Driving in Hangzhou

Driving in Hangzhou is totally a different experience than walking in the city.

  • The mountains are near the city and the city is part of the mountain.
  • The traffic in east part of the city is good – the winding road in the mountains are wonderful.
  • Zhejiang University is nice – it is nice to see startups in ZJU are very active.
  • The West Lake is much clearer than before.
  • The recent re-construction of south side and east side of West Lake turned Hangzhou is a very decent city for bars and restaurant.
  • It is only 168km between Shanghai and Hangzhou (only counting the express way). It took about one and half hour for us to drive back to Shanghai.

Hangzhou’s Entrepreneur Spirit

I am visiting some partners in Hangzhou again. For the second time, I am quite impressed by the entrepreneur spirit in Hangzhou.

Recent, the Internet center seems to be shifting a little bit out of Beijing and to cities in th south. Hangzhou starts to be a center. I visited some smaller companies and found the developers there are great, and they have great ideas for the new generation of Internet.

Hangzhou is city that make people quiet. When people goes near to the West Lake, their pace naturally slow down. Time is not so critical a matter as in Shanghai.

For the young people graduating from universities, their salary requirements are not as high as Shanghai, because for basic living, Hangzhou is much cheaper. (If we talk about luxurious apartment and visiting nice bar near the Lake, Hangzhou may be even more expensive). They have much lower pressure to survive than in Shanghai so they can concentrate more on coding and innovation.

Hangzhou, as the capital of Zhejiang, is also a capital for private owned companies. Many private investors put their money into small startups and make them easier to raise money. Although international VC and big domestic VC don’t visit Hangzhou as often as Shanghai, the investment requirement for small startups is typically smallers, which make it a perfect place for startups.

I have the impression that Hangzhou may have good potential for the next round of startups in China – something like the Bay area.

Good luck guys!

Wiki is Weak-y

Wiki spam is worse the email spam.

Look at this picture: I receive about more than 10 Wiki author request within every minute and it never stopped since two days ago.

screen-wiki-spam.PNG

The page they created contains link to their porn website. That means, they are creating hundreds of garbage pages on my server, day and night, linking to their site – until the disk on my site are used up.

This is the weakest point of Wiki, something others can easily spam…

Real Name Requirement for QQ

The most popular IM QQ in China has a great feature called QQ Group. It is real time chatting groups integrated in QQ client.

Recently, Tecent was asked to enforce real name registration for all group owners. People much submit their national ID to keep their QQ group. Well. Another step after the web site registraiton.

Taxi Driver’s Life Tougher – Part II

Taxi drivers’ life is one of the major topic I continously observe the report. They are very typical hard-working people in this city, and come from a world I don’t normal have access. Talking with taxi drivers is always my favorite. Their stories are vivid mirror reflecting the changes of the city.

Recently, we clearly feel taxi become rare resource for this city. Not at only rush hours, but also at normal time it is hard to find a taxi. I thought the major reason was because of the hot summer – these days, Shanghai is just too hot which drives up the demand. However, the recent talk with a taxi driver revealed another part of the story.

About 28 days ago, the price of gas increased a lot. Yesterday, it kept increasing. The price of 93# gas increased from 3.96 RMB/L to 4.26RMB/L. I guess it may be related to the change in RMB price? Just some guess.

The gas price change dramatically increased the cost for taxi drivers. They may need to spend more than before. In summer, it is required that taxi much turn on air condition. It continue to increase the cost of operation.

To help them, the taxi companies give them 7 RMB per day compensation, but it is almost nothing compared to the cost. So many taxi driver finally find out that even if they work very hard 24 hours, they still gain much less than before, and sometimes cannot earn money. So they just quit.

According to one taxi driver, many taxi companies have empty taxi parking in their parking lot without taxi drivers. The increase of demand and descrease of supply caused the current situation.

P.S. Shanghai Taxi Driver’s Life Tougher

RMB Finally Goes Strong

This afternoon, I got a SMS from Eric that RMB finally changed its policy and become floating rate. The rumar is the exchange rate between RMB to USD may change to 8.1 or something (I cannot find sources and proof for this. So use this information with caution).

