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An American in China

Archive for May 29th, 2011

Chinese Corruption is Bad in What Sectors

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

According to the Chinese news blurb below, corruption in China is worst in areas like construction, rail etc. I would only like to ask if corruption is worse i ndollar terms or percentage of corrupt officials? For instance, how many officials are really clean? I guess these guys make more money thorugh bribes then the rest…
Oh yeah, isn’t it funny that most Chinese billionaires come from the urban construction sector, I wonder if there is a correlation?

“BEIJING – Urban construction, rural infrastructure, transport, and railway projects are the sectors worst hit by corruption and other crimes stemming from abuse of power, a senior prosecutor said.”

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Bridge Collapses in China- China Quality at Work

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

This photo from China is a prime example of what we all suspect/know about Chinese quality…. This bridge just collapsed but the Chinese officials are investigating the cause. I can help them… shitty quality would be my guess…

from the Chinadaily

Broken bridge
A bridge over Yitong River in Changchun city, the capital of Jilin province in Northeast China, lays in ruins after collapsing at 3:30 am on Sunday. A truck plunged through the hole and two people inside the vehicle were injured. The local government has set up a team to investigate the accident.[Photo/China Daily]

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China Upset with Vietnam’s Oil Exploration

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

China is upset with Vietnam due to offshore oil exploration. A summary would be that China claims almost all of the south China sea as her own and nowadays as China is really really hurting for energy and is one of the most wasteful countries in terms of energy use (meaning inefficient plants and buildings) China needs more. So the Chinese get pissed when anyone encroaches on any place that may have gas. China knows that without gas they have no economy and then all heck breaks loose…
Also, China may want to remember that although she is big, she is alienating many countries who border her. And I doubt that having Sudan, Iraq and N. Korea on your side counts for much these

Posted in News From China- Whats hot | 4 Comments »

China Admits to Cyber Army

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

China set up a cyber army, or I mean they fessed up to having one. I guess it does not hurt to have a company like Huawei who was started by a communist and former red army officer. But anyway, China has said they set up this cyber group for national defense. Hmmmm like the missiles they aim at TW are for national defense, right?

BEIJING (AFP) – China’s military has set up an elite Internet security task force tasked with fending off cyberattacks, state media reported on Friday, denying that the initiative is intended to create a “hacker army”.
The People’s Liberation Army has reportedly invested tens of millions of yuan (millions of dollars) in the project — which is sure to ring alarm bells around the world among governments and businesses wary of Beijing’s intentions.
“Cyber attacks have become an international problem affecting both civilian and military areas,” the Global Times quoted China’s defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng as telling a rare briefing this week.
“China is relatively weak in cyber-security and has often been targeted. This temporary programme is aimed at improving our defences against such attacks.”
The 30-member “Cyber Blue Team” — the core of the PLA’s cyber force — has been organised under the Guangdong military command in the country’s south, and will carry out “cyber-warfare drills”, the newspaper said.

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Chinese Munchies at Night- Chinese Street Food

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

Chinese photo of a street vendor at night. The food is okay, just the light makes it look odd. Night time chomping is a part of Chinese culture.

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Baidu, Wife Beaters and China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

A little bit ago I blogged that Chinese search firm Baidu was fined for ipr violations. I was kind of harsh and maybe I should have been a little more positive about this. Maybe I should have joined the bandwagon and began to applaud China for all of the dramatic changes she has made and how she is getting her act together. I guess I am in a quandry, to me its kind of like this:
Consider the case of a fictional character called Tom Burlingaime from Racine Wisconsin. Tom’s a good ol boy with a taste for sour mash whiskey. The problem is that when Tommy boy, as his friends like to call hiim, gets a litttle too much of that good ol’ firewater in his system something changes in him, he gets a bit violent. While most townsfolk have learned about this, they tend to shy away from him at such times. The problem is that Peggy, the long-legged love of his wife cannot get away. After fifteen years of marriage and four kids her lack of education and work skills marginalizes her in the work force, so no matter what happens, Peggy stays with this man Tom.

Now Tom, being an alcoholic, has a problem controlling his actions at times and when the demon rum gets the better of him, he takes it out on Peggy. Giving her a taste of the ol’ long knuckle (his fist), he claims is more about his addiction and less about the real Tom. Peggy, ever so hopeful decides to agree and so life proceeds.

