【英语中国】GE老总批中国经商环境不是头一回

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2010-7-7 15:24

小艾摘要: General Electric distanced itself from comments critical of the business environment in China made this week by its chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Immelt.But it turns out that this isn't exactl ...
General Electric distanced itself from comments critical of the business environment in China made this week by its chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Immelt.

But it turns out that this isn't exactly the first time. Almost a month ago, Immelt expressed similar frustration during a speech in Shanghai, where he suggested American companies face a tough time getting a favorable outcome in negotiations in China.

'I look at my American colleagues, the hardest thing to do in China is get a win-win relationship,' Immelt said on June 2. 'You know. The negotiating, the ability to find a space where both people make money, that is something that we always have to continue to, not just think about, but insist on in terms of the dealings we have.'

While it's not exactly news that negotiating is difficult in China, the Shanghai comments take on added significance considering the pointed remarks Immelt made in Rome this week about tough business conditions in China. In a video of the Shanghai event held on the grounds of an ongoing World Expo, where GE is a U.S. sponsor, Immelt doesn't appear angry. Instead, for the head of one of the world's most international businesses, he comes across as flustered by the challenges in China. (See the video on the website of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai) 'As a matter of fact, every time I'm here I'm quite humbled by how fast China moves, how much it's grown, how fast it changes, and so whenever I leave here I just have a headache because I'm confused, I don't know exactly what to do,' Immelt said in the 20-minute speech. 'It's like riding a wild horse or something like that.'

GE's motto is 'Imagination at Work' and Immelt said GE is determined to sink deeper roots in China. Yet, one of his key roles is to bat back ideas from China team that he thinks are preordained to fail in the unique market. 'There's a few places where we just can't participate,' he said. 'We can't be competitive. The market is stacked against us to a certain extent. But the local team wants to do it anyhow,' he said. 'So my job is to say no, that's not what we're going to do here because we can't be competitive.'

In Shanghai, Immelt had sharp words for Washington too, though he stopped short of criticizing the Obama administration for its attitude toward business, as he reportedly did during the Rome event.

He told his Shanghai audience that Washington isn't helping. Globalization is deeply unpopular among the American people, but is even more so in the U.S. Congress, he said, estimating that perhaps 90% of members oppose it. 'Politicians don't like globalization,' Immelt said, adding that for businesses, 'the odds are stacked against us' in resisting trade protectionism.

Immelt said GE is looking to deepen its roots in China, not pull back.

GE, Immelt said, hopes to build joint ventures with more Chinese state-owned groups in the country, like its avionics business it has already announced with China Aviation Industry Corp. He said the scale of China heralds the need for 'reverse innovation,' or adopting Chinese business models and introducing them the West, suggesting he hopes to strike a joint venture deal on high-speed rail with the Ministry of Railways.

'So I think about localization, capability building, partnership, reverse innovation, those kinds of things,' he said.

通用电气(General Electric)董事长兼首席执行长杰弗里•伊梅尔特(Jeffrey Immelt)上周就中国的经商环境发表了一些批评言论,而他的公司则与这些言论撇清关系。

但事实证明,这并不完全是头一次。将近一个月以前,伊梅尔特在上海演讲时也表达了一种类似的失望,暗示美国公司在中国谈判时已经很难得到有利的结果。

伊梅尔特在6月2日说,我看我的美国同事,在中国最难做的事情就是取得一种双赢关系;你们知道,谈判,找到一个双方都挣钱的地方,这是我们在做交易时始终要继续坚持的,而不仅是想想就行了。

在中国谈判不容易,这算不上什么新闻,但考虑到伊梅尔特上周在罗马就中国严酷的经商环境所做的尖锐发言,他在上海的言论就多了一重含义。上海的那场活动是以正在举行的世博会为由头而开展的,通用电气是世博会的美方赞助商。一段视频显示,伊梅尔特看起来并不愤怒。相反,作为世界最国际化企业之一的一把手,他显得像是对中国的挑战感到不知所措(点击观看这段视频,发布于上海美国商会网站)。伊梅尔特在这次20分钟的演讲中说,事实上每次我到这里,看到中国行动之快、成长步伐之大、变化之迅速,我都深感谦卑,所以不管什么时候离开这里我都感到头痛,因为我很困惑,我不知道究竟该怎样做;就像是驾驭一匹野马之类的东西。

通用电气的口号是“梦想启动未来”(Imagination at Work),伊梅尔特也说通用电气决心进一步扎根中国。但他的关键职责之一,是驳回中国团队那些他认为在这个特殊市场注定会失败的想法。他说,有几个地方我们根本没法参与,我们不可能有竞争力,市场在一定程度上对我们不利,但当地团队还是要做,所以我的工作就是说不,说那不是我们要在这里做的事情,因为我们不可能有竞争力。

在上海,伊梅尔特也对华盛顿发表了尖锐言论,但并没有像据报道在罗马时一样,批评奥巴马政府对商界的态度。

他对上海的听众说,华盛顿没有帮忙。他说,从本质上讲,全球化不受美国人民的欢迎,更不受美国国会的欢迎,估计有90%的议员反对全球化。伊梅尔特说,政治家不喜欢全球化,而对企业来说,在抵制贸易保护主义方面形势对我们不利。

伊梅尔特说,通用电气正寻求在中国深化基础,而不是退出中国。

伊梅尔特说,通用电气希望和中国更多的国有企业集团建立合资公司,像已经宣布的、和中国航空工业集团公司合资的航空电子公司。他说,中国之大,预示着需要进行“逆向创新”,即采纳中国的商业模式,把这些模式引入西方,暗示他希望和铁道部达成协议,建立一家高速铁路合资公司。

他说,总之我想的就是本土化、产能积累、合作、逆向创新这么一些东西。

关键词:通用电气  伊梅尔特  

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