Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for December 15th, 2009

Pretty in Beijing- Apartment Buildings in the CBD of Beijing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 15, 2009

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Death of a Martyr- Drinking Death Caused by Public Officials in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 15, 2009

Check this out, some guy (again I am not belittling the loss of life-but raising awareness)
Here is the story line: SHENZHEN: A traffic police officer who died after drinking too much alcohol was named a martyr who "died in the line of duty" (story here).
What happened was that this guy, Mr. Chen ( a cop) was drinking with his superiors (other cops) who in something akin to a fraternity hazing, forced him to drink until he passed away. What gets me is that it was called "dying in the line of duty", this was done so that his widow could get more cash, that makes sense. But by calling him a martyr and phrasing it as such, doesnt it lessen the severity of the actions by his superiors, didnt these guys have someting to do with it. By calling it martyrdom, it makes it as if his actions were heroic and not that the actions of his superiors nothing less than barbaric…

My condolences go out to his family…

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WTF? – Slow Down Cowboy- Another Gripping Tale from China Daily

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 15, 2009

The author of this story is a real cowboy, check out the link. basically this is an article from the China Daily ( I am a masochist so I looked for new articles), whereby the author is talking about registering ‘famous brands’ in China. My only comment is wtf… I mean I have read the article 3 times and cannot make heads or tails of it. Apparently in China you can register a ‘famous brand’ and then sue if someone infringes that. First off, we must remember where we are and suing for such an event seems to me to be somewhat humorous. But the author in all his p and v (piss and vinegar- and I do admire his spunk), seems to be taking some companies to task for allegedly setting up fake famous brands upon which to sue. Confused, I am too , so lets look at the article. Snippets of his article are in italics, my comments in bold.

He starts off:

“Since local governments have to certify “famous” trademarks, they have carved out short-cuts to becoming famous.”

comment-by not being produced here? Wait, certified famous, wtf

“Of the only two ways of being officially acknowledged as “famous”, court rulings cost less time and money than certification by industry and commerce administration authorities, so they swarm to the courts.”

-comment, ah it is clear now, rather than seeing if you sell many things (thus presumably being famous), in China, you go to the court house to be certifiably famous, that makes ummm sense?

“And thanks to some judges’ greed, some courts have been easy to be bought out.”

-comment, go get ’em tiger

“We now have to wait for the outcome … see exactly how dirty things have gotten.”

comment – I like his gritty no holds barred attitude

“Previously, we were only astonished by corporate entities fabricating non-existent “violators” to create “lawsuits” so as to get a verdict against the unreal “damage” infringed upon a “famous brand”.

comment- wtf, creating violators to show  a damage,  excuse my ignorance, but don’t you have to sue the violator, and thus if he/she doesn’t exist, from whom do you obtain retribution?

“But we dared not suspect that justices had a role in the antics, which now appears to be the sad truth.”

-comment, yeah, bribery, corruption, here, what is the world coming to

“We do not want to add fuel to the public’s disbelief in our judiciary’s claim of loyalty to justice and are willing to refrain from making negative comments until the truth is ultimately out. But let us be frank – once the suspected collusion does prove to exist, the damage to its credibility would be beyond repair. Especially if such fraudulence is not limited to Liaoning.”

-comment, I love his Geraldo hard-hitting style, you can just feel his passion, but as for content, uh, ‘once suspected collusion does prove to exits then I guess the locals will grab another beer, wont even register on their radars, they are immune

“And it further erodes popular confidence in the already notorious practice of naming “famous brands”.

comment-excuse me but confidence in local brands, uh I just threw up in my mouth

“Given that there are too many nameless “famous brands” in this country,few of us actually care who says what is “famous”.

-comment, I need a valium or librium, nameless famous brands, umm ok

“That various authorities, and fake authorities,continue to be enthusiastic about concocting “famous brands”

-comment, WAIT, are they FAKING AUTHORITIES in China too?

“…is but a race for dirty money. Only that it gets even more disgraceful with the courts getting involved.”

-comment, yeah again I am floored by the gall of it…

“But this will definitely end up being detrimental to the all-out efforts to promote the made-in-China label.”

-comment, yeah because no one knows about all the goods produced in China.

“Official seals of recognition on inferior or shoddy products can only denigrate the collective image of Chinese goods.”

comment, OMG!! gotta say that again!

“Official seals of recognition on inferior or shoddy products can only denigrate the collective image of Chinese goods.”

-comment, did he say denigrate the image of Chinese goods, this is too easy

“That “famous brands” are more or less a meaningless, if not deceptive, label of self-pity is at this point a mere family secret among ourselves.”

-comment, yeah but due to this timely expose, now we all know, that is if we can figure out just wtf you are jabbering about!