Then one day Tom has an epiphany, he makes a decision to enjoy life and he changes, he only drinks every other day. Peggy sees this as an improvement, as she now only lives 50% of her life in fear. While some may say ‘good job tommy boy! You are kicking your habit and Peg sure seems a lot happier!”, I would sadly shake my head in disagreement. Each day that Peg lives in fear is 24 hours too many, and some things are absolutes, like laws and physical abuse…
So while the talking heads may praise china for this act vz ‘enforcing ipr violations’, all i can do is shake my head sadly. 24, x 7 you can go to ecplaza.net and order a host of copyright infringing medicines and goods, 7 days a week you can go to the silk market and buy your ‘Rolex’ for 25 U$, 7 days a week you can buy pirated DVD’s. I guess if the govt here decided to marshall a few of those folks they’ve got chasing church parishoners, then they could make a dent in the real problems of china, but then again life is about decisions, china is making theirs. China is tom, we are peggy…

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China’s ErenEben Tablet An Overpriced Retro-Tablet- Review of Eben Eren T-3

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

Here is my tech review of China’s ErenEben T-3 tablet—-Too much for too little

In Chinese tech, as much as it pains me to put those words together, a company called ErenEben is entering the tablet market. The result is the T-3, a masculine looking somewhat large tablet PC which eschews a touch screen for a stylus…

I will set cynical Bill to the side and give an honest analysis of this product as one of my acquaintances is a .. mover and shaker within the company so out of fairness to them I will be impartial.. I have played with this product so I will give you my two cents.

First the specs (btw I have pics of this and will upload mine later, these are from the net)
-1 cm thick (to Americans this means about the thickness of an Iphone
-Freescale iMX 800 MHz processor
-512 M Ram
-8 inch panel and stylus from Wacom
-weighs 530 grams or about a pound
-leather case
I love the feel of the thing in my hands but it is not cutting edge in terms of design. It has blunt edges and supposedly is often offered as a gift to communist party members, (one of their clients) which could explain the spartan design. In the Apple world of ‘hey look at my cute tablet thing,” this is the forlorn looking woman in the corner who after all of the other woman have been dancing for hours slinks home by herself. This is definitely not going to win design awards nor be something the fashion set would be interested in. But instead has that grandfathers den appeal, and I actually like it. In terms of whats under the hood it is somewhat weak but runs on Android so does not use much memory anyhow.

-host of games
-book reader
-Stylus navigated screen
-multi colored monitor
The stylus is very responsive, probably the best I’ve used. But its 2011, is a stylus really what the world wants in the era of touchscreens? I mean the stylus is great but losing them is easy and without it you can do nothing, so what do you do, carry a spare?
The software is nothing to write home about but a good thing is that when taking notes, you can do so in color and you can also change the size of the pen tip. What this means is that it is like a MS Paint Ap and you can draw small and large lines etc and can do so in color. To me the cool factor of this and also the sensitivity of the stylus are pretty cool. The software was a little buggy and tended to disobey and had to be rebooted a few times.

ErenEben means ‘everyone can have one’ in Chinese but at 4890 RMB or 750U$ the name is a cruel joke. I doubt a machine that is worth as much as a local makes in three months goes with such a moniker. Setting this aside i have to cringe and say again
750U$ for this?

When thinking of all of the things I can do with U$750 and what functionality it would have one has to scratch their heads at this one, but let me explain.
Possible Strategy
I have no inside info on this so take it with a grain of salt, but this is what i can come up with. I know this company is trying to get cash in the states, maybe go IPO, but I do not know this. If they are getting VC funds it may be due to the fact that the communist party or the government is a big source of revenue. Although lately they have been putting up boatloads of stores and advertising like crazy here, but research shows that more than half of the Chinese shun Chinese products and at such a steep price point, I know of no one who owns one, but know of many people with Ipads.
But the strategy may be as follows. The Chinese government, read as communist party, wants to promote indigenous innovation, having a nice tablet manufacturer from Beijing cannot hurt. So, it may be possible that the communist party sales may be a form of support. Remember this is merely speculation on the matter. But why would the price point be so high if it is being sold to the communist party members? A good friend of a premier Chinese university explained it to me. When I said that ErenEben made inroads with the government, a thing the chinadaily acknowledges, he said so what. I then asked why the thing was so expensive. He said that it makes sense. In China you give someone face by giving a gift, the more expensive the better. Thus, he said that it would hurt ErenEben to make a cheaper tablet right now as they are being offered to party members as gifts. Thus a cheap gift is no good and the local Chinese are picking up the tab vz taxes, so its all good. (interestingly enough if you read the few reviews of the product in English they will mention communist party members, like the chinadaily did an article and it said something like ‘the communist party members like the stylus more than the Ipad touchscreen).
To summarize all of this means that maybe this company can leverages its contacts to build stores and stay afloat then go to the US for cash and maybe hope to be bought out and cash in their options, but I have no idea if this is true.

