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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chinatown Library

In Rowland Heights (where I live), the Los Angeles County Branch there has the most visits of any branch.  45,000 visitors a month and has the 2nd highest circulation in the county system (made up of 85 other libraries).  Its also one of the smaller libraries.  Rowland Heights is a surburban Chinatown.

My guess is the Chinese focus on education.  I see a lot of students studying at the library, and my daughter loved to visit there when she was younger (we would come home with stacks of books).

Hacienda Heights librarian fighting against privatization - SG Tribune.


Houston Chinese Radio


"Well, last time went to the International Festival, we had a booth. We found out there's a lot of Caucasian, Africa-American or other races come and talk with us. They listen to us. They were in the process of learning Chinese or their wives are Chinese and actually hear us."
Chinese Radio Targets Expats And Those Learning Mandarin - KUHF.fm


Apple's Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts in Asia Hampered by Uncooperative Authorities

The reasons for the lack of help was concern about local jobs per a WikiLeaks cable.

Apple's Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts in Asia Hampered by Uncooperative Authorities - MacRumours


Monday, August 29, 2011

Shortselling of Chinese Firms

Lots of articles recently about Western firms short selling shares of Chinese firms listed outside of China.

Gaining by betting against flimsy Chinese firms - Washington Post

Another article I read (When it matters - The Economist) mentioned how if a company in China becomes involved in a scandal, it has a huge impact if the government is involved with the firm. And without the rule of law, having good relations with the government is super important in China.


Online College Courses and Degrees

Personally, I believe a lot more education for college level will be done in the future. 

Its a matter of cost and what's the difference between a lecture hall with hundred of people in it, and an online class for the quality?

And yes, the university leadership of one of my graduate degrees disagrees with my opinion.  They believe there is the same cost for offering online, verses a traditional class :-)

Two articles:

College Presidents Are Bullish on Online Education but Face a Skeptical Public - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Online degrees find acceptance as universities jump onto the bandwagon - SG Tribune


China Cyberwar

A video accidently got put on CCTV with an example of China's Cyberwar capacity.  And now the Government is claiming that no, they don't have an offensive Cyberwar capacity.  And removed the video.

Luckily, its still available on YouTube

And for some background on the story:




Single Professional Women in Asia

The Economist has a great article about how marriage is changing in Asia, “The Flight from Marriage.”   Basically many women are deciding not to get married and keep on working.  Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are at the front of this trend.  In Taiwan in 2002, for a while 27% of marriages involved foreign women (China and Vietnam).

The big question is what happens in China with the huge gender imbalance of  118 boys born to 100 girls? 

I was surprised that a person they interviewed was not actually working as a phychologist, but had studied it, and had gone back to work in the PR industry.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rent a Riot?

Hmm, this sounds strange.

Why would Chinese newspapers report on this?  May be I am wrong, but I would not be surprised if this is a way to put down protests in China (there are a lot against corruption, since their is no other way unless your well connected to be heard.  China no longer reports the number of protests/demonstrations within China. 87,000 in 2005. 74,000 in 2004. 58,000 in 2003. 

Or may be this is a true problem.  The headache in China is knowing what is true, and what is not.

Hospital in China fends off angry mob - LA Times

In the latest incident involving violence by families of deceased patients, a hospital staff in Nanchang fights back. Some say the protests are a ploy for money.


Groupon China Is A Disaster

Great list of what Groupon did wrong in China! The basic error I see is not understanding the market.

Groupon has made many of the classic mistakes that American Internet companies like to keep repeating in China, including but not limited to:

1. Picked the wrong partner (see Is Tencent The Wrong Partner For Groupon In China?);

2. Hired too many foreigners as top management. Foreigners are not all useless (writing as a foreigner who likes to think he is useful), but Groupon had far too many;

3. Staffed up way too fast; you can not efficiently hire hundreds/thousands of qualified Chinese employees in just a few months;

4. Focused too much on hiring bankers and management consultants. In China especially group buying is a very dirty feet-on-the-street, local sales game, and that requires a very different skill set than what you will find in your average consultant or banker;

5. Allowed a competitor to register Groupon.com.cn;

6. Have inadequate financial controls that have contributed to the losses and probably enriched some, just not the main Groupon and Gaopeng shareholders;

7. Mishandled layoffs, leading meaning potential Chinese job candidates to believe that Gaopeng is a toxic company.


Groupon China Is A Disaster -- Will The Company Just Give Up? - Business Insider
My guess is the decision to go into China was more about showing the "huge growth" Groupon has for the IPO.  Similar on why Home Depot tried to go into China (growth), and also failed.


Five Money Tips for Every College Freshman

Good advice, and just not for Freshman.

Five Money Tips for Every College Freshman - WSJ


Surburban Chinatown Food Truck Fiesta

Food Truck Fiesta every Wednesday night in Rowland Heights, in front of Southlands Christian Schools (my daughter went there when it was called Christian Chapel).

