was “a slight to the national pride of Chinese millennials”. She has since apologised for her actions, saying “I have the utmost respect and love for the people of China.”

在习近平的领导下,所有事都是政治化的。据精日传媒报道,因为“嘲弄亚洲人”,哈迪德在中国社交媒体上被群攻。该媒体还补充道,维密公司“应对不足” ——比方说,拒绝解雇她——“对于中国千禧一代的民族自豪感是一种侮辱”。因此哈迪德就为她的行为做出道歉:“我对中国人怀有最深切的敬意与爱。”


Xi, whose “thoughts” were enshrined in the party constitution in October, has effectively turned the brittle nationalism of Chinese cyberspace into government policy. China is building a new physical infrastructure across Central Asia and into Europe, buying up assets as far as Greece and the Balkans and building up its military to match the US’s presence in the region. Xi has cracked down on all potential opponents, issuing a series of warnings to anybody who might be thinking of opposing him. And he has ordered the party cadres to learn actual Marxism – not the neoliberal management theories people thought were Marxism under his predecessors.

今年十月,习近平思想被纳入党章,他有效地将中国网络空间脆弱的民族主义转化为政府政策。中国目前正在中亚以及欧洲范围内建立新的实体基础设施,从远至希腊和巴尔干半岛的地区收购资产,还为了与在该地区拥有军队的美国相匹敌,努力增加军事力量。习近平强力镇压了所有潜在敌人,向可能对他抱有反对意见的人发出了一系列警告。他还命令党干部学习真正的马克思主义,而不是新自由主义管理理论(前任主席领导下的人民曾认为这些理论也属于马克思主义)。


The impossibility of knowing how this will play out is summed up in the Chinese bureaucracy’s habitual use of the word “while” – often inserted between two entirely opposed objectives. For example, Xi will “lower Chinese barriers for foreign investors, while strengthening domestic innovative capabilities in digital, engineering, genetic, aerospace, cyberspace, and smart technologies”. How many Chinese barriers should foreign businesses expect to encounter if they want to invest in such capabilities? They are left guessing, as are the organisers of Victoria’s Secret who reportedly could not even get a permit to film on the street outside the venue where their fashion show was to be staged.

中国官僚习惯性地使用“同时”这个词来描述不可能发生的事情,这个词经常被用来连接两个完全相反的目标。例如,习近平将“在增强国内数字、工程、基因、航天、网络和智能技术领域创新能力的同时,降低外国投资者在华投资门槛”。如果外国企业想在中国投资这些领域,它们可能遇到多少壁垒呢?那就只能靠猜了。不过它们的境遇很可能和维密组织者差不多,据说他们甚至无法获得在其时装表演场地外街道上的拍摄许可。


The game China has played with globalisation up to now has been logical and, if we consider how brutally its own markets were torn open in the 19th century, karmic. It has protected its own industries and consumer sector behind a string of unofficial barriers, and with a slew of soft loans and politicised investments that a regular capitalist government could never get away with.

如果我们反观中国市场在19世纪是如何被残酷打开的话,那中国迄今为止与全球化进行的这场博弈是合乎逻辑与业力(因果报应)的。通过一系列非官方壁垒,软贷款和政治导向投资,中国保护了自己的产业和消费行业。而对于常规资本主义政府,这样的软贷款和政治导向投资将不可避免地产生不良后果。

Karmic /kɑmɪk/ n. Denoting good or bad luck, viewed as resulting from one’s actions. 业力;因果报应

Soft loans: a soft loan is a loan with a below-market rate of interest. This is also known as soft financing. Sometimes soft loans provide other concessions to borrowers, such as long repayment periods or interest holidays. Soft loans are usually provided by governments to projects they think are worthwhile.


Above all, it used the Great Firewall, which western companies initially accepted as part of the political setup, as a protective economic barrier behind which it could create global-scale tech and internet companies. But China’s intended next steps in shaping its domestic market will take this principle a whole lot further.

最重要的是,中国将“长城防火墙”——西方企业最初接受其为政治体制的一部分——作为一个保护性的经济壁垒,在这个壁垒之下,中国得以创建全球规模的科技和互联网公司。但是,中国在重塑国内市场的下一步计划中将会更加深入地采用该原则。


Sesame Credit, a credit-scoring agency setup by Alibaba and Tencent, is designed to make Orwellian self-surveillance a reality. As well as creditworthiness, it measures political loyalty – based on user data gathered by China’s two biggest internet companies. People with low scores won’t get job offers, loans or high-speed internet; people who network with people with low scores will also get downgraded. The project, which is awaiting regulatory approval, has been decried by human rights groups as a mass surveillance tool. But it is nothing compared to what China is planning with artificial intelligence. Last month, the Chinese state issued a strategy designed to achieve global leadership in AI by 2030. As part of the plan, the private sector is ordered routinely to share its user data with the state. This puts China in the unique position among major powers of having no formal barriers to state exploitation of private commercial data. If it succeeds, China will create a consumer market whose customer data is completely interpenetrated with state surveillance mechanisms, and a population whose behaviour can be predicted right down to their choice of underwear.

