Monthly Archives: February 2004

Bye Bye, Pudong

There is something that I didn’t disclose in this blog. At the end of last year, we planned seriously to move to Pudong — the green land. We bought a new house with very big garden in Pudong and planned a car. However, in the recent weeks, I was convinced that Pudong is not the place for me. I decided to say “Bye bye, Pudong”.

I can assure you that it was not an easy decision. It is the choice of the two distinct different styles.

Actually, I never lived in the best areas of the city. My previous two houses (including the one I rented in Meilong) was both out of the inner-ring. During my journey to seek for an apartment in the quite and beautiful Hua Shan Road (华山路), Xin Hua Lu (新华路) in Changning District, I found so many good places that we never thought of before. Think about the trees, the beautiful 1930’s houses, and the nearby universities, even the names of the roads! Everything there represents a romantic, convenient, and culture-rich life of Shanghai.

I started to ask myself: Why to spend my best time in Pudong to experience the fresh air and green land instead of what a fantastic city has to offer? Why I need to spend my young life to see the boring nights in Pudong just for investment? Pudong is not Shanghai in terms of cultural relationship. I’d rather to have a high quality of life, not money.

It is not easy to develop any place from nothing to a rich and decent place. We talked with the real estate agent in Pudong seeking to sell the house. The woman agent (with very bad mandarin) maybe grew up in the former village in that area and found the job. She actually knows nothing about the real estate and even doesn’t know the rate of a bank mortgage. She even got very angry when I challenged her on that: “I am an agent. It is not my business. You need to talk to the bank.” It is something I can never imagine in Puxi. It takes one generation or more to change this.

P.S. If you are new to this site, here is some simple Chinese words. Dong 东 means east. Xi 西 means west. Pu is the abbr. of Huang Pu River. Pudong is the area east of Huang Pu River and Puxi is the area in the west.

Rent an Apartment in Shanghai

There are basically three major types of apartments in Shanghai. They are service apartments, newly built communities, and old simple apartments.

Service Apartment

For example, the Chang Fa Garden (map) at 290 Pan Yu Rd. has good location. They have satellite TV and large clubs (in a five star hotel nearby). The rent price is 6000-8000 RMB per month for a 100 sq. meter apartment with two bed rooms and a guest room. Many foreigners choose this kind of apartment. They offer hotel like services.

There is a piece of very interesting history service apartments like Chang Fa Garden. If the service apartment was built before 2000, chances are, they were foriegner-oriented apartments, which only foreigners could buy. Meanwhile, foreigners were not allowed to buy non-foreigner-oriented apartments. There is a big price gap between. Chang Fa Garden was label a price of 3000 USD per sq. meter when it was sent to market while local apartments nearby only costs around 5000 RMB per sq. meter in 2000. If you are interested, the current sale price for Chang Fa garden is around 10000 RMB per sq. meter.

These apartments tend to be old and the furniture may be out of date. However, they have very good locations. There are some newly built service apartments and their price will be higher.

Newly Built Communities

Vanke Waltz Garden, which I bought, is an example. These are very good choice since they offer good view, safety and brand new houses. It takes 5000-6000 RMB to rent an 98 sq. meter apartment there, although this is already relatively far away from Xujiahui (3.3 km).

Old Simple Houses

In Shanghai, the most impressive buildings were the Old houses. I mean the house built after 1950. They look ugly and are similar. They are typically 6 stories with a flat roof. Local people will choose these apartments and seldom do I see a foreigner will like it. It should cost 2000 RMB to rent a small apartment with 60 sq. meter around the area of Chang Fa Garden (I marked it in the map in my second paragraph).

Where should I look for Apartment

John sent me mail and asked (quoted with permission)

I am regular reader of your website. I love it. I would like to ask you a few questions about apartment in shanghai. I will be moving there soon to live. Can you recommend me a few websites that I can go and rent an apartment. After work, I need night life to survive, so i really need something close to bars, night club, disco, shopping and foods etc… do you know which area is best for me? oh, safety is also important for me.

