Friday, December 30, 2005

Internet_the difference

People always say companies in different countries have different cultures. I didn't agree at the first time: with the fast developing of Internet, the earth seems now to be a global village, then how come the difference?

But now I agree after seeing the difference between two companies who do same business. The two are and to be China's google)

Google's founders-Sergey Brin and Larry Page- were awarded the title "Men of the Year" by Financial Times (FT)

Baidu's founder Li Yanhong was awarded "Men of the year" by CCTV, the largest TV station in China.

Looks the same, right? But no.

Baidu put the news on its frontpage(attention, the front searching engine page), and opened a special column to praise its boss.

Google didn't say anything on its "corporate news" section(though it could do that), not even to say the frontpage.

In the corporate culture, Chinese companies always put the leaders in the highest postion, so there are many examples on how companies go bankrupted without their founders. But the good operations are depending on the structure and regulations, not on personals.

Here, I saw the difference.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Media_what is happening?

What is happening in media these days? Many of the global media organization has fallen into the embarassing situation. Wall Street Journal may close its Asian edition and use the reporter from the Dow Jones Newswires in the future; Businessweek may close its Asian and Europe edition in order to save money; and so do many other big media once famous for their brands. So what's happening?

Internet is one the most important factors to affect those media. No one could control Internet right now. The content of the traditional media could freely, or partly freely, spead on the net, while people could read them without affording anything. But that will affect people's creativity at last. Many reporters, who used to produce more high-quality works, now have to increase their speed to produce lower quarlity stories. Google's suceess is based on the suffer of many people working in the traditional media.

Today, Google has compromised with Microsoft on a case of its employee Lee Kaifu. It doesn't need to inform media. All it does is to publish a piece on its blog. Traditional media has lost its basic value. What it should do in the future?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Law_Bank regulator via Court

Could you imagine one day SEC, the U.S. denominate banking regulator, asked the court to reconsider the ruling on the bank it regulated? You could be laugh on that, coz it will never happen.

But, that's happening in China. CBRC, China Banking Regualtory Commission, sent a formal letter to the high court, asking to revise the court's ruling related with Agricultural Bank of China.

In 2001, a poor farm applied for the 2-million-yuan loan from a branch of ABC, but it claimed that it hasn't got the reply "in time", which has brought huge loses on its business. The high court, when the farm sued the second time, ruled that the ABC branch should pay for the farm's loss.

ABC,the long-history government money firm, was angry and then filed to its regulator, CSRC, to ask for the explanation on the loan regulation. CSRC, then, sent a formal letter with four reasons to ask the high court to renew its ruling.

The point is not on who should win, but on who should decide how to implement the law. Does CSRC, though as the one who helps making the loan law before, have the right to ask the judges, who implement the law, to revise the already-made decision? CSRC is powerful, of course, but that doesn't mean it could have the rights to be the judges. It may have the right to not agree on the ruling, and it could ask the revision on the regulation to make it more clear. The right process is to revise the law first via the normal law-making procedure. Currently, it has to obey the court, however decision judges make.

The most important factor for a balanced and open society is the power restrictment on each social body. Not a single body could have unlimited power. That's what law means to the people in the society. But here, we see, some bad example.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

WTO_last day, but no end yet

It is the last day for the WTO MC6 in Hong Kong. But seems until now 4pm in the afternoon, no one, including those one sitting in the negotiation room, knows what will happen. Over 1000 reporters, including me, are hanging around now, waiting for the final result to come out(I planned to rush into the negotiation room and shout at them: what are you folks really doing here?)

European Union has become the one to affect the process in the last minute, widely reported by the media. "Everyone is ganging up at me", said European Union Commissioner Peter Mandelson in the conference, described by one attendant. United States is also struggling from the talks with West Africa countries.

Leading developing countries already agreed to eliminate the export subsidies before 2013, while Brazile is arguing the deadline should be 2010.

U.S. is worries about textile import from Bangladesh and Cambodia, claimed to be the reason why they are reluctant on giving the least developing countries tarriff and quota free system.

And so on....

WTO has become a place for everyone to speak up, though U.S. and EU are still the two speakers with biggest voice....

Who will lose and who will win?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Amy_crazy in WTO MC6

Writing always needs strength, someone said before. Amy finally get that strength to go back to my blog. After some rest at home, Amy is now crazy in the fantastic WTO Ministerial Conference 6 in Hong Kong.

Described as a conference which will not get a satisfied result, the city, Hong Kong, still trys to show ministers from the world its full energy and good management.

"If no achievement could happen in such a beautiful city as Hong Kong, how ministers do that in the other cities", said Bo Xilai, Chinese Commerce Minister, who leaded a over-100-delegate group to attend the conference.

Unfortunately, Bo's colleagues are not open as Bo does. They refuse to talk to media; no press briefing; no attending the public debate; not to say to communicate with the non-profit organizations from China, though there are only two.

We could say China's low profile is its way to avoid attack; but in such an organization with 144 members, how you could avoid attack? U.S. is there, speaking, though under attack; European Union is there, under attack, too. But at least they show their attitude, make their negotiation transparent. On the other side, see developing countries who are more poor and smaller than China, they are also giving their voices. It is an organization, where everyone will forget, or discrimate you when you don't speak anything.

In such a worldwide conference, I know we could justify a country's strength from its economy, or population; let's hear its voice publicly......

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Amy_back home

Amy seems disappearing for a long time, right? yeah, Amy is back home from Hong Kong. My hometown is a beautiful seaside town near Beijing. It is cold right now, but warm in my house.

People always need to recharge the "internal batteries", said one of my online friends Lutz. The words are so cute ,right? everyone has the battery inside the body, and you know what's that, isn't it?

It feels so good if you know somebody in somewhere will always miss you and bless you, then you forget all the unhappiness.

Give everyone best wishes. Have a happy week as Amy do....

Monday, November 07, 2005

Media_a local newspaper got a office explosion

Ming Pao, one of the oldest newspaper in Hong Kong, had one of its editorial office exploding at 2:50 after receiving a parcel. A secretary was injured and send to the hospital. A letter in the parcel asked the newspaper to send 30 million to an account in a non-profit organization in Hong Kong.

Terrorism visited Hong Kong??? Or what?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Law_managing a nation, by human or by law?

I am thinking this question for days. China has been a nation with thousands of years governed by human. Now the President Hu said the country should be regulated by law. Is that possible for such a big nation with a so large population?

Read a pretty interesting message yesterday. Shenzhen Development Bank, the only foreign-controlled joint-stock lender in China, said it has received notice from China Securties Regulatory Commission, asking for the return of a back-up loan. The loan once belonged to a already two bankrupted securties companies .

The message said: The regulator asked us twice to pay back the money, with the warning to send us to the court. But we haven't done that yet coz our lawyer doesn't think we have to pay. So far, no suit.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bank_CCB listed tomorrow

China Construction Bank, whose innitial public offering in Hong Kong ranks as the largest in the world this year, will be listed today. Fund managers are guessing how the share will perform in the following days. Some are saying the price will not fall by more than 10 percent, while some other guess a slight increase.

My question is who will decide the share price. Of course, it is not just the investors. Say, Refco, the New York-based future brokerage, has applied for protection of bankruptcy because of its Chairman's scandel. The two companies, refco and CCB, are different due to the business nature, but they both have "dirty" chairmans. How do investors consider them so differently?

Bank_CCB listed tomorrow

China Construction Bank, whose innitial public offering in Hong Kong ranks as the largest in the world this year, will be listed tomorrow. Fund managers are guessing how the share will perform in the following days. Some are saying the price will not fall by more than 10 percent, while some other guess a slight increase.

