A Tale of Threee Cities

After posting my blog entry of Jian Shuo Wang on Channel Young, I stumbled upon the online video of the program on SMGBB. Share with my friends. If you participated in my blog meetup on August 30, 2008, you should be able to find yourself in the video.

Hmm… Look at how much spare time I have when my foot was broken. I didn’t have too much time to post it online. I remember I promised people during the meetup that I will try to post the video if I can find it one day.

Back from BossTown

Just finished recording of this week’s BossTown – the guest speaker is Kai-Fu Lee. It is very challenging task – especially when you have the best debator in International Varsity Debate, Jiang Chang Jian sitting on your right hand, and McKinsey’s Sha Sha sitting on the left.

The show went on very well. Wendy’s observation was, at the beginning, I was too nervous (Wendy went there with me, and sit in the dark area off the stage, and I am happy she went with me). She is right. To have the host several meters away from you present an interesting type of conversation – just like the layout of the International Varsity Debate Varsity… I was a debate in the debate team in SJTU (Shanghai Jiaotong University), and act as the fourth member (same as Jiang Chang Jian) but far from even fluent in speaking. I still prefer the scenario of Culture Matters. As I said, it was a bigger challenge for me, since this may be one of the first media show like this.

I was a frequent speaker on Microsoft events, like TechEd, and DevDays 8-9 years ago, but to have 1 hour to present what you prepared to present is easier than the interactive program like Boss Town.


When you see the show (I don’t know when it will go on air yet, but I believe it should be one month later), you may agree with me that Kai-Fu’s answers to the tough questions were perfect. Kai-Fu is honest – very honest. I believe the audience will feel it. He answered the question well (I guess I should not disclose any of the conversation before the program is shown). Chang Jian and I asked tough questions, and after I asked, I were even prepared to get the question cut in the editing section (because it is too tough), but Kai-Fu answered very well. (Again, I cannot disclose the question now).

Boss Town

The Boss Town team is great. I love to work with Jackie, Yang Hui and other stuff. They are professional team. The company is a private company, and just create the program, and many other equally successful programs like No Free Lunch (谁来一起午餐), and Work Stuff (上班这点儿事), and then sell it to TV Stations. To be honest, there are not so many interesting programs on any Channel, and their program really stand out.

Yuan Ming is a great host. Wendy commented on her skill of remembering all the sentences, points, and transition, especially titles so clearly during dinner when we finished, and I said, it must be related to her foreign language study background – it is a professional skills trained in university. That maybe the reason great TV anchors in China are very likely to be graduate of Foreign Language schools (Beijing Foreign Study University or Shanghai International Study University).


Since I didn’t have a chance to take any photos during the show, and I only brought my mobile, I only have three:

This is where we record the program. According to Yang Hui, the venue provider have professional team to switch difference scenes very quickly. After the Boss Town recording is completed today, they quickly change it to another scene to record another program.

This is the stage of the program before the nice lights were turn on.

This is the waiting area outside the main studio.

The Audience

The audience came from universities – the people behind me. Hmmm…. It is a very good practices, since they are the most careful listener, and they interact with the host better. More importantly, it is a nice experience. I went to one of this kind of talk show 12 years ago, and I still feel that it was a very nice opportunity – “Look! I get onto a TV program!” That is nice inspiration for the students. Keep doing that!

Jian Shuo Wang on Channel Young

5 minutes later, the previous interview with me will be broadcast on Today’s Impression program of Channel Young.

If you are in Shanghai, and you happen to see this note in the next 5 minutes, please tune to Channel Young 上海电视台生活时尚频道 and watch the program.

I am still in office, and don’t feel the temptation to rush back home to watch, because, I already felt that Being on TV is Nothing

Interview by Channel Young

From time to time, I get some media request. Most of them are around my little blog. I do want to convert their attentiont to my business, Baixing.com, but most of the time, failed. The editors, and reporters seem more interested in established things, like my 7 year blog, instead of new things (especially when it is not that new). :-)

Me, 7 Years Ago

In 2002, I got my first media interview in Microsoft. That was about the opening of Microsoft Asia Regional Support Center (AREC).

