点击经济学人/经济学人杂志查看全部经济学人文章

一、经济学人杂志双语文章摘要

规模最大的科技公司的触角已经伸向种类繁多的大批行业。亚马逊在电子商务领域面对来自沃尔玛和Shopify的有力挑战。在视频流领域有五六家公司在争霸。而正如我们对微软的历险的分析所示,云计算也已经成为一个竞争激烈的市场。微软的历程提醒着人们竞争的良性力量,以及政府在驯服科技巨头时应下手精准、切中要害。

二、经济学人杂志双语文章中英对照翻译

Blue-sky thinking 云端畅想

2020.11


Parts of the digital economy are competitive. Look at the cloud
数字经济的一些领域充满竞争。看看云吧。 

经济学人双语杂志


THE TERM“big tech” is often used as shorthand to describe the small group of digital firms that tower over the 21st-century economy. Together, they make up over a fifth of America’s stockmarket. But behind that phrase a lot is going on. As business lines have become monopolised, it has become commonplace to complain that tech firms are offering consumers a toxic deal. But in a growing number of areas the picture is healthier.
人们常用“科技巨头”(big tech)一词描述巍然屹立于21世纪经济中的一小群数字公司。它们合起来占到了美国股市市值的五分之一以上。但在这个名词的背后,很多事情正在发生。随着各类业务逐渐被垄断,常常可以听到人们抱怨科技公司给消费者提供了“有毒”的交易。但在越来越多的领域,情况实则更健康了。
The largest tech companies have expanded into a dizzying range of industries. Amazon faces credible e-commerce rivals in the form of Walmart and Shopify. Video-streaming is a fight for supremacy between half a dozen firms. And cloud computing has become a fiercely contested market, too, as our analysis of the adventures of Microsoft shows. Its experience is a reminder of the benign power of competition—and of how governments should be surgical about taming tech.
规模最大的科技公司的触角已经伸向种类繁多的大批行业。亚马逊在电子商务领域面对来自沃尔玛和Shopify的有力挑战。在视频流领域有五六家公司在争霸。而正如我们对微软的历险的分析所示,云计算也已经成为一个竞争激烈的市场。微软的历程提醒着人们竞争的良性力量,以及政府在驯服科技巨头时应下手精准、切中要害。
Cloud computing took off about 15 years ago, as businesses began to outsource their web-hosting, data centres, core computer systems and many applications to a few big providers, particularly the pioneer AWS, run by Amazon. The pandemic has shown just how critical the cloud has become. Many of the economy’s main functions depend on it, including a wide range of e-commerce sites and applications that let you work from home. The scale of this activity is huge; approaching 10% of all technology spending is on the cloud. So are the sums of money being invested. Perhaps $40bn is being ploughed this year into data centres and other physical gear by AWS and others.
云计算大约于15年前开始腾飞,那时企业开始把它们的主机托管、数据中心、核心计算机系统和许多应用外包给几个大型供应商,特别是亚马逊的AWS这一先行者。新冠疫情更是凸显了云的重要性。经济中的许多主要功能都依赖于它,包括各种电子商务网站和让人们可以居家工作的应用。云计算规模巨大,所有技术支出的近10%都花在了云上。这一领域的投资占比也一样。AWS等公司今年在数据中心和其他实体设备上的投入可能高达400亿美元。
The cloud brings obvious benefits. The firms using it replace lumpy capital expenditure on rickety bespoke IT with a variable payment for a service that can easily expand its capacity as needed. That is one reason firms such as Zoom have been able to grow so fast during the lockdown. Having many users for each piece of infrastructure means they are put to work more efficiently.
云带来的好处显而易见。使用云服务的公司用可变的服务费替代在老旧的定制IT系统上的大笔资本支出,而且云服务可以轻松按需扩展。这就是Zoom之类的公司在疫情封锁期间成长如此之快的原因之一。每个基础设施都有大量用户意味着它们的使用效率得到了提升。
The cloud has also been seen as an example of the internet’s fragmentation. Alibaba’s and Tencent’s cloud arms dominate in China and are making some inroads elsewhere in Asia. Europe is so anxious about American firms that it has launched a state-backed rival, called Gaia-X. Businesses in poor countries may struggle for access to the cloud, slowing their development.
云还被视为互联网碎片化的一个例子。阿里巴巴和腾讯的云计算业务在中国占主导地位,并且正在进军亚洲其他地区。欧洲对美国公司的威胁十分不安,为此专门推出了由政府支持的竞争云平台盖亚-X(Gaia-X)。贫穷国家的企业可能难以用上云服务,这拖慢了它们的发展。
The biggest fear has been of a cloud monopoly. Here the news is encouraging. AWS remains the cloud’s biggest firm, but Microsoft, the original antitrust bad boy, is putting up a fierce fight with its own service, Azure, and hopes to get more of its Office and Windows customers to use it for the cloud, too.
人们最大的担忧是出现云垄断。这方面的进展令人鼓舞。AWS仍然是最大的云计算公司,但最初以反垄断坏小子的形象崛起的微软正通过自己的云计算服务Azure掀起一场激烈竞争,并希望让更多的Office和Windows用户也来使用它的云服务。
Alphabet is also putting its cloud forward. On October 8th IBM said it would spin off part of its services business to focus on the “hybrid-cloud”, which marries old-fashioned on-site work with the cloud. Likewise Oracle’s proposed bid for TikTok, a social-media firm, is in part an effort to secure an anchor-customer for its nascent cloud operation. Regulators need to be vigilant to ensure that cloud firms are not abusing other companies’ data, erecting unfair barriers to entry or misusing their dominance in other businesses to get ahead. But broadly, the boom means more choice and keener prices.
Alphabet也正在推动自己的云业务。10月8日,IBM表示将分拆部分服务业务以专注于“混合云”——把老式的实地运作与云相结合。同样,甲骨文提出收购社交媒体公司TikTok,原因之一是想为其新生的云计算业务争取到一家旗舰客户。监管机构必须保持警惕,以确保云公司不会滥用其他公司的数据,设置不公平的市场进入障碍,或滥用它们在其他业务中已有的主导地位来取得优势。但总体来讲,云市场的繁荣意味着选择更多,价格更低。
This rivalry also offers a signal to governments. Treating big tech as a monopolistic monolith does not make sense when some markets are competitive. Nor does banning tech firms from entering adjacent new markets—as a recent congressional report proposed. Better for governments to ensure that users have control over their data, and then vigorously tackle the areas like search and social media where monopolies have taken hold. If the main source of competition for big tech firms ends up being other big tech firms, so be it.
这种竞争态势也向政府发出了一个信号。当有些市场具有竞争性时,把科技巨头视为垄断巨头是没有道理的。像最近一份国会报告提议的那样去禁止科技公司进入相关新市场同样不合理。对政府来说,更好的做法是确保用户可以掌控自己的数据,然后再着力解决搜索引擎和社交媒体等领域里已经根深蒂固的垄断问题。如果科技巨头的竞争主要源自其他科技巨头,那就由它去吧。