Thanks so much!!

I would definitely suggest the Xuhui District, Jin’An District and east part of Changning District. I marked the “good areas” in my mind in the map below.

map-shanghai-good.areas.jpg

If night life is important for you, never think of living in Pudong. The quite and dark night there will kill you.

Regarding website, if you can read Chinese, soufun.com and anjia.com are two leading websites in Shanghai.

Update: Open for Apartment Submission. May 27, 2004

Since this page is No. 1 search result in google for keywords rent apartment shanghai, it may be a good service for people renting aparments and people who look for an apartment in Shanghai. If you have an apartment to rent, please submit your apartment infomation to me via Apartment Offered Form.

Update: December 2, 2004

A cheap house at Panyu road available for rent immediately. 360 USD/month (Rent out. Not available now)

Update: Octomber 6, 2005

700 USD: Biyun Oriental Apartment:

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What’s On in Shanghai

Oh. The recent two film posters (one, two) reminded me of the old question my foreign friends asked me: “Is there any English film in town?”

Yes. Yes. There are many English films in the city with original voice and Chinese subtitle. As JH and I discussed under the article Mona Lisa Smile, China is following the international tradition to show the original film now. Many foreign films like Fanfan La Tulipe are introduced.

Here are some website you can get film information in Shanghai:

That’s Shanghai

Tickets.com.cn (Chinese site)

Cinema Guide

My favorite is the Kodak Super Cinema in Metro City. They are so far the most professional theater I saw.

For example, the UME in Xintiandi I went the day before yesterday is not as professional. Why? The devil’s in the details. I see a big space for the management of the theater to improve. The design of the theater is very cool. So does the poster. But the schedule was printed in normal A4 paper causually and posted everywhere. Many of them are broken already. It is the minor things like this that damages the brand of UME or any theater.

Film Mona Lisa Smile

Wendy and I went to the UME theater at Xintiandi. The film is named Mona Lisa Smile by Julia Roberts.

Late Movie

It was the latest show of the day. It started at 11:10 PM. I am lucky to live in a city that there is a theater serving film as late as 11:00 PM. Of cause, we were really tired after we got out of the theater around 1:20 AM in the morning of today.

There are only 8 persons in the well equipped theater. So the film was almost exclusive for us.

screen-mona.lisa.smile.jpg

Credit: Sony Pictures

Original Movie

It is worth noting that many American movies are shown in original language – English – in theaters with Chinese subtitle. I often watch movies but didn’t watch any translated film yet. What does it mean? Is it an indicator of internationalization, or the lose of local language? I don’t know.

Reviewed by ChinaHerald.net

Fons posted a review of Wangjianshuo’s blog on Chinaherald.net. It is the first formal and long review of my site. I guess I am the most interested person in the world to read this article. It gives me some feedback of the site from another point of view.

Feedbacks are always encouraging. I am very happy to see people posting comments on my articles; I will be happier if I see an incoming link; then you know how happy I was when I saw a review for my blog. Thanks, Fons. (I am not very sure whether the review was written by Ann Arbor, as signed at the end of the article, or Fons, who notified me of the review, or the two names are the same person. Let me assume Fons is the author. Correct me if I am wrong here, Fons.)

The IT-engineer Wang Jian Shuo is one of very few English language web logs that does not have the overly pretentious approach like most English language weblogs on China – including the China Herald. Here is Jian Shuo, telling about the daily worries of a Shanghainese citizen. Read on… (quoted in courtesy of chinaherald.net)

I don’t Mention my Employer Anymore

In the review, Fons observed that “The only thing he does not mention anymore is his employer.” Fons guessed “that they (the employer) called him in and had a talk. Companies do not like it when their employees blog about them. They might easy lose control.”

“Called me in and Have a Talk?”

