experiences in China

On my German blog I posted some information about the most popular China-related online scam. I often get emails from companies or private customers of scammers who ask for assistance after they got ripped off. Normally there is nothing you can do after transferring the money. Just do not send them anymore.

Here is a short summary of the most popular methods

  • cheap branded articles or electronic articles are offered on online shops with a very professional layout. The support seems to be great, too. The contact happens via phone, skype, email. The prices of the products are often just 30% of the marked price in Europe or the US. After you did the payment, the scammer will ask for another payment, using some excuse like the goods are hold back by the customs. Or the special offer suddenly expired or their supplier needed more money. Whatever.  If you paid per Western Union, there is normally no way to get your money back. You wont find any company under the address mentioned in the imprint of the website.
  • Domain registration is also very popular scam. You will get a message by an “official domain name registrar” who received a request by a company who wants to register a domain name like “your-company-name.cn” or “your-company-name.cn.com”.  Just move those mails into your spam folder. Their only goal is to sell you an overpriced domain registration with their company
  • Forwarding payments or goods to China: This is also very popular. A Chinese company seeks represantatives in several countries. Your job as representative will be to accept payments by their customers and forward them to China. Of course they will never delier any goods. They just need your account to create trust because many of their customers will hesitate to transfer money directly to China. You will get paid by cheque. The cheque is a counterfeit. Or sometimes they will ask you to accept orders of goods and forward them to China. They do not pay those goods and after a few weeks you will get trouble with the supplier
  • Sudden contacts to potential business partners: A Chinese company contacts a western company and invites them to negotiations about a huge contract to China. They will ask you to pay for hotel fees, food, give them expensive presents. After the “negotiations”, they will suddenly disappear.
  • Sales of academic titles: You can “buy” them online or even at the side entrances of universities in China. Those titles are worthless of course, even if you do some “academic work” to get them.
  • Orders per cheque: A Chinese company contacts a Western supplier and orders goods. Payments will happen with counterfeit cheques from third parties (who have no idea about any payments). Sometimes the bank clerk will credit the cheque and the goods are delivered. After a while the third party will bounce the cheque and your goods are lost.

Well, some people just can not listen. A  friend of mine (who does not care if I make some fun of him in my blog) had a good business idea, he did not want to tell me about at first. Still easy to guess: the idea was basically to import goods from China and dont sell them to customers but to wholesalers. Thats nothing new and also the goods were nothing new (some electronics, whatever).   Unfortunatly it does not always work that easy anymore (actually it never does). Of course the wholesalers he contacted had cheaper suppliers already.  Probably you can also find his products for a cheaper price on ebay. Not that it matters much now, because the second problem is, that he already ordered the goods and paid 30% in advance to a Chinese friend he knew from his last stay in China and who promised him to take care that everything in China works well (he visited the company, checked the goods…).   The Chinse friend told him he had already paid the supplier but refused to give him the address or company name.  And this Chinese “friend” appearently promised the supplier more payments and more orders in order to persuade him to deliver a quite small amount.

Now they have to figure out how they solve the problem. My guess: The “friend” still has the money. If you want to export goods, you need an export license. Unless the supplier has this export license, the “friend” needs a trading company to take care for the shipment. And until now he refuses to give any contact data but insists on the whole payment first.

In Beijing you can find countdowns for the start of the Olympics 2008 everywhere. Some of them only display the days, most of them are accurate to the second. The unit I am living in also has a countdown but they update i every day manually. Every morning they exchange the numbers (except of the weekend). Since a few days, this countdown is wrong.

Chinese New Year – Part II.


Beijing really gone crazy – unbelievable


Beijing welcomes the Year of the Rat! Enjoy this video taken in Beijng.

Beijing traffic is ridiculous!! It’s a good thing more subway lines are being built because it would be great to relieve SOME of the traffic jams. Even out of the rush hour time period there’s traffic. Yesterday I was in a taxi and it took him 6 light changes to finally get past the intersection. I’m from New York so I understand there can be traffic, but this is out of hand. New York there are other routes to take but here there isn’t, so you have to wait.

