Monthly Archives: June 2004

Price Rules in China Market

Guess why so many people are queuing in Hymall (a big local shopping mall like Carefore Carrefour) in Pudong?

shanghai-waiting-for.egg.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

They are waiting to buy eggs.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

I am not kidding. They still need to wait for more than 40 minutes to be able to buy eggs – cheap eggs.

The secret behind the scene is, the egg is on sale. The eggs will be sold at 2.50 RMB per/500g. According to the rule, only the first 200 customers were served. Everyone has allowance of 1kg of eggs only. The noon session starts at 13:30. (It was only 12:50 when I took the picture.) Many people have been waited there for a long time already.

So people may have some idea of how sensitive people are to prices of goods. Even the smallest change in price will trigger great demand. This is particularly obvious in Shanghai.

The rule also applies to Real Estate industry, the mobile industry and almost everyone in China market.

Five Years in Microsoft

Today, I celebrated my 5 year anniversay with Microsoft.

June 29, 1999 is the day I formally got on board in Microsoft after half year of internship. The 5 year gave me so much. I am lucky enough to enter a company that I love from the bottom of my heart.

The division I am working at hold a grant celebration party for me. Then I got my Microsoft Five Year Award. I’d like to show off the beautiful gift I was longing for quite some time.

The Big Box

Guess what is inside this box, which was shipped from Redmond, WA to Shanghai.

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Let me open the mysterious box.

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Smaller Box

There is a smaller box. What is inside this colorful smaller box?

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Uncover the box – a nice silver clock appears.

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The Clock

The Five Year Service Award is a clock. Oh. If the globalization team in Microsoft ever reviewed the proposal of sending clocks as gift, they will find it is not proper in China. “Sending clock” sounds the same as “sending someone to tomb”. :-$ So people in China never send clock as gift. Anyway, I can understand. I love the clock very much.

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My name was printed on the clock.

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The Card

Five Year Congratulation Card signed by Bill Gates (by print, not by hand).

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There is a plate. I assume I should stick it onto my shirt.

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The Party

Eric helped to took some photos of the celebration party this afternoon.

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shanghai-jianshuo-looking.at.clock.jpg

Traffic Rules in Shanghai – Part II

This post is to continue the discussion on Traffic Rules in Shanghai.

Check what my star reader Carsten shared with us on safety in Shanghai. The original comment was posted under my article Just Few Steps Away from My New Car:

About safety :

All people in China should be happy for every little effort the authorities do for the safety. More than 100,000 people get KILLED in the traffic every year in China (and nobody knows how many gets injured).

It goes just SOOOO slowly to make even the slightest improvements.

A couple of months ago Shanghai introduced a new traffic regulation that emphasizes the right for the pedestrians (walking people) to cross the street at the pedestrian crossings (the wide white lines in a band across the road).

I can see now that the traffic assistants are trying to teach people to stop for the red lights, but it is difficult when every bus or taxi just plows through the masses, inside and outside these crossings. And they have no right to punish the violators.

I hope that there soon will be introduced a 100 RMB fee to cars for driving through a not free pedestrian crossing, and same fee for the pedestrians crossing the streets outside of the crossings, or crossing for red light.

The authorities can very well use all the advertisement TV’s there are put up everywhere to teach the people some traffic manners and of the punishment fee.

In USA the cars can (like in China) turn right, BUT ONLY IF IT CAN BE DONE WITHOUT ANY DISTURBANCE.

In Europe – NO way! Wait until the green light turns on.

That clearly avoids the “can I, or can I not…?” situations when turning right for red light.

I can say, that a pedestrian in northern Europe always have the right, then follows the bicycles and cars. THE WEAK PART HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY.

This is mainly because it is not even possible for pedestrians and bicycles to get a license to prove their traffic behavior.

But the ones with engines does.

Jianshuo, 3 questions, how is the policy in China of this right turn business ?

What did they actually teach you in the driving school about the relationship between you as a driver and the pedestrians?

And last, did they emphasize the importance of keeping distance ?

I like to know this, because I like to KICK the F…… cars that nearly run me down from behind, even I cross for green light and inside the right zones !

Anyway, I’m the lucky one, because I’m 191 cm, so the cars will get hurt if they hit me, and that makes most cars willing to stop for me, hehehe ;-) !

And – put on the seat belt EVERY SINGLE time before you turn the key in your car.

