Archive for February, 2007

On Tuesday 27th of February Chinese stock prices fell drastically, dropping by almost 9 per cent. This has been the largest decline since 1997 where it fell by about 9.4 per cent. Share prices of many large Chinese companies such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China or the Bank of China fell drastically, some even reaching the limit of ten per cent.

Specialists feel that the reason for the sudden drop was the fact that many investors unloaded stocks in order to ensure profit. The Shanghai index had reached a mark of 3,000, which to many investors seemed to be a good figure to sell shares and ensure profit.
The Chinese share prices have doubled last year as reforms were introduced to ensure the market would not be flooded by shares. Since then stock prices have been steadily growing until reaching a maximum on Monday 26th of February. Chinese stock market analysts said that the crash on Tuesday was merely a market adjustment and the Chinese stock prices will still continue to follow last year’s trend.

The drop in the Chinese stock prices has also greatly affected stocks worldwide, resulting in record losses. For example the New York, London, Japan and Toronto stock markets all experienced a loss. At the Wall Street stock market this has been the largest drop Since the Sept 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. The Dow Jones industrial average lost around 3 per cent, the Nasdaq lost around 3,5 per cent, the Nikkei 255 index lost around half a per cent and the London FTSE 100 Index lost about 2 per cent.

In Korea (and in other Asian countries as well), it is a good idea to wear socks without holes. In many restaurant (and temples) you have to take off your shoes before entering.

Fortunately, I knew this before my trip to Korea:

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, spotted while leaving a mosque in Turkey

If you bring your computer to China or often visit Chinese websites, there is a high risk of getting spyware or viruses. One reason is, that in China, there are still other standards for websites and advertisment then in western countries. You download a program, install it on your computer and suddenly it changes your registry entries, changes your browser startpage or installs some spyware.

Or you travel to China and can not resist the tempation to buy fake software which probably contains a virus. Or you just exchange some data with a USB-stick and suddenly you have a virus on your computer.

Okay, just a few hints, what you should do, if you bring your laptop to China or go travelling for some time.
1) Always update Windows. If you have Windows XP, you should have Service Pack 2 installed on your computer and update Windows.
2) The following software is recommended:

– Firewall ( for example Zonealarm, McAfee, Norton)
– Anti-virus program (Antiv by Avira)
– Anti-spyware (for example Ad-aware by Lavasoft)

– a program prevent windows-registry entries on your computer, for example spybot SD-resident
– you should use Firefox to browse in the Internet, because this browser is not so popular in China

3) I know, there is a big tempatation to buy cheap fake software or fake windows versions – but really don’t do it!! You can not update fake Windows versions, so it is a high security risk. Fake software is not sold by the original producer, this means, it can contain viruses, trojan horses or spyware.

4) If you travel in China for a longer time, always bring your original software to China (Windows, Office…). You probably will need the support for East-Asian languages or you have to install Windows again because of virus problems, so it is better, to have the original software with you.

5) Always safe important data on another hard-drive than you Windows-installation (normally, Windows is on C-drive, so safe your data on D-drive.

6) always make copies of your data on a portal hard-disc.

A German clients wants to sell his product in China. To save costs, he has a brilliant idea – he wants to build up an online shop in Chinese language and deliver his products to China. After a few explanations I asked, if he already thought about payment methods and ways, how to deliver the products… His answer: Aaaaa…. just like always..

I really can imagine, how his company takes an order, the delivery via bicycle and payment in cash of course..

In China, most online shops work like this (of course, many offer delivery by car)
The client orders online. Big international comanies like Dell can offer payment in advance, because there exists some trust towards famous brands. So they just go to a certain branch of, let’s say Gongchan Yinhang and pay the money on Dell’s account by cash or by bank transfer.

No company which is not completly out of it’s mind offers payment by invoice (if you know an exception, please tell me) in business-to-client trade.

It happened like this, when I purchased my last ticket at a big Chinese travel agency. I ordered online, there was a confirmation via phone (of course the ticket I wanted to buy was not available anymore) and then by SMS, when the ticket was confirmed. One day later, I met a Chinese guy on an old bicycle, paid in cash and got my ticket.

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Oh shit. My first day in Kora, my first appointment – and I am late. I totally forgot, that there is one hour time difference between China and Korea.