Ross Rant | October 11, 2017

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Spain update: Catalan President Carles Puigdemont says the region has earned right to secede but calls on lawmakers to suspend action to allow negotiations with Madrid. The move stopped an immediate declaration of independence from Spain. This decision doesn't end the crisis; it only draws out the tense political standoff between Catalonia’s government and Madrid.

US Men's soccer: Playing a team ranked 99th in the world and nothing to play for, the US only needed a draw against Trinidad and Tobago to ensure passage to the world's biggest soccer stage. The Americans failed. So the US Men's National Soccer Team will miss a World Cup for the first time since 1986. 

As a side note, before 1986 and regular appearances, the US was on a four-decade World Cup absence. The impact due to the loss of this match cannot be stressed enough. The idea that I could see an American side win a World Cup in my lifetime seems fanciful.

Twenty years’ worth of investment, player development, and improved sophistication were supposed to have paid off. It did not. Missing a World Cup is a total and complete disaster for American soccer.

China's future: Wang Qishan could be the most critical person in the Middle Kingdom.

Alibaba and real competition: Alibaba has announced it will spend $15 billion over the next three years to increase research and development - indeed a positive and much-needed move. But does it matter? Is this just press release - feel-good - public relations?

If you look at the Chinese marketplace from a macro view, you see big Chinese companies with big budgets and big protectionism schemes that ensure success coupled with an uneven playing field for foreign competitors. From a complete lack of market access in some sectors to the unequal application of local laws, it is a challenge for international companies to be successful in China.

This protectionism ensures China's has winners with fancy companies that appear prominent and successful. 

But looks can be deceiving. 

What is hard to know is if Alibaba's R&D spend will work in 10-15 years. 

The company is protected from a real marketplace challenge in China and hasn't had to compete against Jeff Bezos an

How good is Jack Ma and Alibaba since they are protected and selected as the Chinese e-commerce winner?

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.

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