I have made it a demand for all passengers going with me to put on the belts before I put the car in gear. I don’t want to be responsible for their sudden death, even it’s not my fault.

“I drive perfectly” as all says, but unfortunately all the others are driving with their head in another place than the traffic, so I have protect me and my dears against the lunatics that kills.

Check this page : http://www.disastercenter.com/traffic/

and to get more knowledge, download the WHO report (summary) in Chinese or English : http://www.who.int/world-health-day/2004/infomaterials/world_report/en/

Thanks for Casten’s observation for Shanghai’s traffic condition! It is true. I have been a pedestrian (the weak party) in Shanghai for 9 years (and will always play the pedestrian role in the future) and been a driver (the stronger party) for almost one year. The change of roles helped me to understand the behavior of both pedestrians and driver in the big melting-pot city. I strongly believe the chaos of traffic in Shanghai is because the percentage of people who can drive is too low and majority of pedestrians do not understand how the cars work so they follow the majority.

Let me answer Carsten’s three questions first.

How is the policy in China of this right turn business ?

In China, if you can turn right at anytime unless there is a red right arrow prevent you to do that. (Disclaimer: Do not take this as official traffic rule – I didn’t got full score in my traffic rule exam and may be seriously wrong). Sometimes, the right turn lane are combined with forward lane. At red light, if you don’t want foward cars before you, you can safely turn right. If there is car waiting for the red light to go forward, as common sense indicates, you need to wait the cars before you to leave before you can turn right. :-D

What did they actually teach you in the driving school about the relationship between

you as a driver and the pedestrians?

Well. To be honest, they didn’t teach me anything about it. My mentor has more than 30 years of driving experience, but he couldn’t speak mandarin well and didn’t receive good education. He was paid very badly. I don’t know how much he makes for teaching us, but when I told him I graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University and am working for a famous foreign company, he commented: “Oh. Boy. You are so promising. You must be able to earn 2000 RMB per month!”. Then I knew what very high salary means to him.

Enough about my nice mentor. I just want to say, many mentors in driving school do not care anything about relationship, philosophy or anything that are not directly related to the police tickets. If the policeman do not award you a ticket, you can do anything.

Unlike mentors, the traffic rules do specify the behavior of a vehicle. I reviewed the rule again with Wendy when she prepared for her exam. Here are some:

  • When a car comes to a pedestrian crossing, the car has to slow down to give way to pedestrians.
  • If there are pedestrians on the pedestrian crossing, the car has to STOP before the line to allow people to pass.
  • Cars have to give ways to pedestrians even the pedestrians are not on a pedestrian crossing.
  • Drivers are 100% responsible for any traffic accidents involving a pedestrian, UNLESS they can prove enough attention has been paid to avoid the accident.

Please note the last one. This means, if someone run into a highway (where cars drive at 120 km per hour), and a car hit the him/her, the car driver still has to be partly responsible for it. This is the major change from the traffic rule of the last version. In that version, the pedestrians are 100% responsible for any accident if they do not use pedestrian crossings AND a pedestrian crossing/bridge/tunnel can be found with 30 meters. I support the change.

How well do I do? Well. I have to say, I am trying to follow the rule but often failed. It is because, the cars behind never expect the car in front to slow down (not to mention stop) at pedestrian crossings. For many times, when I see someone cross the street at the pedestrian crossing, I slowed down to give ways to them, the car behind almost hit my car and the driver honked angrily as if I am the bad driver. After several time, I found I was a trouble maker on the road, and what I do (to slow down) is many times more dangerous than rushing onto the pedestrian crossing. Of cause, to do so, you also need to honk to get the pedestrians’ attention and they will run away. Oh. Forgive me! This is how I can survey in this either hit the pedestrian or hit by car behind business.

The same is for the STOP sign. Nobody stops or expects others to stop. If you stop, the next car may hit yours.

Did they emphasize the importance of keeping distance?

Simple. Yes. The emphasized, just as they emphasized the STOP sign. Look at the EU vs Italy flash. The Yes! No! is exactly describing the situation in China. In the flash, the scenarios or turning right, stop, and distance are repeating itself in Shanghai everyday and in every corner.

Written Test for Driver’s License

Wendy decided to learn to drive. I drove her to take the written test for driver’s license and I waited outside. So I can take some pictures of the test venue and process (I couldn’t last time). I wasn’t able to capture the scene inside the testing room.

