The biggest challenge for a Chinese telco entering the Philippine market is learning how to bribe Filipino government officials

Everyone would be shrieking even if it were an American, French, or Finnish company bidding for the phone system. What terrifies Filipinos the most is the prospect of other people proving to be less incompetent than they are. Because then they’d have to start asking soul-searching questions like: why do Finns achieve more, with less work, than we ever have in the last 50 years? And they won’t like the answers.

As long as the companies ripping them off, spying on them, and feeding them propaganda are all (theoretically) run by Filipinos, they’re good with that. The propaganda makes them feel good (“it’s all the fault of the Chinese!”) so they just lap it up.

Of course, there is ONE area where Filipinos are acknowledged world leaders, and if the Chinese Telcos have any sense, they’ll stay away. They might think they have enough experience dealing with corrupt, criminal governments in Africa (or their own government, for that matter), but Filipinos are here to show them how it’s done properly.

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