I was pretty excited about it, since my name, for the first time, appeared in some major news papers, and my image, for the first time, appeared on CCTV.

However, at that time, I was just a small potato in the company, and no one really cares about my name, and who are I. My status was just an engineer under the big brand – anonymous engineer.

Me, in the Middle

Part of the reasons I started this blog about 7 years ago, was because of one day. On that day, I suddenly realized that Microsoft is just a big halo above my head. I thought, I will lose this halo anyway, and it is not a halo that belongs to me. So I started this blog.

Me, 7 Years Later

Now, I tried very hard to introduce Baixing.com, my company, to the reporter, and want to find ways to get their attention on the interesting business – I am really passionate and appealed by the personal trading on baixing these days, but they just focused on my experience – my blogging experience to be more particular.

This is another problem to solve. My goal is to build Baixing a famous brand so people started to focus really hard on this brand instead of myself. That will be another very good thing.

Again, thanks for Wu Di and camera man Mr. Yang for taking the time.

P.S. Photos of the Interview

The interesting thing for many media when they interview me is, they are also interviewed by me, a blogger. I always have some backstage photos to share…

The Meetup on ICS Tonight

Thanks for my friends who attended the Wangjianshuo’s Blog Meetup on August 30. As you obviously saw, Mr. Tang, and his team was recording the whole meetup, and interviewed some of participants.

Tonight, it is possible that they show the program in A Tale of 3 Cities. Here is the more detailed information:

Time: 9:30 PM, September 6, 2008.

Channel: International Channel Shanghai

The channel is now only available in Shanghai.

If you want to watch it online, here is the online real time streaming:


Click the link above to view the channel online. They should have the program uploaded to YouTube shortly after live broadcast.

If you see yourself, please leave a comment here.

P.S. Tonight, the Paralympic will open in Beijing at 8:00 PM. It is a conflict in schedule though.

Update September 7, 2008

I took some screen shot of the TV set when the program was running. It is not very clear though, but hope to share with my readers, especially who came that day.

Chris on TV:

Below: This is Jeremy:

Below: final group photo.

Interview by ChinaOnTV and CNReviews

If you are interested, here is a short video interview by ChinaOnTV and CNReviews:

Wang Jianshuo Interview: Shanghai’s Veteran Blogger (part II)

CNReviews has been kind enough to provide the transcript.

The first part of the interview is here, on CNReviews’ website:

Wang Jianshuo Interview: Shanghai’s Veteran Blogger (part I)

P.S. My friends in NBC told me that the shot in my home was still pending and didn’t broadcast in the NBC network in US yet. They have really hot ratings these days during the Olympic, and not-so-critical part may be postponed after the game.

NBC Interview at my Home

The last post was actually posted under camera. A team of 4 gentlemen from NBC news visited my home and did an interview in my family environment.

Since NBC is the only official TV station to broadcast Beijing Olympic, they are preparing a series of programs to show the American audience about the real China, and in the several days before Olympic in Aug 8 this year, they will broadcast one piece per day, just like what CCTV did for Athens Olympic.

Here are some photos. As I told many journalist, most of the time, when people are interviewing me, I am also interviewing them. Before they put what they recorded on to TV, or print media, their photo and the story have already appeared on my blog the same night. Today is the same.

Below: Yifan is looking at the camera bravely. This is maybe the first time for him to appear on a TV program, and for the first time, he is going to appear during prime time on NBC.

Regarding Yifan’s shoot, Wendy and I had an interesting conversation the other day. Wendy complained that I didn’t send Yifan to a local kid TV program. I said, well, if you want, next time, when I am interviewed, I will make sure Yifan gets a shot. So here we go.

This is also my first time to be recorded on HDTV (High-Definition TV). BTW, HDTV has started to be on trail in Shanghai these days.

