Sina, Sohu or Netease?

I received an email from my dear reader today. Per his/her permission, I posted the questions here and I’d like to share my answers with you.

I am a small volume amateur stock investor. You seem to be very

knowledgeable on issues regarding SMS and the internet. I own a few shares of SINA. Please tell me what your opinion is on which portal is better.

For SMS: SINA, SOHU, or Netease?

For Games: SINA, SOHU, or Netease?

For Portal Content: SINA, SOHU, or Netease?

For online shopping: SINA, SOHU, or Netease?

Who do you think will be the next “Yahoo”?


Sina is the best

As a common netizen here, I will, with most of my friends will choose Sina as the best portal, the best SMS provider and the best news source in China. There is no doubt if there is only one web site here in China that is valuable, it is Sina. It is strong in most all areas – because it is so strong as a news portal, this brings so much traffic to the site and make it possible for other sub sites (health, finance, SMS, game) to succeed.


For SMS, the biggest movement of Sina is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook XP to allow users to drag and drop emails, notes, and calendar items to the plug in and send them via SMS. This has not been popular yet, but it is unique enough to differentiate Sina from other SMS providers. Sohu and Netease don’t have such cooperation with Microsoft in China.

Also, as I know, Sina also offers $5 package for 80 SMS messages to overseas users. Check out David’s comments on this. It is very cool.

Besides these innovative applications, Sina’s traditional SMS business runs very profitable. It offers tune and screen saver downloading, SMS package that allow users to pay less and send more, news headlines via SMS and even mobile pets that requires you to send SMS to sina to feed them, taking care of them. All these services generate huge amount of traffic of SMS messages. Sina will share the SMS revenue with the mobile operator.

For netease and sohu, personally, I don’t use their service. So does most of my friends. However, do not take my perspective as general ideas. I do know someone who loves Sohu better than Sina, but it is relatively rare.

Portal content

Definitely Sina. In the break time in office, people use to browse Sina for the latest news. Most of my friends’ first reaction for breaking news is to go and check Sina, just as CNN or MSNBC for Americans.

However, something really happened two days before that made Sina look really bad – it falsely reported that “Bill Gates was murdered in LA” as the headline news. I don’t know whether CNN or Bill Gates will sue Sina for this. If it is the case, this will impact the stock of SINA – according to Raymond.

Anyway, Sina offers better news and quicker news than any other media here in China. In one word, I love Sina.

Online game and online shopping

For online game, none of the three portal you gave enjoys high reputation. The legend from Korea occupy the market. I am not a online game player and don’t know too much about it.

For online shopping, I don’t go to Sina, or netease or sohu. For online shopping only limits to book and CD. I will buy my stuff at, These are smaller website and didn’t IPO. But they are the best sites for books and CD. Till now, I never heard of anybody who has bought via Sina, Sohu or Netease. But it is common for me to buy via the two sites I mentioned – one every two months.

Who will be the next Yahoo!

You have got my answer: sina – if there were any Yahoo! again in China.


Please note I am a young man in the IT industry. People in other industry with different background or age may have completely different preference.

Thanks for the good topic for me, G.

P.S. My site received 2496 hits on the day of March 31, which is the highest in the history of this site. Meanwhile, the month of March closes with 40K hits, while I forecasted to be 32K 10 days before. Thanks for all the readers who supported me.

New IKEA Store Opens in Shanghai

IKEA will move to the new store on April 16, 2003.

The new store is much bigger than the old one – 33,000 sqm while the old one is 8,000 sqm. Meanwhile, the seats in the dinning area increases from 50+ to 500. It is the largest IKEA stores in Asia.

I am very happy that the new store is only within 20 minutes’ walking distance from my house. It is also the half way from the place I work in Xujiahui and my house. It is the most beautiful building in the area with the bright yellow and bright blue colors.

The even better news is, a new road alone the big IKEA new store will be completed tomorrow. The road offers me closer path to walk home and I don’t need to go alone the noisy and dusty Caoxi Road.

IKEA – from very expensive to cheap store

When I first came to IKEA, everything looks so expensive – about 200% more than my expection. However, I was really impressived by the simple and colorful design. At that time, the store is almost empty, with only a few customers. A big portion of the customers at that time are expats to Shanghai.

When I graduated from the university, I used the first month salary to buy a IKEA Billy Bookcase. It is the only and funiture in my rented apartment in Meilong. I love IKEA funiture so much even though it costs me 887 RMB at that time.

Now five years have past. As the frequent IKEA shopper (or most of the time as window shopper), IKEA changed its image. It is no longer expensive for me now.

One of the reason is the changing finacial condition of myself – from a just-graduate student to a manager with my own house. It is reason I always attribute to.

The other reason is the real price drop of the articles themselve. I found the IKEA Billy Bookcase is still there, but the price become something like 400 RMB. According to Shanghai Star, it is become of the localization of production.

Pictures of new IKEA


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang

Bill Gates Murdered by Media in China

This morning, my wife received a phone call from her friend that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was murdered in Los Angeles.

