Lenovo’s Huge Deals Show How China Lags Behind

Business & Money

China’s Lenovo has been on a big buying spree. Last week, it snapped up IBM’s low-end server business for $2.3 billion. Then the PC giant followed that up with a $2.9 billion grab for the Motorola handset business from Google. That’s $5.2 billion of acquisitions in a few days. Not bad.

Why the binge? The deals tell us quite a bit about where Chinese industry finds itself right now. Though China is a manufacturing behemoth and the world’s top trading nation, it also finds its competitive position in the global economy changing rapidly. The low costs that had been the foundation of Chinese industrial competitiveness are history as wages rise. So now Chinese companies will have to compete head-to-head with their international rivals on technology, managerial skill and branding.

Some Chinese firms are doing just that, such as telecom equipment maker Huawei. But overall, Chinese industry lacks the know-how…

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Economies Of Scale In Tech

TechCrunch

Editor’s note:Ben Bajarin is a principal at Creative Strategies where he focuses his analysis and research on the consumer technology industry and consumer technology products. Follow him on Twitter @BenBajarin.

When I joined the Industry Analyst community in 2000 the industry was much smaller. For those in the business and analyst community who were in the field decades prior it was even smaller still. Early in my career as an analyst I was studying the semiconductor industry as it related to markets like PCs, mobile phones (not smartphones), digital home and a few other consumer-facing segments.

In those days, the PC was the talk of the town. It was on a steady growth stream and the only question we would debate internally is how much the industry would grow in the next few years and how many more PCs we would sell in the years to come. The PC crossed…

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Releasing Ads Early Pays Off For Super Bowl Advertisers, According To Visible Measures

TechCrunch

If you’re watching the Super Bowl today, some of those brand new ads may feel awfully familiar — a growing number of them are being released online ahead of time, either in their entirety or as a partial teaser.

A spokesperson for video advertising and analytics company Visible Measures, told me that his team looked at every Super Bowl campaign since 2010 and found that more and more advertisers are following this strategy — there were 13 in 2010, 27 in 2011, 34 in 2012, and 42 in last year. (Visible Measures found 30 brands that had their ads ahead of time this year, but that was in the middle of the past week, so the final number will be higher.)

Basically, it seems that advertisers now treat the game as just part of a monthlong campaign, one where online views are increasingly important. As Tim Calkins, a professor…

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11 Surprising Facts About Women and Poverty From the Shriver Report

U.S.

Maria Shriver’s annual report on Women in America came out Sunday, and the findings are bleak.

“These are not women trying to ‘have it all,'” Shriver wrote in the introduction to the report, which was co-sponsored by the  Center for American Progress. “These are women who are already doing it all — working hard, providing, parenting, and care-giving. They’re doing it all, yet they and their families can’t prosper, and that’s weighing the U.S. economy down.”

Here’s what we learned from the in-depth report on how women are doing in  post-recession America.

  1. 1 in 3 American women, 42 million women, plus 28 million children, either live in poverty or are right on the brink of it. (The report defines the “brink of poverty” as making $47,000 a year for a family of four.)
  2. Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and these workers often get zero paid sick…

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Forget Mega-Corporations, Here’s The Mega-Network

TechCrunch

We live in the age of cryptocurrency heists, Chinese moon landings, eco-disasters and electronic cigarettes. Sounds like something out of a cyberpunk novel.

Well, a cyberpunk novel without the brain implants, but don’t worry, those are coming, too. But one big cyberpunk theme that hasn’t come to pass is the rise of mega-corporations — those huge multinational conglomerates, like Robocop‘s OCP, that owned everything from baby food companies to police departments.

Corporations are arguably more powerful today than ever before. But the economy isn’t dominated by a handful of megalithic conglomerates. it consists of hundreds or thousands of smaller, more specialized firms. Our cyberpunk future-present is dominated instead by a new power structure: the mega-network.

The Incredible Shrinking Firm

Science fiction is more about the present than the future, as the saying goes. And in the late 1970s and early 1980s — when the original cyberpunk stories were…

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