Well. It was a reasonable guess. I would draw the same conclusion if I were an outsider. However, the real story behind that is just the opposite.

I never wanted to hide the fact that I am working for Microsoft, which I am very proud of. Microsoft is very open to blogging, more open than I could imagine. There are dedicated people within the company to drive the community effort, including newsgroups, online chat, web forums, and blogs. As you may know, I was the team lead for the Asia Community Support Team responsible to drive Microsoft employee in Asia (every single person within Microsoft) to join the newsgroups or local communities to help customers and listen to customers. The effort is continuing.

Regarding blogs, Microsoft encourages its employees to setup blogs and share his/her work “in a personalized, influential way, and to read about what (the) community is doing”. Check http://blogs.msdn.com/ to get a list of Microsoft guys who just started a technical blog. They are there to share what they are working on in a “personalized, influential way”.

More Microsoft bloggers are not on the http://blogs.msdn.com list than those on the list. For example, we have energetic and influential bloggers like Robert Scoble. He has made big impact with his blog.

In short, no body called me in and had a talk. If there will be some talk, there must be someone call me in and ask me to put more Microsoft information onto this blog. You know, it is the style of a Microsoft manager: “Hey. Do you think by sharing your knowledge on technology will help our customers? So just go ahead to do it!”

As an insider of the company, I observe so many changes inside the company that strike for better customer and partner experience. That is the reason I am still so passionate about this company after working here for 5 years.

The Real Reason

The real reason is simple. I just want to be known as a normal person, “telling about the daily worries of a Shanghainese citizen” (as Fons commented). Talking about job related stuff is out of the topic of this site. Actually, I am seriously thinking of creating another blog (not hosted on this site. Maybe another business oriented domain) and share my job related stuff with people who do business with my team outside Microsoft. Blogging is a better tool of effective communicating, then email, even website.

Back to Topic

OK. It is enough about the reason why I didn’t mention the little M in my blog in the recent one year). Thanks Fons for giving an opportunity to talk a little bit about the topic. Please be sure I am not defensive at all. If you give me a chance, I will tell you the happy life I am leading in business hours as I did for my personal hours.

I didn’t put the employers name because I don’t want the visitor to ignore that fact that I am just a normal citizen in this big city with 16,000,000,000+16,000,000+ people. (Thanks for Xu’s correction.)

P.S. another short correction: I rent cars and don’t own one yet. :)

LookatChina.com

John started the Lookatchina.com website after his trip back to Shanghai (he was born in Shanghai) after staying in U.S. for six years. (I am not sure whether John from lookatchina.com is the same John who won the Top Commentor of the Month award on this site)

John took many pictures in Shanghai and covered almost all major places in Shanghai. You can find pictures of Xujiahui, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Yuyuan, Nanjing Rd., Metro, Buses… almost all aspects of Shanghai. I like the photos he took.

Please visit his Shanghai page. (I knew his site by recommendation of Kathy).

The Devil’s in the Details

I heard of the English proverb “the devil’s in the details” in a presentation delivered by my friend Peng Gao when he talked about project management. It was about two years ago. I didn’t realize how wise the proverb is. It was recently that I pick up the term and see how the details make so big difference.

When Wendy and I were shopping at B&Q in Pudong, we discussed about why most dominators on the consumer markets are foreigner companies. For example, B&Q in decoration materials, IKEA in furniture, Carrefour in retails, and KFC in fast food business.

There are many promising local companies in every single business listed above, but generally speaking, they are less attractive than the leader. Why? What is the difference?

It is not culture issue. Taiwan/Hongkong companies seems domanating the entertainment business. I always buy book at Schorlar. They have a store in Metro City. It is owned by Taiwanese. I go to excercise in Physical (also in Metro City). I guess it was a Hong-kong based company (may be wrong). I go to Chatea 一茶一坐 for lunch (38 RMB for business suite) – Taiwan company. I have my hair cut in a very small hair salon downstairs – even it was opened by a Taiwan business man. I have alternatives. For example, Da Niang Dobbling (大娘水饺), or any other salon, I just wanted to go there for better service. Why?

