Monday, January 31, 2005
Famous companies in the different careers including consulting, banking, information technology.etc, has been running to the campus to recruite the fresh graduates these days. But the local students are not all crazy about the events. Accenture, a popular brand in the world, only got the number of students from 150 to 200 in a single university. Also did its competitor, IBM. Several percents of the attendees are mainland students who are now studying in Hong Kong, which made it hard to say how many local students will finally apply for the jobs.
The situation is quite different from what I saw once in Shanghai and Beijing. Famous brands, like IBM, Microsoft, and the big four auditing companies, made all the students in the cities crazy, no matter which school. They all come to events, talk to HR managers and ask questions curiously. But the recruiting places are so limited that almost one in a hundred or several hundreds got the job.
The veteran blogger Fons, based in Shanghai, also quoted from CBIZ about the difficulty to find jobs in China. That definitely sounds. Economy is better doesn't mean it is easier to earn money. But not all the people are aware of it. I met a American woman who came from Taiwan. She planned to study in Hong Kong for a while and then go to mainland for jobs. "Mainland China is my best favorite and I want to teach there". She said. But she didn't know the foreigners in China are too many to find a decent-paid teaching job.
Economists are worried about China's ability to create new jobs. Chisato Haganuma, the chief strategist of Nomura Securities Limited(the leading securities and investment banking firm in Japan) said that the most important challenge for Chinese government is to create enough jobs, instead of the type of landing(hard landing or soft landing). But China's big population is a burden now. More and more university students can't find the jobs when they graduate. Even seriously, the regulation of Hukou (One has to reside in a city where he has the citizenship there) has limited people from freely flowing in the country.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
George Soros, one of the wealthiest "fund managers" and the guy who are famous at speculation of the currency told the reporters at the World Economic Forum that the deflation in China is not bad because " the people got the goods cheaper"
Were all they said true or not? Hmmm, it remains to say. The Hong Kong estate market has already boomed too enough for the common people to buy the house themselves. The employee's salary grow much slower than the growing of the estate price. I am not a estate expert, but what I could see is that many local friends can't afford to buy houses themselves. I think it is simple to know the market from the supply and the demand. Soros may be right that the deflation in China is good for people to buy goods, but it is not the enough reason for the fund managers not to speculate, including Soros himself.
The ING fund(One of the largest funds in U.S) manager said that he consider Sun Kung Kai as one of the best estate companies in Hong Kong. He thought the stock was trading at a 10 percent discount to the value of the properties owned by the company. What I want to know is that if he lost money in the failure of investing in HK Reits several weeks before.
The Iraq election began today. We have seen from the texts and pictures on the media saying that many Iraqi people have been to the poll stations with "great confidence that they can choose their own lives". I highly respected those reporters who are still remaining in Iraqi, but I would like to know if the election is the one reported with the lowest number of the journalists in the history. If it is, I will say I couldn't fully believe in what they are reporting now, because they could probably get limited information.
Most of the Chinese media have opened the special columns for the election, but their sources are mostly from AP, Reuster, AFP, CNN. etc. It is of course understandable because the terrorists lately warned Chinese not to come to Iraqi. But it doesn't mean Chinese reporters can get out of the responsbility to report what is indeed happening.
In fact, I am not saying I don't trust the veteran reporters in the big news agencies. But as the information becomes so abundant today, I would like to see the media full of different voices than the exclusive one, no matter the only one is right or not.
Friday, January 28, 2005
But it has brought more rumor that there will be a merging between China Unicom and China Netcom later.
National-owned Xinhua has reported that(in Chinese) the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) that China Unicom will not be splitted in the restructuring of telecom industry. The commission also blamed the media who reported the rumor, saying that they were short of evidence and responsibility. (Coincidentally, Xinhua itself has reported the rumor (in English) today on its English site)
But at least, one thing is confirmed officially that the industry will be restructured before the license granted to the operators. Definitely, not all of the current six operators, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Netcom, and the other two small ones(China Railway telecom, China Satellite telecom) will get the licenses.
In Hong Kong, China Unicom (0762)'s share price has experienced soft down by 0.80 per cent today, while China Netcom's price continue to riseby 1.38 per cent till the afternoon. Investors highlight Netcom, the smallest one of the four, speculating that it will benefit either getting the CDMA network from China Unicom cooperating with Unicom.