“If such a pattern is allowed to persist, our best hope will be that others never see through it.”

comment- ok got you, so you say somehow the Chinese are copying those famous local brands, which will hurt images of Chinese product quality. ? Then, I guess, you say that it can be our dirty little secret if we don’t tell anyone… which implies that the quality of the knock off high quality goods must be similar to the original, for, if it weren’t, hen we would all know after purchasing one!

whew I am tired! China is a great place but somebody has to send this news article to the Daily Show- imagine what he could do with it. Actually kudos to the author, he is trying and his passion comes through, maybe it was just a translation thing.

Posted in Counterfeits and such, Cultural oddities, Let me educate you..., Product Quality, Ranting in general | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Passing Fancy- Falling Houses, Construction and the Like

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 15, 2009

When I was back in the states, I used to think that we overdid it, had too many certifications for seemingly inconsequential or tasks that were- I thought not so important. Take a welder for example, just how much training does a guy need to do it. I learned to weld when I was about 8 or 9, loved it, just didn’t see the difficulty in it.
And then I came to China. China with its rapid construction, and I mean rapid. Since being here, I have watched buildings being thrown up in a scary amount of time, and by scary I mean, is that building really safe.And then I watch the workers, these guys are straight out of the sticks and by sticks I mean rice fields that are still sewn by hand. No big farm implements here, we are talking turn of the millennium stuff here. And these workers are the guys turning wrenches and welding these structures to which we entrust our lives.
I was watching the show Mega Structures and comparing how buildings are made. Most countries will select a good architect and such, but that is where the similarity between the east and the west ends. I hearken back to the fact that the average worker used here, probably is lacking the mastery of a skilled craftsman that we are used to back home. I began to think of these workers, -really nice people, humble and honest- but by no means possessing the ability that one may require for these jobs. And then things like this happen –(article from Shanghai- the sight of the World Fair in 2010), a brand new building just collapsed. The news agency blamed the contractor, his liscence had expired in 2004, but to me the suprising thing is that this doesnt happen more often. In Beijing I have seen a new building by the Suhuai station that is literally listing, leaning like that one in Italy. The rapid expansion, coupled with little or no quality enforcement mechanisms make events like this an eventuality.
Each day on my walk home, I traverse a footbridge over Dawanglu, I feel like a child passing over a bridge with his parents. You know the feeling, like you think maybe the car is too heavy so the Golden Gate bridge will actually collapse. Well here, those feelings have resurfaced. Wow, I really miss all of those extra classes and certifications that the USA demands of its workers.

-today everything is just ducky in Beijing

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Another Product Quality Issue or Just Bad Luck- Problem With Chinese Fireworks

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 15, 2009

A novel approach to handle quality issues, ban the product. Here is an article from the Chinese news, the title is something like preserving a Chinese tradition- fireworks. The article is sad, as a truck carrying powder for fireworks just blew up while the guys were driving it, unfortunately four people were killed. The author tires to tug at our heartstrings, focusing on the fact that fireworks are a Chinese tradition and due to this event and others like it (the new hotel by the CCTV building (see avatar) was destroyed by fireworks) the Chinese love for fireworks could be in danger (article here).
Ok so let me see if I understand this. We have some guys driving firework powder in a truck. Now remember, this stuff is highly combustible and dangerous. So these guys are driving, probably smoking or what have you, and poof the truck goes up in smoke, leaves a 100 meter crater. From this the lady wonders if the time honored tradition of fireworks is in danger of being banned.
How about the time honored issue of product quality. I don’t mean to minimize the loss of life, but it seems to me that countries haul weapons-even nukes and this type of mishap is way out of the norm. It would seem to me that rather than banning fireworks, they try to implement 1)product quality standards, 2)governmental oversight to ensure #1 is followed. Anyone who has been here has seen how they pack trucks in such a manner that would make degrees architects proud. Couple this with the fact that there are no trucking regulations (or poorly enforced) and the typical driver knows about as much as hauling goods in China as I do. When taken into account, this is an obvious recipe for disaster.
How about this… Forget banning fireworks, take that cash plus a little that the Shanghai guy allegedly siphoned off (see below), and educate these folks, the streets will be safer for us all.

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China Breaking News!

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 15, 2009

Shanghai Official Accused of taking Bribes! Yeah hot off the presses from that vicar of social injustice- the China Daily…(article here)

This hard-hitting expose Alleges, and I do say Alleges as everyone is innocent until proven guilty… alleges that a certain Chinese official has taken…. Bribes…

Um, yeah, we are in China which kind of has a problem with this sort of thing, so maybe I overreacted, I mean is this really newsworthy?

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