The devil’s in the Details

Today, I read an article (Chinese) talked about details. It is very reasonable. Many leading companies are paying attention to small things which makes big difference.

I was surveyed by a lady when I shopped in IKEA yesterday. I was not surprised and I won’t be surprised if a shop I don’t like never survey me in my whole life. :-D

Devils are in the details is in my mind when I look at those leading companies again. I can always find BIG difference in many aspects between the stores. I didn’t notice that before. The differences are all in the details…

Server Down and Up

I hate to talk about it but I have to update about the technical difficulties in the last two days. The server was not accessible at around 0:00 AM of Feb 22. It lasted for about half day. Around 2:00 PM that day, the HTML page was recovered but the comment function stoped working. It took another day to fix the permission stuff. There is still something not working on my site right now, like the Links 2.0 directory (site submission part), I am going to fix it tomorrow.

This was due to the IP change – actually the server change in my ISP. Every time it happens, I got very angry and there is no 24×7 support. That is the service I paid for – 380 RMB per year is among the cheapest hosting in China. I have subscribed at http://www.net.cn, which costs almost double the cost of this ISP. I hope it can provide better service – at least they offer 24×7 toll free technical support. So someone will look at the problems of the server if it does go down.

I hope the server down nightmare goes off soon. It has hurt the reputation of the site. This site is no longer the site it was two years ago. I know I have a lot of readers everday. Thanks for your patience during the last two days.

Pudong or Puxi

I am facing the hard decision to move to Pudong or stay in Puxi. The decision leads to two completely different lifestyles.

Pudong is very attractive as an ideal place to live – the green lands, the fresh air, wide roads, and less population.

However, only Puxi (west band of the river) presents the amazing city of Shanghai – the history, the skyscrapers, decent stores, the culture, and the great restaurants.

Pudong means a big house with a car.

Puxi means the exciting life I am so passionate about.

So…… it is a hard decision.

Link to Your Site

Want to have a link back to your site on Wangjianshuo’s Blog? It is easy now.

As you may have noticed, the WWW category is open for public submission now.

Just go to a sub category of WWW directory and click Suggest a site link. Fill in the submission form and your site will be entered into my database and wait for my review. I will try to review your submission as quick as possible.

I do Want to Link Back

A function to maintain links to other sites is on the top of my to-do-list. A lot of kind sites have linked to me but I didn’t provide timely link back. :-( For example, Christina linked my site from Chinese Tea immediately after I started blogging in 2002, but I didn’t find a good place to link back.

There are two reasons:

  • Strong usability mind. I am a firm-believer that by adding any links/features/buttons to the webpage is a barrier for the visitors to perform other tasks.
  • Too many links together, say, a list of 100 links is less valuable to any sites on it. It neither contribute hits or Google PageRank.

Solution

Finally, I decided to create a directory and put similiar sites into the same directory. I adopted Links 2.0 to allow people to submit links. So please feel free to leverage the function and have a place on my blog. I welcome your site.

I do not accept site submission on any category other than WWW. Other categories contains only my article. I will add a category under WWW as related category in other categories if I found it neccessary.

Benz Taxi in Shanghai

Hey. Take a look. I finally saw and took a shot of the hot Benz taxi in Shanghai. It is reported that 50 Benz taxi were put into operation but I never seen one.

This morning, when I arrived at Metro Tower, a shining car passed by. It was a Benz. At a second look, I realized it was a taxi.

shanghai-benz.taxi-metro.tower.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Benz taxi stopped before Metro Tower

Foggy Shanghai

Heavy fog hit Shanghai this morning. Outside my window, it was all white. It is among the heaviest fog I have experienced in Shanghai. Visibility is less than 20 meters.