Last night driving by I saw the Grilled Cheese Truck, with a super long line.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Yuja Wang's Dress

Classical gasp: Yuja Wang's dress at the Bowl causes a crescendo - LA Times
Was the pianist's racy, form-fitting mini-dress more appropriate for rock or Rachmaninoff?

What I have noticed about top musical performers is it become more than just about technical ability, but also about creating a show, an experience for the audience.


UC income from tuition will surpass state funding for the first time

My daughter is having a horrible time getting classes at her college, and it's probably going to get worse.

UC income from tuition will surpass state funding for the first time - LA Times

Unfortunately in the state of California politically speaking, other groups have a lot more political juice than the higher education areas.  My view is CA is eating its seed corn.


Chinese Nationalism

Good article, I am surprised at where it is appearing.  .AE is in the United Arab Emigrates.

Chinese government fosters 'victimisation syndrome' - The National

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Chinatown Residents Struggle to Keep Mom-and-Pop Businesses in the Family

Chinatown Residents Struggle to Keep Mom-and-Pop Businesses in the Family - New American Media

The challenge is the kids are getting professional degrees such as accounting, engineering, computer science, etc. and have little interest in running the family business.  I have heard stories where the students graduate, can't find a job, and then have to work for the family business.  It's hard for a child to work for their parent, especially in the teenage years where independence is being established.


Chinese American Culture Teen Random Observations

Some very generic, random observations on Chinese American Teen's, vs. more mainstream culture in the US. 

And yes, there are lots of exceptions!
1. You know about the Alexandra Wallace's YouTube video.

2. You understand why if you can driving a Chinese market's parking lot, you can drive anywhere.

3. On career choices, you would rather be a pharmacist than a nurse.

4. You can imitate Russel Peter's accent for your friend's parents  from his skit Indian vs. Chinese

5. On career choices, you would rather be an Engineer than a technician.

6. Your focus more on academics than sports (your not expecting a sports scholarship).

7. Your play multiple instruments.

8. You took SAT Prep Classes

9. Your took your SAT multiple times

10. You took your SAT in your Junior year.

11. You took a tour of Ivy League Schools as a vacation.

12. In California, only UC's are acceptable, and not Cal States (even Cal Poly SLO).

13. You pick the school, and then the major.

14. Your parents take a huge amount of pride in which school you get accepted too.

15. Your parent attend college admission seminars.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Photo of bag-carrying ambassador charms China

Photo of bag-carrying ambassador charms China - Yahoo News

In China, a person of a similar stature would have people working for him get his coffee and carry his bags.


Baidu Vs. CCTV

Something strange going on in China with Baidu and CCTV.

The question is what is driving the attack by CCTV?  Baidu is a private company, where as CCTV is government run.  And this does bring up the entire mess with Google. 

One of the headaches in China is the lack of consistent Rule of Law/Regulations.

Building Trust? CCTV Steps Up Attack on Baidu - The Wall Street Journal

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chinese Aircraft Carrier

While I was on vacation China did a big PR push on their new aircraft carrier with a lot of nationalistic fervor, but the truth is a bit more mixed.

Yes, its an aircraft carrier, but smaller than the US ones.  The Chinese aircraft carrier (actually a refurbished Russian Carrier) is smaller (Diesel powered 66,000 tons verses Nuclear Powered 94,000 tons) than US Carriers.  It will also take a number of years for China to learn how to operate an aircraft carrier. 

I went on a tour of the USS Nimitz and it was amazing the complexity and size. In San Diego, the USS Midway is also a great tour to go on (a WW2 era carrier).

China's New Aircraft Carrier Bolsters Its Regional Reach - US News


Protest Over Chemical Plant Shows Growing Pressure on China From Citizens


It included the extraordinary scene of the city’s Communist Party secretary standing atop a car, pleading with demonstrators to go home and promising to close and move the $1.5 billion plant. Some responded by demanding a date.

Protest Over Chemical Plant Shows Growing Pressure on China From Citizens - NY Times

180,000 estimated mass incidents last year, doubling between 2006 and 2010..


Monday, August 15, 2011

22 more Fake Apple Stores in Kunming

Wow!  Currently there are only 4 legal Apple stores in Mainland China, with plans to open a couple of more dozen.  Sounds like Apple should be thinking of opening stores in the hundreds in China.

Chinese Government Finds 22 More Fake Apple Stores - MacRumors


Chinese Tourism in the US

Mainland Chinese tourism to the US has increased by 50% since last year!

Nice general article, some parts I disagree with.  There is HUGE amount of Chinese tour groups that are used by mainland Chinese tourists that offer excellent deals including food and hotel rooms.  With the tour groups, price is often an important consideration.

