Monthly Archives: August 2007

Facebook: The Hot Spot on The Web for Old People!

According to this piece in Time magazine, Facebook is becoming a hot spot on the web for the 35+ set. I wrote a while back that the elitism of Facebook’s invitation-only registration service is a good thing for marketing in China because it separates the rich from the poor. I wonder if Facebook — or the appropriate Chinese equivalent social networking site — could also provide a space for older Chinese to meet online and therefore a new space for marketers to reach them.

J.

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Filed under China Marketing, Reading List

One-Eyed Panda is Now on Del.icio.us

I thought the blog roll was getting too long for this site’s gutter, so I’ve added a link to my new del.icio.us page. Now you can click there to see all my recommend websites such as the Meditations on Meaning Blog.

J.

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Filed under Personal

Missing Dissident Update: Back at Home

There’s an update on Time’s China blog about kidnapped detained dissident Yuan Weijing. According Simon Elegent, she was taken back to Shandong province by her local village police force who has again put her under house arrest. Score another point for the local corrupt officials.

J.

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Filed under China Society

Reebok’s Failed Chinese Union

China Herald has a post on Reebok’s failed attempt at a union at one of its suppliers in Fujian, Shun Da Shoes. They started out with good intentions and to build up its CSR. But five years later and union hasn’t made things better, they’re much worse. The report seems to indicate the union leaders are corrupt and the workers make less than they did before and with less benefits.  Now that Adidas purchase Reebok, the workers’ workload has increased and the human rights monitor has left the factory.

A pretty bad situation. Since Adidas and Reebox sponsor the Olympics, I wonder if their supplier will get investigated by the Beijing Olympic Committee.

J

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Filed under China Business, Reading List

Is The Chinese Government Demanding Foreign Businesses Go Back to The Product Drawingboard?

According to the China Law Blog, the China Inspection Quarintine Bureau is redesigning products that have been recalled in the US and insisting on exporters to implement these changes to their designs unless the exporters can guarantee they will not be recalled in the US.

This is new information to Dan Harris of China Law Blog and to myself as well, so there doesn’t seem to be much more information than that available at the moment. It’d be interesting to see what sort of designs the CIQ is asking for and as Dan says what happens if the guarantee is violated who is responsible? I’d like to ask what happens if the products that have the design changes made to them are still recalled?

Anyone have any thoughts or have any updated information?

J.

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Filed under China Business

The Key to Growing Your China Business: Staffing

This week’s Economist has a great article on the main issue preventing foreign companies from growing their China business: staffing. There is a shortage of skilled Chinese workers that are able to fulfill the requirements of foreign companies to work in China. This makes them a very desirable commodity — and the Chinese know this and using to their advantage. They’ll hop between jobs for more money, but most importantly they’ll hop between jobs for career advancement. Graeme Maxton does a great job of outlining all the factors involved with this issue and even mentions some of the ways to businesses can lower staff turnover (Disclosure: I work for one of the consulting firms mentioned in the article. That isn’t why I am recommending this piece it really is an informative article).

And since Maxton does such a great job outlining China’s staffing problem, the piece has got some coverage at other blogs on the web. Managing the Dragon did a great post on it and over at ThinkChina some of us had a short discussion on it.

J.

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China’s Opium Wars: A Bit More Complicated Than I Thought

I just listened to a really good episode of BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time. It focused on China’s Opium Wars that lead to the British seizing Hong Kong and treaty ports in Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and other coastal cities The theory of the three historians on the program was that the Chinese really didn’t view the treaty ports as a bad thing at first because it made trade with foreign countries easier and at the same time it helped to modernize China. Only in the 20th century when nationalism started to appear as part of the Republican movement did China really start to consider the British takeover of Hong Kong and the treaty ports as a “humiliation”. This view was used by the Communists as well and is really ingrained in Chinese culture at the moment. So much so that when foreign governments come to talk to the Chinese about human rights, the Chinese ask “What right do you have to tell me about human rights? You didn’t respect our human rights during the Opium Wars and the century of unequal treaties (the treaty ports).”

I tend to agree with the first view that there was some positive things to come out of the Opium Wars and the treaty ports. I know it’s controversial, but I can see the effects of the treaty ports all around me in Shanghai. The way people do business, the fact that they are open to new foreign goods and ideas (a trend that really took off during the Opium wars) not to mention the architecture. Shanghai is in fact a city that most foreigners who live here say is not a part of China, because it is so modern and different compared to the interior of China.

The biggest effect of the treaty ports though can be seen in their location. All the ports were in Eastern and Southern China. Today those areas are where China’s economic boom started and were it is currently booming the biggest.

J.

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