Visited Shanghai Circus

We went to the Shanghai Circus World today for the circus show. It is the first time I go there. It was wonderful experience for me. I’d like to suggest everyone to go there to see the acrobats, the animals, and the motos…. The good thing is, they allow cameras and photographing during the show, so I captured some pictures during the 2-hour performance.


© Jian Shuo Wang. Image in courtesy of Shanghai Circus


© Jian Shuo Wang. Image in courtesy of Shanghai Circus


© Jian Shuo Wang. Image in courtesy of Shanghai Circus


© Jian Shuo Wang. Image in courtesy of Shanghai Circus


© Jian Shuo Wang. Image in courtesy of Shanghai Circus


© Jian Shuo Wang. Image in courtesy of Shanghai Circus


© Jian Shuo Wang. Image in courtesy of Shanghai Circus

Many of the shows are breath-taking.

Where is the Circus

You can reach there by Metro. It is at the Shanghai Circus station of Metro Line #1 (north extension). If you drive, go along the Chengdu Elevated Road, heading north. After passing the Inner Ring, leave the elevated highway at Yan Chang Road 延长路 and take U-turn at Guangzhong Road 广中路. Their telephone is +86-21-66527750, +86-21-66522395.

P.S. Google already changed its logo for Chinese interface site to celebrate the Chinese new year!


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone, my family, my friends and anyone I know or know me!

Short post? You know how busy I am at the New Year’s Eve. We just fired fireoworks and put on the Chuan Lian on my door. I hang big red lattern everywhere with burning candles in it and had dumpling with Wendy and Wendy’s parents here. I also made phone call with my families and sent/replied many of SMS tonight. Let me update the fantastic night tomorrow.

Update: Feb 09, 2005

The image on the lattern.


© Jian Shuo Wang

The boy and girl on the door of my room.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Audio on Air and Photo to Print

Pacific Time finally broadcasted the second piece of my audio blog in America. Visit this page, check the last link and click Listen (segment) to listen that piece of program. I guess it is the second part, but marked as the third part by some reason.

The previous part was on air on Dec 20, 2004. I guess I need to continue to improve my oral English to pronounce the words more clearly. The next time, I will try to talk as slow as possible. I love the music I recorded on the street. Thanks again for Nina and Amy to make it happen.

A Photo of Me?

Lisa had an interview of me on the new generation of car owners in Shanghai in Nov. I got the letter today asking for a corporate portrait photo to go with the article. It may be published on the April issue of the WIRED magazine. Well. I have about 10000+ photos but very few of them have me on it. Among the few photos, it is not easy to find one. If you have the experience to find one to be published on a book or magazine or corporate intranet, you know the feeling. Which one is better? I really have no idea. So I asked Wendy to help me when she is back from her trip to Beijing.

Xie Fang

Xie Fang let me know his new website at Among all my friends, he is so unique. He quitted his job in Microsoft and went to a university to be a teacher.

How to Complain in Shanghai

Living in Shanghai is not easy. You often find out something does not work or you were treated badly, you need to know how to complain. My reader sent me the story that his wallet disappeared when he passed he security check of Shanghai Airport. He put the wallet into the X-Ray machine but it didn’t come out. The staff their didn’t do anything and they didn’t want to explain. He had his last choice to write to me to ask about how to complain.

Here are my suggestions.

Judge Type of the Business

Depending on the types of the business, you take different actions.

For private businesses, including those foreign invested businesses, to talk to the manager is an effective way. If the customer, which is you, is not happy, the business owner is losing money. They know that and they will try to fix it.

For state-owned business, well, forget about the idea to talk to the manager. I complained to Cui Gong Hotel, a five star hotel in Beijing for failing to ring my morning call and over charged me, I only got the response from their high level manager that “You know, it is a state-owned hotel. I hate to work here. I know many things went wrong, but there is nothing I can do to fix it. That is the reason I am looking for another job.” Ha. It was funny. I complained to Bank of China. I drove there that day only to find out their computer system of the specific business was shutdown already. The Branch General Manager met me and said “I accept what you are complaining and I understand it, but there is nothing we can do. We have complained many time. I suggest you to complain to the head quarter. If you do, you are doing a favor of us.” He even helped me on how to reach their complain department. I guess the Pudong Airport case falls into this category.

For specific industry, there are industry wide complain hotlines. For taxi service, call +86-21-63232150. They supervise all taxi companies in Shanghai. For consumer product, call Consumer Protection Line +86-21-12315.