Who will decide the restructuring of the telecom industry and the release of 3G licenses? A friend asked me today. In fact, Both will be dicided by different entities though there are relations between the two. SASAC will mainly be in charge of the restructuring, while Ministry of Information Industry(MII) will grant 3G licenses. It could be applied in the Game Theory. where different authorties are gaming with each other in the telecom industry. It is reasonable for some reports to quote that some high-level official in MII supported the splitting of China Unicom. But they are not the right people to make the decision. SASAC, of course, expected to control the telecom operators as more as they could, but MII will use the remaining power to struggle for more. Now, the theory is being practiced.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Though I agreed with Issac Mao that the stories on Blogchina are not real "blog" stories in its own meaning, I found many interesting points there. So I subscribed it in my blogline. Today, I found that the feeds are null, though there are many stories on its website. I know it should be another restriction.
Many teachers told me the terrible result of forgeting history after I enterred into the school. So that's why I can't help remembering the hard period when my home country was invaded by Japan and other countries. I also remember the Four Innovations, which are printing, bomb powder, paper and compass, and be proud of them all the time. But no one told me what happened 15 years before. Then, I forgot it.
I don't know it is good or not, but I always consider history is important to all human beings.
The story quoted the word from Li Rongrong, Chairman of the State-owned enterprise management commitee, that the number of major state-owned company in each industry will be limited to three to avoid overheated competition. In term of this point, one of the current four telecom operators will disappear later, especially when 3G licenses are distributed. China Netcom is the smallest and youngest one at this time, which makes it agressively "gamble" on its future.
With the share of PCCW, it will be impossible for China Netcom to be sold to other local operators because of the complexity. So it is likyly that China Unicom, who has failed to buy the share from Macau CTM(the major telecom operators in Macau), will be split later before three 3G licenses are released.
A week before the dealing, a source in China Netcom told Amy that his colleagues and him were paying great attention to the possibility China Unicom would be split later, which partyly proved the speculation.
That's why China Netcom chose to deal with cash instead of other ways. It will be much more fast to complete the dealing and imply to the authority its attitude towards 3G. No matter it will still have the money to build the 3G network, the company chose to be alive first.
Gambling is continuing, but just within the executives. The employees in China Netcom are complaining that their salary would be lower after China Netcom bought PCCW. "It is hard to tell the reason, but we all believe in that". said an young employee.
Friday, January 21, 2005
The special Sina column for the dealing said there are six advantages for China Netcom to buy PCCW:
(1) China Netcom can exchange the market with the advanced managing policy of PCCW.
It is virtual concept in fact. You can not learn the experience only with some executives in the management board. If the company wants to learn, it should be better that they send someone to MBA school.
(2) Enlarging the marketing area such as Pearl River Delta. China netcom can enter into Hong Kong market and PCCW can enter into mainland.
China Netcom is hard to enter into HK market because it is already quite competitive. It is hard to survive in a area where you are not familiar.
(3) China Netcom will be the leading Asia telecom operator with Asia Global Crossing and PCCW.
It is virtual, too. PCCW is not part of China Netcom first. Both AGC and PCCW can not guarantee China Netcom's future development.
(4) The one-stop operation between Hong Kong and mainland.
I don't know much about it, so no comment.
(5) PCCW's abundant money and capability of earning profit will make up the investment story of China Netcom.
That's totally kidding. Look at the PCCW stock in Hong Kong market. It has already fell down about 13 per cent last year. Investors didn't highly expect the company, which partly told that PCCW's embarassed situation in Hong Kong now. How China netcom's investment story be made up via buying the shares from the investers-disgard company?
(6) PCCW's management team and advanced technology can be introduced into mainland.
The advantages can also be achieved in the other ways, such as signing contract, training.
A veteran professor in Beijing University of Telecommunication didn't want to comment on the event. An analyst said that China Netcom should use the 10 million US dollars to invest in the mainland market instead of Hong Kong market. But they are just the few who told they didn't like the dealing.
When Lenovo bought the PC department in IBM, analysts said that it is the tuition for the company to learn how to operate in a global way; When China Aviation Operations(Singapore) lost great money in speculating the oil price, analysts said that it is the price for the Chinese company to learn how to play with international companies; Now, we can say that it is the chance for China Netcom to learn from PCCW, though it has already paid 10 billion US dollars.
But AT&T and Cingular may have a reason. It will be a perfect environment for the executives who were competitiors before to develop friendship in a new place like Sweden. Hmmm, the Lenovo and IBM executives should also consider it as a way to make the employee close to each other. Anyway, Lenovo people's English language is still poor.
Quote the news from Dow Jones:
Swedish consulting and training company BTS Group AB Thursday said it has received an order to train 800 executives at Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless in the merger process of the two U.S. mobile operators.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
AIA, a member of American International Group( AIG) , is one of the largest insurance companies in Hong Kong. The company offers a seris of service including individual life and group life insurance. There is no number to show how much per cent of its profit is from mainland. But it is easy to know the importance from the managers' response to the new policy.
The customer service people in AIA said that it would not allow the mainland tourists to buy the insurance from Jan,12 due to the "change in the internal policy". He can't tell why the company make the change.
