Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for February 6th, 2011

Ancient Chinese Beliefs

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


Excerpt from here. This excerpt shows an ancient Chinese belief and its impact on the modern day China.

“The Mohist believed that tradition should not dictate morality. Morality comes from the practice of impartiality and collectivist love for others. Both schools believed that people in positions of power possessed an ethical duty to act in the best interest of the people, and if this were not the case, the mandate of leadership would be lost. While Chinese management today is properly characterized as authoritarian,

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Today is Firework Day in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


Today my slumber was disturbed by the throaty booms of scads of fireworks here in Beijing. For some reason the use of fireworks being shot off today was rivaled only by the first day of the Chinese new year. I asked a friend why this was so and all they could say was that its ‘fireworks day’.

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Good Apple Rant from Loadingdata.nl

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


I love a good rant and this one is pretty cool. 

It comes from here:

Apple: the net of greed is closing

Dis­claimer: I’m not a par­tic­u­lar Apple hater, I think they make fine prod­ucts, though not for me. Also I don’t take the word of Jobs as Gospel. Although I usu­ally don’t do rants, I have to get some things of my chest, so this might very well turn into one

.I have never really cared for Apple prod­ucts. In the old days, I’ve used some of their soft­ware, espe­cially Quick­Time and iTunes, and found both hor­ren­dously bloated and dif­fi­cult to use. It prob­a­bly is just me, since I’m a power-user and I like to make my own deci­sions. On the other hand, a few years ago I bought a top-of-the-line iPod as a gift for my wife, because every­one was ecsta­tic about the ease of use, claim­ing it was miles ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion. She tried to use it, she really did, but after a few months just gave up, because the user expe­ri­ence is just painful. Don’t get me wrong, the device itself is, with some effort, usable. But (again) iTunes is just excru­ci­at­ingly painful. Only slightly less when you start with noth­ing and buy all your media from Apple.

Apple wants it allThat out of the way, let’s get to what I actu­ally want to talk about, the sheer greed of Apple. Last week Apple decided they weren’t rak­ing in enough money and decided to rip-off the “old” media, the news­pa­per and mag­a­zine busi­ness. The few old-media com­pa­nies that are tech-savvy enough to take the leap into the future and tran­si­tion from print to elec­tronic, are cur­rently doing this in two dif­fer­ent ways: (1) They pro­vide free access to their online con­tent to peo­ple who already pay for the printed con­tent; or (2) They allow peo­ple to buy an online sub­scrip­tion to their online con­tent. In both cases of course they spend a great deal of time and money to col­lect, write and orga­nize their con­tent and to deliver it to their customers.

Many media com­pa­nies have build appli­ca­tions to opti­mally dis­play their con­tent on dif­fer­ent devices. You buy such an appli­ca­tion (or in some cases down­load it for free) from the App Store, enter your cre­den­tials, and the con­tent is deliv­ered to your device from the con­tent provider, with whom you have a sep­a­rate (often already exist­ing) contract.

Apple how­ever sees it dif­fer­ently….

Click the link above to read the rest of the post…

Posted in Ranting in general | 2 Comments »

Tiger Mother Invades China-From Ilookchina.net

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


Good post here from a guy who has China dialed in.

excerpt from here

“Amy Chua, the Chinese-American Tiger Mother has invaded China with her memoir. Early results look promising in a market of 1.2 billion readers.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the book has been available online since mid-January and ranked No. 80 in sales as of Thursday on Joyo.com, a Chinese version of Amazon (its rank was 43 as I wrote this post).

The paper version of the book will be out after the Chinese New Year holiday.

However, keeping track of sales of the paper version may be difficult since the Chinese have a tradition of borrowing what someone else wrote, printing it without a contract and not paying the author for it while charging a more competitive price than the contracted publisher charges.

To many in the Middle Kingdom, printing a book you don’t have the rights to is not theft.

