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: http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&oi=news&start=0&num=1&q=http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,39020336,39203587,00.htm

PC magazine:


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 blogger.com 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."