Grove gives blessing to Taiwan and China but hits out at Japan

Grove gives blessing to Taiwan and China but hits out at Japan
David Manners Intel chairman Andy Grove, having handed over operational duties to president Craig Barrett, was discharging his new role as industry mentor in Asia last week. To the Taiwanese – much bruised by past Intel litigation on the IP front – Grove said: “We are both engaged in the same mission building a low-cost, modern computer world – we are like a big family.” Grove needs the PC-makers of Taiwan to accept his stripped-down processor Celeron in preference to low-cost processors from AMD, Cyrix and IDT. Grove brought a similar message of peace and love to the mainland Chinese, telling a Shanghai audience: “There is a spirit of entrepreneuralism here which is as alive as in the United States.” He dedicated a $200m assembly plant, promised to set up a $50m R&D centre, and invited journalists into his hotel room for a video conference with US vice-president Al Gore. Grove’s mood was different in Tokyo telling a journalist who asked about the Japanese government’s IT policy: “If you could have one wish, that should not be for a government IT policy but for a venture capital industry.” Grove slammed the Japanese for under-investment in IT – running at 2 per cent of GDP compared to 4 per cent in the US; he criticised Japanese managers for not using PCs – suggesting that the dearth of managerial PCs might explain declining Japanese productivity; he warned Japan that China’s PC shipments could overtake Japan’s in the next few years; he unfavourably compared technically-trained Chinese government leaders with their Japanese counterparts; and finally, condemned the poor level of PC-connectivity in Japan where only a quarter of PCs are networked or connected to the Internet compared to 50 per cent in Japan. Grove, who enjoys heroic status among Asian engineers, will have had much more effect than any visiting foreign politician.


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