Media Helps

If you cannot find the right channel to complain, try to call media. It sometime works. At least there is someone on the other side of the phone line, willing to listen to what you say. I called many times before (on the always-on-red-light, on the typo-in-Shanghao-metro), and reporters will come to talk with me.

Xin Min Wan Bao: 021-962288

Oriental TV: 021-58702626

East Radio Station: 021-62780792

Don’t Let Social Software Become Spam Ware

It was claimed that 2004 was the Year of Social Software. Flickr, and LinkedIn are all wonderful applications that became hot in the last year, UUZone in China also got the lead. Everything went on well.

Meanwhile, I am not sure if I am 100% comfortable about the emails sent out by some social software.

Here is one example:

“Can You Believe it?”

From : name of my friend <Name of my>

Sent : Thursday, February 3, 2005 5:21 AM

To : <My email address>

Subject : name of my friend (4th request)

Can you believe it — this is the fourth request to be in name of my friend‘s friend


If this means that you do not care to be in name of my friend‘s mobile friend network, then just say so – and save both of you the hassle. It only takes a few seconds!

Just click here to confirm or reject your relationship with name of my friend some random number

If you don’t want to be invited by your friends, just click on the link above and choose block future invitations from family and friends.

Well. They started the letter with “Can you believe it”. You know what, my immediate response was, can you believe it that after I deleted their emails for three times, they are still sending out the so-called invitation to me to ask me to accept, or reject. If I didn’t reply the previous three emails, are you smart enough to know that I am not interested in that? Do I have to open the email, navigate to your site and click reject so that I can get peace? You certainly know I don’t want to click reject and have them say “NO” to my closet friends. Do I have the right to keep silence?

I have about 20 mails from the this website in my inbox. For some friends, it is the 3rd or 4th invitation and for some, it was the 1st or 2nd… Well. I had about 10% of my inbox filled up of all kinds of invitation, some of which started with “Can you believe it”.

Where is My Right and My Privacy?

When more and more of my friends join all kinds of social software websites, my contact information was shared to more and more websites by my closest friends. They started to send out invitation to me to grow our THEIR network at the cost of MY time and MY privacy.

One member to their network means more than 20 people got spammed. The website may argue it is not Spam, because it was my friend who initiated the distribution of the email, not the site. Well. I accept the explaination. It was not Spam, but this does not help me to feel less annoyed of their letters.

Social Network! But Whose Network?

Social software started with the good intention to help people to manage their social networks and social relationships. With traditional methods, people will forget to say hi to friends at holidays. With the software, it can automatically remind you about the important days and the important friends. This is what the Social Software should do. I guess at this time, there is a good balance of what the software do and what human being do.

If the software goes one step further to send the “hi” letter to their friends automatically, even without the awareness of the sender, and worse, if the reception can automatically reply something like “thank you” without the reception’s action, I start to wonder whether it is the relationship of the two sites, the two program or the relationship of the two real person?

I Discourage New Social Software Websites

Remember the man in Manhattan who posted to hire a social software coordinator?

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

I have the same idea.


  • One person can run very nice blog, or personal website. This is why blog became so hot.
  • 20 persons can run very nice BBS. So BBS was popular.
  • 100 well-educated people with passion and ethical behavior can support a PUBLIC wiki site, so there are not as many famous Wiki site as blog sites, or BBS.
  • If a social network requires 10,000+ registered user before it becomes useful, you bet the result.

Meningitis in Shanghai

Meningitis outbreak was reported in Anhui. Based on the information I got — the radio, the newspaper, the TV, the Xinhua and China Daily, everyone is saying Shanghai is safe, and the meningitis cases are even fewer than last year. This is what I heard. I don’t feel anything in daily life that was infected. There are no rumors, no attention. Shall we claim it is safe this time? I don’t have the enough information to make the judgement yet. What I do know is, I got emails asking me about the situation about meningitis in Shanghai. International travelers have concerns now.

Jinjiang (Jin Jiang) Inn at Shanghai Pudong Airport

OMG. What was my last time to post a topic related to Pudong Airport (PVG)? July 2004! I should spend more time to help travelers to this city.

Today, Sabri from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia emailed me to correct the telephone number of Jin Jiang Inn of Pudong Airport of my previous post. Here is what he/she feel about the inn.

I come across you useful site while searching for hotel near to Pudong airport. Finally I found it, Jin Jian Inn, but the tel. number. for the hotel as stated are incorrect. Anyway I managed to get the correct number as : Tel: 021-68353568, fax: 021-68853550. I hope you can update for the benefit of all.

