Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Journalist’s Call for ‘de-Americanized World’ Provokes Alarm in U.S., Fart Jokes in China [Foreign Policy] #RisingChina #deAmericanization

Kneejerks to Xinhua Op-Ed  that does not represent broader Chinese views.

The op-ed hit something of a sweet spot for shutdown-traumatized Americans, touching on, as Max Fisher at the Washington Post put it, “the dual American anxieties that we are letting down the rest of the world and that China is finally making its move to replace us as the global leader.”

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Journalist’s Call for ‘de-Americanized World’ Provokes Alarm in U.S., Fart Jokes in China
by Liz Carter
Source – Foreign Policy, published October 16, 2013

As fears mounted this week about a possible (and now, it seems, averted) U.S. government default, the U.S. press stumbled upon an Oct. 13 editorial in Xinhua, China’s largest news agency, calling for a “de-Americanized world” in light of Washington’s fiscal dysfunction. News outlets including CBSUSA Today, and Bloomberg picked up the editorial, while the Los Angeles Times ran a story with the headline “Upset over U.S. fiscal crisis, China urges a ‘de-Americanized world.'” CNBC emphasized that Xinhua was a “government voice,” and that the editorial was “government propaganda” intended for local readers. The op-ed hit something of a sweet spot for shutdown-traumatized Americans, touching on, as Max Fisher at the Washington Post put it, “the dual American anxieties that we are letting down the rest of the world and that China is finally making its move to replace us as the global leader.”

But what much of the coverage failed to mention is that the article appeared on Xinhua with the byline Liu Chang, indicating that the editorial more likely represents the views of Liu (who is identified simply as a “Xinhua writer”) and his colleagues rather than China’s top leaders, or “China” itself.

Please click here to read the entire article at Foreign Policy.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Communications, Culture, Foreign Policy Magazine, Ideology, Influence, Internet, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), U.S., xinhua

China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold [Bloomberg] #RisingChina #Apple #Gold

Apple taps into Chinese mind – mixing their perception of gold with cyclical obsolescence of the mobile phone.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores. Leonid Bershidsky, 2013

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China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold
By Leonid Bershidsky
Source – Bloomberg, published Sep 25, 2013

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

I have two words for those who still think Apple’s marketing genius died with Steve Jobs: China and gold.

In preparing the debut of its two new iPhone models, the 5s and 5c, Apple made the crucial decision to include China in the product launch, and to offer a gold-colored high-end phone. Voila, a sales record: 9 million iPhones sold in the opening weekend, up from 5 million for the original iPhone 5.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores.

Gold is a well-used marketing tool in the world of mobile devices. “Dumb” phone manufacturers have used the hue, especially in Asian markets and Russia, ever since color handsets came into existence in the early 2000s. Nokia made fun of the gold iPhone 5s, tweeting from its UK corporate account, “Real gangsters don’t use gold phones.” The Finnish company itself, however, has produced a number of gold-colored models, including one that used genuine 18K gold plate.

Please click here to read the entire article at Bloomberg online.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Advertising, Apple, Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, History, Influence, Intellectual Property, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Chinese Media Duped By American Satire…Again [The Diplomat] #RisingChina #Media

China’s fourth estate misdirected by the semantics of satire. See the blog post on the New Yorker here.

…While the state media outlets might not get the joke, China’s “netizens” almost always do, and ridicule the Chinese papers for falling for such outrageous pranks.

Interestingly, whilst the Amazong story may not have hurt too many feelings… Check this out – Let’s Hope Andy Borowitz Doesn’t ‘Report’ a U.S. Nuclear Strike

Memo to Andy Borowitz: China has about 50 nuclear missiles capable of reaching the continental United States. Just something to keep in mind next time you’re writing a fake news story. Sometimes the humor gets lost in translation.

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Chinese Media Duped By American Satire…Again
By Zachary Keck
Source – The Diplomat, published August 8, 2013

Source - The Diplomat

Source – The Diplomat

China’s media is no stranger to getting duped by American political satire.

One of the best known incidents of this took place last November when America’s “finest news source”, the Onion, a satirical newspaper and website, named North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un as its sexiest man of 2012. Soon after, Communist Party publication People’s Daily ran a report on the Onion story, replete with the whacky descriptions of Kim’s “air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side,” and “impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle.” The People’s Daily even put together its own 55-photo slideshow of the “sexy” North Korean leader for the story.

The Onion was thrilled, as you might imagine, posting a link to the People’s Daily story (before it was taken down) urging its readers to “please visit our friends at the People’s Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion, Inc. Exemplary reportage, comrades.” The Onion also sent out an email explaining that the People’s Daily “has served as one of the Onion’s Far East bureaus for quite some time, and I believe their reportage as of late has been uncommonly fine, as well as politically astute.” As you also might imagine, the People’s Daily was less thrilled about being duped, taking down the story and refusing to comment on it.

