Met with Sarah Schafer

In the cold Beijing morning, I waked up – ealier than avarage, and went to the Yansha (Lufthansa Center) to meet Sarah. Sarah is a nice journalist. She created a lot of reports on China for Newsweek. Among them, my favorite one is the Microsoft Culture Revolution – the cover story with a portrait of Bill Mao. After check Starbucks at the nearby hotel, the one at the Pacific Center (they were all closed), we finally settled down at Bookworm Library.

I met three friends three times at the Bookworm. It is my most preferred location in Beijing to meet friends.

I’d rather keep the content of the talk (in journalist term) “off the record”. I learnt that “off record” means the listener need to pretend that he/she heard nothing. :-)

New Year’s Eve – the Year of Dog

The year of Dog comes. It was said “every dog has its day”. Every 12 years, the dogs have their own year – the year of dog.

I will spend the Spring Festival in Beijing with Wendy this year. It is a special year for us. In my blood, I believe there is still lot of Northern China. I am more aligned with the culture in Beijing. To live in Beijing for sometime was part of our dream – finally, we can make it true.

Let me share a picture of my toy dog with you:


Dog in Seattle airport

Happy New Year for everyone!

P.S. The twelve-year ban for fireworks was unlifted this year. Till 2:00 AM, the bing and bong are still everywhere in the city. It is good that the ban was lifted. Shanghai does not ban. In Luoyang, although fireworks are still banned, but no one enforce it. When I call back home, my talk was sometime interrupted by the background explosion of fireworks.

Long Vacation of Spring Festival Comes

The Chinese New Year is coming.

There will be 7 day holiday in China, from Jan 29 to Feb 4. Offices will be closed and reopened on Feb 5.

Strange Calendar

Just now, when I want to check my calenar, I double click on the time display on the right of Windows taskbar, I saw this interface for the first time:


I don’t know what happened. I didn’t install anything, but why it changes to this view?

P.S. Other entries related to holidays in China.

Overseas Chinese Get Back to Home

I never travel before the Chinese New Year on International (Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau) flight.

:-) International (Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau) is the standard term to discribe the type of flights in China. Although flight from Hong Kong is not international flight, passengers follow the same procedures as International flight. That is the reason it is quoted that way.

Every Spring Festival, transportation within China is a big problem, but I never imagine that international (T/H/M) flights are the same.

Besides me are two gentleman from Indonisia. They are going back home at a small village in Taijin. The flight was fully packed with people. Many of them bring children with them.

Then I realized how important Hong Kong plays a role as the connection between China and the world. Many passengers fly to Hong Kong first, and then transit to Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai. Hong Kong obviously have more connection to other Asia countries than any mainland airport does.

Taiwan and Mainland China

There is still no direct flight from Taiwan and any mainland city till now. If people want to go to Shanghai from Taipei, he/she needs to wake up very early, take flight to Hong Kong, transit there to Shanghai. It takes about 5 hours or more. It is the same for peopel to go to Taipei (if he/she luckily got the permit after a very lengthy procedure).

It is very inconvinient, especially at the Spring Festival. Some data show there are more than one million people from Taiwan are working or living in Shanghai (the official number is much smaller). It is almost impossible for people to get back to Taiwan for Spring Festival via Hong Kong.

This year, as the last few years, direct flights are provided between major cities and Taipei. As I know, there are Beijing – Taipei, Shanghai – Taipei, and Xiamen – Taipei flights. The ticket is around 4000 RMB.

At Pudong Airport, I saw many signs for the flight. This is one example:


They have special lanes at security check for passengers at the direct flight, and there were intensive media coverage.

Hongkong Restaurants Close in New Year

At LAN KWAI FANG, I found a good restaurant, called YUNG KEE (镛记) Restaurant. It is at 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: +85225221624. (D2 Exit at Central Station of MTR). It is amount the best of these days’ meals. There is a big KFC near it – the fact is, the KFC seems to be the most obvious sign there.

It closes from Jan 28 to Feb 1 during the Chinese Spring Festival to celebrate the holiday.

