Gov’t power decreases in knowledge-based economy

By Alfed Lee, The China Post

In the rising knowledge-based economy, governments throughout the world are becoming less influential and powerful in the minds of the public, as enterprises gain influential, seasoned observers stated at a summit forum held yesterday by Monte Jade Science & Technology Association of Taiwan (MJSTA).

Diane Ying, publisher of the Chinese-language Commonwealth Magazine Group, pictured the “knowledge-based economic community” as a “cluster of minds,” consisting of “win-win clusters.” The clusters will be groups of people sharing common interests, values, and consensus. Collectively, “the enterprises” play a dominant role in the formation of public opinions or public policies. The general public sometimes hopes that inefficient government be replaced by enterprises.

When a government is regarded as incompetent, the entrepreneur’s mentality is: instead of whining about government’s incompetence, I’d (we’d) rather do it myself, Ying said. “I found out it is the characteristic common to entrepreneurs like Matthew Miau, Morris Chang, and Stan Shih,” Ying explained. In the new economy of the e-century, the enterprises will definitely play an active role in the “win-win clusters,” in which the winners do not take all. Instead, the winners will take care of the weak. Other attributes of the new economy is that the concepts and values of win-win clusters are compatible with those of the clusters in other parts of the world. The win-win clusters’ understanding toward self, others, and the nature is more enhanced and enlightened. In the new economy, the strength of a nation is not evaluated according to its natural resources, instead, it is measured in terms of its overall “brain power;” not according to visible wealth, but invisible wealth; not in the manufacturing industry, but in the service industry. Taiwan is in the process of a change toward that economic model with the service industry contributing to 65 percent and manufacturing industry 20 percent in terms of output value. Ying pointed out that the time has come for the Chinese throughout the world to create another “miracle” not just in Taiwan, but in places where there are Chinese. Her ideas were echoed by many other outstanding entrepreneurs, including Matthew Miau, chairman of the Mitac Group.

Miau, among the first Chinese electronic engineers who designed semiconductors at Intel more than two decades ago, said that the MJSTA can integrate the innovation and venture capital experience of overseas Chinese high-tech people and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley with the good financial, logistical, and communications infrastructure in Singapore and Hong Kong, excellent design engineering and mass production capability in Taiwan, and high-caliber human resources in mainland China. “Our vision is to build an e-society in which an e-government will work with the private sector to maximize our advantages and efficiency and the e-learning will keep on bolstering our competitiveness in low cost, speed, visibility in our business operations,” Miau elaborated on the importance of maintaining long-term competitiveness and everlasting life of business firms. With the introduction of microprocessors and availability of semiconductor components, which can be used to make almost anything, the big environment is advantageous to the Chinese because the individualistic Chinese can immerse in the task of creating added value and innovative functions for a semiconductor device, Miao remarked.

In order to fully tap the “brain” power of Chinese engineers and entrepreneurs, Miau set up the MiTAC-Synnex Group to make investments in a wide variety of promising ventures. Harbinger Venture, an affiliated member of the MiTAC-Synnex Group, has actively helped entrepreneurs get venture capital over the past few years. It pumped capital into startups, which make wireless ADSL and LAN access devices, 802.11a LAN access card, and BlueTooth access devices among other innovative products.

While Liu Chao-shiuan said in his earlier opening speech, “I hope successful overseas Chinese entrepreneurs can help other entrepreneurs become successful.” It is interesting to note that Miau is one of these successful Chinese entrepreneurs who has been quietly helping others to be successful.