According to Sina Shanghai Channel, elevated highway, Hong Qiao Airport, shuttle ships on the Huang Pu river, and express ways were closed this morning.

Professional English

I write this article to thank John, from Sinosplice, to send me emails to correct typos and grammar errors in my previous entry.

As I listed in my About Page, I am not a native English speaker. I have never lived in an English speaking country, so there must be a lot of errors in my English writing. John, and other good people sent me private emails to correct it. I want you to know I appreciate your advices and help.

Chinese Grammar

From my personal experience, the professionalism of English writing is ignored in the English learning system. Only after I began to work with people in U.S. did I realize some basic rules in punctuation marks. For example,

Wrong: I am Jian Shuo.I live in Shanghai.

Right: I am Jian Shuo. I live in Shanghai.

The space after the period sign is important. I didn’t know that in my 8 years of continous English lessions from primary school to middle school. The space is the key about whether a paragraph looks professional. For example, below is quoted from a letter I received.

year,i am anxious because many mates around me are find good one.during the perid of finding job,i found i donno which field am i in and what job i can afford, suddenly ,i felt i was a no major person,it’s so bad thing…

The capitalization, and the punctuation are easily ignored since these rules are rarely taught.

I think I am doing a little bit better than the average, but there is still big room to improve. It seems to me that how professional one writes is more important than how large the vocabulary he has.

Receiver Pay SMS?

During my recent talk with George, I was surprised to know, for the first time, that most other countries use the receiver pay SMS business model. China is among the few countries in the world where only sender is charged.

IMHO, it is more reasonable for the sender to pay the fee. Otherwise, I may think twice before I send a piece of SMS to others: Is my message important enough for the money my friend has to pay?

Mobile Roaming

Rob asked

I am a foreigner with a China Unicom mobile I bought in Rizhao a city in Shandong, I have now moved to Tai’an. I know that it is a little expensive to call the mobile from Tai’an. If someone in Rizhao calls my mobile and I am in Tai’an is it expensive for them to call me or do I pay the extra ?

Yes. I believe the charging model in China is very diiferent than other countries regarding the roaming use. China News has a great aritle to explain it.

Pre-paid? Billed? Roaming? An Explaination of Mobile Charging Model

From the table II in this article, you can see, for example, if you have a Unicom mobile, you pay 0.36 RMB/minutes to call someone or receive a phone call in Rizha. If you are outside of Rizhao, you pay 0.6 RMB/minutes to call and 0.07 RMB/6 seconds to receive calls. It is more expensive.

About Jian Shuo Wang

Welcome! I guess you have read at least one article of my blog before you arrived here. If you want to know more about the person behind these sentences, keep reading.

About Jian Shuo Wang

I am Jian Shuo WANG. WANG is the last name (or the family name) and Jian Shuo is the first name (or the given name). I am living in Shanghai, China. I am not alone in this city. There are more than 20 million other persons with me in this small area in Eastern Hemisphere. My time is 8 hours earlier than GMT (GMT +8), 1 hour later than Japan and 16 hours earlier than San Francisco.

About this Site

I am the author of Wangjianshuo’s blog. If you don’t know yet, blog means weblog or daily updated web pages. It is very popular nowadays. I started the blog in September 2002 and kept writing one article everyday. Now, there are 800+ articles in the previous 800+ days. (Update January 24, 2006: now over 999 entries). This site was voted as Top 10 China Blogs in 2003 and was mentioned by Business Week, MSNBC, UK Telegraph, Slashdot, Salon, China Radio International. According to the server log, there are 15,000 page views everyday andn visitors came from 109 countries. It served 51G of data in Sept 2004 alone. (Update January 24, 2006: now it has 2 million page view per month.) It is well known as a frequently updated website with personal perspective and practical information about Shanghai and China.

That is all. If you are in a rush, you can leave this page now and get back to the content of this site, or leave for another site. If you are not, I appreciate your time to continue reading.