My question is who will decide the share price. Of course, it is not just the investors. Say, Refco, the New York-based future brokerage, has applied for protection of bankruptcy because of its Chairman's scandel. The two companies, refco and CCB, are different due to the business nature, but they both have "dirty" chairmans. How do investors consider them so differently?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Blog_a fantastic blog stock website

Wanna to know how much a blog is worth? how many people trade on your blog everyday? Here is a blog stock website I recommend: Blogshares

My blog already worths more than B$3000, and takes 0.006 percent market share.

Try to search your blog? Maybe it is already owned by others as mine is...... I will try to get it on whatever the expense is:)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bank_China Construction Bank listed in Hong Kong

The innitial public offering of China Construction bank, due to be listed in Hong Kong a week later, will raised the largest amount of money in the world this year.

So what? CCB is only the third-largest bank in China, While the first two, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China are still waiting in the queue.

I discussed with some colleagues about the reason why investors are interested in China Construction bank. He said people think CCB are the healthies among the Big Four(State-owned banks in China), coz it is the earliest-listing one.

Then I ask:

If the government asked the bank to do something but shareholder didn't agree, then what will the bank do?

He shrugged his shoulders without saying anything.

I am wondering the answer, too.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

City_Where should I find some events?

It is always terrible to make friends in Hong Kong though the city is tiny. Anyone have idea where I could go to in weekends to meet some interesting and nice people? Shanghai has an event named YPHH, Young Professional Happy Hours, where you could make friends with many. Seems we don't have it here, right?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Media_Social network matters

When Internet has turned to P2P from client-server model, the network's relation changes, too.

Yahoo, once famous as the portal, now thinks bigger in setting up social network. It has bought to enhance its strategy to manage people's social calendars, share information about upcoming events like local concerts and festivals.'s idea is fantastic; but I am afraid how it is developed after being bought. M&A sometimes helps dinimishing, hope not this time.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Economy_another financial crisis in Hong Kong??

He Xin, a left-wing academic in China, said Hong Kong will have another financial crisis by the Spring next year in an interview. I totally agree, though it is a little risky to give such a clear schedule.

Hong Kong successfully avoided the huge suffer in 1997's crisis, partly because of Chinese government's help. But at that time, Hong Kong's economy was not dependent on China, especially the stockmarket. Not many big Chinese companies were listed in Hong Kong.

See now, it is hard to count by fingers how many mainland companies are listed here, including the state-owned giant such as China Mobile and the future listed- China Construction Bank. If China's economy is not performing that well, or the investors lost confidence in the nation, Hong Kong's stockmarket will be hit hugely, while it is hard for Hong Kong government to help as it did in 1997.

The only thing for Hong Kong to be lucky is to make sure China's economy go on well. But that's not easy too. As the academic said, the biggest problem in China is the growing unemployment rate. When the number becomes higher and higher, it will hurt internal need as well as social stability. But I wonder if there is someone really care about that, even the government?

I just interviewed a Hong Kong company who is involved in the infrastructure construction in China. It said that it will reduce half of the people in the Chinese company, once state-owned, in five years coz they think the human resources in Chinese companies are alwasy redundant. But how about those poor people? What will they do to support their families? Without the government, the capitalists will never care about these things, right? And even worse, there's not strong worker unions in China.

Should someone care?

Society_consider things in different concept

Amy is always a fun of science fiction, in other words, Amy loves dreaming of the world. But Amy felt bad when hearing another bombing in Bali island, Indonesia, though she was enjoying her favorite ice-cream? Gosh, is it the peaceful earth everyone loves?

Different thinking way make people do different things. If those two Malaysians, who is guessed to start the bombing in Bali, could think more about individual's lives beyond their own religion, then they might not do such things to kill more than 25 people who are totally innocent.

That's how human think. Sometimes we thing big, sometimes we think small, but the best way to decide our doings is to try to balance those big things and small things.

Think large: we are living in the earth, which is, as far as we know, the only planet in the universe. So all humans are in a family where we should help each other to protect our home. One example is the earth environment protection association.

Think smaller: we have different countries, where people speak different languages and have different culture. For example, I am a Chinese, which make me always feel close to the people with same nationality; I tend to speak and write in Chinese, and I would like to maintain the Chinese culture for the 5000 years.

Think smaller and smaller: Each person has his or her own life, family and friends. They need to work to support themselves and relatives. They have to think about their own staffs.

So how large/small do you think every day?

See: blogs who already reported and commented on the latest Bali bombing

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

IT_Why Hong Kong is hard for IT guys?

"Don't join the IT company in Hong Kong, or you will have no future". Friends always warn me.

Really? Are Hong Kong people are so afraid of developing IT business, or they are not that smart to be involved in the business?

Hong Kong is one of the most developed cities in telecommunications, with advanced products and cheap fees. But the IT stocks are not that welcomed by investors compared with Nasdaq in United States. Richard Li, the son of Li Ka-Ching, the riches Asian billionaire, once invested a lot in the business.but then shifted to properties and seems never step into the IT now.

Does that mean it is an opportunity or a doomed business in the city? Anyone having idea?

Banking_why Chinese banks are attractive?

The latest news in China's banking industry is Hua Xia bank is went after by many foreign banks such as Deutche Bank and Singapore DBS. As one of the five listed bank in China, it may be famous but I am sorry I never use its service before. Just wonder why it is so attractive in a near-double price that its paper value in the stocks.

Foreign banks have their own reason to buy to try to grab a bit before the other competitors get into the China. But the problem is not all the banks are well set up. Not to say the state-owned ones, but the private-developed banks are learning bad habits for the goverment-backed ones. The only good bank I think is China Mercants Bank, for its efficiency service and advanced web system. The only advantage is it is not government-backed, which means it couldn't enjoy the benefits as those giant and slow banks do.

I always think there are problems between China's fast developing economy and its weak banking system. In some means, the banking system on the typical examples based on the political systems.

If banking systems develop in a foreign way,how about the political system?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Business_Do social network website still popular

Someone just invited me to WAYN-Where are you now, a new website for social network in the world where you could make new friends. The business idea is really boring, though the website's design is not bad. You have to fill in a lot of private information to register and then you could either look for new friends or invite friends there, which is already a niche business idea among social network wesbites. Say, Linkedin, Friendster, and so many.

How those social network websites make money? Some of them via getting subscription fee from VIP users, some of them via advertisement, but the money is not that fat.

One of the most popular social-network websites in China is Chinaren, a website famous for its groups for alumnies. I would say, 80 percent of the university graduates own a Chinaren account and go there at least once a week. That's really huge. But the website itself, though that popular, is not making huge money. It was bought by Sohu, one of the three biggest portal websites in China. After the deal, the only advantage is the user could access to Chinaren via a Sohu account.

"How the website didn't make money with so many middle and high-end customers?" One of the friends who invests in Internet in China asked.

I don't know. The only reason is that some websites are good at attracting customers; some are good at creating new making-money idea. But only a few could do both.

of course, Google is one of those who have done both. And others?

P.S. not sure what Ebay could do with Skype. If it only makes the recently-bought Skype do the same thing as it did to Paypal, I would like to say the deal will be a failure.

Friday, September 16, 2005

People_interview with state-owned company officials

As I cover mainland but not live there, I have to make hundreds of calls per day to try to get the right and prompt information. It is always interesting to talk to people on the phone, where you always have to know people's thinking and opinions just via their voice.

Not many, or only a few people are nice to the reporters, especially someone from outside. Sometimes, they said they didn't know anything though they did; sometimes, they would introduce the reporter to someone else, whose phone never get through; sometimes, they even joked at me:

Amy: Hi, is there ****? I am the reporter from ****

Someone: Hmmm, why not you call 110? (110 is the emergency number in the mainland) (Then he quickly hung up)

I stucked at the words for almost half a minute, just wonder if it is a joke, or he is really serious...

That's why I kind of felt scared before calling someone in mainland. You will never know what you will get next, though someone's mother told "Life is just a box of chocalate".