Simon (please correct me if I spell it wrong), our professional audio man.

The light. I was told the most key element of a TV program is about the light.

The back of the light:

Ian, sorry that I made you blur – I didn’t use the view finder.

This time, the camera points to me.

The last photo: Ian Williams, Asia Corespondent for NBC, with Wendy and Yifan.

The program may be broadcast in American in the early part of August.

Hm… The topic? We were talking about blogging…

P.S. I didn’t have a photo of Steve in my camera. Why? Sorry for that, but Steve Jiang was also there. We started from 6:30 and finished almost at 9:00 PM. They were so passionate that they didn’t have dinner when we finished.

All Kinds of Trap

Got an interview request from a magazine, not so famous, but not a bad name, so I accepted the interview request, and arranged time to do the phone interview about my business. They emphasized that it is a free interview. I felt strange when I see this point in the interview request, but didn’t pay enough attention.

Before the interview, they said the interview is free, but we need to pay subscription fee to their book. 580 RMB per book, and I have to buy 100 books at least.

LOL. I said, thanks, and I am not interested in any interview from them, no matter free or not, no matter they ask me to buy their books, or give me 100 books for free. No matter what, no, thanks.

There are also many associations doing cold call to me or send fax to me to ask us to join them… Interesting enough, they call all the time, and never give up.

Recently, telephone-marketing is very annoying. I think I am good-tempered, but the number of phone calls I hangup within 3 seconds are increasing, once or twice every day. Hm…. What a world.

Recent Interview

Not all interviews are traps.

Recently, I just had the interview by PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer . Next week, I will also host interview by NBC on a special edition for Olympic. They ARE, serious. The problem I have is, just like unpleasant BBC interview before, any of the interview can be considered “dangerous” for me, but I firmly believe talking is the starting point of communication, although it may be tough and may be another unpleasant experience… Let’s see…

Being on TV is Nothing

Being on TV for two days, and I suddenly lost interest in mass media.

In my family, nothing happened.

I went to an appointment, and completely forgot about the TV show, and of cause, missed it;

Wendy went to her company activity, and didn’t go back home for dinner – missed it;

My in-laws don’t understand the English program, and switched to another channel for TV drama on Monday;

Yifan is only interested in toys, and never paid any attention to his father on TV, and will never remember that.

Nothing changes after being on TV. In fact, nothing changes, absolutely nothing.

International Channel Shanghai – ICS

Anyone noticed the newly launched International Channel Shanghai from Oriental TV? It is a new channel from Oriental TV, just like the News Channel, Drama Channel, Documentation Channel…

Finally, Shanghai has its own English TV channel. That is a great news for expats in Shanghai. In 2000, it is hard to find a good web page for Pudong Airport, and in 2008, Shanghai has it own English TV Channel, that is really good progress….

I am watching the program. For the news section, it is the translated from the News Channel. It is pretty effecient, because foreigners do deserve some information, although it does not neccessrily need to be completely newly shot.

I know ICS because of two reason. One – I stumbled upon the program on my TV, but didn’t pay too much attention. Second, Coco from ICS sent an invitation to me to attend a talkshow program on ICS channel. Hmmm… Maybe you will see the program in March – it is a talk show called Culture Matters… If you are expat, or foreign visitors, don’t worry. I heard the talk show will be in English.

P.S. I just saw Japanese language program on ICS also.

Interviewed by That’s Shanghai

Rebbecca sent me the written interview question about my blog, and here are my answers.

1. When did you start to open this blog?

Sept 11, 2002.

2. What have initially triggered you to be a blogger?

I setup my personal website (wangjianshuo.com) in 2000, and I wrote articles about Shanghai, like Shanghai Airport or Shanghai Taxi in English at that time, and attracted many visitors. Later, I started to organize the articles according to the created date. This is very like a blog. In July 2002, someone “interviewed” me on MSN, and it turned out he is a blogger. Then I am aware of the existence of the concept “blog” and thought it is the perfect way (or tool) for me. So I started my blog at a subdomain: http://home.wangjianshuo.com. The “home” part indicates that the server – a normal personal computer connected to Internet – is physically located in my home.