What? The whole world goes crazy!

Her friend continued to tell the bad news. She was on a taxi and the radio repeatedly reported the news – “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was murdered in Los Angeles when he was attending a charity ceremony“. The reporter used very sorrow voice and interrupted the regular news. The news came from China International Radio Station, he reported.

I was completely shocked, as much as I heard the news of Sept 11 one and a half years ago. I went to, the largest and most popular website in China, and they had put it in red font on the home page: ““Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles“. The same piece of news appeared on and Yahoo! China too. Here are some screen shot of the news.

"CNN: Microsoft President Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles" 11:28

AM, March 29, 2003 on

"CNN: Microsoft President Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles" 11:12

AM, March 29, 2003 on Yahoo! China

The words spread quickly. I got 3 phone calls and 4 MSN Messenger queries in just half hour (from 11:30 to 12:00). People are spreading the news as quick as they did when the first plane hit the NYWTC. Thanks to the morden technilogy – via SMS, mobile, and MSN Messenger. You know what, the first reaction for a lot of my friends is, forward the news to his/her friends.

On the web, it causes stronger reaction – 190 comments were posted on under the news entry.

On the contrary,, MSNBC, Yahoo! are just as usual – the news cannot be found there.

After about one hour, the rumor ended. Sohu released an announcement that the

news is fake. Sina did the same 1.5 hours later. This event raises everyone’s attention to the media in China again – who is responsible for this?

Sohu IT News, March 29

Sina’s clarification of the fake news, March 29

Big names in this game

Big names in the traditional media industry in China is involved in this game. Besides Sina and Sohu, the following agencies also reported the news:

CCTV 4 (according to posts in BBS)

China International Radio (according to my friends who heard it)

Oriental TV (according to BBS)

What people are saying at hearing the news

There are 190 posts under’s entry. They reflect the real reaction of people when hearing the news. I digits some of them. They are all posted within 1 hour after the news is release.

He should be fine, from IP:210.21.107.*

What on earth is it? Is it true of false? May God Bless Bill Gates. IP:211.91.134.*

Oh, my god. It cann’t be true. Why not murder Bush? Bill is a good guy! IP:218.68.239.*

Don’t fool us! People who love to donote to charity will be fine. IP:202.110.116.*

It is really on China Daily. I don’t know whether it is true or not. I hope it will be false. IP:61.236.192.*

Updated Source of the fake news March 31, 2003

All the media pointed out that China Daily is the source of the fake news. According to an announcement later, China Daily said:

America news website CNN ( reported on March 28, 2003 (Morning of March 29, 2003 Beijing time), that “Bill Gates was murdered in LA”. The news appeared on CNN’s web site for about half an hour before it was removed. Till now, other news media and agencies didn’t report the news.

After China Daily translated and reported the news, Sina and Sohu quoted the news and spread the news via SMS. At 12:20 AM, March 29, 2003 Beijing time, Microsoft cooperation called China Daily and told us that the news is released in April 1, 2002. It appeared on CNN for unknown reason.

No SARS Case Found in Shanghai

It is REPORTED that there is no SARS case in Shanghai in the popular Shanghai Morning Post today.

According to the speakman of Shanghai Health Administration up to now, there is no case found yet. He also mentioned some foreign media’s report on infection in Shanghai is not true.

It is normal that if there is any bad news, the official will clarify the truth. I hope the report or the news I heard from my friends are just rumor. Please also treat all the information on SARS on this web site as rumor too.

P.S. I had the physical examination for driver’s license today. There are many very interesting tests. I am not sure of the name in English yet.

Update April 1, 2003

Although SARS is not reported to breakout in Shanghai, concerns of SARS do breakout. Check this article for updates.


SARS Symptons

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Case Definitions

Case definitions and related recommendations are subject to revision as further epidemiological/laboratory information becomes available.

Suspect Case:

A person presenting with:

Fever (over 38 degrees Celsius)


One or more respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing


One or more of the following:

  • Close contact* within 10 days of onset of symptoms with a probable case
  • History of travel within 10 days to WHO reported “affected areas?in Asia (see below)


No other known cause of current illness

*Close contact means having cared for, lived with or had face-to-face (within 1 metre) contact with, or having had direct contact with respiratory secretions and/or body fluids of a person with SARS.

Source: Health Canada © Health Canada. 2003. Reproduce with permission.


Inside II

I wrote Inside in Oct 2002. It is more on the operational side – the venders I am using and the architectes of the domains and websites. Recently, I reviewed some very good articles on site building. I’d like to share my experience with this site – anyway, it is a PageRank 5 website now, according to Google.

