Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for March 24th, 2011

US Wimps Out

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


There was this flick back in the ’80s, it was called Red Dawn and was about the Dreaded Ruskies attacking the land of the free and the brave. It’s now being re-done and the logical new enemy would have been China, but the wimps in Hollywood backed off and now the enemy is North Korea. Hmmm, yeah that’s a likely scenariao Hollywood, a bunch of half starved Koreans make it all the way to Canada then drop down to invade the USA, excellent job….
Why they kowtowed to the evil empire from here
That’s the subtext of this week’s Los Angeles Times report about MGM taking “the extraordinary step” of digitally removing fictional Chinese villains from the $60 million film “lest the leadership in Beijing be offended.” Why the fear of upsetting such an odiously anti-democratic government? Because movie executives worry that a film involving a negative message about China “would harm their ability to do business” with a nation that is among the “most lucrative markets for American movies.”

The studio suits are right to be concerned. China’s government only allows about 20 non-Chinese movies per year into its theaters, and in the 1990s, the regime halted Walt Disney, Sony and MGM business in the country after those companies produced films deemed critical of China.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/24/EDO21IISNS.DTL#ixzz1HZVBj02c

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Learn Things, In China and Elsewhere

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


Your humble author/pyhsician/soothsayer is still a bit under the weather as it were, so I will make this brief and nasty….
Recently my inbox has been innundated with sniping comments about my blog. I have no idea why they don’t automatically get posted, but alas they don’t, thus necessitating the need for my approval.
What I have noticed, with occuring frequency is a spate of ‘hatey dirty foul mouthy grams’ directed at yours truly. While I can feel the pain of some one-child burden who feels the need to lash out at some ignorant barbairan who has come to the land of all that is in-consumable, I would like to say that if through your haste or ignorance, your comments become unintelligble then I, being the benevolent dictator that I am, reserve the right not to ok them.
Dont get me wrong, if you can even get in the ballpark vz call me an ‘ass’ or whatever, then bingo, I’m feeling ya, and you will get accepted, but if what you have bashed out makes no sense whatsoever then I just cannot see myself ‘pulling the trigger’ on the ‘ok’ button.
Why am I so cruel, you ask?
Consider it my sense of justice. Just imagine how hard the parents of these neurotic one-child burdens had to work to shuffle these people off to lands where people are actually treated like humans. Can we even begin to understand how much money Wang Wang’s mother and father had to extort, and how many chicom butt cheeks they had to smooch, how many papers had to be falsified and how much money had to be stolen just to enable this little embarrassment to the family to be sent off to a better life? And then what does little Wang, who now that he has left the land of eternal misery and taken the ‘English name’ of Devil, what does he do to show his gratitude? He whiles away his days eating peas and baozi that are made of peas and meat respectively, and snipe at my blog. I just cannot condone allowing little Wang Wang’s post petitioning that I Frack my brotrehter, or Flock the Drog, as first off I have no clue what he is talking about and secondly I think I’m doing the right thing.
As for ‘handsome man lifei’ , while it is a feat worthy of the Gugenheim that your ancestors have so aligned your gene pool that you now possess twelve cubic feet of skull perched atop a frail sub-four foot frame, I highly doubt this is consistent with the moniker of ‘handsome’, but pardon my digression. As for handsome man lifei, I honestly have no idea what gibberish you were attempting to bash out but would be willing to give it a try once more. As for the others who say I need to return home or to perform lewd acts upon myself and others, all I can say is….
Please re-submit in Chinese and I will translate for ya….
As for the rest of ya, I still love you or maybe I don’t, I guess it depends on who you are and just how bored or angry I am ….

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Ancient China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


From- In Eastern Seas Or, the Commission of H.M.S. ‘Iron Duke,’ flag-ship in China, 1878-83 (J. J. Smith)

Before us lies a considerable town called Tinghae, where are buried many of our poor fellow countrymen and their families who fell victims to fever and the attacks of a cruel enemy during the occupation. We found their graves in a very neglected condition, many of the tombstones having been appropriated by the inhabitants to prop up those architectural [90]abominations which it would be a libel to term houses. Admiral Coote subsequently sent the “Modeste” down with orders to repair the burial ground; the misappropriated stones were speedily restored to their places by the blue-jackets, who dealt with the natives in a very summary manner by wrecking their houses about their ears.

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On The Chinese Hiding the Truth-The Great Leap Forward

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


From The Party- (Richard Mcgregor)
As the author Jasper Becker noted in his pioneering English-language account of the disaster in 1996, one of the most remarkable things about the great famine was that for twenty years no one was sure that it had even taken place. It wasn’t until US demographers looked at Chinese population statistics in the early to mid-eighties that the first authoritative estimates that 30 million people had died during the three-year period became widely known.

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The Result of Mao’s Great Leap Forward in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


As a consequence of Mao’s great leap forward, millions starved in China. The excerpt below shows why.
From The Party- (Richard Mcgregor)

The new rural communes began reporting huge fake harvests to meet Mao’s political imperative for record grain output. The lies were reinforced, if necessary, with state terror orchestrated by slavish officials who feared political death if they deviated from Mao’s diktats. Anyone who questioned the size of the harvests reported to Beijing was labelled a ‘rightist’. Many were beaten to death by armed militias deployed by local officials to enforce their production targets, at whatever cost. The food simply ran out in some areas. Even granaries that did have food were shut and their life-saving contents kept in storage. To have handed out the grain in these cases could perversely also have been labelled a political mistake, because the size of the stockpile contradicted the harvest reported to Beijing. Yu Dehong, an official at the time in Henan province, saw starving residents clustered outside the padlocked gates of the full local granaries. In their final moments before they expired, they shouted: ‘Communist Party! Chairman Mao, save us!’