The Place

There are many venues to take written tests. They are typically far from downtown – the two I know are all out of the A20 (the outter ring). Here is the location of the testing venue Wendy went to:

These test venue are typically owned by the driving schools and monitored by Shanghai Vehicle Adminstration.

The Hall

Many people waited there to take the exam.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Entrance to the Testing Room

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Shanghai uses advanced but cost-effeictive technology in the driving exam. All examinees are required to press on a finger print reader and to take a picture with the small webcam. The same finger print and photo will be checked every time the trainee practices on a car. The total hours are recorded. Only after you proove that you have attended enough training YOURSELF can you pass the exam.

CAT (Computer Aided Testing

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© Jian Shuo Wang

This is the computer used to conduct the test. Examinees are required to press on the finger print reader again to verify identify before they can start the exam. The small keyboard on the right performances select (A, B, C or D) and page up, page down functions.

Wendy finally passed the exam and soon, after hand in the 4200 RMB tuition, she can start her own journey to driver’s license.

Search 13123456789 in Google

Who are the people in Google who are working on Google Chinese Feature? They are great. Some new features (Chinese site) were introduced in Google.

Update This page becomes the first result for 13123456789 in Google June 29, 2004

As I expected, this entry jumps to the first entry to Google’s search on the phone number. With daily page view of about 10,000 and 50,000 visitors from 109 countries, this site has been very successful with Google Ranking. Just take some time to browse to the homepage of Wangjianshuo’s Blog – the Top 10 Blogs in China. End of update

Try to search my mobile phone number 13916146826 in Google (Chinese).

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Screen capture in courtesy of Google

It will tell you that mobile comes from Shanghai and uses China Mobile network.

Daocheng Photos by Maphis Chen – Part III

Continuted from Daocheng Photos by Maphis Chen – Part II

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with Permission

See also

Daocheng Photos by Maphis Chen – Part II

Continuted from Daocheng Photos by Maphis Chen

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

See also

Daocheng Photos by Maphis Chen

Maphis is a computer genius and a good photographer. Maphis shared his photos with me and granted me the permission to post them on my website.

He travelled in the Tibet area for more than 2 months in Sept 2002 and took many pictures of the area. He inspired my Daocheng trip. Imagine what kind of life he was experiencing during the two months – he told me he learnt the 9-11 event of 2002 on Sept 27, because there is no any news in the vast grand area in West Tibet.

Maphis is also the excellent photograher of my wedding. He uses expensive SLR cameras. During our chat yesterday, I encourged him to go professional on photographing although he has own a software company already.

Maphis accepted my suggestion. If any of you are interested reproduce the pictures in your commercial book, advertisement, please sponsor him to buy a non-exclusive reproduce license. He has original film of the pictures and can reproduce very high resolution pictures for your larger image.

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

© Maphis Chen. Used with permission

The place on the picture is called Daocheng, at the west part of Sichuan Province, in conjuection with Tibet. (My Daocheng page is the first result item in Google for Daocheng. Search Daocheng on my site (use the search box on the top right of this page) to learn more about the place – I wrote many articles on this topic.

See also

Shanghai Weather (TQ)

Today is June 24, 2004. It is in the middle of the rainy season in Shanghai. This afternoon, Shanghai experienced the heaviest raining in the recent years (from my observation and experience). It was rainning cats and dogs outside around 4:00 PM. The sky became completely dark. The rain even triggered some of the alarm system of cars. Some sensitive cars kept beeping loudly. I started to worry my grass in my garden.

Look at the Shanghai Weather Forecast. (Please note: It always reflect the current Shanghai weather and may not be accurate after today).

Click for Shanghai, Shang-Hai Forecast

Raining Everywhere

My friend Hengge, CEO of blogbus.com changed his display name to Storm this afternoon. He is in Zheng Zhou, central China;s Henan Province. He recorded the strong storm in Zhenzhou and the damage it caused in his blog. There are three great pictures on his page.

Beijing is not better. Wendy went to Beijing for business trip today. Her flight was scheduled to depart at 12:00, but she was still in the Hong Qiao Airport around 3:30 PM. She chatted with me on MSN Messenger with XGAO’s SmartPhone + GPRS. It is due to the strong storm in Beijing airport. She was lucky that the plane left the airport before the strong storm in Shanghai. Now she has safely arrived in Beijing.

The rainy season will continue for several weeks.