Content of the site

home.w…com: 133 pages

www.w…com: 207 pages

Data source: visit log at Feb 28, 2003

Average number of hits per visitor (HpV)

Oct 2002: 3.885

Nov 2002: 3.933

Dec 2002: 5.304

Jan 2003: 3.669

Feb 2003: 3.212

Nov 2003: 2.820

Dec 2003: 3.077

Jan 2004: 3.083

Top visited page

Oct 2002: 14.26% 669 5.58% 262

Nov 2002: 4.87% 839 4.56% 786 3.90% 671

Dec 2002: 3.92% 880 3.39% 763 2.87% 645

Jan 2003 4.90% 1294 4.84% 1279 4.11% 1086

Feb 2003 7.86% 2144 3.92% 1068 3.73% 1017

Nov 2003 7.59% 5569 6.06% 4446 4.51% 3309

December 2003 6.91% 5411 6.61% 5179 2.99% 2340

Top referring domain

Oct 2002 33.66% 413 16.14% 198 7.17% 88

Nov 2002 41.11% 2134 15.43% 801 5.18% 269

Dec 2002: 40.04% 1985 17.27% 856 9.24% 458

Jan 2003 43.41% 3702 14.18% 1209 5.12% 437

Feb 2003 43.86% 4305 14.72% 1445 4.48% 440

Page hits

Hits in Oct, Nov, Dec in 2002 and Jan, Feb in 2003 are actual number while the others are forecasted

===== 2002 =====

Oct 4K

Nov 17K

Dec 23K

===== 2003 =====

Jan 27K

Feb 28K

Mar 40K 31K

Apr 85K (85301) 35k

May 50K

June 80K

July 100K

Aug 120K

Sep 150K

Oct 78K (77,888)

Nov 78K (78,341)

Dec 84K (83,847)

===== 2004 =====

Jan 88K (88,030)

The website in one hits year (Oct 1 to Sept 30): 665K

Brett stated in his Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone

I guarantee you that in ones years time you will call your site a success. It will be drawing between 500 and 2000 referrals a day from search engines. If you build a good site with an average of 4 to 5 pages per user, you should be in the 10-15k page views per day range in one years time.

He called 10K hits per day a “successful website”. I hope I can get half success at the end of hit year 2003 (HY2003) with 5K page view per day.

Updated: April 22, 2003

Page hits of March 2003 turned out to be 40K, 29% more than forecasted.

Updated: May 3, 2003

Page hits of April 2003 is 85K (85301), 114% more than forecast.