This is to respect the holiday and tradition better than money, and I think it is the right way to do. In Shanghai, and many other cities in China, businesses do not close at holidays, and event at the Lunar New Year’s Eve.

It is very convinient, but there are no break in the entire year. I appreciate the decision the restaurant made to reserve the tradition. It is a big restaurant at the heart of the Hong Kong entertainment area – the LAN KWAI FANG, but still took the four day leave, for their staff and for everyone.

Second Day in Hong Kong in Jan

It was full day intensive meeting. Tired, and don’t want to type too much. It was exciting to talk with people with intensive experience in Asia. That was so good.

1. Hong Kong is a decent city, from the garden design to the dress of waiters in restaurant.

2. Sun came out today after 8 days (I heard) of cloudy and rainy weather. Hong Kong is such a charming city when it has blue sky and blue water (the reflection). When it is raining, it remians me of Shanghai in winter. Zhang Zhang said this winter, Shanghai is completely another London already.

3. All most all the people I spoke to can speak mandarin. It was not so common even years before. It may be because I am in the business district, or the usage of mandarin is more adopted.

4. Pacific Center is such a large building. According to Skylines Hong Kong by Peter Moss, it is “the largest, versatile and best integrated enclave in the city centre”.

5. My first trip to Hong Kong stayed in Sea Ranch (thanks to Minji’s hosting). The last time to visit is one day round trip from Shanghai.

More Hong Kong articles can be found in my Hong Kong page.

Report from Hong Kong in Jan

This is the third time I am in Hong Kong. It is cloudy. The city does not look as charming as it was. After dinner, I walked back to hotel and took the following pictures as my memory of the short trip in Jan, 2006.


On the left is the Bank of China building, the master piece of I.M. Pei

View from hotel


Colorful lights


Lights II


Lippo Tower and the recent building on the right


Stone lasts longer than human. The stone was put as the foundation stone in 1903

P.S. To answer Reno’s question, the picture 3 and 4 are slow shuttle and move the camera while taking the picture. It took about one second for exposure, and the colorful lights leave their tails as recorded in the picture.

Lovely English-Speaking Jinjiang Taxi Driver

After the nice meetup at the Canglong Fang, Jack, Xiaofeng and I happily got on board a yellow Jinjiang Taxi. Xiaofeng immediately noticed the driver is a four-star driver. They have a plate at the front of the passenger seat displaying their status of the stars. Four-star means at least he should be able to speak some English. Of cause, I didn’t realize this until about 20 minutes later.

When we were talking about the driving experience in Silicon Valley, since Xiaofeng still lives there, the driver suddenly asked us one question: “What is the difference between Freeway and Expressway in U.S?”

Not every taxi driver cares about the difference between these two English words, even a lot of people who learn English for many years.

He added: “I just heard my passengers sometimes use Expressway, and sometimes use Highway. I am curious about the difference. I am trying to learn English, but never been to U.S.”

What a good learner he was.

Before that, he demonstrated his great knowledge about Shanghai. I asked him to take me to “Hi-tech West Road”, and he immediately told me he knew the road. It was much higher than my expectation, since the road near my home was called Bowen Road before (for at least half centaury?), but just renamed to “Hi-Tech West Road” last month. His knowledge about Shanghai was updated so quickly. You know, not many taxi drivers in Puxi can tell the small roads in Pudong.

Finally, we said Goodbye, and he would go to another place at the south part of the Hunan Road to pickup his Italy customer. The 30 minutes conversation made me believe he is a skillful, knowledgeable taxi for Shanghai road, and English-speaking good taxi driver. So I’d like to leave his contact information on the blog to help him to get more business. Maybe next time you arrive in Pudong Airport, you can give him a call in advance to ask him picks you up at Pudong Airport. His name card reads:

Chinese Name: CHEN Quan

English Name: David Chen

Mobile: +8613801929519

(Posted with permission)

Good luck, David!