由阿里巴巴和腾讯设立的信用评分机构芝麻信用,旨在使奥威尔自助式监控成为现实。除了信誉之外,它还根据中国两大互联网公司收集的用户数据来衡量政治忠诚度。得分低的人不会得到工作机会、贷款或高速互联网;与低分人群交往的人也会被降级。这个正在等待监管部门批准的项目,被人权组织谴责为一种大规模监视工具。但与中国正在用人工智能进行的规划相比,上述项目可谓是小巫见大巫。上个月,中国政府发布了一项旨在到2030年实现全球AI领导地位的战略。作为计划的一部分,私营部门按照惯例被要求与国家分享其用户数据。这让中国在世界大国中处于独特地位——国家在利用私人商业数据上没有正式的壁垒。如果计划成功的话,中国将打造一个消费者数据与国家监控机制完全相互渗透的市场,以及一个能够预测个人行为的社会,甚至连人们会选什么内衣也包括在内

right down to: 就连…也包括在内;甚至包括


In these circumstances it is right to ask: what is left of the idea of a global marketplace? The Shanghai branch of Victoria’s Secret will look like any other branch in the world – but it will be selling into a marketplace whose dynamics it cannot properly see, in which its customer data is not protected from the state, and where every purchase, every search inside its online store is recorded, as of right, by the government – as with any business operating in China.

在这些情况下,自然而然要问:全球市场的概念还剩下什么?维密上海分公司看起来跟世界上任何其他分支机构一样,但它将被迫参与到一个行情无法有效预测以及消费者数据不受国家保护的市场。在这样的市场中,每一次购买、每一次在网上商店搜索,政府都有权记录下来。任何在中国经营的企业都不例外。


Ten years ago, it was only corporations such as Google who had to decide whether they could ethically continue operating in markets distorted by state surveillance. Today that dilemma is beginning to confront the most basic, physical consumer brands trying to operate in China – and, as mass surveillance technology is deployed, it will get worse.

十年前,只有谷歌这样的公司必须决定是否能够在被国家监管扭曲的市场中继续经营。如今,连最普遍的实体消费品牌也开始面临这一困境,只要它们试图在中国运营。而且,随着大规模监控技术的部署,情况会变得更糟。


On the internet, there is already Balkanisation; there is the Chinese tech market and the rest of the world. Soon, right down to issues such as choice of styles or colours in fashion, global companies will be selling into two kinds of market. In one, consumers really do exercise choice, and consumer data is for the use of the seller only; in another, China, every micro-level consumer choice is scanned by the mass surveillance programmes in case it signals disloyalty.

在互联网上,已经出现巴尔干化的现象:中国技术市场和世界其他地方技术市场并列存在,互不相容。不久之后,上述现象甚至会发展至时尚领域(诸如对风格或色彩的选择),跨国公司都将被卷入到两种市场。在一个市场中,消费者能够真正做出选择,并且消费者数据仅供卖方使用;在另一个市场——中国,每个消费者在微观层面的选择都处于大规模监视之下,以防其出现不忠诚的迹象。

Balkanisation: is a geopolitical term used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or uncooperative with one another.


Victoria’s Secret clearly blundered into an issue it could not anticipate, but the experience should prompt all businesses operating in China to ask the question: with every sale I make, am I now providing a repressive state with the means to keep my customers under surveillance?

维密明显地陷入了一个无法预料的困境。但是,它的经验应该促使所有在中国经营的企业都提出这样的问题:在我做出的每一笔交易中,是否正在向中国提供监视我的客户的方式?


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<原文链接: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/20/victorias-secret-china-censorship-lingerie-gigi-hadid-gaffe-repressive-state>

7 Comments

  1. yczhang yczhang
    MIUI Browser 9.2.8 MIUI Browser 9.2.8 Android 7.1.1 Android 7.1.1
    Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 7.1.1; zh-cn; MIX 2 Build/NMF26X) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Chrome/53.0.2785.146 Mobile Safari/537.36 XiaoMi/MiuiBrowser/9.2.8

    请问谁能具体解释一下“除了信誉之外,它还根据中国两大互联网公司收集的用户数据来衡量政治忠诚度”?在芝麻信用中,目前政治到底体现在哪里呢?

    • jason jason
      QQbrowser QQbrowser Android 5.1.1 Android 5.1.1
      Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 5.1.1; zh-cn; SM801 Build/LMY47V) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko)Version/4.0 Chrome/37.0.0.0 MQQBrowser/8.0 Mobile Safari/537.36

      同问

  2. Kitsch Kitsch
    Google Chrome 56.0.2924.87 Google Chrome 56.0.2924.87 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/56.0.2924.87 Safari/537.36

    好一个 enshrined…
    “我有一根长长的望远镜,你在家里说什么做什么我都知道。”

  3. dzyjgj dzyjgj
    QQbrowser QQbrowser Android 6.0.1 Android 6.0.1
    Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; SM919 Build/MXB48T; wv) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Chrome/53.0.2785.49 Mobile MQQBrowser/6.2 TBS/043622 Safari/537.36 MicroMessenger/6.5.22.1160 NetType/4G Language/zh_CN

    老大哥永远看着你,道路以目

  4. 小人物 小人物
    QQbrowser QQbrowser Android 7.0 Android 7.0
    Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 7.0; STF-AL10 Build/HUAWEISTF-AL10; wv) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Chrome/53.0.2785.49 Mobile MQQBrowser/6.2 TBS/043613 Safari/537.36 MicroMessenger/6.5.22.1160 NetType/4G Language/zh_CN

    这就好像外国某区域民众要公投独立就被批判分裂,而中国台独,藏独,港独就被看成是民主一样,双重标准一直都存在。我就不信美国的FBI不会掌握公民个人信息。

    • woohow woohow
      Safari 11.0.1 Safari 11.0.1 Mac OS X  10.13.1 Mac OS X 10.13.1
      Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_13_1) AppleWebKit/604.3.5 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/11.0.1 Safari/604.3.5

      以上就是天朝特色的比烂思维:)

  5. vivi vivi
    Android Webkit 4.0 Android Webkit 4.0 Android 6.0.1 Android 6.0.1
    Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; HUAWEI RIO-AL00 Build/HuaweiRIO-AL00) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/537.36

    妙啊,互联网+政治,大数据+政治,AI+政治,眼光长远,但是没什么创意。

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