Update: January 1, 2004

November 2003: 78341

December 2003: 83847

== October 2003 ==

October 1, 2003	2607

October 2, 2003	3096

October 3, 2003	2248

October 4, 2003	2289

October 5, 2003	1894

October 6, 2003	2811

October 7, 2003	2553

October 8, 2003	2569

October 9, 2003	2996

October 10, 2003	3013

October 11, 2003	2301

October 12, 2003	1856

October 13, 2003	2578

October 14, 2003	3316

October 15, 2003	2986

October 16, 2003	3362

October 17, 2003	2843

October 18, 2003	2424

October 19, 2003	2287

October 20, 2003	2606

October 21, 2003	3091

October 22, 2003	2984

October 23, 2003	2653

October 24, 2003	2656

October 25, 2003	2021

October 26, 2003	1844

October 27, 2003	1513

October 28, 2003	2567

October 29, 2003	2033

October 30, 2003	1958

October 31, 2003	1933

== November 2003 ==

November 1, 2003	1942

November 2, 2003	2795

November 3, 2003	2472

November 4, 2003	2410

November 5, 2003	2845

November 6, 2003	2389

November 7, 2003	1922

November 8, 2003	1705

November 9, 2003	2104

November 10, 2003	3245

November 11, 2003	2660

November 12, 2003	2680

November 13, 2003	2671

November 14, 2003	2480

November 15, 2003	2401

November 16, 2003	3057

November 17, 2003	3036

November 18, 2003	3171

November 19, 2003	3310

November 20, 2003	3142

November 21, 2003	1960

November 22, 2003	1912

November 23, 2003	2764

November 24, 2003	3468

November 25, 2003	3129

November 26, 2003	3418

November 27, 2003	2306

November 28, 2003	2166

November 29, 2003	2782

November 30, 2003	3286

=== December 2003 ===

December 1, 2003	3209

December 2, 2003	3313

December 3, 2003	3306

December 4, 2003	2971

December 5, 2003	2150

December 6, 2003	2200

December 7, 2003	3002

December 8, 2003	3499

December 9, 2003	3310

December 10, 2003	3210

December 11, 2003	3205

December 12, 2003	2559

December 13, 2003	2144

December 14, 2003	2277

December 15, 2003	3386

December 16, 2003	3075

December 17, 2003	3152

December 18, 2003	2872

December 19, 2003	2067

December 20, 2003	1883

December 21, 2003	2440

December 22, 2003	2784

December 23, 2003	2825

December 24, 2003	2301

December 25, 2003	2032

December 26, 2003	2108

December 27, 2003	2248

December 28, 2003	2324

December 29, 2003	2431

December 30, 2003	2278

=== January 2004 ===

January 1    1.62% 1709

January 2    1.89% 1988

January 3    2.07% 2176

January 4    2.19% 2307

January 5    2.61% 2747

January 6    2.90% 3048

January 7    2.43% 2554

January 8    3.54% 3731

January 9    4.12% 4337

January 10   2.73% 2873

January 11   2.03% 2138

January 12   2.87% 3022

January 13   2.80% 2942

January 14   2.71% 2849

January 15   3.06% 3219

January 16   3.10% 3261

January 17   2.00% 2109

January 18   2.71% 2856

January 19   4.05% 4265

January 20   3.25% 3417

January 21   2.66% 2802

January 22   2.46% 2586

January 23   2.59% 2721

January 24   2.68% 2824

January 25   2.14% 2254

January 26   2.41% 2533

January 27   2.79% 2936

January 28   2.76% 2909

January 29   2.74% 2883

January 30   2.85% 3002

January 31   2.88% 3032

Wedding Anniversary

By chances, I visited Kayne’s Pleasing to Remember. He was celebrating his four year wedding anniversary. Congratulations to Kayne and his wife (since I am not a native English speaker and not very sure whether Kayne is a man’s or woman’s name. Sorry if I made a mistake here). How sweet it is to look back to write a brief review of what they’ve accomplished and where they’ve been. Read the orginal blog entry for details.

I happened to get married one week before – today is the one week wedding memorial day for me and Wendy. It is nice. After my four year wedding anniversary, we also should been together for ten years, too.

A brief review of what we’ve accomplished and where we’ve been: (as Kayne did)

  • Trip to Longmen in Luoyang, which is our first trip together
  • Trip to Putuo Island which the best trip ever
  • Trip to Beijing before we graduated
  • Trip to Daocheng and took great photos there.
  • Vacation to Xi’an
  • Bought the house together
  • Been together for almost 365 days a year for 6 years.

We are looking forward to our first wedding anniversary next year. It would definetely wonderful. I hope at that time, we should accomplish the following:

  • Trip to California, AZ and Washington DC for the honeymoon.
  • Trip to Hainan again in this winter.

SARS Outbreak – How Bad Is It?

This page contains unconfirmed information and please take as rumor only.

SARS has been popular on the web. I have seen reports of bloggers here and there.

Today, one of my friends, who is visiting Shanghai next week, asked me about SARS on MSN Messenger.

HI, am just concerned with SARS outbreak. Is it bad in Shanghai?

Well. Is it bad? Actually, I didn’t heard of the term SARS before. Soon I realized, via Google, that it is linked to the Pneumonia-type virus outbreakin Guangzhou two months before. Now it got a new name and moved the new location.

HONGKONG — The worldwide outbreak of a mystery pneumonia is believed to have been triggered by a sick doctor from southern China who infected six other people at a Hongkong hotel, health officials said.

Source: SARS outbreak traced to HK hotel

It is bad. But how bad?

I am living in Shanghai. To be honest, I have never heard of any relationship between SARS and the city until I saw it in MSN Messenger. For bad news like this in China, you can never count on media to tell you the news – the main news source is still emails and Internet. But they are more like rumor than the truth. Sometimes the bad news is magnified and become worse.

The pneumonia-type virus breakout in Guangzhou two months ago was bad – really bad. People are rushing to stores to buy medicines. Most people are wearing medical masks on the streets which strengthened the anxiousness.

The following photos were taken in Guangzhou in mid-Feb this year.

Note: In the photos, masks were improperly used! Check out the instructions. Thanks Mainlander for pointing it out.





Policemen in Guangzhou are wearing masks. Source:

In Shanghai, so far so good

In Shanghai, however, only one person died in Changzheng (Long March) Hospital (as far as I know) in Feb.

Disclaimer: This may not be the truth since I am not sure whether the email I got is true or not. The only confirmed fact is, I received an email stating one person died for this virus in Shanghai. Please do take this as rumor.

Update March 27, 2003

The city newspaper reported no case of SARS was found in Shanghai on March 27, 2003 as headline news.

SARS Symptoms

Fever (over 38 degrees Celsius)

– AND –

One or more respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing

Refer to another blog entry for more details.

See also:

Thanks for Mainlander’s contribution. Here are some sites in Chinese about the prevention of SARS.

Physical Location of

yolei81 posted the WHOIS data for – which has been under our investigation for a long time.

According to the WHOIS database, the location’s owner is:


Jason Spencer

Bob Lerman

45 Henry St

Brooklyn, NY 11201


Phone: 718-654-7898


Here is the maps about this location on

Here is the satellite photo of the area.

Below are more detailed maps and photos.


Note: Please note the phone and location listed in WHOIS may not be the actual owner’s name. So please do not do anything for this phone or location yet, since it may be wrong.


Pleased do not complain using the telephone number I provided since I just saw Althey’s comment that the number belongs to a 90 year old woman, who is obviously the owner of the spammer’s website. Sorry for the inconvenience it caused.

My Blog on My Mobile Via WAP

These days, I have setup the WAP site for Wangjianshuo’s Blog. I can get the latest comments on my web site and the total hit count from my mobile. I’d like to share the source code and steps with all blog users – especially for MovableType owners since you can convert your web site to WAP site with the code I provide.