I am not an econmist, and I don’t know exactly what it means to the market and two countries. I did get some conflicting oppinions and news. It is out of my knowledge scope to judge. So I don’t want to comment. The direct impact for me may be, the next time I shop at Amazon.com, I can buy one more book if I buy several books. :-)

P.S. Oh. Talking about Amazon, I read the news the change after they bought one of the largest book selling website Joyo. 1) All the employees start to learn English, while before, they don’t have any English test in their interview processes. 2) The founder left the company and top management team were replaced by external professional managers 3) Their system migrated to Amazon platform, 4) After the migration, their shipping speed is 2 days slower than before – now one day slower than its major competitor Dangdang.com.

Donghai Bridge

Donghai Bridge is under construction. It is one of the most interesting projects I know besides the World Expo and the Hangzhou Bay bridge. The 32 km long bridge will extend to the island at the heart of the Hangzhou bay and it is the first bridge that will enable us to drive onto an island in Shanghai. The A2 expressway connects A20 and the bridge.

This is how the bridge will look like after completion.

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Image in courtesy of Eastday.com

More Dong Hai Bridge pictures

At around 5:30 PM, I don’t know why but Wendy and I suddenly decided to drive there and see this bridge. It is not too far away from our home – 41 km means 30 minutes’ drive. We started from A20. When we turned right onto A2, as I expected, we are the only car on the newly completed express way. I believe it is safe to claim that A2 is the express way in Shanghai with the best traffic condition – I never saw a car before me or after me and only saw about 5 cars on the opposite direction.

The Chief Architect’s speech on TV last year, when the major part of the bridge completed, was very misleading. He welcomed people to drive to visit the bridge but it turned out that the area is still a big construction site. Huge, yes, really huge tractors and big carts run along the narrow roads, and my car looks so tiny on the road – just like a rabbit playing among the elephant. Within 20 minutes, we decided we’d better returned to A2, where we are the biggest vehicle on the empty expressway. I didn’t take any pictures – maybe next time, and when we returned to near my home to have dinner, it was about 8:00 PM. According to the report, when the bridge is completed, I can directly drive to the island in the sea, and transfer to fast boats to the other beautiful island nearby…

On Time Management

Richard asked:

As reading your blog, reading your life. I start wondering how can you manage your time so well? As a director of Kijiji, a person who keeps writing a blog every single day, and also occasionally gives speech in university, moreover quite often produce a thoughtful article in your Chinese blog… I would be very expecting to read an article about your way of managing time someday. :-)

and Cai asked the same question:

Yes, I have same feeling, when I read an article about your blog, I began to surf on your website. I can not believe that you insisted for about three years. Amazing!

I also want to how do you manage time and write an article just about story of daily life which we ignored most time.

It is very interesting question. Let me try to answer it.

I am not a Time Management Expert

The first answer is, my time management may not as good as you describe. I am try to improve. Having said that, I just want to share the reason when I kept blogging and doing a lot of things at the same time.

Blogging? It is Just What I Decided

This entry: I Started the Blog to Post Resume, which was posted exactly one year ago, explained the initial reason why I started blogging. It is a little bit kidding, but meanwhile, it is true. I often ask my friend of the question: “What do you remember in the year 2004?” Sometimes, we may be too busy on the daily life and forget what is important. As the forth generation time management experts put it: “We have wasted years. Why hurry for the seconds?”. Blogging is the time to force me think and keep observation. For this blog, in particular, has a mission to help communities who are new to Shanghai or who are away from Shanghai to learn about this city, by a very small window – a window of a normal persons’ life. Although the recent role change made my life much busier than before, I still believe I have time to keep writing. The strongest reason I convince myself to continue is, “If I cannot manage to get some time writing, how can I manage a business bigger than that?” :-) Bill Gates have thinking week; Google has 20% innovation time; Steve Ballmer still reserved time for his family and grass. It is not only skill, but a wise philosophy.