Agnostic views & images I like

Thoughts about things on the web

Posts Tagged ‘China

This picture confirms my agnosticism about India’s economic future

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This picture of chaotic traffic in an Indian city says much of it for me.

The picture says it all. Not one city bus in sight! And the road looks hopelessly blocked. Indian cities = urban chaos!

Everyday I travel several kilometres thru streets in Dalian that seem busy but on the whole not chaotic. Bus fare is cheap and buses are very available offering a dependable service. They are not the most comfortable conveyance but 10 km trips are completed in less than 15 minutes. Cross city taxi rides don’t cost much (about $3CDN) and travel times are manageable. Dalian is a second tier city in China and has a viable infrastructure with good in-city transportation, plentiful drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity and rental housing.

From what I read not even the best organized city in India can offer a viable city infrastructure and the country doesn’t seem to have the kind of government that can deliver it in any foreseeable future. This is not the picture of an emerging world class economy!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/06/16 at 21:30

Li Na wins her first major title at French in 2011

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It’s nice to report a first Grand Slam title for a tennis woman who has tried so hard.  Li Na beat Schiavone in two sets with a 7-0 tiebreak in the final set. I think that she is 29. She beat Sharapova and Azerenka on the way to the title. No mean feat!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/06/04 at 15:43

A majestic view from the ridge above Changbai Shan

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The day I was driven to this ridge line in 2005, the view was completely obstructed by opaque cloud combined with  high winds. I never saw this view.

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/05/18 at 19:56

How the iPhone is doing in China – not bad at all thanks!

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Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Two perceptive $APPL observers (Brian Hall and JL Gassee) have perused Apple’s last quarter report and found this important fact:

In China the iPhone is +250% year-to-year (vs. +155% in the US).The number is especially interesting because this ought to be where iOS goes to die, snuffed out by a swarm of locally produced cheap handsets running Android or its mutant cousins Tapas and Ophone.

My own observation is that there is a class of Chinese consumers who have this thing for gadgets (iPhones and iPads) that seem to come from the US of A, even when they are “made in China”.

And what about the Android vs. iOS wars. Here is what Brian Hall reports:

  1. Looks like iPhone was 65% of total smartphone ATT sales in Q1. (3.6m out of 5.5m).
  2. They didn’t report total Android, but assuming Blackberry was 20%, Android was probably around 0.8m or 15%.
  3. It looks like iPhone was 45% of total ATT phone sales for the quarter. It is unclear if that percentage is growing substantially or stabilized.
My goodness, Apple wins again!
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/04/25 at 15:59

Latest pic of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet

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I post published photos of famous places. I saw this photo in a NY Review of  Books article about the issues facing the Chinese Govt because of the Dalai Lama’s announced retirement from political affairs.

This is the first photo I have seen of this site with the Tibetan mountains in the background.

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/04/19 at 18:23

China plays “military head games” with the US & others

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Obtained from the U.S. Naval War College repor...
Image via Wikipedia

A Reuters news item discusses future use of the Varyag, a medium sized hand me down aircraft carrier now docked in Dalian harbor. This kind of “news” about China’s naval plans must be sourced out of some part of the US Defence industry. After all, this semi-hulk has been in Dalian harbor for several years and is seen easily from Dalian roadways.

But the real military head games are being played elsewhere according to this link.

A new missile attack ship and on the ground evidence of a Chinese stealth fighter seem to get more visibility than the poor old Varyag.

Since “news” is often the leading edge of propaganda, it makes me wonder what is really going on here, especially since the US Secretary of Defence announced sizable military budget cuts this week. Whose “news” is this stuff!

During the “Cold War” there was lots of “news” about the imminence of Soviet military domination. Now we are being treated to “news” about China’s newly developed military capabilities. Is this just the latest version of “let’s frighten them so we can get our way”?

Since the US is and has been since WW II, the global paragon of flaunting its military toys, can it be surprising to anybody that China is now doing the same thing? When will India turn up in these military equipment annals?

One thing that seems encouraging is that a respected Taiwanese military analyst seems calm about all this “news”, calm but circumspect:

But for one top Taiwanese security analyst, rumors of the runway test and China’s other upgrades have already achieved their key objective: to mess with U.S. war planners’ heads.

“It’s a very effective deterrent on the minds of strategic planners in Washington,” said Lin Chong-Pin, a former Taiwan defense official who teaches strategy at Tamkang University. “The Chinese don’t have to do anything in the future. Their announcement has already thrown a monkey wrench in strategic planning for U.S. action in and around the Taiwan Strait.”

I live and work in Northeast China – Dongbei. So I tend to pay more attention to the Korean context. Taiwan Strait seems much farther away. But that’s little comfort in this age of ship and aircraft borne missiles!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/01/08 at 18:09

Since I am a full time contrarian and agnostic

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Snowy mountains (probably 'white-horse mountai...
Image via Wikipedia

I thought this headline offered interesting views:

China defies Vatican on bishop conclave

But the report I read left little doubt that this was all about an open clash of two authoritarian regimes. How can that be interesting to a thinker like me?

But I feel empathy for any regime that contests the “administrative authority” of the Vatican.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/12/08 at 15:19

Tall, Taller and Tallest in Shanghai

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Superlative words about China’s building of skyscrapers there aren’t enough of!

Here’s the latest tower over them all:

It does bring to mind the adage of “What goes up must come down!”

With the fire in the 30 story tower last month that killed 57, it seems that we should pay more attention to the adage!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/12/05 at 12:35

Tonight I am feeling in tune with China/Dalian

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Map of sinitic languages
Image via Wikipedia

It could be a personal illusion, but the real sense of making my way here is with me tonight and it feels euphoric.

I did a few real things today and got paid for it with a promise to pay more later. And I got a real prospect of marketing into a big market later this week.

How can I not think I am making some kind of headway? And I doing it with Chinese associates, even though I speak nominal Mandarin. The secret it finding the right associates and I seem to have found one rough jewel, Dean, and my own assistant, Scott, who feels more reliable and worthy of trust.

I have to say to the blogosphere that doing business in China boils down to finding the right Chinese associates. Although I will add this proviso! I am at the beginning of the commercial journey, the very edge of the beginning!

But if you think that my feelings of good existence comes down to marginal commercial success, let me set you right. I have a feeling of good life! I am usefully employed with prospects of better things, I have good Chinese and foreign friends and business associates. I have business connections with Chinese and Chinese organizations that I built myself. I am happy that is working, or seems to be.

I enjoy lots of good wine, spirits, cheese and crossover cuisine at home. I have good convivial friends for dinner and light partying thereafter. I have a warm and cooperative connection with one family that owns a respectable manufacturing company and I do more than English training for them.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/12/05 at 05:06

Today, I apparently sold the first copy of my Web English!

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Video games for the people
Image by A*A*R*O*N via Flickr

Every selling game has a No 1. The first real sale for real money! And this was my day to get her agreement. The actual sale and delivery of goods will happen next week or the week after. But the commitment seemed to be there.

That is always satisfying especially when I had to struggle to get this version of my course ware completed. It is now 96% complete. I have done it on my own, with sidesteps via Joomla et al. But here I am with a course developed using It’s a winnah!

Yes, I am struggling with this startup in China! Where I go from sale No 1 is not obvious tonight, but the future looms, especially in this country of undeniable big numbers.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/12/05 at 04:51