Davos Notebook

Davos, Google and Chinese walls

schmidtOne big item nowhere to be seen on the official agenda in Davos this year was the delicate matter of Google’s clash with China.

So was the censorship row censored in order not to offend the Chinese?

That’s not the way the Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, sees it.

“We raise issues where we know we can make a positive contribution to them,” he told Reuters. “This is an issue that is still cooking and we don’t think we could have made a positive contribution on it.”

Of course, that didn’t stop Google’s future in China being a top topic for corridor chat — after banker-bashing.

And the few words on China that passed the lips of Google CEO Eric Schmidt during a session on technology were scrutinised for hidden meaning. In truth, it was hardly ground-breaking stuff.

Davos Man turns 40

Davos Man2 Many happy returns or midlife crisis?

The annual talkfest in the Alps records its 40th birthday this year but the rich and powerful will hardly be in celebratory mood as problems pile up in the post-crisis world.

How to withdraw the trillions of dollars in stimulus that helped the world avoid a rerun of the Great Depression, without spooking markets all over again?

What to do in the face of the world’s lukewarm response to the hot topic of climate change?