a competition on flattened ground

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New Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hello, guys!!
I am translating an interview with Jack Welsh talking about his early years with GE, and he says: "The Japanese in the ‘80s were the Chinese of the ‘90s. IBM didn’t move; a lot of companies didn’t move. The auto companies didn’t move. And you had to move quickly. Don’t forget, it’s not the problem of the people that were there, because they were living in the world of the ‘70s, when the world of the ‘70s was nothing but competing against Japan, which is on flattened ground"
My question is about the "flattened ground".
Does that mean that Japan had better conditions, better structures, that it had advantages, OR, does that mean both sides of the competition were on equal grounds?
Thanks in advance.
Last edited:
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The usual idiom, if I understand his point, is something like "to play on a level playing field." I assume that he's saying that Japan was roughly at the same level as the rest of the world at that time.
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