Sunday, December 31, 2006

I earned money from Internet to pay Internet service I enjoy

Today, i got the email the "me" sent to me on December 31, 2005. The content is as below:

"Dear FutureMe, what are you doing now? I really want to know if you have got a fantastic career and a warm family. I am now preparing to set up the IBM system. Remember, the X41 system. This is the last day of 2005. I may fly to Milan next year. Do you know it would be good or bad? I still wanna to go further. At the same time, I miss the family.

P.S. do you know what you would do in 2007."

In fact, this website really moved me. The email "me" last year made me remind a lot of thing I went through in the past time. Thanks to to give me such an enjoyable feeling. So I donated US$1 to the website via my paypal account. (Accidentally, I have several bucks in the account because of a year's work for a VOIP weblog last year).

The website said it need donation to make everything free. Unfortunately, only 17 people including me have donated it. Wish there will be more. Internet is not always a free lunch.

Isn't Internet amazing?!!! you could listen to the "old you" and write to the "future you", too.

So this year, I will write another piece to the "future me" next year. I know, she will enjoy this.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Internet to the outside world down

such a terrible turn down on the cable which was damaged by yesterday's Taiwan earthquake. I couldn't access to my Gmail. Also couldn't access to MSN from the office(but could from home). But why blogger still works if gmal doesn't? and why everything was fine yesterday evening just after the earthquake happened but nothing worked today?

So strange.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Earthquake touches Hong Kong

I experienced my first earthquake in Hong Kong during 8:40 to 8:50 pm on December 26. It was really scaring when I was sitting in the office working on my features. The floor had been swinging for five or six times before someone in the office started screaming. Then a silent period for five minutes. Another round came but only for one swing this time. But in fact, I was already prepared to run out of the building with some water.

Checked quickly on the TV news which said Taiwan just had an earthquake, details are here(reuters). Seems Hong Kong and Southern China both felt it. TV news said that the Kowloon Bay area is the most serious attacked place. Seems nobody got hurt, which is lucky.

I never met earthquake in Hong Kong. Isn't that people saying the city is a lucky place without any earthquakes? Anyway, no place is safe.....

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

print turns to electronic, reluctant or hard?

My long-time online friend Fons seems didn't care on what's going on in the Hong Kong's largest newspaper. To him, "By maintaining a solid financial firewall, its articles fail to become part of the ongoing online discussions, making into the laughing stock of the 21st century." I could understand his feeling. As one of the active foreign bloggers in China, Fons has more than enough reason to believe the Internet power, and in turn, he thinks many things should be exposed out of the financial wall to Internet users.

When I was a young journalism student and active Internet surfer too, I couldn't agree more on his opinion. But after working in newspapers for several years, I understood more on the worries of newpaper, especiall the leading newspaper, from an inside view. SCMP is not the only one having the wall, Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, two most accomplished business newspaper, also have the financial wall. As a new start-up media company, it is much easier to share the content freely in order to attract new readiers, and thus new advertisements; but for established and branded newspaper, their worries on turning around to use the new online profitable model, may kill their already-successful business model in one day. Destination to the electronic age already exists in everyone's mind, but "when" and "how" are the biggest problems. Several issues to consider:

(1) Subscribers.

When you could read the newspaper online freely, will you still buy newspapers? I believe that's the most important question in the desk of every newspaper executives. Possibly, many people will stop buying newspaper, so in the turning-around process, how to make sure the smooth connection between the time point when the subscribers could still buy the prints and the time point when the advertising could cover the loss of subscribing revenues.

(2) Content.

How many content could be publicized freely is also another question. It decides finally on how many print readers will leave and how many advertisement could attract. will make the first and second paragraph of every story as free, which is a common model among many media; getting advertisers' eyes as well as readers' stomach is a good trick.

(3) Employee.

Online expansion also needs more stuffs to work on more as getting rid of the space limitation on the print copies. It is hard to recruit good employees when online revenue is still zero(except for the period of Internet bubble). So if is it a good way to push the current employees to contribute more to the online copy or invest more in the expansion remains a question.

Having said those, one of my good suggestions for estabilished newspaper is trying to set up "free" model in the emerging market providing new content to new customers. The online Chinese version of Financial Times and Wall Street Journal have done a good job in bringing many Chinese readers without affecting the current revenue from English version. They also brought a bunch of advertisers. At the current stage, the newspaper could subsidize "the new model of new content" based on the revenue from "old model of old content". When the new model is profitable enough, the old model could be subsidized in a reverse way to finish its turn around.

That's just like the egg-basket strategy. When you could afford the risk of losing all eggs, you could definitely put all eggs in one basket; but if you couldn't, then better put some eggs in another basket to test its stability, and then try to move more. Finally some day you will put all eggs in one basket when you trust that basket fully.

P.S. SCMP also started to provide its Chinese content freely on the website. A good beginning but still in the progress.