But "the mainland people who have got the Hong Kong Identity card" can still buy the insurance. " We will consider those people as local people in Hong Kong", he added.
Separately, the central government has allowed the Chinese insurance companies, including Pingan to invest overseas about 10 months ago. Now the companyies are busy at implementing their investment plans. Also, the Chinese social security funds, with 150 million yuan, will invest in Hong Kong after the completion of the procedual issues. Xiang Huaicheng, chairman of China's National Council for Social Security, has been in Hong Kong these days. He said to media yesterday that "it is already good news itself" that he was here. Hmmm.
The interview used to prepare for a story on the newspaper, but unfortunately, the story was abandoned. So I would like to publish it here.
Amy: The governments including the States, Japan and Hong Kong, are forbiding people from using BT to download the music and movie. The innovators of the software-winny in Japan has already been arrested by the police. A Hong Kong guy who reproduced two movies online has also been arrested for the illegal releasing. I am sorry that I haven't heard the case in the States. But I would like to see how you think about the goverments' actions? Do you agree or
disagree? And why?
Andrew and Will: We firmly believe in copyright law, and we respect the government's
position in maintaining the law. In the cases of illegal activity, those people should be fully prosecuted according to the law. Every nation in the world will need to figure out to what extent
they are willing to regulate high-tech areas, without impacting their country's ability
to innovate and keep up with the rest of the world. Also, it's important to note the
significant non-copyright-infringing uses of the technology. Peer to peer technologies have existed for a very long time on the internet, perhaps over 30 years. Email itself is
peer to peer, as it is primarily a method to move a file from address to another address;
file attachments. Bittorrent is particularly special because it is one of the first
protocols to embrace the growing trend of high-speed Internet, in the US and abroad. We were very interested in studying the trend, and decided to build a search engine as part of our
Amy: From the technical perspect, do you think the "illegal" copy of content can be avoided or not? Many music and movie producer are comlaining that BT is robbing money from their pocket, how do you think about it?
Andrew and Will: A lot of very smart people are working on this problem. We believe Digital Rights Management (DRM) works to provide a speed bump to prevent casual copyright
infrigement, and content producers should use DRM to provide that speedbump.
It is our belief that several major Internet trends will actually generate more revenues for the content producers. VHS was once a controversial issue because of potential piracy, but
it eventually spawned a video-rental industry worth billions. Three trends are occurring world-wide, on the Internet: Increasing broadband usage, pervasive Internet usage, and higher demands by consumers on how/when they get their information. These are trends that
will lead to more wealth for content producers, not less, as people are able to find content
that they want, when they want it.
Every technology is initially feared, then embraced, by the status-quo - technologies that emerge because of the high-speed Internet are no different.
Amy: From your research report(I am sorry, it is a llittle professional that I can't totally understand), if only 4 per cent of the websites own 80 per cent of the feeds, do you think it will be possible that the authority may choose to close those 4 per cent to diminish all
the activies?( I know you referred to that at the end of your report, but a
little vague, could you please help to explained detailedly?)
Andrew and Will: In the US, the authorities may choose to send DMCA notices to any sites hosting infringing content. Ultimately, technology and innovation are grow
like weeds, and it unclear how to effectively regulate content distribution in the long-term. More importantly, it is even more unclear how to impose regulation that does not stifle innovation and
economic growth, particularly for technologies that have substantial non-infringing uses such as BitTorrent. It is our belief that the most successful companies will be those that
embrace the emerging trends.
Amy: What is your purpose to set up a BT search engine when it is extremely hated by the authority and companies?
Andrew and Will:The purpose for the BitTorrent search engine is to produce research
and analysis such as our paper. Ultimately, it is the end-users that control their actions, as the technology itself is fully automatic, like all true search engines.
Amy: If anything you want to add or explain, I would like to hear more:)
especially on your opinion and explanation of the research report.
Andrew and Will: If you go to blog.monkeymethods.org, there are continual updates on
our activities and ideas there.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
I am talking with a local Hong Kong reporter today about the competition between Hong Kong and Shanghai. He said it is impossbile for SH to get up with HK in ten years or longer. I totally agree. One of the reasons is because the working hours.