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A Man A Geiger Counter and a Plan

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


The Chinese, as is the whole world is terrified about radiation from Japan right now. How much money do you think I could earn if I stood outside a larger grocers with a Geiger counter and a sign saying I would check the people’s goods for radiation? I am thinking I could make a mint. but then the chicoms would beat me and shove me in a gulag somewhere for something like state subversion.

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China and Pirate DVD’s

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


Here is a great article about the prevalence of illegal DVD’s in China. Unless you have been here, You probably cannot imagine how much pirating goes on.

from here
Asked if she had ever bought a legal foreign DVD, she replied: “Never. And even if I wanted to, there’s nowhere to go. Legal DVDs are like democracy – they don’t exist in China.”

Thanks to globalization, rising incomes and the spread of the Internet, Chinese consumers such as Zhou have an interest in Hollywood movies like never before – “Avatar,” for instance, grossed more money in China than any other country besides the United States. But their options for legal viewing of foreign films remain scant.

China allows only about 20 foreign movies into theaters each year, and has strict licensing rules for the sale of home entertainment products. Censors must approve of all films for legal viewing and would certainly frown upon fare such as “Black Swan,” with its explicit sex scenes, and “The Social Network,” which is about Facebook – a service that the Chinese government blocks.

With no outlets akin to Netflix, Blockbuster or iTunes legitimately selling or renting a broad selection of titles, Chinese movie buffs opt for illegal Internet downloads or pirated DVDs. More and more piracy has migrated to the Web in China, though reliable estimates of its magnitude are hard to find. Still, bootleg DVDs – slickly produced and packaged, some with “extras” even better than those found on legitimate discs – remain a huge business and give an indication of the scale of the problem: According to a report in state-run media, the country’s pirate DVD industry raked in $6 billion in 2010. By comparison, China’s box-office receipts totaled $1.5 billion last year.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/03/23/2746635/pirated-dvds-of-hollywood-films.html#ixzz1HU0b4mPK

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On the Quality of Chinese Patents

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


As can see in the statement below, the quality of China’s patents mirrors the quaility of her milk or laws or….

iprchinadaily.com
“You Minjian, lawyer in charge of IP affairs at Co-effort, a Shanghai-based law firm, stated, “The government support policy caused plenty of junk patents and a batch of agents who produce such junk. Service prices of the trade were also dragged down. Now in Shanghai it only costs 4,000 Yuan for an invention. The sum is simply too low for a good patent, which requires time and thought. People just get things done quickly. When you go to defend your rights you will find that too many applications are just junk. But enterprises don’t care, for all they are looking for is some financial interest.”

Presently, this group of patent agents can be described by one word——busy. Every agent has piles of cases at hand and sometimes they are too busy to accept new cases. According to Ma Lianyuan, former president of All-China Patent Agents Association, China has more than 10,000 certificated agents, but no more than 7,000 of them really practice. Statistics from the website of the SIPO showed that some 980,000 applications were fled in China in 2009. So each agent took 140 on average annually, and had to finish one every 2.5 days. The quality can be imagined.”

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China’s Innovation Fallacy – Too Easy to Get a Patent in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


The world is enamored with the innovative abilities of the chinese they have, after all, invented the … um… wel…. the wheelbarrow, yeah they did invetn that. Ever since that, however the Chinse have been somewhat absent in terms of innovation. But the news is filled with the proclamation that China will soon be the world leader in innovation. One of the things they point out is that China has so many patents. But as I have blogged before, and remember I do have a patent in China, Chinese patents are easy to come by. As the article below states, they are also poorly checked, subsidized and can be of dubious quality. So, before you joing the China bandwagon and are sure they will soon be inventing all that is under the sun, you should do a little research to see it that is really the case.

excerpt from here
QUALITY IS CHINA’S BIGGEST PATENT CHALLENGE
China’s State Intellectual Property Office has announced that it received a record 1.2 million patent applications during calendar year 2010. This is a 25% jump on the 2009 figure. Also in 2010, over 800,000 applications were approved – most of these being for non-examined utility and design patents. That said, according to the SIPO stats page (which currently only covers January to November 2010), the number of invention patents granted in the first 11 months of last year stood at 124,184, compared to 128,489 for all of 2009. However, the number of applications had already surpassed the amount for 2009. Chinese companies now lead the way in grants and applications across all the types of patents SIPO awards. Foreign companies used to get more invention patents, but those days are long gone and look unlikely ever to return.

It is always important to point out that most SIPO grants are not based on substantive examination; as long as you fill in the forms correctly you will get your design or utility grant. But it is also important to throw in another caveat to the vast numbers as well. And that is that domestic companies in China are hugely incentivised to file patents. First of all, local governments across the country subsidise the whole application process, so making it very cheap; while second, all companies that own a certain (and relatively low) number of patents are categorised as being high-tech businesses, something that qualifies them for a significantly lower rate of corporation tax, anything up to 50% less I was told while over in China last week.

It does not take a genius to work out that a combination of a subsidised application process plus major tax savings is going to act as a pretty powerful incentive for Chinese companies to embrace the patent system. But neither does it take a genius to conclude that the quality of what is being submitted is not going to be uniformly high, to put it mildly. This is something that the Chinese authorities are becoming increasingly aware of

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China’s Impending Housing Crisis

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011


China’s housing prices have been increasing at a crazy rate. Most say it is not sustainable. The chart below comes from this site and they too think the housing bubble will have to pop in China…
Residential housing investment as a share of China’s GDP has tripled from 2% in 2000 to 6% in 2011

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