3. How much does this blog mean to you?

Blog means half an hour of reflection for me. To express someone’s thought completely and beautifully is maybe the biggest mental challenge people face. To create something useful everyday forced me to keep observing and keep thinking about my life, my city and my world. To me, it is more like a thinking tool, than a blog.

4. What goals do you want to achieve in your blog?

My goal is to make the life for foreign visitors to Shanghai easier. Shanghai is a modern city, but it is far less visitor-friendly as it should be. I know how hard people’s life is when they just moved into the city, especially when they came from another culture and don’t speak the language. Once I wrote about the emergency number in Shanghai is 119 instead of 911. From the comment, I realized many people don’t know that! My work is to help Shanghai to be friendlier to visitors and expats.

5. We’ve heard that for more than 4 years in a row, you’ve been writing at least one entry every day. Have you encountered any difficulties of doing so? What if you were not in the mood for writing anything or what if you felt that you’ve got nothing to say?

In Sept this year, I have completed 5 years of blogging. I have formed a habit to think about what I am going to write when I walk out of my home in the morning, so most of the time I have something to write. There must be something interesting to write about during the day time if you observe carefully enough – what a poor life someone is leading if he cannot find anything interesting even if he tries hard to find one. There are also some days that I feel there is nothing to write, I will turn to my readers. I have more than enough unanswered questions in my email box or in my comment forum, and I will find a topic to write. I also have some backup topic list I have in my mind but I didn’t write about so I can pick one if I am running out of topic. If there is really nothing to write or I am completely not in the mood to write, I just post a notice called “out of blogging”, and tell readers, I don’t want to write today. There are less than 10 times during the 5 years.

6. As CEO of KIJIJI, you must be very busy at work. How can you manage to be both an excellent IT professional and a successful blogger at the same time? (for instance, how do you manage your time?)

It is all about what you value. Time is not an issue if you have a goal. Everyone is busy. It is all about the decision you make about what is important to your life. I made a decision that to record my life, and provide a public service to visitors is an important thing in my life, so I stick to it. I started the blog 5 years ago, when I was not a CEO. At that time, people asked me: “Why spend half an hour everyday? What did you get from it?” My answer was: “I am accumulating something important and I am helping people. What did you get by busy working 8 hours a day, and 5 days a week?” To find a goal is more important to do the work. I hope after 10 years, when I look back, I am not only busy, but also accumulating something important. That is the reason I spend time on blog.

7. Does being a blogger help your career? From what perspective has it helped or affected your work?

It helps in many ways. First is about thinking. As I said, it is a tool to help me thinking and help me to keep the right direction. It is not easy to be conscious about the meaning of someone’s life without consistent meditation (blogging is like meditation) and reflection. Secondly, it helped me to create personal reputation. A blog is all about a person. I have built trust with my readers, and people can trust me by reading my thoughts in the last 5 years. It is an honest record of my life. This helps my career greatly. When I meet with people, some times they say: “It seems we have been friends for years, since I read your blog for years”. I didn’t affect my work. If my work is affected, that means I am still not mature enough or skillful enough to handle two projects together. To make it really work, I intentional separate the professional world and blogging world. In the professional work, I am a CEO and an evangelist of new tech and Internet. In blogging world, I am just a resident of Shanghai who is willing to help.

8. How would you describe your own role in the city?

I am a resident of this city. I didn’t grow up here, and only moved here 12 years ago, when I was 18 years old. Shanghai gave me a lot – friends, career, wealth, and happiness. I am grateful to this city. My role in this city is just a normal resident, as the other 16 million people. There is a special role I take. I happen to be standing at the entrance of Shanghai in cyber world. With the popularity of search engine, when people search something with the keyword “Shanghai”, it is pretty likely that the first result in search engine is my blog. I feel I am obligated to help visitors to the city since not many people are doing that. I don’t think I help “promote” Shanghai. I just describe it as it is. There are good things and bad things about Shanghai. I just want to make people’s experience a little better because of my work.

