External pressure on China to liberalize its telecoms sector had been strongly resisted by the old Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and its successor, the Ministry of Information Industries, both headed by Minister Wu Jichuan. Yet within China there have been various pressures for an opening of the sector to competition, some of it coming from ministries with their own networks, others from the growing number of young entrepreneurs in China, many of whom have exposure to overseas education or working opportunities, yet other pressure from academics and the media.
Session One: Bigger and better? The benefits of WTO accession to China’s telecommunications and network industry(s)
Chairperson: John Ure, Director Telecommunications Research Project
- Stephen Lia for Edward Tian, China Netcom Corporation
- Zhou Qiren, China Center for Economic Research, Beijing University
- Ian Johnston, Asia CSG Marketing Manager, Agilent Technologies
Session Two: The door opens a little further: opportunities and challenges.
Chairperson: Peter Lovelock, Deputy Director Telecommunications Research Project
- Robert Cassidy (Lead US negotiator in securing the recent WTO agreement)
- Antony Yip, Founder of My Rice.com
- Hyam Bolande, Technology Journal, Asian Wall Street Journal