China and Y2K (on topic!)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I just came across an in-depth article on China and Y2K. It's a lengthy one with a lot of good information. Here's just one small snip from it:
Fears of lawsuits
American computer companies have fears of a different sort. They sold China most of its 10 million computers. And although many have dispatched teams here to repair bugs, they are afraid of being dragged into Chinese courts if year 2000-related glitches lead to costly interruptions in services.
``It's still far from clear that American companies will get a fair hearing in Chinese courts,'' said R. Mark Mecham, deputy director of the U.S. Information Technology Office in Beijing, a trade association that represents more than 50 computer makers.
``It's a very sensitive issue because relations with the government are obviously very important,'' said Greg Shea, director of communications and government affairs for Hewlett-Packard Co. in Beijing.
-- Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 11, 1999
On the flip side, could the Chinese be quaking in their boots for fear of being taken to court over their massive software piracy? (yeah, right)
-- Spindoctor (email@example.com), May 11, 1999.
Subject: China Is Toast Date: 1999/05/11 Author: fedinfo <fedinfo@hal ifax.com> Posting History
Experts here warn that China could suffer everything from severe disruptions in power and water to lesser but still expensive glitches in telecommunications, banking, public health and transportation.
And China's woes could spill over to Hong Kong, where banks,
brokerage firms and shipping companies with close ties to the mainland are worried about lost cargo and missing payments.
"China is very, very behind in Y2K contingency planning," said Joseph Sweeney, director of research at the Hong Kong office of Gartner Group, a research firm that specializes in the Year 2000 problem. "There's no way many of their organizations will come up to speed in time."
Yet so little is known about the nature of the problem here that the experts are often reduced to a digital-age version of reading tea leaves as they scrounge for clues about how and where China will be affected. The dearth of data is compounded by China's computer network -- a mix of 1960s-era mainframe machines and pirated
copies of the latest Windows software running on a variety of
Tim Shepheard-Walwyn, the chairman of the Global 2000
Coordinating Group, a consortium of 300 banks that monitors Year 2000 compliance, said he did not have enough information even to make a judgment about China.
It is an ABSURDITY to say that 'not enough is known' to make a decision about China.
From the SAME article:
If the Chinese banks suffer computer malfunctions, it would
paralyze hundreds of millions of dollars of settlements within days.
One big problem is that an estimated 96 percent of the software in China is pirated. Software manufacturers generally refuse to repair products not sold under a license. Faced with buying a license to become Year 2000 compliant, many Chinese companies simply opt
to leave their equipment alone.
But Chen said there were potential trouble spots. The plant that supplies two-thirds of Beijing's water cannot be shut down for testing, and Chen said he did not know whether its computers were
But Pollayannas will always assert that they do not have enough
information. Even a letter from God would be insufficient.
The fact of the matter is that China is about to dissolve taking a great deal of the rest of Asia with them, and by extension, the rest of the world.
If you live within five miles of a 7-11, you're toast.
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---Share what you know. Learn what you don't.---
-- a (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 11, 1999.
Paul has such an OPTIMISTIC attitude.
scratchin' an itch...
-- Dog (desert dog @-sand.com), May 12, 1999.