This time, I tried to call a company Cinda Asset Management Co. which is one of the four state-backed bad loan clearers in China. And they are nice. Out of my expectation.

I called two people, one in Beijing and another in Northern Heilongjiang.

Beijing guy is conservative and really knows his responsibility on what could be given to reporters and what couldn't. But the point is he is nice to every question in the whole process, without any urgent feeling to hang up the phone. I was flattered, to tell the truth. As an official in the state-owned company, he could just do his job, without talking with media. But he don't.

Heilongjiang guy is more open compared with Beijing guys. (I guess he doesn't know how distructive media will be sometimes) He is willing to give any information, and willing to answer questions with all he knows. At last, he even said "welcome calling me back". I was flattered further by the email I got from him after I sent him my contacts the day before. The email says" sorry for the late response, I got your contact". Wow...

I am always interested in digging into the interviewees to study on Chinese's character, also including mine. Sometimes I am too open to the local, sometimes I am too conservative to the world. In such a world city like Hong Kong, I am still looking for enough confidence in my country. Experienced in a changing process in this one hundred year, Chinese are changing fast, from proud to scare, to conservative, to.. I believe it will work back to the start finally that everyone's mind will be peaceful.

link to the story:

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

People_met a Thailand millionaire

Though Ranked in the Forbes billionaire list, Dhanin Chearavanont couldn't be easily recognized as one of the world's riches men just via the look. He is outspoken and nice, with a speak style like the one of the Chinese leaders. One thing why I liked him is he praised me my question in the press conference as the best one among all. Haha, but the contradicting problem is if I could do a good journalist job when the interviewees tell me the questions are good.

As a expert in feed industry in China, Chearavanont has leaded Chia Tai group into the top company selling feed meal in China, with almost 7 percent of the market share among the nation. His next aim is to do more value-added work on the raw meal and eggs. "China is a big market for eggs, chickens and porks", he said. "We want to be the kitchen for China".

Is it easy? of course not. With the hard competition and people's remaining scare towards chicken and pork, it is difficult for Chia Tai group to make a big step to change everything. Also, people's eating habit has gradually changed from meat-focused to vegetable-focused, which may lead to a decrease in China's meat industry(BTW, diary products really did good these years)

The billionaire is also interested in doing supermarket business. The "lotus" supermarkets in China has been expanded to 51 among the nation, though it is not famous as Walmart and Carrefour.

But investing in the agricultural industry is more safe than investing in others. People need to eat whatever time, right? In that sense, this billionaire is smart.

The link to my story:

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Media_what's the potential future for newspapers?

Have you still read newspaper? I guess more than 50 percent of the youth between 20 to 25 would say no. Even before I work in the current newspaper, I don't read it in print, too. So does newspaper still have the market?

Newspaper is hard to report spot news now coz it couldn't report it anytime as Internet/wires do. Newspaper stories are also not research-based and well-written as reporters don't have enough time to cover all in one day. The only advantage for newspaper is that some readers are still used to reading newspaper every day, not every second, or every week. But will that last long?

Some newspaper does a good job. New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times still post good-quality articles as well as inside news. But for the others, the job is easies, with following news wires and writing simple stories, which could only keep current readers without expanding more.

So what's the future for newspapers????

Opinion_enjoy a free weekend

After started working again, suddenly I feel the importance of a free weekend.

Slept at 3 am in the evening, I got up pretty late today, almost 11am. Wearing my favorite clothes, I got to a famour Chinese restaurant in the downtown. Though my friend came an hour late, I enjoy a fantastic meal with her in a nice mood. We eat the traditional Chinese morning tea as well as the most popular dessert in the restaurant. At last, I gave the manager a big smie.

After that, I went back to school to enjoy the fresh air here. Sitting in the computer roon, I viewed all the blogs in my portofolio that were missed in the working day, also I read many interesting news(not in financial sector, of course). I even go to a science fiction website in my university to download the list for SF films and fictions. I may write some of the science fiction in the future.

There may be a gathering in the evening. If not, I will go back home and work on my SF plan. Amy is always a SF fun and believes in the stuffs such as time travel and butterfly effect. Hoho, my dream is to be a SF writer, though it is still too early to say.

Tomorrow is free, too. No plan yet, but there will be some interesting things to do.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Story_Datang Power

Power Plant push by Datang-Amy

P.S. the management in Datang Power is experienced in dealing investor relations and media enquiries. The spokeman is also knowledgeable on the financial knowledge, which is not common in the mainland companies listed in Hong Kong. Just rememer some company I saw weeks ago, when all Chinese managements sit in the front, hearding a Cantonese-speaking CFO bluh-bluh-bluh, without any idea what he is saying about, neither dialect nor the words.

Media_newspaper provide RSS feeds

hoho, if you are the newspaper's fun, you should not miss this. But as Fons said, I definitely suggest dividing it into different categories in the future.


Friday, August 26, 2005

myself_My five weird habits

Lily, my classmate, invited me to write my weird habits coz she though I should have to write more about myself in the blog. Asianpan, an online friend, also asked me to do that. Seems I have to post them before they are upset, hhhh...

My five weird habits:

(1) watch Korean TV series for the the whole weekend, without moving. (except going to the washing room)

(2) hang around on the street without any idea where to go. (If I have time)

(3) like watching handsome guys(hoho, the habit for all girls, maybe)

(4) watching movie alone (coz it is better to get a good position)

(5) speaking different languages in the dreams (I have dreams in English, Cantonese, and maybe Korean)

Chain rule: 1) write five of your weird habits2) invite five other bloggers

My invited bloggers include:

Fons (don't always report on China, report on yourself, too)

Marc (your habits must be interesting)

Leaffe(You never update your blog, but please update yourself, haha)

Andrea(haha, you must be busy without posting for weeks, right?)

Isaac(Am I crazy to invite such a famous blogger? hmmmm.... I am)

Myself_feeling so bad, the first time in a week

Amy, a business reporter, felt so bad today. She commited a stupid mistake on the term in a company's report. Though nobody blamed her, she felt so bad this evening.

Amy even didn't realize the mistake after the editor noticed her the first time. Today must be a bad-luck day for Amy, when she misunderstood "Tax credit" on the profit and loss reporter to"Reversal on the value added tax".

She felt so ashamed....

Friday, August 19, 2005

Media_online ads hot, newspapers suffer

China business network newspaper, or the first business news translated from Chinese, will lay off employee soon and reduce the remain's salary as far as 50 percent. SMG, the biggest shareholder, may let Beijing Youth Daily Group to manager the newspaper to reduce the cost, reported Singapare United Times, forwarded by a friend.

The advertising money of newspapers only grow by 5.77% in the recent four months, the lowest rist in the recent years. In May, the eight big newspaper in Beijing got a decrease of 29.92% in the advertising, which is 175 million yuan.

Compared with Baidu's fat advertising fee, newspaper, in its bad time, will definitely suffer. Though the media is still partly supported by the goverment, it will not last forever. Will they disappear at last??

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sorry, guys, too busy these days

Hi, all my lovely readers, sorry for not updating for four days. I've already got a job in the Hong Kong Standard. It is exciting, though I don't have enough time to write my blogs now. Working for almost 12 hours a day is not terrible, but I have to write in English, my second language, all day.

Hoho, but it is really fun, fun, fun.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Media_My new media lecture in an old media room

It is always interesting to meet editorial team in the traditional media to see their attitude towards the new media.

This friday, I met with the editorial team in Yazhou Zhoukan, a Hong Kong-based Chinese magazine famous for its politics analysis. The magazine's editor asked me to give a lecture on the new media and Internet, especially their development in China. It is not difficult in fact, but it is hard to change those technical words such as peer-to-peer and folksonomies into easily-understood words. Not anyone has the computer background as me, so I have to try to make things as easy as possible. For example, when the editor asked me what Internet Protocol address is, I said it is kind of like the mail address in the real society.

