Framing Chinese Olympics is a bigger window into global values

Pepsi_can_red_for_china
W
e’re more than halfway through the Summer Olympics and all eyes are on China. Amid the pageantry and sports are deeper questions about the role of China in the world. In an interview on DemocracyNow.org, sportswriter Dave Zirin said the “big story” of the Olympic Games is the opening of Chinese markets to the West:
    It’s being done to integrate China more fully into the global economy, and it’s also being done so that Western capital can reach what they call the most unaffiliated—and this is their word—“unbranded” army of consumers in the world, a middle class that’s almost 300 million people who haven’t yet developed the brand loyalties that Western corporations are looking for.
    Click Here to if you’d like to jump to DemocracyNow and read Zirin’s interview.

    Western companies already are pouring billions of dollars into advertising, hoping to reach the hearts and wallets of this vast untapped reservoir of consumers. For example, in a Pepsi ad made to appeal to potential Chinese consumers, the trademark blue can transmogrifies into a red can. If you haven’t seen the ad, you can watch it below:

    At the same time, the Chinese economy is predicted to eclipse the U.S. economy sooner than expected. For example, China will be the world’s largest manufacturer as early as next year, according to forecasts released last week by the Financial Times.
    Many Asians think China will surpass the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower at some point, according to Gallup surveys conducted in 13 Asian countries earlier this year.
   
I’m eager to know what you think about this emerging superpower, the shifting of the global economy, the migration of branding around the world — and what that says about the economy and our identity in the world.
    So, this week, our Quick Poll is the survey question that Gallup asked in these 13 Asian countries. I want to see how you’ll respond to it.
    The changing global economy is a subject we haven’t touched upon yet in OurValues.org. But it is as rife with questions of values as other subjects we’ve explored: polygamy, same-sex marriage, patriotism, race and politics, and so on.
    The values I’m exploring this week include fairness, achievement, equality, equity, and so on.

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