9. How would you briefly characterize Shanghai, its people, and the most important changes you have witnessed?

Let me try to use several keywords. 1) Opportunities. Shanghai is a place full of opportunities. It offers a leveled playground for people to compete on. I witnessed so many stories where someone came in with nothing and become very successful after few years of hard work. 2) Energetic. The city is full of energy. Look at the restaurants, elevated roads, deep water ports, airports, and even KTVs! Shanghai is a city without sleep. 3) Pressure and anxiousness. Because of the fast changing pace, and the strong competition, people in this city are much more worried and anxious than its peer cities. To get back to his/her hometown and relax seems to be a popular fancy dream for many people who came to this city.

10. Of the things that have disappeared, what do you miss most?

I didn’t see too much things “disappearing”. Shanghai is a mix and people keep adding new things while preserving old things. This is good. There are some historically building being tore down to give room to new buildings, that is bad.

11. Of those that remain, what do you most hope to see preserved?

Shanghai should be a city with history. We should not only preserve buildings, but also preserve the stories in those buildings and preserve the culture. There are some nice villas in the downtown, and I believe it is a great treasure of the city. To keep it as it is may not be the good approach since they are lack of maintenance. We should restore the glory of the buildings, and make it a much better place. Do allow people (including poor people) to live in downtown, so the smell of life (I mean child playing in the lane houses) is still with the city.

12. Of those on the horizon, what are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to the improvement of the “software” of the city. Shanghai is comparable with most metropolitans in terms buildings and landscape. However, when we talk about education, healthcare, environment protection, science, art, culture, the gap is still huge. I want a better city, where people enjoy living in the city and feel safe and comfortable to live in it.

13. What do you see Kijiji’d development in Shanghai? How much has Kijiji affected people’s life?

Kijiji.cn’s is a free, local, personal, and easy to use classified service, and its mission is to change people’s life by matching their needs. We see tremendous opportunity in this city. There are people looking for jobs and there are people offering jobs. There are house seekers, and lenders. There are many people going to the same place to work from the same location, so they cal do car pool. By connecting the right people, we are changed their life. The team is inspired by these opportunities and always wants to make big impact to people’s life. Kijiji grew fast in the last two years. We enjoy 1,000% annual growth in the last two years.

14. Any further points you’d like to make about your work, your life and yourself?

I am a blogger, and I record the life of Shanghai today. I hope there are people who want to read my blogs I write today after 10 years, so they will say: “Look! Shanghai changed so much!”

Inside the Shanghai Radio Staiton

I visited the Shanghai Radio Station this afternoon (for the first time) for a radio program.

The Security Check

Shanghai Radio and East Radio are two major (if not the only two) radio stations in Shanghai. It was easy to enter the building. Radio station is always a sensitive location in China. The security check was intensive. I waited in the line for quite some time before I arrived at the window of the gate outside the building. It was cold outside and three security guards were looking at me to fill a form with my name, gender, telephone number, home address, company name, the person I visit, the room number, and deposited my national ID card.

After phone confirmation, I got the electronic ID card at the expense of my National ID card. :-) I can only claim my national ID after I come out of the building, with the ID card, and the signed form by the host.

It is not so high tech as I expected, …., until I entered the recording room.

The Recording Room

I took some pictures of the room. I hope there should be more paintings or drawings on the wall to make it more friendly. :-)

The Program

It is very few English program that started broadcasting from July 15, 2002, according to their About us. Kevin is a not a typical Shanghainese. Only the brief communication with the control room in Shanghainese reminded me the handsome, talktive, and energetic young man is native Shanghainese. The name of the program is called Live It Up Shanghai. It is on air at 22:15 to 23:00, Monday to Sunday, at frequency 990 AM or 93.4 FM. They call it the “News Channel”. Please check it out.


