Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for August 29th, 2010

India V China in Telecom Wars

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 29, 2010

I love this, it happened a bit ago. The Indians were taking no crap from the Chinese in terms of telecom and told them that if they wanted to do business with India, then the sneaky Chinese had to explain just who owned Huawei and ZTE. The issue is that Huawei is a privately owned company and supposedly was started by an ex Red Soldier or officer for the Army of the People’s Republic of China. Anyone who knows China and guanxi has to wonder, just how deep their relationship still is (ie. the founder and the chicoms and military). So India was upset and doesn’t want to buy telecom gear from the enemy and risk having it impregnated with code that will allow the chicoms to monitor traffic and or abuse it. Faced with this fear the Indians were playing hardball. Recently India has opened up to China, but lets just hope they have not made a big mistake.


“The Indian government has demanded that Chinese networking firms Huawei and ZTE produce details of their ownership within one month if they are to lift the current ban on importing their equipment, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Earlier this month, authorities imposed an effective embargo on local telecommunications operators importing Chinese-made technology on grounds of national security.

Following a meeting between representatives from ZTE and the Indian Home Secretary late last week, the vendors have reportedly been issued with a deadline for disclosing the precise nature of their ownership.

At present, the Department of Telecommunications itself is not forbidding the import of Chinese gear, but all individual procurement requests are routinely being blocked by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, with one unnamed official claiming the government has uncovered alarming information regarding the ownership of ZTE and Huawei.”

Posted in Let me educate you... | 3 Comments »

Chinese Hiring White People- No Face in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 29, 2010

Here is a post and the link to this article, It comes from Linda Gibson who writes for the China daily. She is opinionated, but ohh so good and the Chinese oooo so hate her. This article rocks.

“News media have carried stories recently about bairen chong menmian – “white-guy window dressing.”

The practice of companies renting Caucasians, who are paid to meet customers and pretend they are employees, is based on the Chinese notion of face. The idea that Western faces give more prestige than Asian faces is only one of the unattractive aspects of this cultural mindset.

As near as a foreigner like me can understand it, the basis of face seems to be worry about other peoples’ opinions. If they think badly of you, that’s a loss of face and a reason to feel bad yourself.This gives way too much power to other people.

Face often is used as an excuse to avoid responsibility for one’s actions. Instead of admitting a mistake and apologizing, fear about loss of face drives people to blame others, cover up their error or retaliate against whoever is thought to be responsible for pointing out the mistake. One goal of face is to encourage moral behavior. Clearly, that isn’t working well.

Could it be that the notion of face also stunts Chinese creativity? People brave enough to take risks and dare ridicule to try something different are those who make breakthroughs that advance society. Whoever first developed gunpowder, paper, printing and the compass were those kind of persons.People who simply copy what others have done because it works well enough don’t contribute any advances.

Somewhere between the stifling group-think of face-bound Asians and the every-man-for-himself individualism of the West (which also is carried way too far) lies a place where good manners, thoughtfulness of others and selflessness join self-respect, personal integrity and initiative.

Getting there would be worth the risks.” -Linda Gibson

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Photos From the Commute to Work

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 29, 2010

These are shots on Dawanglu going northbound. This is typical of what the road looks like from 8 to 10 am.

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China’s Great Wall- A Sign of Great Neurosis?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 29, 2010

China has the great wall which is terribly long and totally symbolized this place….

But rather than sing kumbaya and hold hands and extol the virtues of China and the wall, I’d like to put it into a different light, change your way of thinking for a bit.
Here is my hypothesis, the great wall symbolizes China insofar as it shows their, arrogance, inability to change, and neurosis… let that sink in for a bit and let me explain.

