May 25th, 2020

Why United States is a Busybody

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I was having an interesting discussion with a friend in China over a certain recent event.

He said “Chinese thinking: Why are you meddling with my business? You are deliberately provoking conflicts. I must push you back or I will look weak!”

This comes from a Chinese saying: 各人自扫门前雪,莫管他人瓦上霜 : Everyone swept the snow in front of their own door and not to worry about others. It may sound very selfish but it is very fundamental to the Chinese society harmony – You don’t poke your nose into other people’s business and likewise.

I replied “American thinking: With great power comes great responsibility.” 

Although the phrase comes from a comic book, it reflects deeply what it means to be an American and the sense of duty they have to the rest of the world. 

Back to the certain event, most people think it is like 1989 but I think the outcome would be similar to the 228 Incident instead. God help us.

December 18th, 2019

Sino-US relationship

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Most Americans think US engagement with China starts with President Nixon. But Sino-US history goes back as far as back as the American Revolution and before that.

In the 17th century, China was already trading with the US, then a U.K. colony. Tea, silk, and porcelains were imported from China. After independence, the US became China’s number two trading partner after British.

Through the 300 odd years of engagement, the relationship between the US and China had good times and bad times, but more often somewhere in between.

In the mid-1800, a large number of Chinese labors came to California in search of gold. By the 1860s, the Chinese were the largest aliens in West America. Expectedly, the US pass laws to ban more Chinese from coming.

Around the same time, many US Christian missionaries went to China. They were impressed by Hong Xiuquan and supported him in the Taiping Rebellion. Taiping Rebellion is one of the bloodiness rebellions in human history that leaves 40 million death, in an attempt to create a new “Heavenly Kingdom” in China. Ironically, the US State Department supported the Qing government instead and squash the rebellion.

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February 25th, 2019

Notes on Chinese Economy 2018

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2012 Anti-corruption campaign (反腐:不作为、央企民企脱钩)

2013 Circular No. 9 (9号文:质疑改革开放)
2013 Back to Real economy (回到实体经济:金融退场)

2014 Property market slowdown (房地产降温:地方政府没钱)

2015 Chinese stock market turbulence (股灾:一天回到解放前)

2016 Beidaihe signaled only SOE is favoured (北戴河:国进民退)

2017 Deleveraging (去杠杆:借不到钱)
2017 Arrest of high profile businessmen (抓钱袋子)
2017 19th Politburo – New Era (19大后新时代:政治博弈改金融博弈)

2018 Tax collections reformation (税务机构改革)
2018 P2P/ICO collapse (金融难民)
2018 margin call on at least 600 listed company (600家上市公司跌破平仓线)
2018 US impose tariff on China (美国增加关税)

2019 China grow rate at 6.6% in 2018 (2018中国GDP增长6.6%)


November 18th, 2016

A Collision of Expectations

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This article is written as the contribution to GIIC as their commissioner.

The world’s economy is quickly approaching a potential crisis, and the impact could be far reaching. The crisis stems from a collision of conflicting expectations involving one of the largest economies ever, and includes tangible, large-scale impacts on real communities. At this late hour, it is unclear whether the crisis can be averted and if so, what the consequences of trade-offs might be.

In July, 2001 China concluded negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and an agreement was ratified in December, 2001. Part of China’s understanding was that they would be granted Market Economy Status (MES) on the 15-year anniversary of the agreement, which will occur in December of this year. However, that understanding is not held by the other countries of the WTO and this disagreement has the potential to significantly impact economies around the world.

The accession to WTO opened up opportunities for Chinese industries, but has also brought about a number of unintended consequences. In the 90s, Europe was moving aggressively towards the use of renewal green energy, however manufacturing of solar cell in Europe was very costly because of the European environment protection regulations. The Europeans found a manufacturer in Wuxi, China who was able to provide solar cells very cheaply because of China’s less restrictive environmental protection regulations. The manufacturer became very successful and soon other companies began making solar cells. Unfortunately, the new manufacturers did not seek to enhance the original product, but chose to simply produce exact copies, which is usually the case in China. The “copycat” mindset often leads to overcapacity, and such was the case for solar cells in Wuxi. The European Union took notice of the situation and in 2011 cut back on demand, resulting in a large glut of solar cells, causing prices to plummet by nearly half.

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July 31st, 2016


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这里风景太漂亮了。这5天走过拉萨(罗布林卡和大昭寺)、纳木错、桑耶寺、 雍布拉康、羊湖。如果自己开车自驾游,路上的风景美如画。



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October 11th, 2015

What is “China’s Citizen Scores”?


By now, many people have heard of the implementation of China’s “Citizen Scores” that has been making rounds. I become curious and did some investigation of my own.

As a boy scout as a kid, we used to play a game around campfire. The adult would form two teams and make two lines with 10 kids. He would the whisper the same exact message to first kid of the two teams, whereby they would repeat it to the next kid and so on until the last kid have to write the message down on paper. We always have a good laugh what comes out at the end compared to what went in.

“Citizen Score” is what happens when official news gets reposted, added with the journalist opinions, mixed in some new information (relevant or not), and repeated the process 10 times. To make it worst, most journalists in the process didn’t bother to, or was not able to do fact checking as the source is in Chinese.

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June 2nd, 2015

What’s going on in China domain name industy?

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Recently, there have been a lot of noise about China tightening control on new top levels and how it could severely damper domain names registrations in China and one should make preparation for the worst.

Initially, I tried to stay out of this as I know all the players behind this. But given there are at least 3 people who have email me to ask me what’s going on, I think let me clear the air here.

It started with a report by Brandma on China’s “Special Operation” to regulate Domain Name Registrations which warns that “Getting the license requires understanding on how the regulatory system works and how one should respond as it evolves. It’s also like a mini ICANN application process, but this time in Mandarin.”

Contrary to these “doomsayer” report, there is really no need to panic.

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October 15th, 2014


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August 27th, 2014


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在互联网精神的核心下我们有了一张巨大创新能力的网。 有开源的Linux,免费的邮箱(SMTP),也有了腾讯,阿里巴巴与百度这些伟大的互联网企业。



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August 1st, 2013

China’s Category of Telecommunications Services

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This morning I read a catchy titled article on CircleID “China Closing the Door to New Technologies”. I was trying to make sense of what’s all the fuss is about …

So I called up my friends in Ministry of Industry and Information for lunch to find out what’s going.


The document is called 电信业务分类目录 (Category of Telecommunications Services) that is now calling for public comments. This has been something MIIT have been working on for a quite some time now. Many companies, domestic and international companies, have been consulted and provided feedback before this publication.

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