My Job

I am 28 years old – some readers were surprised that I was too old while most were surprised that I was so young. Now I enjoy being the head of Kijiji, an eBay company, in China. Before current position, I was with Microsoft for six years. I tried seven different roles in Microsoft, including Support Engineer, Project Manager, Business Development Manager (OMG, I found a name card with time title that I almost forgot), Trainer, Team Lead, Channel Manager for Microsoft JV, and Consultant. I mostly enjoyed the work with combined experience of technology and business, project management and people management.

My Family

Another thing I am so proud of is my wife Wendy. We got married last year after dating for 7 years. She is lovely, smart and sweet. She also runs a blog but does not update it as frequently as I do. It is the most interesting book I can find in this world. She is a project manager of Microsoft.

I am not native resident of Shanghai. I was born in Luoyang, Henan Province and moved to Shanghai in 1995. I could not get used to the city in the first two years but hopelessly fell in love with the city.

Jian Shuo Wang is…

  • Jian Shuo Wang is the owner of this website.
  • Wang is the last name (family name), and Jian Shuo is the given name. A space between “Jian” and “Shuo” is preferred, although it is not required.
  • Jian Shuo lives in Shanghai, China.
  • English is not his native language. He has never lived outside China and has never attended private English classes.
  • Jian Shuo majored in automation at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
  • Jian Shuo enjoys pure geek happiness.
  • Jian Shuo owns a site that is now the 11,000th busiest site in the world, according to Alexa.
  • Jian Shuo’s site has been mentioned by MSNBC, Telegraph.co.uk, and Slashdot. His voice was featured on hundreds of radio stations in the US.
  • Jian Shuo can drive stick shift and has a driver’s license in the People’s Republic of China
  • Jian Shuo will be happy if you link to his site or post a comment on this site.
  • Jian Shuo can solve Rubik’s Cubes in four minutes.
  • He can recite 85 digits of pi after the decemal.
  • Jian Shuo has a wonderful wife Wendy.
  • Jian Shuo Wang also writes Chinese blog

Jian Shuo Wang belongs to

Wifi Hotspot Competion Becomes Hot

I was tired tonight, so I leave the office – air in office building should be rated as the worst in a city. :-(

Xujiahui is a good place with so many good places. I wanted to go to Starbucks Metro Tower Store to have a cup of coffee and read some materials I just printed out. Starbucks becomes more attractive after the China Telecom Tian Yi Tong (WLAN) service started. I can bring my laptop and the A/C power adaptor to Starbucks. It is the better environment than office to think about business.

At the door of Starbucks, I suddenly thought it may be too luxury to buy a cup of coffee with 26 RMB (3 USD) just for the Internet access. To be honest, Internet access is more attractive to me than the coffee itself.

So I unconsciously stepped out and entered the nearby KFC. I bought a cup of coke (4.5 RMB or 0.5 USD) and sit down.

Half an hour later, when I opened my laptop, I found a new WLAN provider in addition to the WLAN from CTC – the WLAN service from CMCC (China Mobile)

screen-wireless.network-ctc.cmcc.JPG

I choosed the new provider CMCC. It connects with the following status:

screen-very.good-cmcc.kfc.JPG

Not surprisingly, they asked for user name and password before I can access any website. However, the best feature from this service is, their service can be applied by SMS or calling 1860.

Application

Send a SMS to 1860 with the following format:

  • Request Password: SQWLAN
  • Modify Password: XGWLANMM <Old Password> <New Password>
  • Reset password: CZWLANMM

The instruction codes like SQWLAN, XGWLANMM, and CZWLANMM are case sensitive. Passwords are case sensitive.

Fee

0.2 RMB/minute

The fee is charged to the mobile owner and bill goes with China Mobile Bill.

