Archive for March, 2007

If you are new in Beijing, want to start a business but have no connections at all, there are some good ways to get to know people, especially other foreigners doing business in China.

If you prefer staying at home (probably you are some IT-guy), you can become member of some networks online, for example linked-in or (but if you like staying at home, you probably should not do business?).

If you like meeting people, you can also visit networking events organized by Chambers, embassies or business clubs (I admit, I never visited a business club, but some friends did). Those networking events are often open for non members, for a small entry fee (in embassies, it is often free and you even get a free drink).

Some websites, where you can find events: (which proudly annouces on it’s website, that t is growing at a rate of 10 members a month).

Guanxi (good relationships) are not only important when doing business with Chinese, but it is also important to keep up good relationships with other foreign business men. In China, foreigners usually all encounter the same problems while doing business with Chinese companies and they are all searching for new business opportunties and useful contacts. So it is easy to get new contacts, collect a lot of business cards (never go to a networking event with less than 50 business cards in your pocket), probably in one year, you will remember a guy, you once met and can now be helpful.

The Beiing Capital International Airport recenly opened an Olympics Channel at the immigration. Before, there was only one for Chinese, foreigners, diplomats and group visa.
If you are a foreigner but nobody is queueing up at the Channel for Chinese, you can often just go there to save some time. But the Olympics Channel is really exclusively reservered for the Olympics. Nobody there but still one Chinese immigration officer waiting there.
Lucky guy.

A client wanted to order a website design. I asked him about his ideas, if he had a company logo and I tried to get all the information I need to make the client happy.

Hm… he wanted me to create the website, another designer was already working on the logo. I should just leave some space on the website, so the other designer could just put the logo there. I even did not know, which color the logo should have.

That’s a way to create some corporate design – I really want to get to know this other graphic designer. If he really knows how to create a logo which fits into every website design, I will hire him immediatelly.

Normally, I do not take historical sensitivities of other countries so seriously, if they have nothing to do with events related to my country and if things happened ….lets say a few hundred years ago.

Since a few years, there has been a quarrel now between China and Korea. China claimed, that a few Koran kingdoms were under Chinese control. For example according to the Chinese, theKoguryo Kingdom started as Chinese minority. Also Japan is somehow “victim” the Chinese believe, that somehow they are the origin of all culture in Asia – Japanese civilization was founded by 1000 men and women sailing to Japan in order to find the pill of immortality.

The Center of China’s Borderland history was founded to examine Chinese border regions and to clarify their historical roots and historical affiliation – which actually means to prove, that this borderland once belonged to China or was under Chinese control.

The most recent cause of rage in Korea is the fact, that this “Center of China’s Borderland History now started to examine the Qing-Dynasty after this research center reached very China-frienldy results in previous research.
Okay, I knew those facts – no problem so far.

But I was very suprised, when a friend of mine was recently mentioned in Korean television news during prime time. Prof. Cheng Chongde (, from Renmin University and one of the most renowned experts on the Qing-Dynasty and part of the project to research Korean and Chinese history during the Qing-Dynasty.

I guess, I don’t have to mention, that this report in the Korean television station KBS was not … very complimentary for my friend.

Website of the Center of China’s Borderland history:

Today is the latern feast in China, this means 15 days after Chinese New year another night with firecracker, noisy alarm systems of cars which go of.

I hope, nobody offers me yuanxiao this time, some rice balls with sweet fillings – last year, I just got too many.

One of my clients is actually thinking about putting an article about his company in wikipedia. After Microsoft’s deal with an american expert to “improve” an entry about OpenXML and the negative media reaction, I told him that it was probably not the best idea.

Companies which do advertisment in blogs, wiki-systems and forums always have to exspect bad feedback. You can probably do some advertisment in forums which where established for this purpose but misusing wikipedia for advertisment does not make a good impression.

In the United States it seems to be a big business to pay bloggers or “experts” to correct wikipedia entries.P.S. What a pity – you still can not reach wikipedia from China.

Google has been trying to establish its trademark worldwide, but has encountered some problems on the way. In Europe for example the company G-Mail ( has already been registered for six years. Due to this fact Google cannot use the domain and had to rename the service in Europe to googlemail instead of Gmail.
Recently Google encountered a similar problem in China, as the domain is also already taken. ISM Technologies which claims to be china’s largest domain registrar and is backed by the Chinese government refuses to sell the domain. Google has also had problems with domains recently in Poland with the domain, however the case in China may be more problematical given that intellectual property issues in China can become complicated by politics. The Chinese website also offers mail services. Google has no t yet tried to sue the company.
In china Google has already owns web addresses such as or and is competing with the local search engine Baidu (

A friend of mine told me the following story:

He was just having a short break in an cafe with a friend, both where using their laptops, checking a few websites. Suddenly his friend, who is working in a middle sized enterprise in Germany, said, he wanted to send him a few files (very big ones). – How did he want to sent those files? – No problem, they could just share a folder somehow. They were using the same “system” in their company, he already shared the folder and my friend had access to it now.

Only then, he suddenly realized, that actually every member of the (unsecured) WLAN in this cafe could also see his files shared files.

Small hint: If you share folders in a company and exchanging data via a network, you should be careful when connecting to unprotected WLANs, for example at home or in the internet cafe.

Either you change the status of your shared folders back to normal or you have to make sure, that you firewall settings do not recognized the WLAN as “secure area”.

I guess, that is the least you can do to protect your company secrects …. 🙂

We recently registered a new domain for a Chinese language website. It is a new project and we do not exspect too many visitors at the beginning – so we decided to host it on a shared server with an american company.

After a while, we started to wonder, why we could not reach the domain from China. After a few tests, we found out, that the IP-address of this server is blocked from China, after we made a short server check, we actually found out, that a few websites with …hm…. with sexual content were also hosted on this server.

Again tried to safe money on the wrong place. I guess, we have to make a server change now.

Fortunately, it was no client’s website but an own project.

Recently, I received a phone call from a Chinese company, which wanted to sell ink for a printer. I have a laser printer and told the sales girl

– she could also sell me an inkjet printer, like this I could get their ink much cheaper than the normal market price

– – my laser printer is new and I do not need any ink or a new printer.

– an inkjet printer has lots of advantages

– – I really do not need anything

– she would like to talk to the boss of the IT-department

– – this is useless, If my company had an It-department, I would advise the boss of this department NOT to buy a printer

– some sounds I did not understand

– – I asked, if she could repeat the last sentence, i am a foreigner and this was too fast

– she did not believe me and said, I was from some province

– – no province, I am from Germany 德国 (Deguo)

– Germany is not a province – where is Germany

– – Western Europe

– no way, I must be from Guangzhou

– – how does she get this idea

– in Guangzhou, people aslo spoke in such a strange way

normally, I am quite happy, if a Chinese takes me for a Chinese, but this time, I was not really happy about it.