How to access the WAP site

If you have a WAP-enabled mobile, please visit the following web site:

Here is the two images (left is the home page displaying all the comments and the right picture shows the hit counter)

picture-ot715.wap-index.PNG picture-ot715.wap-hits.PNG

The above are the simulated OT301 screen using UP.Simulator. I hope I can give you a picture of the page on my Alcatel OT715 one day.

Note: If you click the link above in Internet Explorer, you will not see the page. Instead, you are prompted to download the page, since it returns “text/vnd.wap.wml” as content type which cannot be proccessed by Internet Explorer.

The WAP page – WML file

If you save the page to your local disk and open it in notepad, you will see the following codes:

<?xml version=”1.0″?>



<card id=”index” title=”Wangjianshuo’s blog”>

<p><a href=”index.asp?id=353″>Jian Shuo Wang</a></p>

<p><a href=”index.asp?id=352″>p1gs1ck</a></p>

<p><a href=”index.asp?id=351″>KLN</a></p>

<p>* <a href=”hits.cgi”>Hits</a></p>



After you click the *Hits link, you get the following WML code:

<?xml version=”1.0″?>




<meta forua=”true” http-equiv=”Cache-Control” content=”max-age=0″/>


<card id=”hit” title=”Page Hit”>

<p>Page hits: 127502</p>

<p>[<a href=”index.asp”>Back</a>]</p>



Code behind the sceen

I used an ASP file to do the job. You can easily convert it to Perl or PHP code. If you are using MovableType, follow the steps below to create a WAP index template.

1. Open MovableType console and open the blog you are editing.

2. Click “Templates” on the left navigation bar.

3. Click “Click new index template” in the Index Template section.

4. Enter “WAP Index” in Name field and “WAP/Index.asp” in the Output file field.

5. Use the code below in the Template body field.

6. Save the template and rebuild. You will have the WAP page at WAP/index.asp.


‘ Copyright 2003 Jian Shuo Wang

‘ URL:

‘ Author: Jian Shuo Wang

‘ Created: March 18, 2003

‘ Description:

‘ This page displays the latest comments

‘ on any mobile phone supporting WAP.




If Request(“ID”) = “” Then

Response.Expires = -1

End If



‘ The standard header every card need


<?xml version=”1.0″?>




Select Case Request(“ID”)

‘ =================================

‘ Comment content

‘ =================================


<MTComments lastn=”5″>


Case “<$MTCommentID$>”:


<card id=”index” title=”<$MTCommentAuthor$>”>


<p>- by <$MTCommentEmail$> at <$MTCommentDate$> from <$MTCommentIP$></p>

<p>[<a href=”?”>Back</a>]</p>




Case “”:

‘ =================================

‘ Homepage – Comment Index

‘ =================================


<card id=”index” title=”<$MTBlogName$>”>

<MTComments lastn=”10″>

<p><a href=”index.asp?id=<$MTCommentID$>”><$MTCommentAuthor$></a></p>


<p>* <a href=”hits.cgi”>Hits</a></p>



Case Else:


<card id=”index” title=”Wangjianshuo”>

<p>Something wrong with the page</p>

<p><a href=”?”>Back</a></p>



End Select



Comments on the code

1. Response.ContentType=”text/vnd.wap.wml” must be included since it let the WAP browser understand it is a WML content since it cannot be judged from the .ASP extension.

2. It may need some modification before it can work on your site.

Difference Between Quanqiutong and Shenzhouxing

John asked what is the difference between Quanqiutong and Shenzhouxing SIM card after my blog entry Mobiles in China – My Personal Perspective. I believe it is a good topic to initiate a new article on this topic.

Quanqiutong and Shenzhouxing in Chinese

For people who don’t speak Chinese, these two words are so strange that are even hardly to read. Before I dive into the technical difference part, let me explain the terms.

Quanqiutong is actually three characters (words) in Chinese:

Quan Qiu Tong

Let me try to explain the meaning although it is always not easy to directly translate Chinese.

Quan means all, entire

Qiu means globe, the earth

Tong means connected,pass

So combined together, it means “You can get connected throughout the whole world”.

For Shenzhouxing, which can also be spelled as “Shen Zhou Xing

Shen means magic,grand

Zhou means state,country

Xing means travel

Shen Zhou means China in Chinese language

So Shenzhouxing can be translated “Travel across China”

Difference between Quanqiutong and Shenzhouxing

These two SIM cards are all issued by China Mobile Communication Corp. (CMCC). Quanqiutong is subscription based card and Shenzhouxing is prepaid card.

I didn’t noticed it yet before I wrote this article – the names themselves described the difference between the two SIM card.

For Quanqiutong (You can get connected throughout the whole world), it can be used in more than 50 counties with the roaming services. It has more functions than Shenzhouxing, like WAP, SMS Broadcast, IP Phone, Voice message, Data communication, Fax, Call transfer…. It provide the basic functions as most mobile providers. This is the majority of all CMCC users.

