China's Internet population now exceeds that of the United States. But before moving into the market, companies like ABB, Gap and Novartis are scrambling to figure out how to do so without looking evil in the eyes of consumers in free societies. The Financial Times solved the problem in 885 words. A 785-word-lighter version:
Distinguish between doing business and doing the regime's dirty business. The latter they call "complicity": either authorizing or ignoring human rights abuses committed by their own subsidiaries or providing assistance to others who damage human rights. "The company's assistance or encouragement has to be to a degree that, without such participation, the abuses most probably would not have occurred to the same extent or in the same way." Does not amount to complicity: companies involved did not make things worse. Ask: if I do this, am I one day going to find myself claiming I didn't?