I’m going to go out on a limb and give you my prediction.
For this price the tablet will never sell back home as it is right now (forget about the fact that it is only in Chinese that will change in 6 months with the T4). But due to design limitations weak 3rd party aps and crazy price point it will go over like a turd in a punch bowl. When I can fire up my EE-PC which I loathe but is reliable and or use my Kindle for a combined total of about U$380, why would I shell out twice as much for a stylus driven Chinese made tablet from a relatively new company?
In the world of sexy toys, where Apple is a Lamborghini, the T-3 is an old Skoda or a Ford Fairlane with wooden panels. Its not the barfly hottie who gets all the looks, but the sensible woman who stays home studying accounting.
In order for me to buy one it would have to come down to at least U$350 or I could not justify the purpose, not even as an extra gadget that is cool to have. Sure I can own 3 Ipods, but they are pimp and utilitarian as well, but this thing is the size of a clipboard and looks as if designed for some government functionary with more time then talent or a guy with tape wrapped around his glasses and a pocket protector with a knot of pens snuggled up next to his protractor.
Using Chinese workers and tech , I really have no idea why the price point is so high. I heard they wanted to keep it low so as to compete with the Ipad but have failed.
What will probably happen is they will get funds from here or there and then due to distribution channels they have built up, look for a foreign buyer. Then they will either fold or get rich.

I think it is a mediocre piece of tech which seems like it would have been a great idea Before the invention of the Ipad but not after.

Posted in Let me educate you..., Ranting in general | 14 Comments »

Chinese Love to Eat Dog , Dog Lovers Pissed- Eating Dog in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

Interesting article here. Many Chjinese, in order to save face will tell you that they do not eat dog in China, but it’s not true. Many places have dog on the menu and in the cooking pot. As a matter of fact the bastards will skin animals alive before cooking them to prove the meat is fresh, as this one guy did in Shanghai on the street and no one said a thing. The reality is that I love dogs and if Chinese eat them then it is their perogative, but what kind

“From there, things began spiraling out of control. News of the confrontation hit the Chinese blogosphere, sending more than 200 animal activists flocking immediately to the highway. Traffic on the road slowed to a standstill. Dozens of police officers were called in. Animal activists, however, kept arriving with reinforcements, carrying water, dog food, even trained veterinarians for a siege that lasted 15 hours.
Weeks later, those who were there still talk in disbelief at how quickly things escalated. But in many ways, it was a battle that has been brewing for years between the rural and the urbanites, the poor and the rich — between China’s dog eaters and its growing number of dog lovers…
continue here http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/chinese-dog-eaters-and-dog-lovers-spar-over-animal-rights/2011/05/20/AGvgmVDH_story.html

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Photo of Chinese Kitchen

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

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Allegations of Bribery with China’s Huawei

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 29, 2011

Great article on China’s Huawei who has allegedly been involved in bribery in order to obtain work. Hmm, Huawei is a super secretive Chinese company who allegedly has ties to the communist party via the founder who is a communist party member and one time red army member , so bribery would be par for the course wouldn’t it?
Excerpt from here:

Cyber security analyst Jeffrey Carr about leading Chinese IT company Huawei and allegations that it may have been engaged in bribery. Huawei, which has its headquarters in Shenzhen, is the biggest network and telecoms equipment supplier in China. According to the company’swebsite, their products have served 45 of the world’s top 50 telecoms operators.
Carr, founder and CEO of Taia Global and author of Inside Cyber Warfare, told me he’ll have more on this later. As I say, at the moment these appear to just be allegations being made against Huawei by Austrian magazine Format, but hopefully we’ll know more soon. In the meantime, though, here’s what Carr wrote on his site:

‘Huawei’s meteoric rise to one of the top three information and communication technology companies in the world is due in large part to its ability to undercut bids by other companies thanks to its status with the Chinese government as a ‘national champion’ firm. However, in the case of its sales to Telekom Austria (A1TA) between 2007 and 2009, it may also be due to bribery.
‘An investigative report by FORMAT.at reveals that Huawei Austrian CEO signed an agreement to pay a ten percent ‘marketing fee’ to Peter Hochegger, a former Austrian government lobbyist and PR consultant for all the A1TA business that he could deliver. Hochegger’s influence and Huawei’s money resulted in sales of over 130 million euros for the Chinese company, beating out regular Telecom Austria suppliers like Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks. According to an investigative report by FORMAT.at, once A1TA paid Huawei, Huawei Austria’s CEO transferred 10 percent to a bank account at the Bank of Cyprus. The account belonged to Astropolis, a company owned by Hochegger and his associates.
‘A1TA is now investigating all of its transactions with Huawei for possible criminal prosecution against the company. Not surprisingly, no one at Huawei is talking. The former head of Huawei Austria, Lu Hongwei, has moved to the top position at Huawei Serbia and is ‘unavailable.’ Sun Zhengyang, his successor, has no comment.’

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