P.S. I had dinner with old friend Maphis today. He shared some thoughts after running his own company for 2 years. He was both a computer genius and a good photographer. Check his fantastic photos of Jiuzhaigou. I have asked him to share more pictures with me so I can post them to my website soon. Among all the photos, I love this one most – it is the most beautiful place in China.

Photo provided by: Maphis Cheng (Xiang CHENG) Copyright © 2002 Maphis Cheng. Used with permission.

His pictures are more beautiful than my Daocheng pictures.

Yisou, Google, Baidu and Yipai

Yahoo! China launched Yisou.com, the Yahoo! search engine in China. I am a keen fan of Google and I love everything from Google – the search engine, the GMail, the Adsense program, and funny things in their lab. I thought Google was the best in search engine world. However, I start to doubt that. Yisou.com seems to be doing a better job in the Chinese market. It is so similar with Google.

Yisou seems to have indexed more content than Google. For example, if you search Wangjianshuo in Google, you get 5,150 results (as of today). If you search Wangjianshuo in Yisou, 7,640 items were returned. Also, the speed of Yisou is really faster than Google – it is almost the same speed as Google when Google just started. It may because not many people use Yisou now.

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Screen capture in courtesy of Yisou.com

Google invests into Baidu

It is also reported that Google invested in Baidu, the other top search engine in China. It is interesting that Baidu got the opportunity to grow up during the time when Google was banned.

Yipai

Another auction website, yipai.com, was launched recent. It is a joint effort of Yahoo! China and Sina. I believe it will gain market share rapidly from Eachnet. The functions and interfaces are much better than Eachnet.

English Instructions in Yantai

Eric brought back an Internet Setup Guide from a hotel in Yantai, Shangdong Province. I bursted into laughter when I read the English section of this guide. Try to read it without referencing Chinese version of this guide in the next picture.

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Image in courtesy of the hotel in Yantai. Brought back by Eric and photographed by Jian Shuo Wang

I am sure only the smartest people who knows Chinese can understand what they are talking about. I tried but still cannot get the original meaning. There is no chance for native English speakers to understand because the smart people who know both English and Chinese can translate the sentences to Chinese word by word and get the meaning.

Chinese version

Refer to the Chinese version if you can read both.

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Image in courtesy of the hotel in Yantai. Brought back by Eric and photographed by Jian Shuo Wang

If you cannot read Chinese, why not have a try to translate it into proper English?

Update June 29, 2004

I started to worry about the negative impact these photo may bring to the hotel, to Yantai or even Shandong province. I didn’t mean that. This is just for fun. As eki_robin tested, the guide was directly translated by software. There are many such kind of translation around the country and maybe everyone who knows English can help to correct these errors. Here is something you can do.

  • Call the hotel manager to report the improper translation.
  • Help to create a better translation and send it to the receiption.
  • Call local media since the power of media will help people to pay attention to it.

Shanghai is Experiencing Energy Crisis

Not only Shanghai. The whole China is facing big challenge of electricity power shortage. Every morning, when I drive along the Zhao Jiang Bang road to work, the morning news from Beijing broadcasts about the shortage and measures the government has taken to overcome it. I have never seen such kind of storage before.

Today, big posters start to appear in Metro City and surrounding areas, calling for electricity-saving. In the poster is a big thermometer inside the Jin Mao Tower, with two temperatures marked: 26°C and 35°C.

The posters suggest people and business to avoid using electricity when the temperature goes higher than 35 degrees in rush hours (morning, noon and night) and not to set air conditioning target temperature lower than 26 degrees.

To my surprise, this campaign goes further than posters outside. I noticed small round blue posters appeared besides the A/C controllers and power switches in the office I am working in. There is the same 26-35 thermometer logo, asking people to save power. It is obvious that the government has learnt much from the SARS campaign to use every media possible to deliver important messages.

According to today’s Sheng Jiang Service Guide, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum starts to create 9000kg ice every night when others don’t use electricity and use the ice as air conditioning power at day time. It is very innovative way to solve power problems.

Although no efforts have been spared to reduce electricity usage, there is still a big gap between demand and supply. I am ready for power cut off in my home this summer. This may happen at any time. This reminds me of the energy crisis in California several years before. I remember even the SFO airport stopped the automatic elevator and turned off most of the lights at day time to save power….

How about Starting an Online TV Station?