For Shenzhouxing, however, it can only be used in China as name implies: “Travel across China”

Difference in payment methods

The key difference does not lie in coverage. Quanqiutong takes the billing approach like fixed telephone – call first and pay at the end the month. So the application is relatively complicated since you need to provide your national ID card (or passport) and fill in the application form in the service centers of CMCC.

For Shenzhouxing, it takes the pay first then call approach. You can control your mobile fee by only deposit certain amount of money. Since it is prepaid card, anyone can buy any card freely from any dealer. There is no monthly subscription fee. What you need to do is to buy “value card” from time to time and enter the card ID and the password with the card via the service number 13800138000.

Prepaid or not prepaid, it is a question

Prepaid card charges 0.6 RMB per minute for local calls at the time when this article is written. Quanqiutong charges 0.4 RMB per minute + 50 RMB monthly subscription fee. By simple calculation, you know that if dial local calls for 250 minutes in one month, the both cards charge you the same amount of money – 150 RMB. If you spend more than 250 minutes, Quanqiutong is more economic for you, otherwise, you’d better choose Shenzhouxing.

Let me know if you have more questions. BTW, I am using Quanqiutong SIM card.

Update March 26, 2003

Jim reminded me that besides the two card mentioned before, China Mobile also provide two more prepaid cards: GoTone E-Tone Card and GoTone E-Da Card.

Logo of GoTone (Quanqiutong in Chinese)

It is the standard contract based (subscribe based) service, as refered in Quanqiutong in this article.

Logo of Shenzhouxing

This is the Shenzhouxing card. 0.15 RMB per SMS sent to CMCC mobiles or 0.20 RMB if sent to China Unicom mobiles.

Logo of GoTone E-Tone card

Prepaid card. 0.10 RMB per SMS for CMCC mobiles and 0.15 RMB if the message is sent to Unicom mobile from CMCC mobile. It is a local card only available in Shanghai – the card can be used outside Shanghai, but the recharge card and the SIM card is only available in Shanghai market.

Logo of GoTone E-Da card

Enjoys the same charge standard as Quanqiutong (GoTone) – I have never seen it.

Quit confusing, isn’t it?

Blog on WAP is the new wap page for my blog. I can get the latest comment entries on my mobile phone. I will post it later about the source and steps.

Do not try to use your browser to open this page since it is in WML format and can only be read in a WAP browswer – typically a mobile phone with WAP function. You can have a try using this WAP simulator.

Update December 25, 2005

The wap location is changed to

Marriage Announcement


Hereby, I’d like to announce that I am married with Wen Feng Fan (Wendy Fan) today. After getting know each other for 6.5 years, we finally setup the family. I’d like to share the good news with you.

We will hold the wedding ceremony at the begining of May. Here are the details:

Date: May 6, 2003

Venue: 3th Floor, Penoy Plaza, Luoyang, Henan, China

We invite all our friends, families to attend our ceremony. Please give us your confirmation using the comment system below. Thanks.

About Wendy

Wendy is one year younger than me but we entered the same university at the same year. Both of us took the China Southern Airlines flight from Zhengzhou to Shanghai in the year 1995. (The air tickets were gifts from the airline since I took the first place of all new students of Henan province while she was in the third place).

She studied Computer Science while I majored in Automation. We first saw each other in end of Sept, 1996. After I graduated, I entered Microsoft and she continues to work on her master’s degree. Two and half years later, very interestingly, she also choosed Microsoft although she got offers from many companies including IBM and Intel.

We have been planning the wedding for some time and we are so happy to finally make it real. Congratulations to me and my wife, Fanfan.

Update Wedding Ceremony Delayed April 22, 2003

We regret to announce the wedding ceremony to be held on May 6, 2003 will be delayed. The health of all our friends are our first concerns. We will announce the new date when the situation becomes better. Thanks for your understand and sorry for the inconvienience this may cause.


Wendy and Jian Shuo

Update My Big Fat Wedding December 8, 2003

Finally, our wedding was held in Garden Hotel, Shanghai on September 21, 2003. It was a fantastic wedding. I have put some pictures on my site. Thanks all for your love and friendship.

Micropayment with Mobile SMS in China

Related entries: Mobiles in China – My Personal Perspective

I read about discussion on Let’s try to describe the society I am in. I live in Shanghai, China.

SMS is hot; SMS is part of people’s life in China

I couldn’t image there is anything that affected people’s life more than Internet two years ago. Now I realized SMS is competing with Internet to change people’s life.

In China, there is only 48.29 million Internet users by end of Nov, 2002 (don’t get me wrong, this number is huge already), but there are 200.3 million mobile users.

I have a friend who spend about 100 RMB every month for SMS. It is only 0.1 RMB per SMS, which means 1000 SMS every month. Young generation (16-20 years old) use SMS more frequently. As I described in this article, Mobiles in China – My Personal Perspective, some people just buy a mobile phone and a pre-paid card. They only use the SMS functions as a good way to save money. They don’t use the mobile phone to call.

SMS + TV? SMS + Radio? SMS + newspaper? SMS + ….