The Radio Room in Chicago

I happen to have a studio of WDN 720 AM at the grand floor of the Chicago Tribune Tower that people can see the host broadcasting live. It was quite amazing experience for me.

Radio station in the glass room near the Chicago river on the Magnificant Mile. Taken in Dec, 2005

Same as above

Same as above

The pictures were taken from my last Chicago Trip. More notes about the pictures can be found under the section: Public Radio is Really Public Radio.

New Issue of City Weekend

Went to Starbucks at Riverside in Pudong tonight with Wendy. It was already 10:00 PM and the Starbucks was still full of people.

City Weekend

On the bookshelf was the free copy of City Weekend.


Image in courtesy of City Weekend.

One of the Two Major English City Guides

There are two major city guides in Shanghai – City Weekend and That’s Shanghai. Both are in English and targeted to ex-pats. I likeThat’s Shanghai better since it looks more fresh and fashionable with more useful information. However, it seems City Weekend are easily to get – I cannot find That’s Shanghai in Starbucks. Let me write about this issue of City Weekend (July 8 – July 21 Issue)

Talk de Talk

In cities like Shanghai, language learning is a hot business. There are enough companies/schools teaching Chinese English and teach foreigners Chinese. They all have good Business.

Talk de Talk is hosted by David Wu – my FOAF (a friend another friend). His radio talk show is on

  • Saturday mornings 10-11am on FM 101.7 in Shanghai
  • Sunday evenings 10-11pm n FM 97.4 in Beijing

Businesses Adverisements

The issue is full of advertisements of all kinds for ex-pats You can see the service market, the job market, property market – everything in the magzine. It is interested that there are many company providing Ayi service (Ayi is the Chinese word for servants).

LifeLine Shanghai

LifeLine is a helpline dedicate to addressing the needs ex-pats in China. They can be reached on 021-62798990, or by visiting www.lifeline.web.za/china.htm.

I learnt this from Adam Minter’s cover story – The Lunching Ladies. Her article talks about the living status of Ex-pats’ wives.

We’re here supporting our husbands… Some woman can’t do that – and those women either don’t come, or leave

According to the article, “For ex-pat wives, teaching remains the most likely employement option for those who choose to work”. I love this article, because it is just telling the truth.

Media – Should I Love It or Hate It?

Today, I talked with the journalist from the People’s Daily about her new book about Microsoft. Very good person and very good book too. She also let me reviewed the section about my story. I always admire people who can devote him/herself to something consistantly, especially something like “writing”. I was told that I am the first read of the book. Will it be another best selling book? Not sure.

I have some media touch. I was personally interviewed (the kind of 1:1 interview) by Forbes, YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company), Strait Times (on SARS), and Oriental TV (on the traffic status in Shanghai..) I don’t trust media too much since just like the Muzimei’s blog, something that is not a big deal will cause many problem, not only to the persons involved, but also to many other people (for example, the children who search for the term of Muzimei)… That is bad.

Reference to this Blog

Blog is a community. By referencing each other, the network of hobbies or information is exchanged in a way that is not possible in traditional website. I am always amazed by how other blogs referenced my site. Here are some interesting references.

Bamaster, an active participator in BBS (with 2036 posts) quoted my article of Stop MSN Messenger Spam as his signiture

Robert Scoble mentioned:

Wow, did you know that Bill Gates was murdered by the media in China? Turned out to be a hoax, but it had Microsoft employee Jian Shuo Wang worried.

I’d like to meet Jian someday. His weblogs about life in Shanghai are great.

Well. I am very hornorred to be mentioned in his wonderful blog.

Bryan wrote to me days before:

I wanted to write you and tell you how much I enjoy the information you have provided on your web site. I hope you keep it going for a very long time.

This piece is also interesting, by G:

I am sure you have received a lot of email from overseas and helped a lot of visitors to Shanghai. Shanghai Tourism should hire you as minister of tourism.

You are well qualified for this position. You can travel to the world and promote Shanghai.