Thursday, May 15, 2008


It's got lycopene.




It's a powerful antioxidant.


What does that do?


I don't's against oxidant.


Maybe I'll try some.




Heinz Ketchup. Go get your own.

Heinz蕃茄醬. 去自己買一瓶啦.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

無間道Infernal Affairs廣告(澳洲)

From award winning Hong Kong directors Alan Mak and Andrew Lau.


The final chapter in one of Asia's most important film trilogies.


And the inspiration behind Martin Scorseses' "The Departed".


Tony Leung and Andy Lau.


Infernal Affairs 3, now screening only on the World Movies Channel.

無間道3, 現在上映, 只在World Movie頻道.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Harassed by a Laowai (foreigner)

This is the 6th most searched keyword on Yahoo China today, 2,436,025 in one day.

A Shenzhen girl who is currently working in Beijing wrote about how she was sexually harassed by a foreigner in her Sina and Spaces blogs, and the whole thing got so big that this Australian "laowai" has left China now.

According to her blogs, this is how it goes: she met this Australian in a Starbucks in Beijing back in 2005. Initially he was nice, but then after a while he started to send her sexually explicit SMS and photos as well as inviting her to a threesome party with his French girlfriend. She didn't like that. And then somehow she got into a fist fight with the French girlfriend and sustained some injuries on her face, so she decided to complain to BMW. Later she sued this guy but apparently it got no where. She was so bitter and exposed everything in her blogs, all the photos he sent her, his and the French girlfriend's personal information, such as full name, birth date, passport number and street address, emails of all the directors of BMW China. Most of the Chinese netizens are on her side, calling this guy a "foreign beast" and praising the girl for her action in "defending the dignity of Chinese women and Chinese law".

I don't know how she obtained all this information, especially their passports! She is truly someone you don't want to mess around with!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Giant Debuts at NYSE

This is the second most searched keyword Yahoo China today, 2,450,337 searches in one day.

CEO Shi Yuzhu knocks the bell at NYSE


Giant Interactive (NYSE: GA) is yet another huge IPO. The offering was priced at $15.50 and raised $886.6 million. This IPO immediately made CEO Shi Yuzhu a rich man with 41 billion RMB in net worth. His daughter gets another 5 billions.

Giant's performance on the first day


Giant is an Internet gaming company. I don't know a lot about its products, but I was surprised to find that Shi Yuzhu was the guy behind the legendary "脑白金" (direct translation: brain platinum). It was a hugely successful health supplement sold in China a couple of years ago. At the time, you would see its commercials on almost every single TV channel during prime time. Everybody knew about 脑白金, although to date I still don't know what was actually in it. I could only guess it was some kind of multivitamin like Centrum. Chinese people went crazy over it, and Shi made a huge fortune. But of course it was nothing compared to this IPO. According to Shi himself, online gaming is the best business model because "management is so easy and you have absolutely no bad debt!"

I'd better add it to my stock watch list.

"Brain Platinum", the mysterious but hugely popular health supplement. I still remember being bombarded by it's repetitive TV commercials with the catchy phrase: "今年過節不收禮,收禮只收脑白金" (don't take any gifts this New Year holiday, unless it's a Brain Platinum!)


One Giant Chinese IPO

Thursday, November 1, 2007

22-year-old Rich Girl Looking For A Partner

This is the 3rd most searched keyword on Yahoo China today, 2,419,282 searches in one day.


A mysterious 22-year-old rich girl bought an ad space in Guangzhou Daily on Oct. 31. The ad was framed in red and attracted huge attention immediately. This is what the ad says:

Female, 22-year-old, gentle and quiet, understanding and sweet, 150cm tall, born in Guangzhou and lives in a high-class house in the city center. Family is well off. Now seeking a single gentleman of 168-175 cm height, age between 23-30 years, with good looks and health, for love and marriage. Location not and issue.

Interested parties please send personal details and two recent photos to Suitable candidates will be contacted. Forgive me if you don't receive any response.

This ad space and the same ad in another newspaper cost roughly 330,000 RMB, this girls is not stingy. One poll conducted by an internet forum shows people's reaction to the ad:

8.33% "I am definitely going to apply!"

18.1%  "It must be some marketing gimmick of some marriage arrangement service."

5.46% "I am not single any more, damn!"

68.1% "I am juts reading this to kill time."

But what if this is for real? Don't forgo this rare opportunity to meet this rich Chinese girl!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Eat Worms To Look Pretty

This is the No. 5 most searched keyword on Yahoo China today, 2,374,530 searches in one day.


Recently some "OLs" (office ladies) in Beijing have got themselves into a habit of eating worms.

Worms are a legitimate dish in many of the less mainstream cuisines such as Yunnan food. Dishes such as deep fried locus and sweet and sour butterfly cocoons are common dinner table items for the Gelao people in Yunnan. Thanks to this new trend, some of the Yunnanese restaurants in Beijing are packed on the weekends with young OLs and models who are hoping that the nutrients in the worms can bring them beauty. One restaurant manager said: "we consume hundreds of kilos of worms per week now, and we have to have the worms shipped over from Yunnan almost every two days to meet the demand."

