Monday, 23 January 2017

Asia Rising

One hears often about the ethical issues involved with purchasing a particular object or another. Whether be the particular corporate entities or, indeed, the entire nation that is being called into question, it would appear that there are some circumstances in which the simple act of a commercial transaction is tantamount to the most dreadful sort of villainy. While different in many ways from other enterprises, the world of technological innovation is, alas, in no way immune from such controversies involving the fruits of its efforts.

A truly tragic example is that of International Business Machines. One of the grand old founders of the industry, dating back before the term 'computer' went into general use, the descriptor 'machine' being far more common, International Business Machine, or 'IBM' to use the vulgar initialism, is perhaps best know at this juncture, for having sold punch-card programmed counting machines to the Third Reich. Certainly less palpably objectionable but still cause for moral distress are the business tactics used by the Microsoft Corporations, particularly in the early days of the enterprise. Counted along with these wrongs, though perhaps in a separate column, is the 'outsourcing' of the production and assembly of the component parts to other, financially weaker nations, paying far less for generally far better work.

As dreadful as a Baron-Serf relationship may be deemed to be in the contemporary context, the paradigm is indeed beginning to shift. Not only are there technology brands such as Asus which were found and remained to be based in the Asian regions beginning in the middle of the 1970s, when the contemporary computer culture began to form. The pressure brought to bear on the technological section of the North American economy from a myriad of causes and quarters to have the fruits of their genius produced closer to their head-quartered location, has precipitated many said enterprises to forgo any further industrial engagements with off shore manufacturing interests. Not one to take such a blow laying down, many Asia-based manufacturers have begun producing their own products. One such company is cellular telephone manufacture OnePlus. Based in China, former production center for industrial mammoths such as Apple, the enterprise has the unofficial motto “never settle” and have, beginning with their founding in 2013, produced consistently high quality, highly rated products, which closely resemble those of more established companies with which they once were under contract at a price much lower than those same producers. Products, incidentally, which tend to cost as little as half of those of more established brands.

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