Monday, December 25, 2006

something interesting to read

Keso is one of the few bloggers in China having deep knowledge on the IT industry. In this post, he publicized a letter from an employee with Ebay Eachnet on the inside first hand info behind the deal between Ebay and Tom Online. The letter is in English, and quite interesting, though couldn't be confirmed it is true or not.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Could U.S. International model work in China?

Heard from someone on a very interesting observation: "There are two theory in China's internet world: (1) If U.S. could do it in this way, we could also do it", (2) Nothing in U.S. could be implemented in China.

In fact, I would like to see U.S. International model will work in China but only under the management of local professionals. Say, when Ebay finally reached the deal with on selling(sorry, they called it the cooperation) of, many big financial media called it is a failure for American Internet model to work in China. However, it seems no one could remember how, a once popular star auction website based in Shanghai, wrote a new page in China's internet history when the two HBS-graduate founders successfully implanted Ebay's model into China. The failure today is not caused by a couldn't-work model, but by the local management Ebay hired to run Eachnet.

So I would only sigh to Eachnet which couldn't deserve some excellent local management. But in another word, it is more like U.S. corporate culture to control everything in its acquired companies. Different from European peers, American companies consider the controlling right as the most important item when they make international acquisition. For example, Citigroup, who just bought Guangdong Development Bank, already assigned a new CEO to the Chinese venture. Succeed or not, we will see, though I hold a negative view.

In the different business environment, businessmen should try to trust the local professionals as they are the only people knowing the market. That's the most important key in developing business in other countries and other cultures.

Good luck to Eachnet, and thousands of companies which may follow its fate.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Such a long week

Sorry for having not uploaded posts these days. It's such a long week to me since Monday when some sudden news came. I am always quick to adapt the latest news, but this time it took me a week to think through the whole thing.

I am not in a position to do a story on the whole thing(as I couldn't be fair enough) , but when this website reported on it in a unfair way in terms of biased view, I think I should say something to balance the article. Many outsiders, especially people doing business in the mainland China, have seen our changes in the business coverage during the past seven months. We have more breaking news, more in-depth features, and more efforts in trying to cover a true mainland China. The direction is different, but absolutely correct, while most of the readers I've talked to praised it as a good move. Behind all the politics, we should see the effort made by someone to pursue a long term development. It is hard for a regional newspaper, once only focusing in Hong Kong for 100 years, to make such move. But it has to for its own sake. When economists are talking about the peg between Hong Kong dollars and RMB, when stock market sees many mainland-concept IPOs, Hong Kong media has to extend its hands and legs to meet the demand of all readers.

Having said, politics, sometimes, makes the situation more complicated, and makes people including me angry.

Will Hong Kong be marginalized when other mainland China cities are developing fast? Even the taxi drivers in Hong Kong will tell you there is possibility, say, in ten years. What HK should do then? be more open and be more involved in the China's economy. The city does have an advantage based on the efforts from the older hard-working generations, and now, with the changing surroundings, Hong Kong people is also quick to adapt to new things, so will Hong Kong media do, I believe.

"Adaptability and flexibility are the most important two things in a new situation", a foreign expat working in BJ and having a successful career once told me. Now, I sent the words as Christmas gift to all Hong Kong media. And Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

3G, the second round for service providers to grow

Hong Kong has its honor to hold the ITU Telecom World 2006 from December 4 to December 8, the first ever city outside of Switzerland to hold such an event.

The event is so big to even affect the telecom stock in Hong Kong. When China Telecom president Leng Rongquan said China will launch the 3G service soon, the company's stock increased by 15 percent that day. Market is always driven by breaking news, while however, not many people think it in a long-term way.

From my telecom experience, the creative business model usually doesn't come from the telecom operator side. Say, the model of SP, or service providers, only followed after thousands of small private companies which support the China Mobile and China Unicom. Telecom operators, whose main character is monopoly, are hard in trying new and effective model because of its own big strucuture. So the smart way is to give a piece of pie to private companies, and thus, benefit themselves.

So to me, 3G is more like the opportunity for second round of growth for service providers. In the first round, companies such as, and benefited most, while in the second round, the most creative one may be from some new one.

Among them, media conglomarates such as CCTV and Shanghai Media Group are likely to benefit. The two already competed hardly on the launching of IPTV, a way for people to watch TV via handy or order programmes freely. With 3G, they will have a better platform which are faster.

However, to them, the problem is still their character. As state-owned companies for a long time, it is a question if they could response quickly as small private ones and if they have any advantages beyond their monopoly character.

Saying so, monopoly usually win at last, though not the full pie, 80 percent is pretty enough.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

coming back from BJ to HK

I am back to HK today. The weather is so nice, cool and dry. Feel much more comfortable in my apartment than the hotel.

Need to find out what's happening in Hong Kong....

Also, could access to my blog now and have a 100M internet. so happy now.