P.S. It is so lurxy to live in a city like Shanghai. There are enough smart people with good experience. They inspire you very day about the future. I had wonderful afternoon with Jack, Hwhua, Jinsong (he is researching on how brain works), Xiaofeng and Financial editor from Modern Weekly. The quote of the day I got was from Xiaofeng:

“You can not get everything, but you always can get something”

It is all about YOUR choice.

P.S. 2: I will leave Shanghai again before the Spring Festival for business trip to Hong Kong tomorrow. The flight is at 9:40 AM. Yiyi told me I should arrive at around 12:30 at Hong Kong airport. The next entry will be sent back from Hong Kong. Thanks Wendy for packing up for me. :-)

My Only Experience to Japan

I have only been to Japan once.

If I hadn’t tried to organize my old pictures, I even forget that I have been there for 5 hours at the end of 2004.

I enjoy travel, especially to places I have learnt about. For example, Japan.

Citizen in China can enter Japan without a visa for up to 72 hours. I have tried that. The only thing you need is a shorepass, although I was Rejected by ANA and Postponed Travel once in Shanghai.

I planned for a long time for it. Here are the pictures I found out in my picture folders on my laptop:









































































































































Jobs in eBay Shanghai

It is the age of Internet. It is the age of booming. It is….

… the age of hiring.

Job Openings at eBay

There many technical and non-technical job openings in eBay Shanghai. Just in case you are interested, go to this page and here. Most JDs are in English.

Some positions:

  • Senior Software Engineer–Web Application
  • Senior Software Engineer–Search
  • Senior Software Engineer–Java
  • Testing Engineer/senior QA Engineer
  • HR manager
  • Senior QA Engineer
  • Senior Data Warehouse Engineer (China)
  • Data Warehouse design engineer (China)
  • Data Warehouse Technical Lead (China)
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Manager, CDC Engineering Services
  • Manager, Product Development
  • Senior Software Engineer — .NET/C#
  • Manager, product development – Billing application
  • QA Manager
  • Manager, Engineering Services
  • Windows NT Systems Administrator
  • Product Development Manager
  • Senior Oracle Database Administrator
  • Product Development Manager – Billing Application
  • Site Unix System Administrator
  • Senior Software Engineer – Web Application/Search/Java
  • Unix Administrator at Network Operations Center
  • Senior Software Engineer – C#/.NET
  • Systems and Network engineer
  • QA Testing Engineer/Senior QA Engineer

Go and have a look. I don’t expect too much readers of this blog (typically a short period visit to Shanghai or in non-tech industries), but just in case someone may be interested. It is part of my responsibility to help the company I work for to attract as many talent as possible to the company. Just read the JD and drop an email to, or, as specified in the Job Descriptions.

More Companies are Hiring

Microsoft of cause started aggressive hiring. I know the development center have more than 200 open headcounts. Check this page. Many job opening there, even not included the hiring plan.

Google is hiring. The effort led by Kai-Fu Lee. The typically Google white-background poster already appeared on university campus.

Yahoo! announced very agressive hiring plan also – it was said 400?

Ops. How many talent we have this year? It is wired that on one hand, many university students cannot find a job, and on the other hand, companies cannot find qualified people? Is it a problem of the educational system?

Kijiji is also Hiring

The last, but definitely not the least (If you can read my mind), Kijiji is also hiring. Check our BBS and post your ideas to the board.

Search This Site

Tip: Directly type and hit "Enter" on any page to start search

Meetups are Good


Hwhua called for a small Shanghai IT circle meeting this Saturday in SJTU (Shanghai Jiaotong University) (see? I am learning from the CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) case. The meeting are mainly some friends who worked together and now is Sanda, 9 City, eBay, Wicresoft, SAP, and Microsoft…

I heard there is another one by Keso, Liuren and Hwhua on Sunday? I didn’t get confirmation yet.

6e’s MSN changed to “Topic of this Search Salon: Anti-spam”. It seems they have a salon on search technology in Beijing tonight.

