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Home Letters for Taiwan Reject Beijing's Green Dam-Youth Escort Hewlett-Packard's Profit Growth and Freedom of Speech

Hewlett-Packard's Profit Growth and Freedom of Speech

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Dear Sir or Madam:
I have always had great respect for your venerable company, a legend of Silicon Valley, that was founded in 1939.  Aside from HP's melange of entrepreneurial drive and high social conscience, I am particularly impressed with co-founder, David Packard.  According to Jim Collins, the author of Built to Last, Mr. Packard was on the record for stating that "a company has a greater responsibility than making money for its stockholders."  In 1949, Mr. Packard, the then 37-year-old had the moral courage to openly state his view point to his elders in the CEO club.
HP, according to Mr. Collins, inherited many attributes of this great man.  "Like the heritage left by the architects of democracy in ancient Athens, the spirit of his [David Packard]... system lives on, far beyond the walls of the institution they built."
Therefore, I am very concerned about the impact of Beijing's flagrant insistence, that all PCs sold in China should be installed with Green Dam-Youth Escort software by the First of July, on HP and Mr.Packard's legacy.  On Monday June 8th, Loretta Chao of Wall Street Journal reported on HP's indecisiveness in rejecting China by stating that "A spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard Co., which has the largest PC market share of any U.S. vendor in China, said the company is 'working with the government authorities and evaluating the best way to approach this. Obviously we will focus on delivering the best customer experience while ensuring that we meet necessary regulatory requirements.'"  (Please see "China Squeezes PC Makers")
By insisting on social responsibility and high ethical standards, Packard "...built a uniquely dedicated culture that became a fierce competitive weapon, delivering 40 consecutive years of profitable growth.
For the sake of democracy, freedom of speech, and Hewlett-Packard's future profit growth, I urge you to pick up the late Mr. Packard's courage. 
Reject China's request. 
Respect human rights and freedom of speech.  Let the information flow freely so that we - everyone in the world - will all enjoy democracy some day.  Then, Mr. Packard's spirit will really live far beyond the walls of Hewlett-Packard.
Yi-Chang Leo Wang
Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation
June 10, 2009; Wednesday

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