With a basic introduction on the Internet's hot topics these years, Amy found many reporter and editors are still staying in the period four or five years ago. They could use Internet to look for information and exchange emails, but they never know popular fashions such as, and even blog. Some may consider blog as the place for only rumors, while some others are worried that their blogger account may be stolen before the thieves publish faked stories. To me, it is the common attitude in the news room, some of them are funs of new media, while others are afraid the power of technology.

We even talk about the reading habit and the life of print magazines. Some reporter argue that people are still used to reading paper, instead of LCD screen; I agree, but the fact is that technology is also developing. Maybe one day LCD screen will just look like the paper, bringing same experience to the readers.

The website of Yazhou Zhoukan is still the kind of magazine style; weekly issue and content divisions are uniform with the print one. The editor is kind of worried why they have a strong brand, but make few money from that. It is also the problem for all editors. Some of the media own great content, but don't know how to set up a business model; Others know how to get revenue from various communication ways, but don't have valuable content. But if they could cooperate, things will be easier.

Internet, is just a new platform; it still needs good content, as well as useful business model. Many companies are still on their way; successful businessmen should know how to focus on the core business. It is funny to see editorial team talking about advertising, while advertising people write content.

Friday, August 12, 2005

IT_are you following your heart?

Are you following your heart right now? Lee Kaifu, the now Chairman of Google China and former Vice President of Microsoft, did that. The fourty-something scientist is known for writing ecouraging pieces to young college students. He give a formula for google's success:
youth + freedom + transparency + new model + the general public’s benefit + belief in trust = The Miracle of Google

Hoho, when Microsoft first developed, its success formula seems not that different, right?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Media_who's buying who?

After an hour, Yahoo will take a 35 percent stake in Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba for $1 billion, including cash and the total asset of Yahoo China, reported Red Herring. Friend Marc also reported here.

Interestingly, Sina's headline about the story is "Alibaba will buy the whole Yahoo China this afternoon".

Wow, Amy wonder what the word "buy" means in the Wall Street. Without spending a cent, you could buy something, right?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Needing help?

Does anyone know some foreign expatriates in Hangzhou or Suzhou who bought villas or aparments there? I am writing a story on that and it will be a great help to find someone who
would like to share his/her experience and some photos in the new house?

Media_Search Engine Strategy Conference

When Baidu's price is still skyrocketing, giant search engines such as Google and Yahoo are holding the Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose from Monday to Thursday.

Just wonder how they will talk about Baidu.... Do you think it is the competitor or meat?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Media_Baidu, mix concept between China and Google

Chinese, especially IT enterpreneur, are excited about Baidu's skyrocketing price. Someone even praised it as the beginning of China to grow up. But see how market commentator in U.S. say about Baidu's price, you will get a conclusion on what is really happening now.

Mixed between the hot "China" and "Google", Baidu should know where its position is. This is not the era of Internet bubble, or maybe the second one.

The most cute one is this:

"This is a `son-of-Google' investor mentality. Everyone remembers they could have had Google at $85 and don't want to let it happen again."

---David Menlow, president of IPO Financial

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Media_where's China's own idea?

China's Internet users has now reached 100 million. When the world is cheerful on the huge number, China's Internet business idea is still leaded by others, say, Eachnet after Ebay, bokee after blogger(the concept of blo), now, Baidu after Google. The search engine in China created another miracle listed in Nasdaq.
CNN reported: shares surged about 195 percent, to about $78, from their initial public offering price of $27 per American depositary share, nearly tripled.

All those good Interent business model seems applied to China. I call it good "localization". China is the world's largest manufacturing factory, which is also a good example of "localization", too. But the advantage is only based on cheap labor. If it disappears, the money flowing in will disappear in a few seconds, too.

The latest edition of businessweek told Americans that they should be more and more creative and innovative to maintain the advantage, after China and India becoming the world's factories. But could China keep the advantage forever with the growing property and labor prices, I wonder? How long should China's economy, including Internet economy, grow fast following others' ideas?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Media_the seminar of "blog in China"

My department held a seminar today, inviting Hu Yong, a official CCTV producer, to tell about "blog in China". As I myself did some research on the Chinese blogs in the last half year, I am more curious to know what kind of people will be interested in this kind of seminar.

The first type is the local media people. They are interested to know if blog will help the news freedom in China. I saw people from local newspaper and radio, even news wires. Not sure if they will report on this, but they seems interested. I even met a reporter from Hong Kong Business, and she said her editor is interested to see the blog business's development in China.

The second type is academics and students, most of them from mainland . They are enthusiastic about new media's effect to China's politics. A student from Tsinghua university asked if China will be more and more strict on people's speeches.

The third one is foreigners who could speak Chinese, to say exactly, Mandarin. I am not sure why they are interested. Maybe because blog is so hot these days.

As a Chinese blogger, it is amazing to see how many people still don't understand blogs in China, or even just blog itself. Sometimes, I always assume others know what I have already known, but unfortunately they don't know at all. Maybe other people have the same problem like me.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Media_guess what is it?

Media_mobile weblogging

Charlene Li, an Asian-American woman who expertises in technology and blog business, suggested two moblogging website in her story, Rabble and Winksite.

The two blogging website believes that the integration between blog and mobile will make the similar success as one between mobile and camera. But the disadvantage in the first one is that the blogging websites don't have the direct access to users; they have to cooperate with certain mobile carriers to fully provide the service. Think about MMS: it is not that popular because different handsets couldn't support with each other; things will be same here, when different carriers couldn't support with each other, too, or charges huge.

Oil_CNOOC gave up the bidding for Unocal

When governor Zhou Xiaochuan announced the yuan's revaluation, people speculated that it should be for promoting the CNOOC's bid.

But now CNOOC gave up. People begin to speculate if China will do more oil deal with Sudan or Iran. My goodness, is it just business? or politics tricky.....

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Blog business Summit

In the latest edition of Business Week, it predicted that the most successful company in the U.S. will be the most innovative and creative company when manufacturing industries are outsourcing to India, China and Eastern Europe.

I totally agree. Just see how blog develops. It is in the U.S. where innovative business ideas come, while other countries only follow, or has to follow. In August 17-19, San Francisco, a Blog Business Summit will be held there. Seems already a big discussion before its opening.

Media_News Corp. aim to buy web site in Australia

News Corp.'s Australian business unit planned to buy, the biggest property web site in Australia, for 120.9 million Australian dollars(622 million Hong Kong dollars) to expand its online business.

Amy's question is if traditional media could handle online business properly, to say, I haven't seen a good example now. There's only new brand online, to say, yahoo, google, and...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Fund house Jianyi take over bankrupt Southern Securites

China Jianyin Investment Ltd., an investment vehicle of China's central bank, will take over bankrupt China Southern Securities, part of a plan to revive the nation's fifth-biggest brokerage, reported Bloomberg.

The government invest 8 billion yuan for Jianyin to
take over the investment banking unit and 74 branches of China Southern Securities.

The bankrupty was shut down last year due to the misusing
of client funds and manipulated stocks. The central bank has already injected 8 billion yuan at that time to maintain its normal operation.

"Company suffers, then government will pay". The rule is now more and more popular. It applies to China Aviation Oil(Singapore) when it suffered from the $550 million deal; then the big four banks prepare for the IPO; Then the revitalization of stock market; and now securites house, and then what?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Media_Is the father's business attractable?

Lachlan Murdoch, seen as the heir apparent to his 74-year-old father Rupert as head of News Corp, quit the media giant because he is tired of New York and traveling, reported Reuters.

The 33-year-old Murdoch will go back to Australia with his wife and son.

Will Rupert blame on the son? Or remind the hard experience the old times when he went back from Oxford to Australia to help on his father's business?