Isaac and I are organizing another <= 7 people gathering after the Spring Festival about the latest trends in the Internet world. I remember in Dec, 2003, the chat in Starbucks with four people: Isaac, Hengge, Mao, and I may directly speed up the process to setup the blog hosting company, and SNS (Social Network Services) company I applause for the salon and gathering in the IT field. It is a great way to spread the thoughts and provide more leadership to the field.

Best Blog Award?

Yesterday morning, got a big package from Beijing. It is a heavy one. Inside the box, there is a glass plate to inform me I am chosen as the top 10 blogger by Here is the news.

The plate

Well. Let it be. Everyone organization is creating some noise as the top 10 blah-blah award in the blogging world. Since I get it, I accept it. That’s it.

I appreciate the award in 2003, because of several reasons. 1. The selection is the joint effort of almost all players (BSP, insitute, media). 2. At that time, there are not so many commerical considerations from the organizer. Here are the top ten list. Of cause they are all very nice blog, but are they (or are we) the top 10? I seriously doubt it.











Nokia Support Phone Numbers in China


Fax: 4008 800321


International customers: +86-10-58692662

It is 24 hour phone call.

BTW, 400 phone numbers are like 800, but it only waive the long distance fee, and the customer still need to pay local fee.

I called today. Their service is good. I immediately forwarded to Tailin about their website to see how Kijiji can improve the customer service. :-) They also dropped a SMS to me to give me the reference ID. Nokia is fully localized in China. Well done.

Business Educational Opportunities in Shanghai

This Sunday, on Smiling Library event, I met Emily, the nice girl from CEIBS. She suggested me to participate the management forum held in CEIBS tonight. It was hosted by professor McFranlan from Harvard Business School. It was hard for me to get used to his Boston accent.

In Shanghai, there are still huge amount lecture opporunities. I started to get interested in some Executive Education programs they have. Xiaofeng suggested me to attend more trainings to learn the

Edwards’ New LCD Dell 2405

Take a look at Edward’s New LCD Dell 2405:

Photography by Edward. Used with permission

This is called hobby. It gives a geek the highest satisfaction to add some cool hardware (computer related or camera related) into the collection. I had a lot of geek happiness before, (like this and that). I hope I can rest for several days to pickup something.

I like the light, the arrangement of the screens. The Dell computer at the corner attracted my attention. I used that model of computer for more than 3 years. It is the standard configuration in Microsoft.

Edward is a good photographer. Check out his website for more photos during his trip in U.S.

Web 2.0 Faces

Check out these photos: Photos of Web 2.0 People (via Via Shangji’s blog.

Image in courtesy of Wang Feng and the Esquire magazine

It is so interesting to see my friends appeared in such a cool appearence.

The same group of photographer also visited the office and took some photos. I never dressed like that in my entire life. I don’t know how it can turn out to be.


PVG: Shanghai to Yangzhou

The question:


I found your site from a google search. I want to find out how to get to Yang-Zhou from PVG airport. I have a meditation retreat at Yang-Zhou Gao-Min monastery. I know there is a bus between Yang-Zhou and Shanghai but don’t know where the bus stops are. Can you give me some suggestion on how to search the bus route? Thank you.


This is a question that rarely has answers on the Internet. I searched the question in Google and didn’t find any practical reesult.

Location of Yangzhou

The reason of lack of resources on Internet is, it is not on the major railway lines. Look at the map below:

Map in courtesy of Google and mapabc

The rail only passes Zhenzhang (the city in blue circle). Yangzhou is at the other side of the Yangtze river. So it is a city almost forgot from the major transportation system.

By Train

Only in the recent years, there is direct train from Shanghai (the green circle). The first train from Shanghai Railway Station to Yangzhou is T756 that leaves Shanghai Railway Station at 12:16 at noon.

By Train + Bus

The better solution is to take train to Zhenjiang (the blue circle). Zhenjiang is at the major railway line – the Beijing-Shanghai route, so there are almost one train leaving Shanghai to Zhenjiang every half an hour. For example, T702 leaves Shanghai at 7:55 AM and arrives at Zhengjiang at 10:37. Then you can take bus from Zhenjiang to Yangzhou. Before 11:30, you can arrive at Yangzhou.