Not just in Shanghai, but also in all the cities in the mainland, the problem existes. The Economist magazine once wrote that Chinese people are used to taking a nap after the lunch, which is definitely true. People work from 8 am or 9 am to 12 am for the morning work, then they come back to office with full stomach after lunch. They feel sleepy and always take a nap on their desk. Then they wake up and chat for some time. Afternoon tea is always needed in the chatting. The brains feel released and not want to come to work immediately. After that, they work for two or three hour till 5 or 6pm. It is the time then they leave their office, and enjoy the wonderful night. (except for some crazy workers like the ones in the Big four)
A local friend here told me that she felt strange when her friends in Shanghai asked her for dinner at 6 pm when she visited Shanghai. She said it was impossbile here in Hong Kong, because people are still working hardly at 6pm. In my experience, my job hours in mainland were about 3 hours(9am to 12am in the morning) plus 3.5(2:30pm to 6 pm in the afternoon), totally 7 hours per day. But here I work for about 3 hours(10:00am to 1am) plus 6 hours (2am to 8am normally), totally 9 hours per day. But the feeling is almost the same. I don't feel much more tired though I work longer. The efficiency is even higher. It is strange, and may be unhealthy from the doctors' point of view. But I can do more things and my efficiency is higher.
If Shanghai wants to catch up with Hong Kong, change the working hours and push working efficiency It is not just the problem of the taxpayer's money.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
related link: someone commented on using Blackberry.
Here is the list of the website forced or volunteered to be closed.
Now TV is so cheap for people to get and so is the cable subscription. Also, the traditional Chinese family would like to enjoy the happiness to sit and watch TV together. It is hard to imagine how they do that in the period of IPTV. If the producer can make the computer screen as comfortable as TV for people to see, I may try but it is hard. The number of the houses owning TV and cable access are far more than the home owning Internet access in China. How can the Chinese TV provider wants to make profit from IPTV at this time?
Anyway, we can call it a preparation.
But there is one right point at least. Though US is important to the global world, not all the news is important to every human. Like the news about CBS's scandel in NY times yesterday, it became the headline of the news in all the local Hong Kong paper today. But who indeed knows what happened? Will most of the people who can not access to CBS care?
Thanks for Fons to provide such an excellent story from Economist. It is part of the reason why I left my former company. Most of the Chinese people are proud of the domestic cheap labour, but it can't(delete not) last for long. I can see the inflation in the cities, big and small, are becoming more and more serious. Mother told me that the price of the coal this year has risen up between 100 per cent and 200 per cent. Common people pay more for their daily life, telling their need to higher salary. If cheap labor is the only advantage of China, how can it avoid the doom of the Asia financial crisis?
I rememered I raised the pooint on our financial journalism class, but the guest speaker, an veteran business editor, said that it is not the urgent problem now. Yeah, maybe, bad debt in the bank, of course, is the most urgent problem if those banks, including Minsheng Bank, The bank of transportation, and the the bank of Construction, want to go IPO this year. But it is not the point for China to be stronger in the future.
We debated each other in the class on the topic of "If Hong Kong doomed by the globalization", and we may argue on another similar topic, that is "If China doomed by the colonization of technology". May be.
Friday, January 07, 2005
The market is becoming tight, which may take some merging acting in the market.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
It is unknown that which media in Hong Kong reported the disaster. But after that, all the media organization took quick actions to do what they can. TVB, the biggest Chinese TV station, frequently broadcasted the hotline of the charity organization. Commercial radio, one of the biggest radio station, made the advertisement immediately saying that "let's do what we can to help those victims". More amazingly, the big charitial event has been held in Hong Kong Statium today, just seven days after the disaster. Chief Executive of HKSAR and several famous singers joined the event and requested people and company to contibute to helping the victims in the disaster. Hong Kong is full of the voices to help the victim country these days, which is really worth admiring.
Until now, only two HK people has lost their lives in the tsunami thought many people missed. But all of them has got much pity from the society.
Before I came to HK, I felt it is very strange for the TVB that it always broadcasted the news that someone knocked down another as the headlines. It was not important, I originally thought. But now I understand. That's because the society care every single life, no matter who he or she is, no matter what position he or she is occupying.
Someone may argue that that's because Hong Kong is too small or too weak to pay attention to the big events. But it is arguable. What I have experienced told me that it is a social responsibility making people feel that they are part of the society and they should take care of others.
If someone ask me what is democracy now, I will say taking care of every person, no matter he or she is common grasspeople or not, will be one of the most important parts.
Note: Many bloggers, including Issacmao, have posted the list of charity hotline and contacting way. But it is pity that I can't see it from the Sina.com and Sohu.com, which are two main news aggregator in China.
Now what I guess may be right. A russian official released on Thursday that they will offer 20 per cent share to China Petroleum Corp, according to International Herald Tribune. If it is true, it will certainly make the situation more complicated that who will finally owns the Yukos.
Chinese company must be satisfied if they can get the share, thought not that much. But they should be aware of the fact that the auction of Yukos is still in a big dispute between the States and Russia. Facing the injunction forbiding the auction held by a U.S. court, Russina is under great pressure of the International community. It needs the support from some major country. China, of course, is the best choice.