corporate diplomacy

Corporate India Friday underlined the need for much better economic engagement with people of Indian origin in Africa at a well-attended event to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first indentured labourers here from India.

Wal-Mart has announced that it is prepared to pay approximately $4.2 billion for Massmart Holdings. Massmart Holdings is a Johannesburg-headquartered chain of discount superstores with a grand total of 290 stores in 13 African countries under brand names such as Makro, Game, and Builders Warehouse. Massmart stores can be found as far away as Ghana and Nigeria and there are stores even in President Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

The classroom walls at the Hungarian-Chinese bilingual primary school here are decorated with Chinese calendars and banners. Chinese lanterns hang from the ceilings of the main entrance hall. There are stacks of new Chinese language books in the staff room, provided by the Chinese authorities, who also send two teachers a year, depending on the school’s needs.

Some believe the financial crisis has given Chinese enterprises a golden opportunity for overseas mergers and acquisitions. But is it the right time for them to "go global?" What are the risks of venturing overseas, and what are the potential benefits?

Haystack, a company that has created software designed to circumvent Iranian government censors, has stopped testing its program amid criticism of faulty security. Haystack founder Austin Heap said in an interview Monday that concerns about how his much-touted software program works and whether it's secure were “valid.”

The overseas expansion of Chinese companies not only is a commercial activity, but also bears the responsibility of expanding China's public diplomacy. In this regard, Chinese enterprises should not only look for short-term profits, but also bear more corporate social responsibility.

China Media Capital is supported by the Chinese government and will take controlling shares in the TV channels which Rupert Murdoch had hoped would deliver mass audiences. But Beijing has kept a tight rein on foreign media players, including the world's biggest.

Among the reported solutions to avert a halt to BlackBerry's key messenger service is the installation of a local server accessible to Saudi authorities, instead of having data going directly to the maker's servers in Canada.