According to a report produced by a research institute in Yunnan, these worms do contain high levels of amino acids, fatty acids, trace minerals and vitamins. However, because they get deep fried in the restaurants, they may still not be too good for your health.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Starting Salary For College Graduates

This is the 10th most searched keyword on Yahoo China today, 2,321,390 searches in one day. Recently a survey that polled graduates of 89 colleges in China to rank their starting salaries after graduation. This survey result initiated waves of heated discussion (especially among the students) on the internet.

The salary is in RMB per month. Here are the top 10:

No.1 大连外国语学院  5050 RMB

(Dalian University of Foreign Languages)

No.2 电子科技大学 4900 RMB

(University of Electronic Science and Technology of China)

No.3 中央财经大学 3916 RMB

(Central University of Finance and Economics)

No.4 中央戏剧学院 3875 RMB

(The Central Academy of Drama)

No.5 复旦大学 3863 RMB

(Fudan University)

No.6 北京外国语大学 3717 RMB

(Beijing Foreign Studies University)

No.7 中国科学技术大学 3700 RMB

(University of Science and Technology of China)

No.8 西安交通大学 3682 RMB

(Xi'an Jiaotong University)

No.9 上海外国语大学 3633 RMB

(Shanghai International Studies University)

No.10 上海交通大学 3596 RMB

(Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

To many people's surprise, top guns such as Beijing University and Tsinghua University are ranked quite low on this list, at No.19 and No. 27 respectively, due to the fact the it excluded bonus and commissions. Based on the survey, it seems that students who major in foreign languages, finance and technology tend to get better starting salaries.

A typical scene at a career fair/interview.


When I first talked to one of my Chinese colleagues about people's starting salaries in China, I was very surprised to learn that medical doctors, dentists and lawyers don't get much financial rewards or recognition in contrary to their western counterparts, and according to him, that's why the health system sucks so much there. You don't get the top tier students in medicine or law to start with, and then the pay is low and hence lots of dodgy things go on. This friend of mine was a pharmacist-turned-sales manager for a big drug company, so there must be some truth there.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Photos of the South China Tiger

This is the hottest search keyword on Yahoo China today, 2,319,791 searches in one day.

In essence, this is another real-or-fake news that frequently happens in China. (see Beijing's Fake Pork Buns). This time the culprit is a tiger in the photo below. Can you tell whether it's real or not?


Zhou Zhenglong, a farmer and former hunter in Zhenping County, Shaaanxi Province, took 71 photos of a South China tiger on October 3rd. The experts from the provincial Forestry Administration examined the photos and announced: yep, the near-extinct South China tigers are back. No one has seen them since 1986 but now they are back again.

Zhenping County, a small village with 57,000 people, is suddenly in the spotlight and becomes the hottest tourism destination for nature-loving college students.

Zhou (pictured below) is hoping to sell these photos for a big fortune. He is asking 1 million RMB.

But soon people started to question the authenticity of the photos. They are saying that the photos are real alright, but the tiger was just a painting on a piece of cardboard. Zhou got really pissed and said "I will cut off my head if the photos are fake!" although no one thinks he will really do that. Zhou is currently in Beijing as the State Forestry Administration carries out a proper investigation on the matter. The result will be announced via Xinhua or a press conference.

I have my money on "fake". I just don't believe that a near-extinct tiger would pose so nicely for the camera. You are talking about meeting eye-to-eye with one of the eight remaining tigers (according to villagers' own estimate) in a forest of 47196 acres. Sure. Nevertheless, Zhenping County has become famous, even the welcoming billboard at the entrance of the village has a tiger on it now.


Tiger photos raise questions

The South China Tiger Photographs

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Most Expensive Nail House

This is the 5th hottest search keyword on Yahoo China today, 2,251,573 searches in one day.

"Nail House" (钉子户) is a relatively new term in China. It refers to a standalone house in the middle of a demolition ground due to disagreement with compensation terms. The house sticks out like a nail. People started to realize that you don't have to move if you are not happy with the compensation after a woman in Chongqing put on a fight to guard her property and became famous with her Nail House. This time, the Nail House is in Shenzhen.

The old couple, Cai Zhuxiang and Zhang Lianhao, standing in front of their to-be-demolished Nail House in Shenzhen.


Mr. Cai's Nail House stands in the middle of the prosperous Luohu business district in Shenzhen. Apartments around it sold for more than 20,000 RMB per square meter but the developer's initial compensation terms were only 6,500 RMB per sm. Of course Cai was not happy. During this year-long negotiation, he and his family had to suffer threats, thefts and vandalism put on by the developer (Kingkey Group, which has a solid political connection and backing). They locked themselves up after 6 pm everyday and never went anywhere due to fears. He was even threatened by the city government official who told him "98% of all nail house owners die in car accidents" when he went there to report the threats he had been receiving.