I was impressed by Seattle Wireless TV (via Slashdot). It looked like a formal media (or official media) if there is no “Help Sponsor the Show!” text or the PayPal denote icon.

The host just carries a camera and go out to catch interesting things. In the June 2004 edition, they interviewed Drew from WiFiMaps.com (with Doug Luce of Telarama) and recorded a presentation of Jason Levitt of Less Networks – “How Less Networks and Austin City Wireless Project beat T-Mobile”.

The simplest camera is enough. The result can be edited by (almost) free Movie Maker 2 – to add text, subtitle and credit screens.

Start the Same Kind of Station in Shanghai?

It is a silly idea to start any media, especially the network media in China right now. It will be another illegal site. Someone started to use network as a media to setup their own Internet Radio stations (Google Search, Chinese), however, I worry about their future. It may not be a problem if they are small and no one notices them. But what if it goes stronger?

A Car Plate = 21001 RMB Now

The average successful bidding price for a car plate drops to 21001 RMB this month, continued its first dropping last month.

It is due to the rumor that car plate bidding will be cancelled this July. It seems the rumor is only rumor. The July bidding has been arranged to happen on July 24, 2004. Just see how big the influence of a policy is to the market in China.

History of the car plate price:

Search Car Plate on this site.

I Love to Read Wendy’s Blog

If you have me on your MSN contact list, you know that I seldom change my display name from the formal one: “Jian Shuo Wang”. Recently, after reading Wendy’s articles, I cannot help putting her beautiful sentences into my MSN Messenger display name. The last display was:

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I cannot translate her sentences into English well, since they are just so beautiful in Chinese. A rough idea is: The hint of happiness gradually showed up. It is take from this article.

Tonight, I changed display name to Go mawing in the lovely garden.

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This one was taken from her article Free Saturday

Wendy is a talented writer. Her article in Chinese is sweet, decent and delightful. Among all the readers, I am, of cause, the most enjoyed reader. This afternoon, she was a little bit worried: Why people don’t like to put comment on my weblog? Is anybody reading it? I am sure many people are reading her blog. Why not leave some comments to make her happy? :-D (Sorry. There is only Chinese version available.)

Frequently Used Phone Numbers in Shanghai

Here are important phone numbers you need to be aware of in Shanghai.

Police – 110

Although Shanghai is rated as the safest city in China (according to sina.com), you still need to be aware which number to call during emergency. I call this number once every two months. :-D When I see any emergency on the street, no matter whether I am involved, I just pickup the phone and call them. The last time, I got spam advertisement SMS to sell fake certificates to me (they claimed they can create all kinds of certificate and document, including marriage certificate, national ID, graduation cerficate… anything you can imagine). 110 was happy to get my report and I suppose they will call the number in the SMS.

Fire – 119

I never dialed 119 since I have never failed to put off fires I made in my kitchen. :-D. I have called 119 in Beijing once by mistake. It was a funny story. Someone sent me a SMS from number 10119. I called back but the number was invalid. I thought, “maybe it is a phone number out of Shanghai”. As the dialling rule specified, I tried to add a 0 in front of the number and dialed again. 0 – 1 – 0 – 1 – 1 – 9 ——-. Then someone answered the phone “Hello. How can I help you?”. I realized I have called the 119 in Beijing. Now I understand that 10119 means a SMS from a SP with ID 1011.

Hospital – 120

Never called, and hope don’t need to call this number. Why there is no single number like 911 for 110, 120, or 119? It is rare that people need to call 119, but don’t need 120.

Internet Service – 16300

No matter where you are, 16300 is the number to help you connected to Internet. Create a dial-up network and loging with user name: 16300 and password: 16300. You are just 10 seconds away from Internet. The fee will be included in your (or the telephone owner’s) telephone bill. After struggling to install brandband and wireless, I finally returned to the 16300 Internet age in my home.

Consumer Complain – 12315

Are you a tough customer? If you are, dial this number when you feel angry about any product or service to complain. It (sometimes) works.

Legal Consultants – 12348

Having questions about law? Dial this number. China is changing its style. People like to go to court to settle things down. It helps me to learn my rights before I talk to a manufacture or service provider.

Transportation – 96900

For all your transportation questions, dial this number about how to go from one point to the other in the city – by driving, bus, metro… It is useful. The last time I called this service is the day before yesterday, when I was in bad need of a gasoline station.