Neurosis-the Chinese, to me are the most neurotic people I have ever met. Call it the pressure, the culture, whatever you like, but they are neurotic. Recent tests have even shown that Chinese kids are much more likely to be neurotic than their western counterparts.
So, what does this have to do with the wall? Well, did you know that it took them 2000 years to build the freaking thing. Some say that is great, to me it shows just how neurotic these people are. What society spends 2000 years on any one project, let alone a freaking fence. And then, who spends 2000 years on a thing designed to isolate oneself instead looking to the good of the world and trying to learn,,, spoiler alert, this is related to arrogance.
But to me, it shows that any civilization that is willing to spend 2000 years, tons of cash and mobilize so many people just to keep out the barbarians has some serious insecurity issues. How did is their fear and level of anxiety that they were able to commit 80 to 90 generations of humans to this task? Is it just me or do this culture need some quality time with a shrink?
For instance, the US is toying with the idea of a wall but it is a shabby hunk of metal, but these guys lugged boulders and granite to do the job. How much insecurity can one country have to accomplish such a task? Can you think of any other example of cultural neurosis to this degree?
Part of the reason for the fence is too keep out the barbarians, as the Chinese felt themselves far superior to the rest to the world. Supposedly they interacted with the west, saw them as less than, and walled themselves off, figured us to be useless. This idea is actually still maintained by many of our flaxen skinned fellows even to this day. The funny thing about their arrogance is that maybe they had a technological edge a millennium ago, but since then they been eating our dust, but the wall kept being built, they only actually finished it a few hundred years ago. So, it was their arrogance which blinded them, the great wall actually obscured their vision as to what the rest of the world was accomplishing and has actually held them back. They still have, imho, a mental great wall which is achieving the same thing….. which leads me to..

Lack of flexibility-
The Chinese are the least flexible, least creative people on the planet. Think about it, they saw people whom they figured to be as less, which is arrogant, but instead of seeing if there was anything of value in them because it was foreign and different, they cocooned themselves off, and fell dreadfully behind. Even today, the Chinese do the same thing. Chinese companies build up wall, yeah they hire a foreigner or two, but its just for street cred, they wont listen to a foreigner as in the end, he is still just a dumb barbarian who does things differently . Its this inflexibility which will be the death knell of China.

And remember, that wall that it took them 2000 years to build, they are proud of it, but it goes beyond that, its in their DNA. So when you hire them or deal with them, just be aware that at some point in time this wall is going up, for after all, you are just another dumb barbarian.

Posted in Cultural oddities, Let me educate you..., Ranting in general | 2 Comments »

What it Looks Like When 1 300,000,000 People Dont Flush- Dirty Toilets in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 29, 2010

I guess when you have this many people you are going to have a lot of waste, but can someone flush the freaking toilet!
This is in the nicer area of Beijing. The sad thing is that this toilet is frequented by many, even the chefs at all the nearby restaurants… yummmy

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Beijing Smog Watch July 13, 2010- Pollution in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 29, 2010

This is my attempt to show the effects of pollution in the Beijing air. I have been taking these photos since the beginning of the year and try to show how the smog denigrates the air on a daily basis. I try to take the photos at the same time of day. These shots are taken facing west and a little south. I use my cell phone cam, its a 3.2 mp, Nokia e-71. I dont retouch the photos, merely take them and then upload them.

Posted in Beijing Smog, Beijing Smog- Daily pics, Photos | Leave a Comment »

China’s Weapon of Choice- Modern Day Rickshaw

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 29, 2010

These are modern Chinese rickshaws. They are motorcycles with a canopy which operate as taxis. They are cheap, 0.7 U$ for a ten minute drive, and illegal, but oh so convenient.

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The World Goes Chinese, The Chinese Go Elsewhere

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 29, 2010

In the 80’s it was thought that the Japanese Juggernaut would swallow the world. There was even the song that said, “I think I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese..” and so on. The Japanese had it all, and the world was being consumed by them.
Flash forward and its now the Chinese. There are many differences between the two, ie. quality, lifestyle etc. but it does seem as if the Chinese and their goods are everywhere. The problem is that while the Japanese are proud of their country, they will not usually trade their citizenship for that of another country. They are proud of being Japanese and don’t see a benefit in changing, but definitely not so for the Chinese who are dying to leave their country and change their citizenship.
Lately some famous Chinese are opting to become citizens of other countries, and of course who can blame them? I mean China is a good plan ‘B’ but does anyone trust the place? Aside from maybe North Korea who would even want to become a Chinaman? Well, that is what has been happening. For instance the Chinese were saddened that Yao Ming would have his little offspring in the US making it by default an American (China does not recognize dual citizenship). The public couldn’t dog him as he is officially a ‘national treasure’ and they were ape shit about him having a kid, they were sue it was the second coming. Also Jet Li is now a Singaporean, as well as a few other famous people.
The whole thing has China a little upset, they feel they have cultivated the talent, only to have it leave. My take is that as I said, this place is a good backup, but as for having it my official citizenship- I’d rather eat my own excrement.

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