Good news came through at the end of last month. Kingkey Group finally moved to put a stop to their daily loss due to the construction delay. They reached an agreement with Cai to pay him more than 12 million RMB for his house, which translates into roughly 16,000 RMB per sm.

However, Cai and his family continue to live in fear. They keep receiving extortion calls because everyone knows now that he is rich.


"Nail house" owner receives millions of yuan in compensation

"Nail house" in Chongqing demolished

Lunar Satellite Chang'e 1 (嫦娥一号)Lifts Off

This is definitely the hottest news in China right now. I have seen the footage a million times on various TV channels by now.


Chang'e-1, China's first lunar satellite, was launched at 18:05, Octorber 24th, 2007, in Xichang, Sichuan.

A computer-generated image of the lunar orbiter


The whole event would've been incomplete without quick wit businessmen trying to cash in on the project. One travel agency organized a "launch viewing" special deal where people can pay 800 RMB to observe the launch. Naturally, it was really popular. As this is such a national pride, a lot of people were genuinely interested. One man said he planned the trip well ahead and took leave from work in order to join the tour.

I find it quite cute that the Chinese actually exhibit some rare romanticism with the whole satellite thing. Chang'e, the name of the satellite and the project, was taken from a well-known fairy tale. Chang'e is the Chinese goddess of the moon. She was said to be the empress of a famous archer/emperor, whom she stole the elixir of immortality from. There are many versions of the stories (see wikipedia) but the ending is the same: Chang'e flew to the moon after taking the elixir and lived there ever since. It's really nice to have a romantic element in this otherwise serious project in a very serious country.

Chang'e the Moon Goddess



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Get Married Before You Graduate

This is the second hottest search keyword on Yahoo China today, 2,198,833 searches in one day.

In essence, this is YET another get-rich-quick scheme. The people who are eager to get married are young girls in their early 20s. Reason: solid financial support.

As many female students approach graduation and are starting to look for a job, they realize that even crappy and low-paid jobs are hard to come by. Even if you get a job, the low salary that a mediocre graduate from a mediocre college gets can hardly buy them nice things (and oh no, you have to WORK). So they run to the nearby marriage arrangement services in droves hoping to find a husband who can give them the kind of lifestyle they want, instantaneously.

When they register at these "services", they will list their requirements. The typical criteria are: have a house, have a car. Some prefer people with stable income such as teachers, civil servants. Some even make it clear that they want someone from Hong Kong or with a foreign passport. Interestingly, they don't care much more about anything else. Some girls have the upper age limit set (for the husband) at 60!

But who wants to marry these girls? It's so obvious they are just in for the money. To your surprise (and mine, too), there are many such guys at the demand end. They are the so-called "successful" businessmen who are looking for "good looking wife under 25 years of age". This is also why the girls are so anxious to get exposed to this marriage arrangement market so early (some are not even 20) because once they pass 25, they are not wanted by the rich men.

Interview of Miss Chen (one such girl)

Newspaper: Why do you want to get an arranged marriage? Isn't it a bit too early for a 20-year-old?

Miss Chen: I didn't think I would do such a thing just several months ago. But I've been having difficulties finding a job, none of my job applications got any response. One morning, I almost fainted on the crowded bus because I skipped breakfast to go to a job interview. At the moment, I realized that I needed a shoulder to lean on.

Newspaper: But do you think you can find the man of your dream before graduation? You don't have too much time.

Miss Chen: Not 100% sure, so I am still looking for a job.

Newspaper: Now you put materials first. What if you find your husband intolerable after you marry him, what do you do?

Miss Chen: Uhh..... I haven't thought about that.

Newspaper: Don't you feel that your education is wasted? Aren't you afraid that you will have a low status in the family?

Miss Chen: I can use what I've learned to help him and educate the kids. Low status.....maybe I will still work in the future.

Newspaper: So where is love?

Miss Chen: I believe love can be cultivated.


Li Keqiang (李克强)

This name is definitely the hottest search keyword in China right now, followed closely by another name, Xi Jinping (习近平). They top several categories on today.

"China's future leaders" by Reuters


These two guys are said to be the future leaders of China's Communist Party. Both being relatively young (Xi at 54 and Li at 52), these two upcoming political stars have just been selected into the new nine-member Politburo Standing Committee, which is said to be the innermost ring of power in China.

I don't usually find political news that interesting, but the amount of interest these two names attract both within China and overseas just cannot be ignored. From all the news and media coverage I have read and seen, it seems that everyone thinks Li Keqiang  and Xi Jinping are gonna be the next leader in 5 years time for sure when President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao retire then. At present, Xi is poised to take the No. 1 position when the time comes, but things can always change. Li has a favorable background, as both he and Hu Jintao come from the same province in China, Anhui.


China unveils likely successors to top posts

China's top communists meet behind closed doors as 2 rising stars emerge