Yellow Page – 114

Ops. 114 is the number I dial before I dial the other number for most of time. :-D Just kidding, but they are very helpful to get a phone number by a name.

All these numbers are obvious to local residents, but as Shanghai Slim commented:

WJS, great work! Thanks also for the consumer hotline phone number! This kind of information is difficult for “foreigners” to find.

That is the reason I post these obvious information here.

Personal Social Network Management

I am thinking hard to find some good software/website, or even thinked of creating a tool myself, to management my personal social network. The problem I am facing is, I have too many contacts and I need a way to organize the relationship and keep in touch with them.

  • I have many family members. How about sending some pictures of the new apartment I just moved in or notify them when I change my job? Now I am maintaining a private maillist. But I always forget to send interesting things to them.
  • I have old high school classmates. They are all my best friends years ago, but ops, I have never dropped a single piece of email to them for several years. Where are they? What they are doing? Did they get married or have a baby, or something?
  • I am receiving emails everyday, from every corner of the world, asking me questions about Shanghai. I archived the emais. Sometimes, I got an email saying: “We exchanged email in July, 2003 before I came to Shanghai. I am here. How about we meet sometime?” Well? Who is this guy? I have totally forgotten the last email. There is no thread of emails.

How to organize all these emails, friends, and relationships? I need a system to do the job.

Personal Social Network Management

If I am a company myself, the system has a buzz word as its name: CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – a tool to record all interaction and contact information of customers. For me, it should be a system (hopefully, distributed) to manage my social network. By distributed, I mean no body a new address book application when Yahoo! or Hotmail, or Outlook is doing great already. Duplicate websites with same function increase the cost of synchronization.

Help

Anyone has any idea or best practices to management your own social network?

Social Software

Hold a minute before recommending me of social software right now. With the emerging of concept and sites of social software, I am more confused. To be honest, either Friendster, or LinkedIn helped me to solve the problem I am facing. Will I drop something to all my 40+ contacts in LinkedIn? No.

P.S. A joke on Social Network Coordinator

Look at a job in Manhattan: personal social network coordinator . The responsibility of this position is to

  • approving or rejecting invitations of friendship (in social software)
  • managing a database of usernames and passwords for each of the social networking sites
  • keeping my social network synchronized; that is, invite friends from one social networking site to be friends in all of the other social networking sites
  • various “damage control” functions when rebuffed “non-friends” become upset due to non-acceptance of their offers of friendship
  • Future duties may include discouraging companies and individuals from starting new social networking sites so that additional staff won’t be necessary in the future.
  • etc…

It is so funny. Go to the original posting site read the full article since the author said “Reposting this message elsewhere is NOT OK.“.

It is not a serious job posting. However, it described the problem of so many social software.

Volunteers Wanted

With your support, Wangjianshuo’s Blog has become an important website about living in Shanghai. The readership increases everyday. I am overwhelmed by your compliment and encourage. The number questions I got on all aspects of Shanghai also increased dramatically. I have tried my best to answer as many questions as possible and answer them as quick as possible. However, my bandwidth is limited and I am not an expert on all areas (such as how to get a visa). So I turn to you, my readers, for help to make the site more helpful everyday.

I am thinking of a volunteer program to improve the quality and coverage of this site. I drafted the following “positions”.

Proof Reading Expert

I have proof read most of my articles myself (if time allows). I read the published entry(so HTML code is not displayed), mark mistakes and go back to MovableType to correct them. But English is not my native language and there are still many grammar and spelling errors in every article. I am aware of it. :$ (type this into your MSN Messenger and you can see what emotion it prepresents)

I know half of my readers are native English speakers. How about devote 10 minutes to proof read a piece of my (past) article and correct errors?

Time needed: 10 minutes per article.

Total work load: There are 624 published articles including this one on this site.

How many volunteers needed: About 10.

If you enjoy reading this blog and cannot bear the bad grammar of any entry, why not help me (and help other readers like you) to correct it?

How it works? I will setup a Wiki site for you and export all my articles into the site. You accept an article and you can freely edit the content of the article. After it is completed, notify me and I can export the article back to the main site. The Wiki site is also open to public, so everyone can add inputs.

Shanghai Expert

Are you a native Shanghaiese? Have you stayed in Shanghai for many years? Have you successfully relocated to Shanghai in the past half year? Would like to help others (especially the expat community) to survey in this city? Would you like to practice written English and see your articles published and read by 10+ thousands of people from 109 countries? This position is for you.