This service is only available for Quanqiutong customers (billed customers). Pre-paid card users cannot use it, according to their website. (Thanks WilliamW to bring up this question)

Experience

This is their timer window.

screen-sui.e.xing-cmcc.gif

Comparing with Tian Yi Tong

Named as Sui Yi Xiang (e-Traveler) by China Mobile, this service charges higher than China Telecom, which is 0.1 RMB per minutes. The advantage is, there is no subscription fee and the user name and password is available instantly. I believe it can get big adoption rate.

Now, at KFC, there are two service providers already. I guess other big players such as China Unicom, CNC will join the Metro City soon. The Wifi hotspot competition will become hot…

Always-Red Pedestrian Signs

Hey. The traffic signs are still not working!

I talked about pedestrian signs at Cao Xi Rd. North 漕溪北路 and Nan Dan Rd. 南丹路 were already read in four directions in this article: Traffic Rule in Shanghai.

Click here to see the map of the point with my Map Viewer.

Tonight, when I passed by the cross road, I found the signs were all red again during the ten minutes when I was there. Faint!

I believe at least I can call the authorities to fix this small bug of the city – a bug that existed for 8 months already. Haha.

Michalle told me that if there is no professional customer, there is no professional service. If customers never give feedbacks, if they don’t send compliment letter when they receive good service, or don’t complain if the service is bad, there is barely no chance for the service to improve. I tend to be the complainer so other people don’t need to complain after the problem is fixed. Haha.

China Internet Market Analysis

Vicent from New Yorked sent me a set of questionair about Internet in China. I have answered the questions. I am sharing the questions and answers to help you get some idea of the current status of the market in China. Questions published under Vicent’s permission.

1) Of all of the Chinese Internet portals (Sina, Netease, Sohu) which is the most popular and which is best? Is there anything about one that is better than another?

IMHO, Sina is the best. Check my article on Sina, Sohu or Netease. I didn’t visit Sohu or Netease in the last three month but I visit Sina everyday.

2) Is WiFi the future of the Internet in China? Meaning would having large WiFi hotspots all over the country make it easier/less expensive for people to high quality high speed access to the Internet? Are there any problems with WiFi right now?

I beleive so. There are many Wireless (WiFi) Hot Spots in Shanghai. Many buildings has been equiped with Wifi. One year ago, I will ask the servers in a hotel: Do you provide broadband access to Internet? Now, I tend to ask, can I use my wireless laptop here?

The problem is the uncertainty the new WLAN standard GB15629.11-2003. GB standards for Guo Biao or national standard. It is similar to the international Wi-Fi (802.11) standard, but uses a different security protocol. While the Wi-Fi standard uses the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security protocol, the new Chinese standard uses a Wireless Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI). It may be or may not be a big problem. Only time can tell.

3) How popular is the auction site eachnet.com? Is there room in the market for the auction joint venture between Sina and Yahoo!

Unlike Ebay, many goods found on eachnet are brand new. Eachnet has become a market place anyone can sell goods when they have the channel to get it, and is not limited to second hand goods. It has became a good place to eliminate the shop rental fee and the staffing cost. So many people begin to do business at eachnet.com. I have a close friend who quited his good job and start to sell goods on Eachnet.com. He can make a good living from it.

Regarding eCommerce, there are two big names in my mind: Alibaba.com which provide business owners to find buyers or sellers and eachnet.com, who helps people without a business entity to sell goods. Is there any chance for new comers? Maybe.

4) Why is SMS so popular? Meaning: if everyone has mobile phones, why do they need to send messages from a computer?why not just send them from one mobile phone to another?

SMS is popular for its reasonable price. 0.1 RMB is nothing compared to 0.4 RMB per minute if you call someone – remember, the 0.4 RMB is charged from both caller and receiver. That is 0.8 RMB for phone call while 0.1 RMB for a SMS. (Some cards charges 0.6 RMB per minutes).

I cannot see many relationship between SMS and a computer. SMS is SMS. Many people go to a computer and send SMS to friends via Sina, because it breaks down the barrier to input on a mobile device. You know, to input Chinese on a mobile device is ugly. Too slow for most people.