SMS is no longer a method for peer-to-peer communication. Some TV programs uses SMS as a feedback channel from the audience. They will put a survey on TV and they can get instant feedbacks. For example, in some competitions, SMS sent by audience will be a factor to choose the final winner. It is the same for the combination of SMS + Radio or newspaper.

SMS applications

More and more companies in Shanghai are using SMS as the information platform. There is a company called Guangxi (or Relation in English). You can send a SMS message to their service number 885074 containing any place name, and they will return the result to you via SMS. It is very handy.

CMCC (China Mobile) allows you to send JFCX to 1861 to query your credit in CMCC. Even the government is using SMS as a quick way to validate the invoice. This way, people cannot make fake invoices.

SMS + Internet

The reason why SMS can generate revenue is, the provider can charge more than the standard 0.1 RMB/message. In, for example, people can download rings, pictures. will charge 1.0 RMB/message for most of the download. The fee will appear in the monthly bill of mobile fee of the users. Then communication companies like CMCC will share the revenue with Sina.

For companies like, a classmate finder service, information is no longer free. If you want to find a long lost classmate, you can enter his/her name, and the site will list very limited information about the person you are looking for. If you want to get more like his email, mobilephone, …, you need to enter your mobile phone number. The site will send it to you. The trick is, if the site display is on the web site, it is free. But if they send it to you, they can charge you 1 RMB. That is the different. Although it is very small amount of expense for you, the thousands of subscribers do add up to big money.

Mobiles in China – My Personal Perspective

Huge Mobile Subscribers Amount

According to the latest report from the Ministry of Information Industry on Dec 17, 2002, by the end of Nov 2002, the number of mobile subscribers has reached 200.3 million.

Mobile phone subscriber # 200.31 million

Fixed-line telephone subscriber # 212.68 million

Telephone total subscribers # 412.99 million

Internet users # 48.29 million

# of telephone subscribers by the end of Nov 2003, according to Ministry of Information Industry, China

From the begining of 2002, there are about 5 million new mobile subscribers. With this trend going on, the number of mobile subscribers will exceed the one of fixed-line telephone very soon. The number of 200 million subscribers means every 100 persons in China have 14.95 mobiles. This number in big cities like in Shanghai and Beijing is much higher.

My personal perspective

From my personal perspective, there is vivid persons and lives behind these abstract numbers. I bought my mobile five years ago when I was still a student. My girlfriend bought hers 6 years ago. I don’t have any friend who don’t have a mobile in Shanghail now – my estimation is, any well-educated young people in Shanghai have a mobile.

What surprises me a lot is, even the workers decarating my house have their mobiles – the painters, the decorators, the mason, the electricity, and the carpenter. They dressed poorly – they don’t bath for weeks, but they have mobiles. It is amazing!

I do have one friend in Shanghai who only have a pager – a 70-year-old famous professor. Beside him, I don’t know anyone without a mobile phone.

Mayor of WebmasterWorld described his vision for China when he was here in 70’s.

Having spent some time in PRC in the late ’70’s, my vision of the Peoples Republic is still one where there is little electric power or communication infrastructure, except to a limited amount in major cities. It’s still a vision of technology mired in the 1940’s.

It is quite true that in late 70’s, there is almost on communication infrustructure. But now, it has changed greatly.

Impression of my friends in US

Some friends of mine came to Shanghai from Seattle. They are talking about the mobile and communication infrustcture in China excitedly – “Can you imagine it? My mobile phone still gets signals in the mountains that are hours’ car ride from Chengdu!!” I happent o have the pictures of the mountains he described.

When I was travelling in Seattle, I found it insteresting that a lot of people don’t have mobiles. People explained this to me: in the north Americian, the telephone infrusturct has been built very well and you can easily find a telephone anywhere. But in China, to find a telephone on the street is not as easy. So there is a huge demand to get a mobile.

Fee of China Mobile

Here is the fee of China Mobile Communication Corp. (a.k.a CMCC)

Monthly subscription fee: 50 RMB/month

Local call: 0.4 RMB/min

Long distance call: 0.4 RMB/min + 0.07 RMB/6 seconds = 1.1 RMB/min

Answer phone: 0.4 RMB/min

Good way to save money:

Dial 17951 + Long distance number: 0.7 RMB/min

(note: 1 USD = 8.3 RMB)

For me, I use my mobile frequently. For local calls and long distance calls. I get a bill of around 300 RMB every month.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones in China is cheap. For some old-fasioned mobiles, it only costs about 300+ RMB (40 USD?) to get a mobile. It is different than in U.S. Mobile phone and the SIM card are sold seperately. You can buy any mobile you like and choose the NSP (network service provider). Any two can macth. There is a discount to buy a mobile with a SIM card though.

Big mobile phone companies are fighting for bigger market share aggressively. It is clear that Nokia is taking the leading position and Motorola follows. My new mobile is Alcatel OT715.

Network Service Providers

There are three large NSPs in China

  • China Mobile – the largest. I am using China Mobile.
  • China Telecome
  • China Unicom – this is the provider of my girl-friend’s

Actually, I don’t see much difference between the service they provide.