JJ-Inn is a nice inn to stay for catching next flight out of Pudong. So near to the said airport, but difficulties is to get there. Many taxi drivers from airport just don’t want to take you there. Normal meter taxi will cost you RMB15 bur they may ask for RMB50. The hotel only provides shuttle service to Pudong airport but not airport pick-up.

Again TQ for your website which I think will help those coming to Shanghai/China a lot.



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Thanks Sabri!

There are Two Hotels Near Pudong Airport

Pudong Airport is very far from the downtown, which you may already know. It is about 30 km away from the People’s Square. So there is almost nothing beside an airport and related logistic areas and two hotels.

One is Ramada. It was newly opened and the other is Jin Jiang Inn. Ramada is a four star hotel with good service/facility, and Jin Jiang Inn is just an inn offering very reasonable price. Ramada provides pickup service while Jin Jiang Inn, according to Sabri, does not provide this service. You can choose one if you just transit to a flight of the next day.

Avoid Taxi to These Hotels

Both of the hotels are within walking distance to Pudong Airport – I guess within 10 – 15 minutes. Avoid taking taxi as much as possible! It is not for the benefit of you, the passenger. It is for the taxi drivers. I just want passengers to know that all the taxi drivers in Pudong Airport have waited in the dirty parking lot for more than 3 hours before they appear before you. A typical ride is more than 80 RMB if the passenger goes to Pudong or 100 – 150 if the destination is Puxi. If you want to go to the Jin Jiang Inn, you will hurt the taxi driver badly. Although it is the reality that he has to go – if they refuse as Sabri experienced, they are subject to very high fine and other punishment if the passenger complain to the administration.

The old saying in Chinese is, “Don’t let others experience what you don’t want to”. So if you don’t have too much luggage, find an alternative – like to check with the counter for shuttles going to that area, or ask for what the airport have to help you. If you do want to taxi, I think 50 RMB for the short ride is quite reasonable for their waiting time.

Night with Smiling Library

I had a nice chat with Breezee, Stonesee, Jing Jing and Dan Zhu today. They are Smiling Library founders and key persons in this project. I am proud to be a consultant to help Smiling Library to grow and solve the problems they meet. Smiling Library is helping schools in the poorest areas in China to build libraries with the public donations. They have helped 21 schools to build libraries with 10,000 books. What an achievement! This is the beginning of the third year of its operation.


Image in courtesy of Smiling Library

They gave me the honor to be a part time consult to help them on the direction and management. The last time I talked deeply with them was in Jan of 2004. Another year pasted. I am excited to meet them again in a small restaurant. Their passion is still there and the problems they met keeps coming.

Here are two points I suggested today.

  • Make it clear that Smiling Library is an organization that provide services for the donators. To serve the donators and help them deliver their book and money to those who need them is the mission. We need to treat donators well and reward them for their good will. I got this idea from the story of Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library.
  • Feel free to accept commercial sponsorship and don’t shy away from using the money donated as operation cost. In the last two years, all the work has been done by volunteers and volunteers have to spend both time and money to participate. I suggest opening for public about the cost of certificate printing, library management, school assistance. If people are willing to sponsor that, we give back publicity. By this way the organization can survey. No one said a not-for-profit organization cannot has its own operation cost.

Meanwhile, I worried a lot that organization like this is still not legal in China. There is no account to hold this money. They can only open private bank account and this is not legal. There are many charity organizations in China that is helping people, but the current law framework does not allow this. This is the biggest barrier for NGO to develop in China, which I cannot help too much on.

Do Chinese Move to Small Cities

PC is an investor running Investor Diary in Hong Kong. He is also a good friend of mine after we exchanged some emails. He dropped me an email today and discussed about the idea of moving to smaller cities.

Dear Jian Shuo,

In the US an increasing number of people choose to live outside of the big cities because of lower costs of living and better quality of live. See

I wonder if the same can be applied to China. Apart from the big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, are there smaller cities in China that are cheaper and nicer (e.g. air quality, population density etc.) to live? For example, what about places like Tsing Dao?

Maybe that can be a topic for your post later on. Anyway just a thought.

Kind regards,


PC, thanks for the good topic. Yes. I will write about it.