But that unfortunate incident hasn’t prevented it from making a similar gaffe. According to South China Morning Post, numerous Chinese news outlets have picked up a story written by the New Yorker’s satirist Andy Borowitz, and ran it as a real news story. Earlier this week, Borowitz posted a fictitious story on his New Yorker blog, The Borowitz Report, claiming that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had accidently purchased The Washington Post this week while shopping around online. In the report, Borowitz quotes Bezos as saying that he didn’t know how the newspaper—which he purchased for US$250 million—had ended up in his online shopping cart.

“I guess I was just kind of browsing through their website and not paying close attention to what I was doing,” The Borowitz Report pretends to quote Bezos as saying. “No way in hell would I buy the Washington Post. I don’t even read the Washington Post.”

Please click here to read the entire article at the Diplomat.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela [FP] #SurveillanceSociety #RisingChina

X-Keyscore: facilitating a global surveillance society largely unhindered by the tyranny of distance and time.

For more, see how big brother gets complacent: X-Keyscore: The NSA Tool So Secret It’s Advertised on Job Boards

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Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela
Posted By Elias Groll
Source – Foreign Policy, published Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Source - FP

Source – Guardian

Here’s something the National Security Agency probably isn’t happy to find in Edward Snowden’s latest revelation about its activities: The surprising locations of the servers that make up the program X-KEYSCORE, which, according to one leaked agency presentation, has the ability to vacuum up nearly every move a user makes on the Internet.

Those locations reportedly include China, Ecuador, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela. In short, the NSA has managed to either place or gain access to servers in a collection of countries that are deeply hostile to the United States. Put another way, computer technicians in every one of those countries are probably combing through their systems right now to figure out ways to boot out the NSA.

The image at the top of this post comes from Wednesday’s Guardian story on X-KEYSCORE, which includes a set of slides described as internal NSA training material. The slide in question says that the program includes roughly 150 sites around the world and spans some 700 servers. The Guardian‘s coverage does not make entirely clear how the program works, but the report seems to outline a system that perches on top of communications infrastructure and sucks up streams of data that the X-KEYSCORE system then sifts into a searchable format. According to theGuardian, the volume of collected information is so large that content is stored on the system for three to five days before being deleted, and metadata stays on the system for 30 days. The picture that emerges is of NSA analysts running searches against a continuous data stream.

Please click here to read the rest/entire article at Foreign Policy. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Democracy, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Hackers, bloggers and professors team up to tap into blocked microblog content [Global Times] #RisingChina #SocialMedia

Happening inside the Great Firewall right now if one cares to look –  is China’s great convergence of minds deliberating a consensus forward on a scale never seen before.

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Hackers, bloggers and professors team up to tap into blocked microblog content
By Xuyang Jingjing
Source – Global Times, published July 28, 2013

With over 500 million registered users and over 46 million daily active users, Sina Weibo is the largest and most influential social media platform in China. It has also become known as a fostering ground for discussions with a more liberal slant.

But what is not allowed to be discussed on Weibo perhaps says just as much as what can be. There are a number of projects that aim to uncover content blocked on Weibo. Most of the people behind such efforts are China watchers based overseas or foreigners living in China. While they may have different approaches and backgrounds, their efforts are successful in bringing this vanished content back to light.

One such project, Freeweibo.com, won the 2013 Bobs, or Best of the Blogs awards, for best innovation in June. The Bobs awards, started by Deutsche Welle in 2004, are given out in 34 categories in 14 languages, and aim to honor the open exchange of ideas of free expression.

Hu Yong, a professor at Peking University and a new media observer, served as a juror at the awards. He commented that Freeweibo preserves digital memories and makes disappeared content visible again, according to the official website of the Bobs.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, China Digital Times, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity

China’s online population rises to 591 million [AP] #RisingChina #DigitalDivide

Going out to the masses via the wire agencies: China continues to bridge its digital divide.

For more, see China Internet Network Information Center.

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China’s online population rises to 519 million
Source – Associated Press, published July 17, 2013

BEIJING (AP) – China’s population of Internet users has grown to 591 million, driven by a 20 percent rise over the past year in the number of people who surf the Web from smartphones and other wireless devices, an industry group reported Wednesday.

The end-of-June figures from the China Internet Network Information Center represent a 10 percent rise in total Internet use over a year earlier. The number of wireless users rose to 464 million.

The communist government encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to material deemed subversive or obscene. The rise of Web use has driven the growth of new Chinese industries from online shopping and microblogs to online video.