After all, Confucius considered all information and entertainment in the public domain even if it is against today’s Chinese law.

The Huffington Post was correct when it said the Chinese edition has a new title and a new cover, which I find more colorful than the drab US version.

The China Daily, which is China’s state owned English language newspaper/Website, quoted a Middle Kingdom mother saying, “I can’t imagine a mother in China so frankly revealing the embarrassment and brutal confrontation she went through while trying to tap her kids’ potential to succeed.”

This matches what my wife said about Chua’s memoir being very non-Chinese. It isn’t acceptable in China to talk publicly about White Elephants in the family and this story, to most mainland Chinese, is a White Elephant better kept as a family secret.

China Daily said, “Many Chinese parents see themselves in Chua, not only in terms of the strict parenting, but the desire to help their children excel. But few hope to be the next Tiger Mother.”

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China Fact- 34 Kids a Minute

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


Every minute 34 kids are born in China. That means that every 1,9 seconds one only child pops out of his mom and calls himself a China-man. By the time you have read this post, if you read at a normal pace 4 to 5 Chinese will have been born.

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China Buying Land in France, Hurry Get Your Wine Fast

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


China not satisfied with only adding toxic substances to their milk have decided to buy wine land in France. The funny thing is that you cannot even boy land in China. Anyway, one of the crack chicom business unit bought an estate upon which fine grapes are grown. I don’t like wine much anyway.

excerpt FT.com:

“China’s thirst for Bordeaux wine is extending to the region’s vineyards. Cofco, the state-owned agribusiness conglomerate, this week bought Château Viaud, a 20-hectare Lalande-de-Pomerol estate in Bordeaux.”

Posted in Ranting in general | 1 Comment »

Blog Comments

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


I Still dont have access to wordpress but will respond to the comments during the week. For some reason some comments need my approval, I do not know why.

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2 2’s Family is Very Old

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


National Geographic says that the oldest rabbit fossils are over 53 million years old. My housemate is a Chinese named 2 2 so I find this interesting. This means that 22 could potentially have a 100 000 000 great great great. etc grandparents…

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Bored in China- I Miss My 5 000 000 Friends

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


Its still the Chinese new year so about 5 000 000 of my closest friends have left Beijing. The result is that I have to avoid a lot less saliva on the streets and yes I can get a cab and sit on the subway, but an an odd way I feel lonely. Its as if China, without 24% of all its people is no different than Iowa. Well with the exception that in Iowa they dont harvest the organs of prisoners and hold them in black jails, and routinely steal the land from the people while killing them if they dont leave….ooops I mean the feeling is similar insofar as you can walk all day and see a handful of people. So in an odd sort of way I miss those millions of people who somehow give Beijing its soul.

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Doing Business in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 6, 2011


Excerpt from Stanley Lubman
“Yahoo, the US portal, announced that it would pay one billion dollars to gain a 40% interest in Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company. An analysis by the Financial Times at the time captured the essence of the problems posed by such dramatic expansion of the internet in China. As the article noted, the impact of the internet in China is greater than elsewhere, because “it has created a zone for communication and information exchange far freer than any other in a nation still under the political sway of an authoritarian Communist party.” At the same time, the article continued: [I]nternet entrepreneurs must still contend with an opaque and unpredictable regulatory environment. It is unclear how responsible the Chinese government plans to hold online auction sites for the products sold through their websites. Chinese propaganda officials have also recently ordered tighter controls on any media imports or internet activities that might threaten “national cultural security” – an edict aimed in part at companies, such as Yahoo, that operate portals with a wide range of content. The article continued by commenting that “changes of policy or regulation are a constant hazard for Chinese internet companies.” It also noted that foreign-owned companies encounter state efforts at “thought control,” such as when Microsoft, conceding to pressure from Chinese censors, cut the words “democracy” and “freedom” from parts of its MSN website. Yahoo has done the same. When Google, which prior to 2006 had not operated a server in China, decided to meet foreign competition”

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