Moving into Cities? It is a Dream

China is still at the stage of urbanization. It remains a dream for the 0.6 billion population in country-side to move into cities. They struggle for their whole life to get a city Hukou so they can move into cities. If they don’t get the Hukou, they are called farmer workers, with no health insurance, no education opportunities…

To enter a collage is one of the very few ways to get a city Hukou. I have friends who tried more than 5 times for the collage examinations. It was 5 years of waiting and trying. If he didn’t try, he will remain a farmer for the rest of his life (before the Hukou system changes).

Moving into Largest Cities? It is a Dream

For people in smallest cities, they want to go to bigger cities like Luoyang (which has 6 million population). There are more job possibilities there.

For people in these middle sized cities, like me, they try to move to bigger cities. People in Shanghai or Beijing have many benefits which people in other cities don’t have. Let’s take education opportunity as an example.

In Henan Province, only 1 out of 5 students has the chance to enter university at the time I completed my high school, while in Shanghai, the ratio was about 4 out of 5. In Beijing, the ratio is higher.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University accepted 56 students from Henan province (with a population of 100 million) while accepted several hundred from Shanghai (with population of 12 million at that time). When I was in grade two or three in high school, some of my friends transferred to high school in Beijing or Shanghai. The reason is simple. In Luoyang, they worried about whether they could be accepted by a colleague, while in Beijing, they only worry about whether they can enter Tsinghua or Peking Univ. That is the difference.

Besides education, the job opportunity, the income, the city facility in bigger cities are better. I never heard of drama or symphony performance in Luoyang, but I can see them in Shanghai. It seems everything in big city is better in smaller city – except the hot competition, the high pressure and the bad air.

There are too many people looking for opportunities to enter biggest cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, while so less thinking about moving out.

Moving Out to Smaller Cities? It is Also a Dream

For those who already have good life in Shanghai, sometimes, they may be attempted to move out of bigger cities when they bear too much pressure. It’s just like say “Hey, I hope I can stay at the sand beach for the rest of my life.” It is a dream that no one really get it.

Wendy and I joked: If we sell out our house and we move back to Luoyang, maybe we don’t have to work for the rest of the life. The living standard in Luoyang is low and everything is cheap. In a city where people with 200 RMB monthly income can lead pretty good life, we have many 200 RMB to spend. We can lead happy life there. It is only a dream. There are too many things we cannot give up.

Wendy’s friends, a couple with a newly-born child, once told me about the same dream. They are alone in Shanghai and no one takes care of their child – both of them need to work and an Ayi is not helpful enough to take of the newly-born child. After several months of life like “working at day time and taking care of the child till early morning”, they really thought about giving up the high pressure life in Shanghai and go back to the small town. We said, we all have the dream, but how can we really do it?

Nice Small Cities

There are some very nice smaller cities in China. Here are some on my life:

  • Dalian in Liaoning Province
  • Tsingtao (or Qing Dao) in Shandong Province
  • Xiamen in Fujan Province
  • Sanya in Hainan Province
  • Beihai in Guangxi Province
  • Suzhou in Jiangsu Province

The list can be long. They are really nice with good view or environment. People are nice and the pace of living is slow. However, I don’t think it feasible to move. You can not get 1/3 of the salary you get here. If someone does not need to work, and he/she just want to find sometime to retire, he/she can do it. Dalian or Qingdao is good choice.

Move? It is not Easy in China

U.S. is a country on cars. People pack up everything and drive to a new city to settle down. Since the country is the immigrated country, it is common for people to move.

China is not. Moving was traditionally considered to be very bad thing. The last thing people in China will do (traditionally) is to move home. We call it Bei Jing Li Xiang 背井离乡, or directly translated to English: Go away from the well and leave one’s home town. If there is not disaster in that area, people do not move.

Recently, the metropolitan like Shanghai attracted many people to do it, for sake of the family’s future, they move. Many move only for better education for next generation. For sake of children is still the #1 reason for those who immigrate to Canada. It is very rare to see someone to move back to smaller cities. I never heard about it so far.

China is different. It is at the stage when everyone rushes to cities. Maybe after several years, when people are more mobilized, a very small portion of the population may think about moving out. In Shanghai, people have cars started to move out of the downtown and move into the town house out side the Outer Ring. It is a positive sign of the future move.


To move from smaller cities into bigger cities is a dream that many people have realized. To move from bigger cities out to smaller cities is also a dream that no one takes it seriously.

P.S. Steve-O flattered me to be the “nicest guy in the world!” today. Maybe. But I am the happiest guy in the world when I got your comment. Thank you Steve-O!