Please click here to read the entire article at the AP site.

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Filed under: AP, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Internet, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Interview: U.S., China strategic talks show commitment to broaden dialogue: expert [Xinhua] #RisingChina #US

Thumbs up for the sensible move facilitating more face-to-face channels for peaceful co-development.

Also, see

1 – ‘4 Promising Themes Emerge In U.S.-China Agreements At Strategic And Economic Dialogue and U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Outcomes of the Strategic Track’ (World Resources Institute, July 12, 2013)

from the U.S. Department of State

2- ‘U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Outcomes of the Strategic Track‘ (July 13, 2013)

3 – Report of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group to the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (July 10, 2013)

and

In Columbus, Ohio and the Chinese city of Hefei, we are building electric cars with new technology. In New Orleans and Shanghai, wetlands are being conserved, thanks to shared research. And in Charlotte and Langfang, our utility sectors are learning to create electricity in smarter, cleaner ways. These solutions matter to the United States, they matter to China, and they matter to our planet. 4- Remarks With Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the EcoPartnership Signing Event (July 11, 2013)

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Interview: U.S., China strategic talks show commitment to broaden dialogue: expert
Source – Xinhua, published July 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Xinhua) — The just concluded fifth round of annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) between the United States and China have shown a commitment from both sides to broaden the dialogue, a U.S. expert said Friday.

Besides real progress in areas such as investment and climate change, the U.S. and Chinese sides have shown commitment to ” sustain and to broaden what goes on within these dialogues,” Jonathan Pollack, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings Institution, told Xinhua in an interview.

He stressed the importance of the commitment at the senior level, saying that “because without a commitment in both leaderships to sustain these processes, momentum and progress will stall very quickly.”

Please click here to read the entire article at Xinhua.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Economics, Education, Environment, Finance, Government & Policy, Green China, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Spying, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Whistleblower welcome in China [People’s Daily] #RisingChina #

Interesting response from the People’s Daily suggesting the floodgates of intertextuality are wide open…

To further understand the likes of Snowden, let us end with a narrative by the character Red from the Shawshank Redemption as he rationalizes the escape of his friend Andy: “Some birds are not meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice.”

For more, see US suggests whistleblower ‘in league with the Chinese’ (The Age, June 15, 2013)

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Whistleblower welcome in China
By Xu Peixi (China.org.cn)
Source – People’s Daily, published June 14, 2013

By Gou Ben - China.org.cn

By Gou Ben – China.org.cn

Last week, a bright idealistic young man named Edward Snowden almost single-handedly opened the lid on the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM program, a program which marks the bleakest moment yet in the history of the Internet due to its scope, exact country of origin and implications.

In terms of scope, major transnational service providers ranging from Google to Apple are involved in allowing the NSA to access their customers’ data for the purposes of “surveillance.” Nearly all types of services ranging from email to VoIP have come within the program’s scope and it originates in a country which dominates the world’s Internet resources – a fact which is acknowledged in the information leaked by Snowden clearly states: “Much of the world’s communications flow through the U.S.” and the information is accessible. The case indicates that through outsourcing and contracting, Big Brother is breaching the fundamental rights of citizens by getting unfettered access to their most personal communications.

As the case unfolds, there are many things to worry about. How do we make sense of the fact that the market and the state colluded in the abuse of private information via what represents the backbone of many modern day infrastructures? How do we rationalize the character of Snowden and his fellow whistleblowers? How do we understand the one-sided cyber attack accusations the U.S. has poured upon China in the past few months? To what degree have foreign users of these Internet services fallen victim to this project? Among all these suspicions, let us clarify two types of American personality.

Please click here to read the full article at People’s Daily.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Influence, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People's Daily, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban [ABC News Australia] #RisingChina #Huawei #Telecommunicatioms

So it seems to wearing made in China is fine, or eating out of plates made there does not require too much afterthought. However, using their information infrastructure and equipment to send messages from A to B – requires an ideological leap of faith for some.

Well, it’s not quite time to chuck away the image of China simply being the world’s factory of cheap and good, where excellent margins to those willing to leverage the Chinese model are the key draw. Today, they’re moving up the food chain and it will be a mistake not to take notice.

The land down under is seeing an increasing number of rising China’s foreign vanguard of products tested with the Aussie market prior to going global. This even includes the Great Wall make of SUV and Utility Vehicles.

Rewind – a year back Huawei was barred from tendering for Australia’s National Broadband Network based on intelligence and cyber espionage concerns. See China hits back at NBN bid rejection (The Age, March 29, 2012)

Fast forward a year and check out how Huawei has responds in  the 7.5min video accompanying the article – with ABC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell.