By Bus Only

I believe at the PVG, there are long distance buses that directly send you to Yangzhou. Exit at the International Terminal and you will see the sign. For more information, refer to this article: PVG: From Pudong Airport to Hangzhou.


Taxi is of cause one option. It is expensive, but it is still an option. I have no idea about how much it costs – should be about 100 USD – 200 USD? It is scary number, but a trip from SFO to San Jose may take this much, right? :-)

So good luck.

Disclaimer: I didn’t personally verify the information. Please do check before you go. Please comment if some information listed here is out of date or inaccurate. Thanks.

Smiling Saturday

Fresh Saturday – Jan 14, 2006.

The day started from the Qixiu Middle School of Si’nan Road. I love Si’nan Road greatly. It is almost the quietest street I can find in downtown Shanghai. You feel so especially at the moment when you turn into the road from crowded Huaihai Road.

This morning is the annual meeting of Smiling Library. It is the third year of their meeting. There are just too many meeting requests coming in every day, I believe it is my commitment to join their annual internal review meeting, as their consultant. I have been doing the job for almost three years with 2 hour commitment every 6 months.

Previous events:

The logo from 2005

Smiling in 2006

Several moments I remember during the annual review meeting. One child from Anhui arrived in Shanghai the day before and cried immediately when she arrived in Shanghai Railway Station. The primary school child said: “How a city can differ from the place the live so greatly!”.

The President from a village school also described the situation in his school. It is even more unbelievable from my imagination. It is a very good educational time for me.

Doing NGO in China?

I am so happy my new friend Sarah from National Kidney Foundation accepted my invitation to the panel and shared the practices in Singapore. NKFS is one of the most successful NGO in Asia, with huge amount of donated dollars and effective execution team.

I was impressed by the way NKF treated their customer – the donator. Sarah mentioned every donate, no matter how big or small they donate, will receive a hand-signed thank you letter from the CEO of the organization. The beneficial will come and join the celebration of their birthday or important events. They treated their volunteers so well. They pay them basic amount of money but show care to them and meet their emotional needs. Smiling Library should learn a lot as an organization.

My other friends (who also worked for Microsoft) suggested the best way to do charity organization in China is to register a FOR-PROFIT company. Since it is impossible for Smiling Library to register as a not-for-profit organization under the current legal framework, I would say, it would be better to register as a company instead of nothing. At least someone takes legal responsibility of the money they get. For some individual to hold large amount of money from donators will eventually prevent the organization from growing.

Talked with Xiao-Ling

21st Economy Review is one of my most favorite magazine. I had a short lunch with their editor on IT and Finance. I understand why their articles stand out from all the similar newspapers.

Photos at Night

I accepted the invitation to write something for National Graphics magazine in China. Their professional photographer, Zhang Qianli, came and shot a lot of pictures of Zheng Ziying, Tang Xiaomin. Poor Cheng Liang was not able to join due to emergency. Best wishes to him, the one I never meet.

I didn’t know that at 6:00 PM, when Xujiahui is completely dark, the photographer can still shot wonderful pictures with both clear and bright foreground and background pictures. The foreground was lightened with 3 flash lights (remote control), and the background appears because of the additional 1.6 second exposure after the foreground is taken.

The dream of my nice camera started to appear in my mind again. I have persuaded myself that for a photographer, the sensation for light and color are more important than the equipment you use. I learnt this from the text book of the New York Institute of Photography, but I changed my mind. It is really hard for my Sony P8 to take a picture similar to this Nikon.

Suggestions to Choose Hosting Company

The question:

Hi, Jianshuo

I know you are an experienced website owner and your blog are very popular.

I am in trouble in choosing the proper website host service, and what’s your website provider service?

Could you recommend some web site host service offered by foreign countries with the high ratio of quality to price?



It is a good question. It is hard to make recommendation, especially when no service is really good from the unreachable high expection from a hosting customer’s point of view. I just share my experience.

First Question: Host it in China or Outside

Both way work but you need to consider a lot of factors.

By default, people host in China. It is straight forward unless you have specific reasons not to do so.