Though, father's business is not always attractable.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Banking_Goldman Sachs Group buy 9.9% in ICBC

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allianz AG of Germany are close to an agreement to buy a 9.9% stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China for about $3.5 billion, from Marketwatch.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Media_Baidu, the Chinese version of Google on Nasdaq?

hmmm, a story from MSN money tells how U.S. investors will think about Baidu.

I know somewhere in China Google is blocked, while Baidu works well. So Baidu should be a choice for invetors who are interested in search engines, right? maybe.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Media_Corn is not only popular in Pod

Seriously speaking, Marketwatch reported that "About 10% of the 100 most popular programs in the iTunes Music Store are tagged "explicit."". But that doesn't mean Pod is only famous for corn, right? If we could do a survey on the pornography movie, TV series, novels, there should be a big share, too. It is human nature, not just because of podcast's coming.

So when the reporter say "Millions of bloggers, but does anyone care?", I totally don't agree. Miillions of people is not a big deal among the total population in the world, but in certain group, it affects a lot. I always believe....

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Media_web portals run for desktop

When desktop monopoly Microsoft competes in the web search area, Web portals such as Yahoo and Google are interested in developing desktop products. Google is developing Google desktop lately, while Yahoo bought a desktop-product company Pixoria yesterday.

All those monopoly companies want to control more, more and more, while small companies have to find the unpopular/unfocused area to develop.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Media_How many music records companies in Hong Kong?

Look here, hundreds of companies are operating in Hong Kong. Really huge. Do all of them make money, I wonder.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Opinion_another type of "terrorism"

When 27-year-old Brazilian national Jean Charles de Menezes was shot on his way to the office, he may never think of himself as a "suspected terrorist". But this innocent young guy was dead under those "anti-terrorism" guns. (CNN's report)

British's firm decision to find the London bombings terrorists is right and aspected, but it doesn't mean it could shoot common people, even "suspected people". The whole happening is similar with the U.S.'s attack to Iraq, where the Iraq is a "suspected country" but in fact not the real terrorist.

People will always scare when the others near them die. To say, after Sep. 11 happened, after London bombings happened. So they always require their government to do something to protect them, even extreme things. It is understandable, but they should be care of their extreme feelings to evolve to "another kind of terrorism".

Friday, July 22, 2005

Economy_Let's give a surprise

Surprise, surprise. RMB is revalued.
When Premier Wen said we will revalue RMB in an unexpected time, we should have known it will happen.
When China's GDP growth reached 9.5% in the second quarter, we should have known it will happen soon.
When people think it is still too early to ask the revaluation, China has done that.

In an old Chinese saying, "succeed on unexpectedly doings". Now China did. Reporters are pretty busy yesterday, and I guess no one are prepared for that. Asian Wall Street Journal did a good job with two pages fullly covering the impact on various industries. In such urgent circumstances, the only way is to prepare it at any time.

The yuan closed at 8.1111 against the dollar at 3:30 p.m. local time from 8.110 yesterday, according to data on the State Administration of Foreign Exchange's Web site.

Is the revaluation just a beginning? Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chairman said so;
Japan's Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said so. Will Chinese officials said so?

Now RMB is floating; what Amy wonder is if bankers could trade derivatives right now, hedging on the value change every day?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Media_Is "virtual society" still virtual?

"One of the Internet's advantages is you could communicate with anyone including a dog". People said when Internet first developed in China.

Now you couldn't have the opportunity to chat with a dog because dogs are required to register with identity cards before chatting. Now big online service providers such as Tencent are required to ask all the users chatting with real name and identity numbers, reported Tencent's branded online chatting software is QQ, used by 150 million active users, or almost 10 percent of the total population in the nation.

It is the beginning for all Internet users in China to be required to register with their real identities. Analysts are divided into three groups, supporting, protesting and neutral. It is highlight by that Korean government will implement the "real identity" law on the Internet. The official excuse for the government is to fight with online violence.

People supporting "freedom of speech" will never bear such excuse. The point is if online users could enjoy "freedom of speech" even if they are registered with the real identity. If they couldn't, then it's a pity for the country.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Media_Mobile radio and podcasts

Amy is doing some research on online music radio these days. Interestingly, Amy found the world's first 3G radio player on the Virgin Radio website by chance. It looks cute, but not sure if its voice and service quality is good . Anyone used it before?

Also, there is podcasting show on the Virgin Radio. It claims to be the first UK radio station to offer a podcast of a daily show. A new way for DJs to advertise themselves is born...

Company_Haier dropped the bid for Maytag

China's Haier Group dropped out of the three-way bidding contest for Maytag Corp., leaving Whirlpool Corp. and Ripplewood Holdings LLC to contend for the No. 3 U.S. appliance maker,reported Bloomberg.

Haier doesn't have the strong official background as baby CNOOC, which made it more concerned on the amount of M&A spending. I say it is smart not to spend the money out of its affordability .

Company_Microsoft's Vice president go to Google China

Li kaifu, Microsoft's vice president , will become the chief executive of Google China, and be responsbile for the operation of the Google research center opening in the third quarter, reported

Google's surprising annoucement has offended Microsoft, the biggest software maker in the world. It has already submited litigation of violating the non-competition promise to the district court of the State of Washington. Microsoft said Li should be forbidden to be recruited by its main competitor according to the promise he made before.

Google's last trade price is 309.9 USD, while Microsoft 's is 26.16 USD. Compare the two prices, you will find who is the hero in a new era, Google's stock price shows people's expectation as a new Nasdaq noble.

Could I say Microsoft's era has passed?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Company_fair or unfair?

I talked about the difficulty for a Chinese company to buy a U.S. company several days ago. Then Dave, one of my Australian readers, commented that it is also difficult for a foreign company to buy a full Chinese company. That's true, I have to admit(sorry, Dave, I can't re-comment because my blog comment is blocked here in China).

It is not totally wrong for U.S. politicans to be worried. In a "mysterious" economy such as China's, people outside are easily suspecting how markets will operate, or be operated. Some activities may be forbidden, such as foreign banks could not hold more than 20 percent of the local banks; Some activities are encouraged, like government will support huge low-interest loan when baby CNOOC planned to buy U.S. oil supplier Unocal.

Newsweek just did a story analyzing the bidding contest for Unocal. "It's an unfair playing field," Chevron vice chairman Peter Robertson said on yesterday's story on Newsweek . "If any foreign government can do that, their companies can not only buy Unocal, but any company they want." Chevron is the competitor of Baby CNOOC in the bidding contest.

It is always hard to say something is fair or unfair, Amy has learned.

Media_Fell in love with

I always suggest people using; not because I use it, but I really love its services, improving services. is not that convenient to upload pictures at first; you could either use the "hello" software or use picture websites such as Flickr. But now pictures could be direcly posted via clicking the "image"button on the "edit toolbox". Three choices are provided for you to adjust how pictures and texts cooperate. It has solved one of my big problems.

Now, it has another service named blogger mobile. Here is an interesting piece on how to use it.

All nice things about is you will never be bothered by those services, but always find something enjoyable. Improving services will not make a quick money, but it will make users more loyal to the website. In the era, loyalty is the most important factor for shareholders to trust the company. Have a look at Google: how much is the stock price now???

Media_when new technology come?

"Look, any time a new technology comes about, it disrupts old business models. Any time there’s a new technology that empowers the consumer, some people in the industry get nervous because it’s all about control, and there are a lot of people in the industry who don’t want to see the consumer have control. But you gotta deal with this. Let’s look at the benefits that come out of this."

The words are quoted from the interview of Blake Krikorian, CEO of Sling Media on Engadget. The company's business is, in one sentence, helping users to redirect the TV signal to a laptop or desktop PC anywhere and anytime. "It may change the Hollywood business model" the interview said.

