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托福双语阅读素材:微型跨国公司的兴起

2018年05月02日18:04 来源:小站整理
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摘要:想要提高托福阅读能力,我们一定要在日常生活中有意识地增加英语阅读量,这其中比较常用也比较方便地一个方式就是利用各类英文报刊杂志文章进行精读与泛读练习。下面我们来看一篇经济学人文章:微型跨国公司的兴起

想要提高托福阅读能力,我们一定要在日常生活中有意识地增加英语阅读量,提升语感和熟练度,这其中比较常用也比较方便地一个方式就是利用各类英文报刊杂志文章进行精读与泛读练习。下面我们来看一篇经济学人文章:微型跨国公司的兴起

托福双语阅读素材:微型跨国公司的兴起图1

Rise of the micro-multinational

Chinese and overseas

A new breed of startup is entering foreign markets early on

微型跨国公司的兴起

中国与海外

一种新型创业公司从成立之初就开始进入海外市场

ON THE outskirts of Guangzhou, a city in southern China, lies an abandoned park filled with crumbling replicas of the wonders of the world. To the right are fading golden spires that are meant to represent Angkor Wat, a temple in Cambodia. On the left, a row of dusty Egyptian statues towers over a desolate Greek amphitheatre. Adding to the surrealism, the tops of the trees have been lopped off and a buzzing noise fills the night air. 在中国南方城市广州郊区一个废弃的公园里,到处是东倒西歪的世界奇观微缩复制品。右边褪了色的金黄尖塔原本代表的是柬埔寨寺庙吴哥窟。左边屹立着一排落满尘土的埃及雕像,旁边是一个破败的希腊露天剧场。树梢被砍掉了,夜空中充斥着一种嗡嗡的噪音,更增添了超现实主义的氛围。

This strange place is the testing ground for EHang, a Chinese startup that makesdrones. (The treetops were chopped off, an employee explains, because drones kept crashing into them.) Hu Huazhi, EHang’s founder, is beaming本意发光. His firm has just set a world record for a drone-swarm light show in Guangzhou, where it flew a thousand small drones in perfect unison. Next it plans to launch an autonomous flying-taxi service with a giant drone big enough to take a person (pictured). Dubai has just signed a deal with EHang to launch drone taxis this summer. 这个奇怪的地方是制造无人机的中国创业公司亿航的试飞场地(修饰关系)(一名员工解释说,砍掉树梢是因为无人机总是撞上去)。亿航的创始人胡华智面露喜色。他的公司刚刚在广州创下了无人机灯光秀的世界纪录:一千架小型无人机上演了完美的编队表演。接下来,亿航计划推出可搭载一名乘客的大型无人机(如图),提供自动飞行的无人机的士服务。迪拜刚刚与亿航签署了一项协议,将在今年夏天推出无人机的士。

EHang is an example of a new kind of Chinese firm, labelled “micro-multinationals” by some. In the past, Chinese consumer-goods firms focused on the home market; startups were particularly inward-looking. The rare exceptions to this rule—firms like Lenovo, Haier and Huawei—were giant technology companies with deep pockets(小词活用). That made sense: the mainland economy was growing at double-digit rates and China’s rising middle classes were eager for new products. Marketing and distribution were easier to get right on the mainland than overseas. 亿航代表了一类新型的中国公司,一些人称之为“微型跨国公司”。过去,中国消费品公司专注于国内市场,创业公司尤其注重国内发展。联想、海尔和华为这些为数不多的特例都是财力雄厚的大型科技公司。这种选择不无道理:那时中国大陆的经济每年以两位数的速度增长,崛起的中产阶级渴望获得新产品,在中国大陆营销和分销要比在国外更易获得成功。

But times are changing: more Chinese startups want to go global from the start. Often founders are mainlanders who have worked or studied abroad. In some cases, says Benjamin Joffe of Hax, a hardware “accelerator” in Shenzhen, the startups may have little choice but to widen their horizons. Their products may simply be too innovative and expensive for China’s frugal consumers. 然而时移世易(四字结构):如今更多的中国创业企业刚起步便想走出去。这些企业的创始人通常都是曾在国外工作或学习的大陆人士。深圳的硬件创业“加速器”Hax公司的本杰明·约菲(Benjamin Joffe)说,有时创业公司可能别无选择,只能扩大视野。对中国节俭的消费者来说,它们的产品可能太过超前也太过昂贵了。

One such firm is Makeblock, a startup based in Shenzhen that sells do-it-yourself robot kits. Jasen Wang, its founder, says he went “global” from day one. His firm has quickly entered developed markets. Foreign sales (including to such big retailers as America’s Radio Shack) make up nearly three-quarters of the firm’s total revenues. 深圳销售DIY机器人套装的创业公司Makeblock就属于这种情况,创始人王建军说他从第一天起就“走出去”了。他的公司已迅速进入发达市场,海外销售(包括对美国的Radio Shack等大型零售商的销售)占了公司总收入的近四分之三。

