I’m Not Advocating Discriminatory Treatment, But I Understand If It Happens

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The FT is already looking at the outward foreign investment implications of the Google kerfuffle:

Chinese companies are expected to face tougher scrutiny in the US following Google’s announcement that its systems and those of 20 other companies had been attacked by hackers in China.

“This will increase the intensity of already substantial reviews of Chinese transactions in areas related to national infrastructure, which includes technology,” said Jamie Gorelick[.]

Seeing as how those reviews are highly political in nature (e.g. 3COM/Huawei, UNOCAL/CNOOC), I agree with the prediction.

I’m not one for retribution, and I certainly wouldn’t advocate discriminatory treatment, but Beijing certainly does understand reciprocity. At some point, I wonder if a bit of push back would make things easier for U.S. companies over here.

The danger of course is to get stuck in a tit-for-tat loop, with each government going after companies from the other country as “punishment” for previous actions.

The whole thing is fraught with danger, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see this happen. As Chris Rock said about O.J. Simpson: “I’m not saying he should have killed her, but I understand.”