I totally agree what he said. To me, his business is another example of grassroot strength. Other examples include VoIP, BT, and so on.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Mytag Group got another offer

Whirlpool Corp., the largest U.S. appliance maker, is offering $1.35 billion in cash and stock for Maytag Corp., topping bids from two other groups for the No. 3 U.S. appliance manufacturer, reported Bloomberg.

Whirlpool's $17 a share bid beats the $16 bid from China's Haier Group and the $14 a share offer from a consortium led by buyout firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC.

Though the final decision will be made a month later,
Morgan Keegan Inc. analyst Laura Champine said it will be a problem of antitrust, but "From a political standpoint, it's certainly a more favorable option if you're a politician than combining with a Chinese manufacturer."

Oh, really? Why Chinese manufacturers always welcome the offer from outside, but in reverse, things are so hard?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Investing_10 rules to win "the loser's game".

If you are an amateur investor, then how you will survive in a professional investing world? Here is 10 rules given by Paul B. Farrell from Marketwatch:

(1) Never, never speculate.
Your home is not a stock.
Save lots more.
Brokers aren't your friends.
Never trade commodities.
Avoid new and exciting deals.
Bonds also ride up and down.
Never invest for tax benefits.
Write goals and stick to them.
Never trust your emotions.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

a friend needs helper

A friend in Shanghai needs someone who can help him to set up a blog on one of my
sites. If you are familiar with blog stuff and willing to help him(better face-to-face in Shanghai), please contact me. He would like to pay 500 yuan for the job.

This should be a simple blog, with the following characterstics:
- picture as header that I can change myself
- 3 columns, left I want to put some links, middle the text from the
blog, and right a calender, some info about myself and space for thinks
like 'book that I am reading'
- notification when new comment is posted
- possibility to post pictures from Flickr
- It does not matter to me which software is behind it, as long as I am
able to work on it from China.
-RSS feed support

Monday, July 04, 2005

Media_Chinese bloggers' reaction

Isaac refered me the survey by former CNN journalist Rebecca Mackinnon on Chinese bloggers' reaction to registration deadlines. After the survey, Ms. Mackinnon got an unexpected recommedation from a Chinese blogger. The blogger suggested Ms. Mackinnon to have more contact with people who live in China. "" "we can't and don't need to access all information" and he doesn't feel that he is prevented from saying what he wants" . Ms. Mackinnon wrote.

I know Ms. Mackinnon, as an American who could speak and read Chinese and live in China for a long while, my feel pretty annoyed on this comment. But I would like to say it is not strange for a blogger to say things like that. Before I study in Hong Kong, I never realized the importance of the free internet, too. I thought everything I used was already enough for me. If there's any problem, I may contribute the fault to my computer or bad local network. I lived happy at that time.

But when I went back from HK after studying for a while, I felt that I lost my freedom, coz' I couldn't visit many interesting websites I used to go to in HK. 'That's bad", I always complain to my Chinese friend now. I am not happy now.

Before you use a good service yourself, you will never say it is good, isn't it?

My American friends always told me the reason why Bush won in the second Presidential election is that not many Americans go abroad, say, 70%. So they couldn't really find what people in other countries think of the U.S. The same thing happens to China, too, when **% of Chinese haven't been abroad, too.(i don't know the exact number, but I suppose it is higher than the number in the U.S.)

I am not saying who is right or wrong, coz' all those are just different opinions based on different experience. The communication theory tells us to try to know the other party as much as you could.

So, Rebecca, do you feel a little better? hoho

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Opinion_the importance of a wage indicator

My friend Fons started a business named wage indicator years before(Not sure how long). Though he is curious in finding investors these days, I believe it will be an useful information source for worldwide business, especially those who want to make use of cheap labors.

After talking with a reporter here in Shanghai, I had some basic idea on the salary of local reporters here. For an experienced reporter, he or she could earn more than 10,000 yuan( almost 1200 US dollars) a month before tax, in addition with special money on transporting and lunchbox.

I heard an interesting example before, comparing the salary of reporters in Hong Kong with ones in Shanghai. In both cities, the average monthly salary for a reporter could cover the price of one square meter in an apartment. So, not that different, huh?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

BBC unit bought by Australia fund

Macquarie Capital Alliance Group, an Australia investment fund, will but a unit of British Broadcasting Corp. for 166 million pounds, adding a multimedia media content provider to the fund, reported Bloomberg.

BBC, Australia, Fund, the three words make me think of the media giant Australian-turned-American Rupert Murdoch..... Any idea?

Economy_U.S is becoming a colony of China?

When Japan rapidly grew in 1980s, Americans across the ocean fret that Japanese economy will quickly get ahead of theirs. Especially when Japanese companies aggressively purchased the popular American companies and icons, one member of Congress even warned that the United States was rapidly becoming a colony of Japan, quoted by comments on Bloomberg.

After twenty years, Japan hasn't governed the United States yet, instead, it fell into the embarassing situation of deflation. China has replaced Japan as the country scaring western people. The bloomberg columist William Pesek Jr. said American-corporate China is coming, but the success of the colony is not based on the ability to buy brands or not. The capability to manage a good brand is the most important. So it is so early to say before a Chinese company succefully maintain a American brand. TCL, a television maker in China, bought French rival Thomson in 2003 to create the larget TV maker in the world. But TCL has still tried to turn into profit from loss this year(in Chinese).

It is always cool to win a city in a fight, but hard to govern the city without the smart mind.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Media_Adopt a Chinese bloga Chinese blogger could choose an independent hosting service out of China to publish its blog.

It is common to hear someone adopt a child or a pet, but it is interesting to hear the idea of "adopting a Chinese blog". Due to the belief of freedom of speech, according to the introduction on Wikihome, a Chinese blogger could choose an independent hosting service out of China to publish its blog. It is a great idea, with full implementing the idea of grass-root strength.

There is also some risks I would like to add: How to regulate on the liabilities and rights between bloggers whose blogs are adopted and adopters, such as the hosts' safety to store the files and the bloggers' responsibilty to maintain the blog? If the project wants to be a long-term one, then it should be possible to create some official, or formal, agreements, like what creative common license did.

Anyone willing to help or ask for help please get contact with people here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Technology_Take care, free Wi-Fi

Amy is a fun to use free Wi-Fi, until finding this article on Pocket PC magazine .

"Instead of connecting to the legitimate hotspot, you connect to the evil twin, which is really an Internet gateway set up by a thief for the purpose of logging everything you type, including passwords."

Oh, my poor passwords. ...

Opinion_what is national security?

When Zhao yan, the Beijing-based researcher worked for New York Times, was arrested for claimly writing the story of the high official reshuffle, the government said it is due to the concern of national security.

Now when CNOOC, China's largetst offshore oil and gas producer, was bidding for Unocal, the eighth-biggest U.S. oil company, protestors including two Republican congressmen, asked the President to review the bid for the national-security concerns, too.

It reminded Amy the similar thing happened when Lenovo, China's largest computer maker, bought IBM's PC division. The reason is same, national-security.

Then my questions is what is national security?

Searching on Wikipedia, the largest worldwide online dictionary, the words refer to policy enacted by governments to ensure the survival and safety of the nation-state, including but not limited to the excercise of diplomatic, economic and military power in both peace and war.

I wonder if it is right for me to add words in the explanation: the excercise of political concerns.

Media_Wired reports on Chinese blogger slaming Microsoft

The editor in Wired News, a famous news website, referred a story on Chinese blogger slaming Microsoft. Isaac Mao is the main figure here if not the only.

"Existing Chinese blog-hosting companies strike that balance by policing their members' blogs for postings that might get the company and its users in trouble: The phrase "China needs democracy," for example, would set off a red flag. But "democracy" itself is not a dirty word, says Mao. Likewise, text about human rights abuses outside of China is not banned."

Different political systems have brought different policies, which doesn't mean it is not right for the two systems to learn from each other, or even know from each other.