Time needed: Depends on you. You can either take full day travel in Shanghai and take pictures (as I did for Starbucks) and write an article the second day, or just use 5 minutes to drop few lines to answer someone’s question here.

How it works? After I get enough volunteers in this category, I will setup a case management system so people can directly send email to a group email alias or via web form and the question is put into public queue. You can pick up a question and answer it. If you want to send original article on certain topic, just like what I did, submit it via Wiki website.

Indexer

There are many articles in this site, and to find the right resource is not as easy as it was . I start to see repeating questions again and again while it has been answered in details in a separate article. Will it be useful if someone help to index the pages just like the index of a book? This needs skills. A good index can help people to navigate through this maze of articles more easily.

Time needed Maybe longer – you have to read all the articles and assign key words for each other and combine the keywords into a list. This is a tough job, sorry.

Volunteer needed Only one, since according to some books, it is best for one person to index this site so he/she has better sense of selection of keyword.

How it works Also on Wiki.

Thanks

Thanks for reading all these “job posting”. They are all volunteer jobs. I don’t know what I can give to volunteers. But do ask for anything you think I can offer. I may consider.

  • Want a link on this site? Sure.
  • A T-shirt with a logo? Yes. If someone can help to design, I can pay to print some.
  • Want me to name a section on this site after your name? Well, maybe.
  • etc…

I don’t have many things to offer – just to show my appreciation, on behalf of all the readers who get help from you.

Do not hesitate. If you are intersted, would you please drop a short message to me screen-jianshuo.at.hotmail.com-logo.PNG. In the mail, please tell me what type of volunteer you want to be, your contact information, your plan about how you can help and what you want to get from me if I can offer. I will contact you soon after I get the mail. The closure date for this application is June 30, 2004.

Shanghai is the Second Unhappiest City

A recent City Happiness Index survey reveals that Shanghai ranked No. 5 of 6 surveyed cities: Hangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, and Wuhan (in the order of Happiness Index position).

Shanghai enjoys the highest average salary of all these six major cities in China, but people in the city don’t feel happy. I can understand that. The pressure in the city is higher and people are so close to the trends – tech trends, fashion trends and house decoration trends. People struggle to catch the trends which may not necessarily lead to their happiness. I listened to a talk show on happiness regarding this survey result this morning. The result of the survey attracted broad attention on the happiness of people instead of economic figures, like GDP.

Here is a picture I draw one year ago about the city I am living in.

screen-anhei.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Related

Exchange RMB to/from Foreign Currencies

RMB is not a free trade (do you call it free trade) currency. I mean it cannot be exchanged to or from foreign currencies freely, not as USD or Euro.

From RMB to foreign currencies

For local residents (China passport holder), they cannot directly go to a bank to exchange their RMB to USD or other foreign currency. People can exchange foreign currency only before an international trip. For example, before my business trip to Seattle, I can go to a bank with my passport (with valid U.S. visa) to exchange about 16400 RMB to 2000 USD (if the rate is 8.2). Sometimes, the bank may require you to show them your flight ticket. After then give you the USD cash, they will put a stamp to the next page of your U.S visa – Foreign Currency Exchanged. Then you can not get more USD for the trip.

What if I really need more? Typically, I will have to turn to my friends who have enough USD to exchange it. Of cause it is illegal. The policy is, you cannot exchange foreign currency outside a bank.

Recently, the policy is not as strict as before. There are more ways to exchange more foreign currencies.

1) You don’t need to exchange too much foreign currency. Just use your RMB credit card outside China and after you return, you can deposit RMB to balance your card.

2) If someone needs to go out of education or business, 2000 USD may not be enough for them to support their lives, there is special approval process to exchange more.

From Foreign Currencies to RMB

Upon arrival at airport, you can directly exchange RMB at bank counters.

I remember (not sure) there is an limitation of 200,000 USD for the exchange at once. Here is what I wrote before.

2. After checking with the Bank of China hotline, The USD to RMB exchange limitation is 200,000 USD (Two hundred thousand USD) for both local residents and foreigners. Exchanging above that limit need to be reported to the Foreign Currency Exchange Administration and waiting for approval and register. I think the limit should be OK for you, but you still need to check if you need to claim the cash at custom if you bring too much money. The limit applies to exchange in cash.

I believe the article Currency Exchange at Shanghai Pudong Airport