Language and time-difference barrier are big for some people. If you host in China, you can call directly at working time, but to call someone in U.S., for example, the iPowerweb, you have to wait after mid-night.

Most people have difficulty to pay service outside China. International credit card is still not common. If you happen to have one, you can try. Many credit cards in China does not work so well on Internet. For example, I just got an email complaining that payment using CMB credit card (the same I am using) to iPowerweb was rejected. I had that experience for some times also. The manual work from the hosting company worked.

To pay services in China also have problems. For example, I have my domain hosted in The only working method for me is to go to post office and send money Beijing. There are some online banking systems, but none of them works for me. It either failed, or required me to go to the bank, sign the form, get a CD of the software (or at least a secret key), and install the software. Most times, the software does not work well. What a world! But we don’t need to get too angry. We cannot fly, but we don’t complain, right? Just kidding.

Risk of Being Banned

There is always risk to be shutdown, if someone or yourself post something bad (or regarded as bad thing to someone) to your site.

If you host your content in China, make sure you backup frequently, and you need to get an ICP. If there is no ICP, your site will simply be shutdown. There are many ways to shutdown the site. ISP with advanced technology will use software to disable the DNS. Most times, if you have your dedicated server, the operator just go to your server room and unplug the network cable. It worked as a charm. :-(

To host in U.S. is also not risk free. Although not many people will unplug the network cable, you can be banned by the great firewall. Sometimes, an ISP host hundreds of websites on one server, and if one of the site contains so-called not-so-good content, the IP will be banned, and your site may not be accessed in China. That is bad for a business running in China.

Also, in U.S, if someone post phishing content onto your site, the ISP may also delete the account and destory all the content you have according to the local law. It happened last month to this blog at ipowerweb. You also need to backup your stuff frequently. To host your content somewhere (in China or in U.S.), it means there is always someone who can destroy your disk and don’t have any liabitlity to you.


Here is my comment to the providers.

I hosted my domain with them for 5 years. Their service is stable – due to the fact that DNS is the simplest application on Internet. They have been down for only once, and was recovered in 20 hours.


CompanyCN was the hosting company for for one and half year. Their advantage is, their price is low – 380 RMB (I don’t know the current plan), and provide Windows server that have ASP, PHP, and Perl. It is not common to have these on one server. Their service is so-so, better than others, but from my expectation, they archived 2 out of 5.


If nothing happens, is a wonderful solution. Their speed is good (even accessed from China), and their servers are stable. They didn’t restart the machine for 300+ days during my experience.

However, if something does happen, it is nightmare – worst than any hosting company in China. If you want to call them, they can tell you the estimated waiting time is 34 minutes at ease. The conclusion is, I hate ipowerweb when something goes wrong and love it when it is OK.


I just transferred to lunarpages. It seems better than The reason I didn’t choose it (it is the largest one in Hosting in U.S. now) was, they don’t allow MovableType before.


Hosting business is a business to create frustrated customer everyday. People take it for granted that servers need to be as stable as a wooden table. If it is 100% up, people don’t appreciate it as much as people complain when it only archive 99% up time. For me, I won’t say anything good to an ISP who shutdown my site for continuous 10 days. What I mean is, I just want to be fair.

Old Shanghai vs Current Shanghai

Jia sent me some pictures of Shanghai in old days. You will see the huge difference. I guess those pictures should be taken not too long ago. My best guess is at the end of 1980’s.


Hey. Take a look at Xujiahui. When I first visited the place, it is not too different from the picture (it was in 1995), but some construction already started.


Annoymous photographer

What does this area look like? I have some pictures taken in 2005.

Shanghai Scenery Around Xujiahui

Xujiahui – Night

Twin Tower Rise in Xujiahui

Nanjing East Road

This is the famous Pedestrain road at Nanjing Road. This is exact the location I have lunch frequently – the No. 1 Food Store. Let me take some pictures later from the same location.


Annoymous photographer

All the buildings look so high in this photo, but people don’t think so now.


Annoymous photographer

How fast time flys!