How Alibaba Could Underprice Amazon, and Other Things You Should Know -
Here’s an SAT analogy test for you: Alibaba is to China as [blank] is to the U.S.
DRAMA!! Is Alibaba (and it’s little sexier, smarter and more athletic little brother, Taobao) going to come after Amazon?
Considering Amazon just opened a massive launch in China last year (and is still advertising all across Seattle for jobs in China (“You don’t need to learn Chinese!”) I wonder how Amazon would feel about this. Keep an eye out for Alibaba. Since the export industry is starting to slow down (we all saw it coming, thanks NYT for the official confirmation) and Alibaba’s original platform was to connect factories in China to foreign re-sellers, Alibabe might be more involved in taking over other platforms now in order to keep up their market share.
Fun - fun - fun. Just like as WeChat is taking over Sina Weibo (slowly, though! Weibo still has an amazing stream of revenue coming in and better ways of capitalizing their source than WeChat at the moment)…we’ll see if there’s another upset soon. I don’t have a firm opinion on this yet, however, since Amazon (z.cn) and PayPal in China aren’t doing too awful, last time I checked. Just something to look out for in the future. Keep a eye on this one, folks.
Xiaomi sold 7.2m handsets last year, in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, earning revenues of 12.6 billion yuan ($2.1 billion). Apple sold 125m smartphones globally, earning about $80 billion of its $157 billion sales. But since it was founded in 2010, Xiaomi has grown fast. A recent funding round valued it at $10 billion, more than Microsoft just paid for Nokia’s handset unit. That made Xiaomi one of the 15 most heavily venture-backed mobile start-ups ever, says Rajeev Chand of Rutberg, an investment bank. In the second quarter of 2013 Xiaomi’s market share in China was 5%, says Canalys, a research firm—more than Apple’s (4.8%) for the first time.
I’ve heard of some serious converts with the Xiaomi smartphone. Nice to see the Economist making a realistic commentary about the state of the Apple smartphone trend in China — meanwhile Business Week is still trying to promote the iPhone as a contender by talking about pricing strategies. Problematic, because only now is there a product launch in China (really? Apple never “treated China with respect” and gave them their own product launch before?) In my opinion, it’s too little too late. So many more phones have flooded the market these days and it’s starting to show. And if you want to talk pricing strategies, if you haven’t partnered up with Tencent in a major way (which Xiaomi has, while Apple still restricts many of Tencent’s many other various apps across different Chinese iTunes stores (Mainland vs. HK vs. Taiwan), then you will be losing a large part of the game. Once any Taiwanese film/Hong Kong TVB show does a product placement in their romantic comedies that features a Xiaomi phone, that’ll be a major gamechanger for Apple. And adding another product launch in Shanghai (wow? 2 product launches in the largest country on the planet? *gasp) won’t do anything to stop the flow of money to change towards a locally grown, Amazon-type online retailer in this land of tomorrow.
“I never used Excel at work but I saw other people making pretty graphs and thought, ‘I could probably draw with that,’” says 73-year old Tatsuo Horiuchi. About 13 years ago, shortly before retiring, Horiuchi decide he needed a new challenge in his life. So he bought a computer and began experimenting with Excel. “Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers,” explained Horiuchi. “And it has more functions and is easier to use than [Microsoft] Paint.”*
Effing genius! (And gorgeous)
#Spotted: #oldschool rip and tear advertisement… But a little different #Shanghai #latergram I dare you to scan the #QR code
Reverse racism. Nice. [Chinese man looking for “Western” woman]
Beijing introduces recycling banks that pay subway credits for bottles. Read the story on The Guardian.
they’re called filth.
Failed In London, Tried Hongkong
Hiring in China by JPMorgan Under Scrutiny -
Authorities have opened a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help the bank win lucrative business in the booming nation.
Surprise, surprise. Takeaways from this article:
Legal experts note that there is nothing inherently illicit about hiring well-connected people. To run afoul of the law, a company must act with “corrupt” intent, or with the expectation of offering a job in exchange for government business.
“While the hire of a son or daughter itself is not illegal, red flags would be raised if the person hired was not qualified for the position, or, for example, if a firm never received business before and then lo and behold, the hire brought in business,” said Michael Koehler, an expert on the corrupt practices act who is an assistant professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Two hires under investigation are two children of state-owned-enterprises (SOEs, for those of you who are old ‘China-hands’) magnates — one in the railway industry (remember those corruption claims…) and one in a financial conglomerate. Both have left JPMorgan since…but there’s still a story here. For those of you interested in finance, corruption, gossip, scandal, FCPA law, China - take a look at the Times article or this New Yorker article here.
How to Be Mistaken for a Prostitute in China -
I initially clicked this link because I thought it would detail some of my experiences being mistaken for a prostitute in Shanghai — maybe some dress code faux pas that I’ve discovered. On the contrary, it was more of an anecdote -stroke- complaint about how the Chinese viewed White man-Asian female relationships. Sorry, honey, I ain’t sorry. You’ve left China with your white husband, settled in SF with beaux and baby, I must admit I was a little disappointed by how far you didn’t go with the piece.
Since I could not read an article that I really wanted to relate to, I figured I would write that I actually wanted to read so here it is —
How to REALLY Be Mistaken for a Prostitute in China
I’m sure there are a ton more rules about being in the business but so far - as a 4 year veteran of clubbing in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hong Kong), these are the little nuggets of gold I have found. I hope you can appreciate that some of it was satire and I’m only half-joking about most of these stories. Enjoy, ladies (and gentlemen, though this article was not written about dressing like male prostitutes). I have NOTHING against sex workers - I just don’t happen to be one and now know how not to go out dressed like one and thought I would share. May you all have a beautiful, fun-filled and a safe weekend.