– Over in the UK – Huawei has become embedded into UK telecoms infrastructure [Financial Times] – June 6, 2013

– Can it look any more ominous than this  (see photo below)? Inside The Chinese Company America Can’t Trust [Time Magazine] – April 15, 2013

Source - DOMINIC NAHR / MAGNUM FOR TIME myth of photographic truth exploited to paint a sinister Huawei

Source – DOMINIC NAHR / MAGNUM FOR TIME
myth of photographic truth exploited to paint a sinister Huawei

That said, it is probably useful to get a clearer picture of what Huawei does:

To read a perspective of Huawei Its annual revenue is more than $35 billion. It is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker. Huawei components feature in networks serving one-third of the world’s population… Huawei is not really a manufacturing company. It makes some of its most sensitive equipment, but it contracts out most routine manufacturing. Just under half – 70,000 – of its staff are directly involved in research and development. It has sought 55,000 patents and been granted 30,000 of them. Thirty thousand of its employees worldwide are non-Chinese. It is really a giant R&D, design, marketing and brand company. A questionable risk to security – Huawei an extraordinary creation (The Australian, May 18, 2013)

See also from WC //

Huawei a victim of its success [China Daily] – May 26, 2013

Huawei calls US Congress report ‘China bashing’ [AFP/Sydney Morning Herald] – October 8, 2012

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Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban
By China correspondent Stephen McDonell
Source – ABC News Australia, published June 10, 2013

The Chinese company blocked from working on Australia’s National Broadband Network has set its sights on shaking off its image as a stalking horse for Chinese spies.

Telecommunications giant Huawei was banned from tendering for the network as Australia followed the lead of a similar government ban in the United States due to espionage fears.

The company, based in southern China’s Shenzhen province, has refuted claims by the US House Intelligence Committee that the company could potentially build so-called “backdoors” into the likes of the NBN to allow for Chinese eavesdropping.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: ABC News, Advertising, Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Cyberattack, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.K., U.S.

8 things about independent Chinese travelers [Affinity China] #RisingChina #OutboundTourism

Affinity China offers a first-hand account that can also be seen as eight resets to update one’s view of the Chine outbound upper crust. As the author states, her time studying in the US was helpful in more than one way during her travels in Europe.

More about Affinity here.

Cue expiring 20th century sepia-toned postcard-themed notions of Chinese travelers?

Bottomline – despite its steady climb the yuan at today’s rates, is still 5-6 yuan to a greenback. It is not hard to quickly extrapolate where Chinese outbound tourists stand in the Chinese food chain. Especially so if they have the means to flaunt it with the Euro.

The luxury market in a way is at the tip of China’s spear to send feelers experimenting with the best the world has to offer. In a positive light, Where they travel, there is a more synergistic transfer of wealth to host country where common language grows to common cultural respect. Over time the good ones too will enculturate the rest of the Chinese demographic.

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8 things you should know about independent Chinese travelers
LIN XU
Source – China Luxury Network, published month n.d, 2013

Tell us how much we are saving when we shop in your store.
Everyone already knows by now that Chinese travelers love shopping for luxury goods when they travel overseas. Everyone also knows by now that this is because retail prices of luxury goods in mainland China are much higher than Europe and North America. Many of my friends from China travel overseas just to shop. They often complain about the complexity and the long wait at the airport to receive tax returns and all the research they have to do on prices in each different market on the globe before they go shop.

It would be a really effective sales tactic if the brand’s sales representatives saved them the trouble of researching and let them learn how smart a purchase they would have made on items in the store – how much lower the prices are, how the styles are exclusive in your store vs. the counterparts in China. Keep the fact sheet handy for the big spenders. I understand that from a global brand perspective this is probably not a standard sales training tactic on how to sell to Chinese travelers, but the fact is they are already going to great lengths to do this research themselves before they walk into your store. From a customer experience perspective, being greeted by friendly sales staff overseas who can share exactly how much the Chinese travelers would be saving by shopping in their store would help generate more short term sales and help create a long term affinity for the brand.

Do you offer a global warranty and customer service in China for products we buy overseas?
If you present yourself as a global brand in China, you need to ensure your customer service is global too. It really becomes an uncomfortable dilemma for the Chinese traveler when they have to choose between a better priced item that is 20% lower overseas but comes with no warranty once they bring it back home or buying the higher priced item in China with a 2-year standard warranty. Again, from a customer standpoint we don’t understand why there should be a difference. Your brand is a global brand to us and therefore the warranty and service you offer should be too. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Advertising, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Entertainment, Europe, Finance, Food, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Internet, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, U.S.

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