Something will happen in short time.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Economy_Ignore investment banks on RMB

Bloomberg's William Pesek Jr. wrote a smart story on RMB's revalution. He compared China's reluctance to revalue the currency with the same situation in Malaysia and Hong Kong. I especially appreciate the words "The rationale: Why fix what isn't broken? "

It's always nice to see some neutral words like this.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Blocked website today

Amy couldn't visit those websites from Shanghai.

ZDnet UK:,39020336,39203587,00.htm

PC magazine:,1759,1827554,00.asp

If you could visit, why not send Amy a copy? Let's deal with blocking.

Investing_Why is Intel so generous?

Intel Capital, investment branch of the world's largest chipmaker, will invest US$200 million in China's technology start-up companies, covering digital home technology, wireless communications and integrated circuit design.

intel Posted by Hello

Intel said it has already invested in 50 Chinese companies since 1998, quoted in the Forbes story. But that is not true, according to Intel Capital's website. On its portfolio company list on the website, Amy could only find two companies clearly marked with the name "Chinese". One is Beijing TopSec Network Security Technology Ltd. Co. , a network security company, and another is
Beijing-based Longshine Information Technology, providing Internet solutions.

Why does Intel become so generous quickly? Is there anything left out by reporters?

Monday, June 13, 2005

Feeling Shanghai (4)

culture of Shanghai
Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
Where can I find Shanghai's culture? The old narrow street in Puxi, the once downtown area decades ago, or the modern buildings accross the so-called "banking street"? Shanghai is much bigger than Hong Kong, which takes time for Amy to find its truth.

One of the most fast way to find the culture is watching the local TV. TV in Hong Kong is mixed local with international, with self-made Cantonese programmes and importing foreign TV series; TV in Taiwan is more local and entertaining; But I couldn't tell the character of TV in Shanghai. The entertainment programme is not bad, but many stars is from Taiwan or Hong Kong; Most of the TV series are similar with ones broadcasted by other provincial stations. Is that the unique Shanghai culture?

Shanghai is famous for its role as the financial center in China. But you couldn't feel it strongly unless you go to offices in the downtown. In the subway or on the street, you could only feel the sense of living. Crowds of people hang around in the park in the afternoon. Do they really have jobs? I wonder.

If Shanghai is unique, then why couldn't I find more special stars here? If Shanghai is unique, then why not more local-brand enterprises in the city? Or I must be so foolish to compare Shanghai with Hong Kong.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Feeling Shanghai(3)

isaac mao
Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
One of the city's characters is Shanghainese. The group of people are famous for their languages and the exceptional character, such as not interested in politics, addicting with the local language and love in the western culture.

I don't have many Shanghainese friends in the city. Instead, many friends in Shanghai are expatriates from other cities, such as Isaac Mao, one of the most popular but low-profile bloggers in China. Oh, wait a minute, popular and low-profile, are the two words contradictory?

Meeting Isaac feels like meeting a TV idol after crazy for him on the screen for a long time. I will never call it "nervous", but in fact, a little bit like that. From reading Isaac's blog, I assume his character should be as hard as a common engineer usually has. But in fact, I am wrong. He is nice, warm and outgoing. "I am always the first to be contacted in SH when friends visit". He said. And of course, many bloggers are included in the term "friends", who never met Isaac face to face before.I am one of them.

I learned a lot from our talk in a peaceful and sweet restaurant Isaac chose. Isaac is knowledgeable in many fields including blog, social software and venture capital. He joked himself as a quack, who seems knowing many things. That made me think of popular commentators on the Phenix TV. When a event happen, to say, related with Russia, they suddenly become experts on Russia the second day. They learn fast, so they are easy to be experts in various fields. And that's good.

We talked a lot, from blog business in China, to the grassroot voice on the Internet. His resent towards the "evils" on the Net impressed me. It is scare in the society where most people only talk about money. "One of my mission is to help good things succeeding evil in the war". He said. That's exactly the principle of Constantine, the fighter inhibiting devils from the human world in one U.K. fiction. Isaac is pessimistic that he can't live to 100 years old, but in Constantine's story, his courage impressed the God and got a second life at last. So, Isaac, come on.

Feeling Shanghai(2)

Feeling Shanghai(2)
Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
Shanghai is an east-meet-west place, especially in the field of art. Shanghai Fine Arts museum, near the brand People's square in the downtown, is the exact place feeling the fashion.

Guy bourdin China Tour is one of the two exhibitions of west arts on the first floor. The photographer, working for 32 years in the fashion magazine French Vogue, is one of the earliest western activists in shooting eauty-women-with-fashion-clothes photos. His early photos and short videos, show the beauty of women within common environment. For example, pictures of girl tourists on the beach show the amazing harmony between human and naturn. Later, he shot more simple fashion pictures just as the right one. With strong comparation between colors, the picture shocked viewers directly, especially in the models' exagerous actions. Photos in the exhibition are not that amazing to viewers today. But think about it, how people at that time, such as our parents, think about those pictures 30 years ago, the era without photo-editing software and digital cameras?

The Chinese exhibitions are placed in the third floor, with traditional Chinese drawings. I even saw the picture-and-story book published one hundred years ago. Many of them are my childhood favorites, such as Hong Lou Meng, one of the fourth popular fictions in China's history. Thanks for those professionals who keep drawing those books, without bothering by the stronger western culture.

Hanging around in the art museum like this often make me feel peaceful. People couldn't live without art, as well as music and dream. It is worth to spend only 20 yuan, or 2.5 US dollars, to enjoy a puring process. Then you know the direction immediately. Thanks, Shanghai.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Feeling Shanghai (1)

Xu jiahui
Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
Shanghai is more beautiful than Hong Kong in terms of good view, such as wider sky and broader road. But it is not as clean as its competitor. My beautiful new pink shoes got pretty dirty after one hour's walk, which will never happen in Hong Kong.

The picture on the right is Xuhui district, one of the most fabulous places in the city, with many top office buildings and crazy bars. It is also nice to see many French parasol trees across the road, with many traditional houses around. Those houses cost a lot, for example, a house with a 200-square-meter garden costs 6000 USD per month, a dozen time more than the average salary for a white-collar worker.

The subway here is so terrible that I couldn't expect taking it another time. Crowds of people in the train, while people have to be strongful enough to get in and out. I even saw a girl who was pushed down when she tried to get out of the train. Oh, my god, it is only 4 pm, not even the busy hour when people run to offices.

Internet fire walls is still a problem. I couldn't access to Reuters and New York Times, which made my readings less enough. If you think there is something I should read, just forward stories to me.

(P.S. Dave, sorry I couldn't reply message on the exact comments for the access problem. For the airlines, here is what my travel-a-lot friend told me: "Always choose China International Airline though it has the fewest local flights; The service quality of the China Southern Airline is the worst; China Eastern Airline often get delayed in the flight time"; All of three are big national airlines, or in other words, monopoly ones.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Shanghai_first impression

Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
Amy arrived in Shanghai at 8pm yesterday after one hour's delay in the flight of China Southern Airline. Sitting in the bus from the airport to the downtown, I found the city's scene is more amazing and fantanstic, compared with the first time I came here.Compared with Hong kong, Shanghai's road is wider so that you could see the whole sky above your head. Millions of lights blink brightly across the Huangpu river, which splits the city into a east part and the other west one. The district of Puxi, meaning the west of the river, is one of the oldest commercial places in Shanghai, with many banks placing their headquarters here. The other part, named Pudong, is a new-developing district with more and more international companies quickly developing there.

Despite the beautiful scene, the travel experience in Shanghai is not that good. Amy has already been used to the high-quality service in Hong Kong, which is short of here. The taxi drivers never help you with the heavy suitcase, while waiters in the restaurant are kind of rude. Does it mean Shanghai still has the space to develop? I hope so.