Basically I sat through traffic, moving inches, light after light, before I couldn’t take it anymore. I threw my less-than-what-the-meter said-fare at the cab driver and ran to the closest subway station. Only to be pushed and shoved onto and out of the subway cart. Exhausted and frustrated I arrived very late for my meeting. Good thing everyone else was too.

So the football season is coming to a close and everyone knows what that means…..SUPERBOWL!!! Yes, I’m from the US, but I can’t help it, football is great. It’s actually the only sport I watch. Actually Super Bowl is great. I love the spirit of Super Bowl. I love the comrodity, the gathering of friends or family, the competing with friends or family, the shouting, the screaming, the physicalness, the brand new hilarious commercials, and of course, the loads of food and beer devoured throughout the entire game.

If you haven’t been part of a Super Bowl party, you’re definitely missing out. Even if you don’t understand the game, it’s great. Men and women shouting at the TV screen with buffalo wing sauce covering their painted faces or bright colored football jerseys, beer spilling every time there’s a good or bad play. It really is a sight to see….

So anyways, it’s Super Bowl XLII, Super Bowl 42. And while writing this blog, the New York (my home state) Giants has just sealed the deal for the Super Bowl. February 3rd New England Patriots vs New York Giants. I’m just hoping there will be a bar here in Beijing that plays it.

I’m really looking forward to this game and even the commercials, another favorite part of Super Bowl. So lets drink some beers, eat some wings, and shout like mad men this February 3rd. LET’S GO GIANTSSSSS!!!!

So I just recently saw the Beijing Acrobatics Show and Kung Fu Show, both really amazing. I personally liked the Acrobatics better just because it was more entertaining and I understand how hard some of the moves they do really are. The Kung Fu was more of a dance performance or musical story.

Anyways, these people perform things that you literally must see to believe. I’m sure I could describe it to you, but its just not as exciting as when you are there witnessing 15 people on one bike!!! My friend said throughout the entire show I looked like a 5 year old at a candy store, pure amazement was glued on my face and I was actually sitting on the edge of my seat. I don’t want to sound like I work as a spokesperson for them, but for 110 rmb a ticket, it’s definitely worth it. 1.5 hours of pure entertainment. PLus they sell beer 🙂 at the concession store in the Chaoyang theater.

So the evening started off with a great show and a tipsy Eric. The rest of the night included delicious Japanese food, delicious Japanese sake, and me trying to eat as much wasabi as possible. I didn’t get far since my mouth was on fire from the first big bite of it.

I definitely recommend the shows, so if anyone wants the phone number of the guy that I used, Paul, let me know, I can pass it along. Tickets normally start at 180 rm, so he gives you a very discounted price. 😉

Crowded subways, McDonald’s, meat sticks, the forbidden city plus the movie “Warrier” – available as DVD one week after its release.

A Taste of Beijing.

Some clips of the China Orbit team in Beijing. Shows you a little bit of daily Beijing life. Enjoy!


I saw the hugely anticipated movie The Warlords on Sunday. It was all in Chinese with only Chinese Subtitles. I couldn’t find any theater in Beijing that showed The Warlords with English subtitles. There is ONE theater for expats that show Chinese movies with English subtitles however I just found out it is closed for renovations until January 2008, great…So I decided to watch the movie anyways, I was with my Chinese friend who could translate any of the necessary conversions to inform me of what the hell is going on. Plus it’s an action/war movie, how hard could it be to understand, one guy is mad at another guy so they’ll fight. Pretty simple.

So the movie was really good even though I only understood 5% of it. Action scenes were intense and well choreographed, and Jet Li, Andy Lau, and Takeshi Kaneshiro were all good actors. I definitely recommend this flick, “a very man movie”, as my Chinese friend says.

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