Besides the subscription fee based model, they also have other options, like Prepaid Card.

Pre-paid Card

All the providers offer their pre-paid card. Users of these card don’t have to pay for the monthly subscription fee, don’t have to pay the bill. They just buy a card (with a SIM card and certain amount of fee). There is a mobile phone related to this SIM card. Insert the SIM card into any mobile and you gain instant access to the mobile network.

Before the prepaid amount of money is used out, you can buy “value card”, which is about 50, 100, 200 RMB. Unveil the card number and password, call the provider’s number, key in the card number and password, you gain additional communication time. It is easy. The charge of this card per minute is a little bit higher than the monthly subscription model.

I have a lot of phone calls so I choosed the subscription based. My girl friend don’t use her mobile as frequently, so she bought the prepaid card.

Pre-paid card in action

Here is an example of the Shenzhouxing pre-paid card from China Mobile (CMCC).


Shenzhouxing card. You can see the SIM card on the left.

Local: 0.6 RMB/min

Domestic long distance: 0.6 RMB/min + 0.07 RMB/6sec

Answer call: 0.6 RMB/min

You can compare the rate with subscription-based rate listed before. Please note: both calling out and answering call are charged, at the same rate.

Signal coverage

Here is the China Mobile Communication Corp. (CMCC) report on signal coverage from ChinaByte on March 10, 2003

In the 36 major cities, avg. coverage = 99.86%

Country-wide highway coverage = 96%

In big cities like Shanghai, the coverage is a big challenge. There are two many tall buildings that weakens the signal. Now, most places are covered, such as in metro tunnel, in most elevators.


Comments on My Daocheng Pictures

Today, I happen to see Micah Sittig posted on his China, California, Books and mentioned my pictures to Daocheng. Really nice comment. Thanks Micah!

Wang Jianshuo reposted some pictures of his trip to Daocheng in response to a comment on another blog. This is the second time I’ve seen these, and in my estimation they are truly the most beautiful travel pictures I have every seen

The trip to Daocheng changed me a lot. It is one of the beautiful part of Tibet. The mass large area of Tibet may seems mysterious, but the area near Daocheng is really beautiful!

Reference is useful

By installing a reference Javascript on my home page, I can see the sources of some of my links and can check what others are talk about this site. Great feature! Thanks to Stephen.

Best of Febuary 2003 Blog


This article summarizes my blog entries of Febuary 2003, so you can find information you want more easily.

Febuary is the shortest month of the year. There is 28 days in 2003, among which, 7~9 days are Chinese Spring Festival. There is only 10 blog entries in this month

In this month, there is a piece of breaking news – golarger spam. I described what is golarger spam and quoted Simo‘s complain email to fight back this spam. It is interesting that a lot of people find my page in the #1 position in Google result for golarger. So they think I am the one who send out spam to them. They complained and posted here and there.

Like golarger, Xupiter is another kind of annoying spam. I described about this and linked to articles to remove it in this entry.

Althought it is the holiday season, the people in Guangzhou and surrounding areas are not that lucky. Pneumonia-type virus outbreak in Guangzhou. It has been said the situation became worse several days later.

There is something interesting too. More website are linking to me; I found a good way to go from Pudong Airport to Suzhou. I went to Beijing for about four days. It was sunny there.

That’s all for my Febuary in 2003. Check here for more details.

Fixing and Changing on


The PVGBBS has been out of order for about one month. Whenever I click on any of the post, it always report:

Untrapped Error:

./sources/ does not return a value from E:\Customer\Wangjianshuo\…

This is an annoying error and I looked it up on Internet and didn’t find any suggestions. Actually, the error message is too broad and does not help.

Finally, after I backup all the files into my local disk, I suddenly noticed that has the size of 0 byte. How can it happen? I downloaded another copy of YABB Gold 1 SP 1.0 and replaced the problematic – everything works like a charm.

It turned out that during the change of web server, the staff from my ISP didn’t migrate my site completely. There are some posts and files lost during the migration, but the affect is minor.


The homepage of is changed to the new style:

News from’s blog (this web site) appears on that static web site using VBScript.

If you are also using MovableType, just create a new index template named “News Feeding VBScript” and let it create page named news.vbs. Use the code below as the content of the template, save it and rebuild, your blog newsfeed is ready.

Here is the source code of the VBScript generating the headlines:

<script language=vbscript src=""></script><

On Error Resume Next

Sub PrintNews()

strNewsHTML = ""

<MTEntries lastn="7">

strNewsHTML= strNewsHTML + "<a href=<$MTEntryLink$>#<$MTEntryID pad="1"$>><$MTEntryTitle$></a>

<span class=posted><$MTEntryDate format="%B %d"$></span><br />"


Document.Write strNewsHTML

End Sub

Call PrintNews

Adding the following line to the webpage ( and the headline is displayed automatically.

<script language=vbscript src=""></script>

This is the redesigned homepage.

You can provide me some feedbacks regarding the redesign using the comment function with this blog.