Amy is now reporting with the tool Flickr, because is blocked here. If information couldn't freely flow, how people freely develop their ability?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Go back

Amy will fly to Shanghai tomorrow. Not sure now if I could update my post there, but I will try. If you are by chance in Shanghai, just contact me and let's have a talk. Amy would like to see a full schedule meeting with friends.

What's wrong with Flickr??

I couldn't even find the entry to upload my photo. It set up a blog named Flickr blog, but I miss so much the previous nice simple interface.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Property_How much is the property's right growth speed?

My father told me that the properties in the Shanghai-leaded cities around the Yangtze River has already cooled down, when I called him yesterday. "Really?" I asked.

In my memory, the properties in those cities are in a rocketing growth since the beginning of 21st centuries. For example, in Nanjing, a city near Shanghai but more peaceful, the price for the new flat in the downtown has reached 9000 yuan, or US$1100, per square metres, while the average pay for a white-collar is around 2000 to 3000 yuan. It means he or she has to work three months ,without eating or drinking, to exchange for a square meter house.

My father's point is that the central government has already required the provincial ones to make the property price stable, to avoid the property bubble. One of the steps is to add the sales tax on the property sales. In Nanjing, the buyer of a new flat has to pay twice the price of tax, to say, 4 percent of the flat price instead of 2 percent, from June 1st; the selling of a second-hand flat has to afford the tax amount to 5.5% of the whole price, if the flat is only bought in two years. The new regulation discourages many dealers who are trying to make quick money via buying and selling in a short period, according to the report from CCTV.

A group named property price censorship is set up to slow down the price bubble. The standard for the growth speed of the price is to make it lower than the growth of Gross Domestic Product, the normal standard for a country's economy, or the growth of gross income of the people.

Then my point is that the growth is one of the important factors now, but also pay attention to the already-high base price. It is already quite terrible.

Media_a defamation lawsuit in Singapore

Just came across the story on "Singapore briefing June 2005" in the UK_based "Economist". I quote it here:

" Defamation lawsuits in Singapore usually involve ruling-party politicians and their opponents. But in May, a government agency used the threat of legal action to force a university student into shutting down his online journal or “blog”. Chen Jiahao, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, apologised for his “Caustic Soda” blog, which criticised Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*star). Mr Jiahao's web journal had gripes about the agency (which had awarded him an academic scholarship) and its chairman. A*star said the student's remarks went “way beyond fair comment”.

The agency's behaviour brought a rebuke from the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, which accused A*star of using lawsuits to “chill commentary on the internet”. Reporters Without Borders, which ranks Singapore only one place ahead of Iraq in its worldwide press freedom index, said the case underlined the limits of free _expression in the city-state."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Currency_FOREX's strategy, buy more and sell less

Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
There is always a successful business tricky in the rice sale in the old China: Before the rice price is about to go up, the rice salesmen will sell less, or even none, to its customers. The shop will make money of course, and also avoid the certain tricky customers to make a quick money.

The same thing happens to China's currency at this time. Many customers has tried to buy more RMB, or yuan, assuming that the price, or the value of the "rice", will go up quickly. So the regulator, one who decides yuan's value, tries to limit the selling amount of the "rice".

The State Administration for Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has tighted rules governing certain types of trade-related foreign currencies inflows to the nation yesterday(in Chinese). From June 1st, or next Wednesday, four categories of overseas remittances exceeding US$200,000 must present further proof that they are trade-related, before they are exchanged to yuan. The types include export advance payments, entrepot forex earnings, or other categories where the bank cannot verify the trade background.

The action is explained as a way for the government to balance the enlarged gap in the exchange of local currency and foreign ones, reported China Daily.

Five days before the annoucement of the regulation, the SAFE loosened the regulation on the amount of buying foreign currencies for Chinese companies. Individual provinces are allowed to invest overseas 5 billion US dollars from 3 billion, while the actual amount exceeded the 5 billion could be allowed through permission.

The report also said Chinese companies have already invested about 5.1 billion US dollars in more than 1000 overseas project till 2004.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Media_New York Time to cut jobs

NYtimes will cut 190 jobs from its flagship newspaper and publishing companies, reported Could I say that newspaper are now falling into the hard times?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Opinion_Google visits Xinhua

The largest search engine in the world visited the largest propoganda news agency in China, what will happen? Google will advertise its service, or Xinhua will advertise its content?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

US will be naked after cutting off garment supplies from China??

Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
One hundred years ago, when China was still governed by Tsing emporors, a story on the newspaper has already talked about the future of the textile production.

"The variety of the exporting places will decide the success of the textiles in China". said the story, written on the editorial column named "attachment". The "exporting" they referred to is not between the countries, but between the cities and provinces among China at that time, because the word "globalization" hasn't been that popular then.

After one hundred years, the national has already made the textile flow freely in the border. Then the overseas exporting has replaced as the factor to boost the industry. But Chinese government couldn't decide it solely as the other countries such as EU and U.S. are resisting the cheap and high-quality textile product to disrupt their nation's market.

The thing is if the trend for Chinese textile, or garments, to supply western consumers will be stopped by tariff and political disputes. In yesterday's unlinkable South China Morning Post, Jake Van der Kamp, a well-known columnist gave the statistics that China garments exports in 2004 reached the amount of US$68 billion, while all the other manufactures, including Malaysia and Thailand, are under US$6.8 billion, 10 percent of China's amounts. (The two southeastern nations are referred as the countries replacing China as the textiles providers if China revaluate the yuan, said Alan T. Greenspan, the Chairman of United States Federal Reserve. ) Mr Jake van der Kamp argued that US will be naked if it cut China off as a garment supplier.

I sent a letter to him to show my respectation of his wisdom and his understanding to what is really happening.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

IFC shift its fashion investing from banking

Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
International Finance Corporation, the investing unit of the world bank, will shift its investment focus to insurers, securities firm and rural finance companies from the commercial lenders, reported Bloomberg.

The reported said IFC is trying to replicate the experience in the banks to other segments in the financial sectors, quoted Karin Finkelston, International Finance's associate director for East Asia and the Pacific.

The action could be explained as a way for the World bank unit to shift to other financial segments before foreign banks are allowed to open local-currency business in China at the end of 2006. It has already spent $150 million buying stakes in five domestic Chinese commercial banks in the past four years, including Bank of Beijing, Bank of Shanghai, Nanjing Commercial Bank, Xian Commercial Bank and Fujian Industrial Bank. Four of the total are based on the eastern China, the most prosperous places in the country. The stakes IFC hold in the banks range from 5 percent to 15 percent.

IFC's enthusiasm in the local lenders in the past years have provided comforts to the other foreign investors. Common wealth Bank of Australia, the largest home lender in China, has bought stakes in Shandong-based Jinan City Commercial Bank and Zhejiang-Based Hangzhou Bank in last september and this April. ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial services company, also bought a 19.9 percent of Bank of Beijing for $215 million.

Most banks invested by IFC and other banks are equipped with less bad loan and better management system. IFC may hard to find any other good ones to invest before the shifting decision.

At the end of April, IFC planned to buy 5 percent of Changjing BNP Paribas Peregrine Securities Co., a Chinese investment bank one-third owned by France's second-biggest bank, which partly showed its interest in investing the potential investment banking industry in China.

Bank_Another high-level manager left Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley lost another high-level official yesterday, worsing the struggle for the company to retain the talents.

Mr McGuire, who had been co-head of global mergers and acquisitions since the autumn of 2003, announced his intention to resign internally yesterday, reported U.K,-based Financial Times.

Mr McGuire will move to Citigroup to head the unit of investment banking, after working on an $800m deal - Unilever's disposal of its fragrance unit to Coty in Morgan Stanley.

It is usual for the investment bankers to move around in this season, but now it seems a bit sensitive for Morgan Stanley to suffer from this.