The fact that the mobile internet is particularly advanced in China means the mainland can throw up truly inventive new business models, says Shi Yi, a serial entrepreneur. DotC United, his company, looks for models on the mainland and then adapts them for foreign markets. “We are like Rocket Internet, but in reverse,” he declares, referring to a German e-commerce conglomerate that takes business models from advanced markets and adapts them for developing ones. For example, Wifi Master Key is a Chinese sharing-economy app that lists details of private and public wifi networks around the world. Swift WiFi, Mr Shi’s homage to it, now has over 150m users in 50 countries. 多次创业的企业家石一说,移动互联网在中国特别发达,这意味着中国大陆可以推出真正有创造性的新型商业模式。石一的公司DotC United在大陆寻找商业模式,调整之后应用于海外市场。 “我们就像‘火箭网络(Rocket Internet)’,但做法刚好和它相反。”石一提到的这家德国电子商务集团从先进市场汲取商业模式,加以调整后用于发展中国家市场。Wifi万能钥匙是一个中国的共享经济应用,列出了世界各地私人和公共WiFi网络的详细信息。石一推出了这款应用的“致敬作品”:Swift WiFi,现在在50个国家拥有超过1.5亿个用户。

Musical.ly is another micro-multinational. Valued at about $500m, it is one of the most fashionable apps among Western youngsters. More than 100m teenagers use it to share short videos of themselves lip-synching to popular songs. Teens and parents alike may be surprised to discover that this trendy app is run by Chinese engineers, working round the clock in an open-plan office in Shanghai in the company of the firm’s mascot, a small white dog named Mu Mu. Musical.ly是另一家微型跨国公司,估值约5亿美元,是西方青少年中最流行的应用之一,有超过1亿的青少年用它来分享自己跟着流行歌曲对口型的视频短片。这些青少年和家长们可能不会想到,这么潮的应用竟是由中国工程师运营的,他们就在上海一家开放式办公室里通宵达旦地工作着,陪伴他们的是公司的吉祥物——一只名叫Mu Mu的小白狗。

Alex Zhu, Musical.ly’s co-founder, reckons his firm can become “Instagram for music videos”. Unlike other micro-multinationals, Musical.ly did give the local market a go but has flopped at home. Mr Zhu notes that Chinese schoolchildren typically have hours of homework and tutoring after school. They did not use his firm’s app. In contrast, he observes, “American kids have lots of free time to play and experiment with social media after 3pm.” Musical.ly的联合创始人朱骏认为他的公司可以成为“音乐视频界的Instagram”。与其他微型跨国公司不同,Musical.ly也在本地市场做过尝试,但却在主场失利了。朱骏指出,中国学生通常在放学后要花几个小时做作业和上辅导课,不会去玩他公司的应用。相比之下,他注意到,“美国孩子下午3点后有大量的空闲时间在社交媒体上玩乐,做各种各样的尝试。”

In the past, fear of getting sued over intellectual property (IP) kept many Chinese firms at home. The new micro-multinationals are tackling the issue head-on. Ninebot, a Beijing-based firm, makes better versions of the clunky, self-balancing scooters that were invented by America’s Segway. Confronted with an IP lawsuit from the latter firm, Ninebot simply bought Segway. Now, argues Mr Joffe, it innovates “on top of Segway”, which was stagnating, and the combined firm’s strategy will be global. 在过去,由于担心因知识产权问题被起诉,许多中国公司只在本土经营。新的微型跨国公司正在正面迎击这个问题。北京公司纳恩博在美国赛格威(Segway)公司发明的笨重平衡车的基础上推出了改进的产品。面对来自赛格威的知识产权诉讼,纳恩博干脆收购了赛格威。约菲认为纳恩博如今是“站在赛格威的肩膀上”进行创新,在此之前赛格威已经停滞不前,合并后公司的战略将面向全球。

Neil Shen of Sequoia, an American venture-capital firm, reckons this all adds up to a trend. Slowing growth in China means the domestic market is less attractive than it used to be. A younger generation of founders unafraid of going global is in charge. David Cogman of McKinsey, a consultancy, who works with many Chinese entrepreneurs, recalls that a decade ago it was almost unheard of for small, consumer-oriented firms to look abroad. When he advises companies today, it is “a regular conversation”. 美国风险投资公司红杉资本(Sequoia)的沈南鹏认为这一切都促成了一种趋势。中国增长放缓意味着国内市场的吸引力不如以往。不惧怕走出国门的年轻一代创始人成为企业掌舵人。咨询公司麦肯锡的岑名彦(David Cogman )与许多中国企业家都有合作关系。他回忆道,十年前,面向消费者的小型公司寻求海外市场的案例几乎闻所未闻。如今在他为公司提供咨询服务时,走出去已成为“常见的话题”。

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