Chinese Tourism: A Potential Bounty for U.S. Hotels By Li Chen


Monday, August 8, 2011

Chinese Father's Day

Today was 8/8/2011

8 has the same sound as Father, so today is Chinese Father's Day (click for lots of coloring pages).

My favorite coloring page:


Debt Debate: China's View

Debt Debate: China's View - Niall Ferguson, U.S. News

Whatever the rating agencies say, many in China believe the U.S. is no longer creditworthy.


Top 10 China Business Commandments

A good list...

Top 10 China Business Commandments - The guide for every businessman

My favorite is the one take nothing at face value, and keep on checking.


Chinatown Losing Its Chinese Edge To Sunset Park, Flushing

My wife had some cousins who were living in Flushing a couple of years ago.  My main memory of Flushing was a great place that speciliazed in xiao long bao.

Yes, I am into food :-)

And in Brooklyn I took a picture in front of the "office" (actually an apartment, but claimed to be an office) of a competitor.  The competitor now has a real office.

Chinatown Losing Its Chinese Edge To Sunset Park, Flushing - The Gothamist


Chinese Officials Seized and Sold Babies, Parents Say - NYTimes.com

Shocking and incredibly sad.

Chinese Officials Seized and Sold Babies, Parents Say - NY Times


US Style Fast Food in China = Obesity

KFC has 3X the locations as McDonalds in China.  And in the US KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is a second tier fast food restaurant with slow growth, and in China its's booming.

Fast Food in China - Is China becoming Obese? - Laowai blog


Amazon CA Affiliate Sale Tax

Two wrongs don't make a right is my thoughts on the Amazon California Sales Tax.

The affiliate tax attempt by the California goverment was stupid.  All Amazon, Overstock, and other large non CA based businesses did was stop doing affliiates within California.  Hurting a lot of small businesses  that were using Amazon to make money through affiliates (I read some place there were 25,000 of them). Amazon would pay the linker (affiliate or referrer) a percentage of the sale, or in plain speak a kick back).

For smaller businesses (under $10,000 payouts and $500,000 overall sales) within CA for the past 12 months.

And Amazon, with a $3 Million kickstart) is now getting a petition going to get a ballet initiative to overturn the law.  And paying for the opposition will be target and Walmart.  Each signature is worth $1 to $2 for the person collecting it.

I don't appreciate the ballet initiative being mis-used like this.

But unfortunately the sales tax nationally is a mess with thousands of different districts that are not bound by zip codes.  And the effort on a uniform national sales tax rate (simplified) is still stuck.

Amazon gathering anti-tax-law signatures outside retail stores - LA Times



Shark Fin Soup Update

Shark fin soup: The taste of extinction - LA Times by Jonathan Gold

The problem of the commons, where sharks are overfished resulting in a severely depleted population.
An editorial by Jonathan Gold.  Jonathan Gold has a great book that listed LA restaurants, Counter Intelligence published in 2000 (I have a copy including the printed out list of restaurants by city). 


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hacked for over 5 years

Hackers infiltrate computer networks of thousands of companies - LA Times
State-sponsored 5-year global cyberattack uncovered - The Register

I wonder who did this?

A state actor, but which one?  The usual suspects are Eastern European, Russia, and China.

The clues:
  1. Attention to Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea
  2. Focused on government agencies and firms in Asia (stealing trade secrets)
  3. 2008 Olympic Committee
  4. World Anti Doping Committee
The comments for the Register article are a good laugh on who did it!

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Chinese Teachers on a US Mission

Chinese teachers are on a U.S. mission - LA Times

Dozens of teachers from China are in Los Angeles to prepare for the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to teach Mandarin in American schools.

And the culture class of American Culture, and Chinese Culture in what works in the classroom...


Fake Made in China ID's

$300 for one

$200 for two
$75 for 20 or more

Wire transfer to China.

Latest counterfeit IDs are so good they’re dangerous - Washington Post

These Fake IDs From China Are So Good Even Police Can't Tell The Difference - Business Insider


Rising Cost impact Textile Production

Rising costs in China are sending more buyers to South-East Asia - The Economist

But China is still often supplying the fabric.  China offers scale, speed, and flexiblity.  And with fashion changing so quickly, speed is helpful for keeping inventory at a minimum.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

CA Lawmakers go to China to study high speed rail

California lawmakers travel to China to study high-speed rail - LA Times

It was paid for by the Chinese ministry of railroads, who was hoping to be a bidder for the CA project.

The concept of a High Speed Rail is nice, but the current way its done in CA is as a railroad to no where. And CA at this time does not have the fund necessary to finish the rail, and I don't see the promised private investment happening.


Teaching Chinese at a retirement home?

Nice article about a 16 year old student in Schaumbur, IL who is teaching Mandarin Chinese is teaching seniors in a retirement home. And there is lots of interest in Learning Chinese!

A Day in the Life They're speaking her language - McKnights


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