Go to http://sms.sina.com.cn. You will see the whole new world of SMS, which is pretty beyond the plain text (or short message) SMS. It provides rings, pictures and pre-composed SMS messages.

5) How expensive is the Internet to an average person? Meaning, do you feel the need to be careful about how many SMS you send or how much time you spend on the internet at internet cafes?

Internet is not expensive for me. (Keep in mind that I have pretty good job and a lot of things were not that expensive for me). I GUESS it is not expensive for many people. Internet Cafe charges 2 RMB (0.24 USD) per hour for Internet access. Do you think it expensive? Although the environment is poor with too many people smooking. Good Internet cafe charges 5 RMB or higher. Internet at home is still relatively expensive.

6) Is the cost of a personal computer in China very expensive? Can the average person afford one?

Personal computer’s price are still not lower enough for people as TV to them. Computer costs 4000 – 6000 RMB, which is about 2 or three months’ salary. Here is how I see the market: people with university education or higher tend to have a computer at home. People with a child older than 10 tend to buy a computer. Others may not want to spend $$$ on computers.

7) Is there anything else I should know about the Chinese internet market? Meaning what do you think will both cause the most growth and what do you think will prevent the most growth?

Well. Hardest question. You have covered a lot. Good questionair.

Questions? Post it here.

Beijing Impression

Beijing impresses me so much every time I visit. This visit was a business trip. The only time I got was to take Metro back to where I stayed after a business meeting. I decided to take metro to experience the city and save some taxi fee for the company. Here are the new findings from this adventure.

More Signes in Beijing

I felt people in Beijing are more talkive/expressive in written tags. I found lots of interesting signs, which made me laugh. Look at this photo: the design of the Internet terminal (with a phone set and a large screen) had big usability problems that many people were fooled by this koisek. So they make it up by sticking a tag on to the glass.

beijing-I.am.not.phone.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Taken on the opposite side of the China World Trade Center

It reads:

I am not a public telephone;

I am not a ATM either.

Stairs of Beijing Metro were Deep

Look at the stairs – long and deep into the ground. It is the longest underground stairs I have ever seen.

beijing-long.stairs-metro.jpg

The waiting hall of the Beijing Metro were huge too. The tall poles made so much difference than those in Shanghai. There is only one story in Beijing metro while in Shanghai, the undergrand space was seperated by two floors.

beijing-station-high.jpg

Beijing Become Modern

beijing-sohu-jianwai.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. JianWai Sohu from outside

This is the JianWai Sohu, right to the south of China World Trade Center. The architect is moden and the groups of buildings are rarely seen in Shanghai. The city of Beijing is large and gives huge areas of space to accomendate building groups, instead of sing towers.

Beijing is Still Using Paper Metro Ticket

Why Beijing still uses the Paper Tickets in Metro?

beijing-paper.ticket-metro.no.1.jpg beijing-paper.ticket-metro.no.2.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Tickets of Beijing Metro No. 1 and No. 2

Beijing’s Landscape

The difference between Beijing and Shanghai, the two largest and most important city, is becoming more and more minor. There are tall and modern buildings in Beijng and the roads of Shanghai became wider in Pudong. Here is Beijing’s landscape.

beijing-landscape-xiaoyunqiao.jpg

© Taken from Millenion building at San Yuan Bridge.

Update Fast-Slow track in Beijing Metro Febuary 16, 2004

Isaac asked: Jianshuo ,did you notice the fast/slow track of Metro auto-lift? I think it’s very humanity.

Yes. I do. I took a special picture on that sign:

beijing-fast.slow-metro.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Taken at Ding An Men Station of Metro Line #2

It reads (briefly): Stand on the right and walk on the left.

I saw the similiar sign at San Fransisco airport (SFO). To certain extent, Beijing seems more matched to the international traditions. :-D