Chinese investment around the world is plummeting due to recipient reluctance and difficulty in getting money out of the country. Will the trend last?
Companies are considering moving production out of China, but how many can successfully do so? The diversification of production away from the “Factory of the World” is happening, at least to some extent. But some industries are finding it hard to break free of the China hold.
The relationship between China and the US has been deteriorating further in the past months with escalated confrontational rhetoric and actions—some of them military—by both sides. While hopes for the world’s two largest economies to work together amicably are fading for the foreseeable future, the two need to find a way to live together for the good of everyone on the planet.
Given their ongoing differences, what will the future of China-US relations look like? After more than 40 years of growing ties, the economies of China and the US are now deeply intertwined, and decoupling to any degree would mean a disentangling of enormous complexity.
The Sino-US trade tussle has had the greatest impact on multinational corporations in China—precisely the group that the US started out trying to support. Many have begun considering radical courses of action to stay in business.
Professional networking platforms have already changed the way people find and do work. Where do observers of the virtual working world think this functionality may be heading? What consequences might that have for professionals? Some observers think there will be both utopian and dystopian possibilities ahead for virtual networking because although virtual networking makes it easier to find job opportunities and reduce transaction costs, people or organizations may also misuse the online data or use it to entrench an elite, extract rents, or manipulate people. Others see more tailored networking services, such as using artificial intelligence in recruiting.
Online social networks are changing Chinese professional culture—simply sending out resumes to get a job is inadequate. Compared to Americans, young Chinese spend more time networking and leverage social sites to find jobs. Recruiters are active participants in this trend. As a Shanghai-based employer says: “I don’t even call people anymore.” Instead of waiting for resumes that may contain dull business mug-shots, employers look at applicants’ social profiles, chatting to ones they find interesting and learn about their business and leisure time and maybe, if lucky, get a rough idea of their personality.
Over the past couple decades, we have been told over and over again that the most important sources for job information are weak ties—in other words, acquaintances. But now we have an embarrassment of riches in terms of the tools and platforms available to us. It’s more information than we can ever take in, and we have a vast number of connections with people—connections that are often very vague and shallow. So knowing how to make the most of online networks has become increasingly difficult, even as it has become more important.
Today, we pack more computing power in our pocket than it took to get to the moon, and we can send a message to anyone in the world in less than a second. We’re overloaded with information, and as a consequence, many of us feel more anxious, more distracted and less productive. Why? “Unlike computers, we do not have limitless storage nor do we have unlimited time”, writes Julia Hobsbawm in her book Fully Connected. As a social network analyst, she says that people today are struggling with over-connectedness and are searching for meaning. People need to look more closely at what she calls “social health”.
Some introverts dread small talk and trying to get to know strangers. But like it or not, networking is necessary. Research has found that regions with higher numbers of contacts per capita were more resilient to economic shocks during the Great Recession. Today, as we embrace all the advances in communication–with more online discussion and less face time–questions over the efficiency of online networking are being raised. Yet the trend is irreversible, and what we need to do is find out a useful role for this new way of networking .