Apr 09

minipost-Taiwan’s Version of Whitney Houston

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture, media, music, video | Tags:, , , ,
20 Comments » newest 2010-04-25 04:43:58

Lin Yu Chun is a contestant on Taiwan’s version of American Idol called Super Star Avenue. He’s quite young, a bit chubby with a bowl haircut, not the most likely candidate for stardom. But he does a dead on impersonation of Whitney Houston and has gone viral on You Tube with over 2 million…  5 million hits.

Jan 30

Uln posted a great piece on the Google matter on his blog. Go there to read the whole thing – a selection follows. Continue reading »

Jan 13

Google issued a press release on their blog just a few hours ago pertaining to their operation in China. It is big news and will take some time to digest. I don’t want to comment, just get the story out.  Continue reading »

Sep 23

minipost-Sound Unlimited!

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture, media, music | Tags:, ,
1 Comment » newest 2009-09-25 00:05:49

Louis Yu’s new show called Sound Unlimited has hit the net. This show features indie music from all over the world, including the hottest bands in China. The format is in Chinese and you can download the podcast here or subscribe to it on iTunes.

Take a few minutes to check it out. It’s very rare (if not unique) to be able to find a music podcast from North America (in this case, Vancouver) that caters to the Chinese market. I can guarantee you that Lou knows his music and you’ll be exposed to many top bands you’ve never heard nor seen before.

Aug 17

Louis Yu’s Indie Podcasts

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, General, media, music | Tags:, , , ,
8 Comments » newest 2010-10-09 18:42:27

Louis Yu It’s not often a guy working on his PhD in theoretical computer science is also one of the hottest Chinese DJs in North America, but there’s always an exception and Louis Yu (余雷) fits that role. Originally from Guilin, China,  he’s currently in Vancouver, Canada studying at the University of Victoria while also doing a weekly podcast featuring world indie music.

And where can you find his 30 minute weekly podcast? It’s right here on  www.wooozy.cn where you can catch this week’s show plus access the archive for all previous editions once you’re hooked. The difference with Louis’ show is that all the introductions are in Mandarin rather than English. It’s his way to bring a new style of music to an audience more familiar with Asian pop in a easy to digest manner. Starting in September, he’ll be switching to a show highlighting an equal balance of both Western & Chinese music.

Lou was kind enough to share his thoughts on China’s current music scene. As he is a Chinese expat very familiar with indie music throughout the world, I felt his opinions would be a nice contrast to the western voices we’ve heard reporting from China.

Continue reading »

Jul 15

This is the full session between Niall Ferguson and James Fallows at the recently held Aspen Ideas Festival. Allen had posted excepts and we promised you the complete discussion as soon as it became available. Niall Ferguson had coined the term “Chimerica” to describe the symbiotic relationship between the economies of China and the United States. He currently sees this relationship as being in jeopardy, while James Fallows feels the relationship is far stronger the most realize. This video is slightly over 75 minutes.

Continue reading »

Jun 16

China Internet

It seems the western media and Chinese blogosphere agree on one thing; Green Dam is not winning any popularity contests. Today, the Chinese government backed down on the mandatory usage of the software, though it will still come either pre-loaded or be included on a compact disc with all PCs sold on the  mainland from July 1st.

There are several problems associated with this software, each one an interesting topic in itself. I’d like to run down the issues associated with its release, one by one.

1) Why the sudden announcement of this invasive software with virtually no implementation time given to the manufacturers?
Continue reading »

Apr 28

Boo Hoo Evil China Banned My Website!

Written by: guest | Filed under:-guest-posts | Tags:, ,
No Comments » newest

Have you ever heard of this thing called Plurk? Well, just heard about them, and the context presented is big bad Chinese government banning some (not so) popular micro messaging website – seemingly as lead-in to bring emphasis to the 20th Anniversary of TAM, by the best China propaganda tool my tax dollar can buy, Radio Free Asia.

Plurk.com also posted its plight on it’s own website. Plurk, you are well advised to not merely bitch and moan about it on your blocked website, but instead try to understand China’s laws in this regard.

In US we outlaw on-line child pronography, and some Arab countries don’t even allow wemen’s uncovered face on websites. As logic follows, China, as a sovereign nation, has the right to regulate information that traverse its sovereign territory.

Now, where would you go to get yourself legit and unblocked in China? You might want to start with industry counterparts in China, and some sound, local, legal advise. Here are couple starting points.

– China Ministry of Information Industry: http://www.miibeian.gov.cn

– Beijing Association of On-line Media (an information industry non-profit): http://baom.sina.com.cn/english

Good luck.

Mar 16

There’s a new phenomenon sweeping China. Back in January on a Chinese web page, a new video made its way from there into the hearts of internet users all across the country, spawning a wave of related items such as cartoons, documentaries and grass-mud horse dolls.

Continue reading »

Jan 30

President Obama has not exactly started out making a great impression that he will bring U.S.-China relations to a new high – what with unwelcomed vague belligerent references against communist and authoritarian governments in his inaugural speech, followed up by now Treasury Secretary’s Geithner’s sharp tone and use of the legally-loaded term “currency manipulation” in Geithner’s confirmation hearings (I don’t want to get into the “currency manipulation” debate here since we will have specific posts on those topics soon). Continue reading »

Jan 07

For many Chinese website operators, 2009 didn’t start very well. China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre, a semi-government agency, has published a list of websites which contain “vulgar and unhealthy information” deemed to be harmful to the country’s youth. The list (in Chinese) can be found here.

The interesting thing about this list is that it covered majority of the most popular websites in China. Google was ranked number one “vulgar” site (see, e.g., NYTimes article), followed by Baidu and Sina.

I’m very confident that every Chinese netizen have visited at least one of such vulgar websites. I myself must have visited at least 75% of the websites listed and would probably be diagnosed as psychotic under the Chinese guideline. Continue reading »

Sep 21

minipost-(Letter) To Debate or Not To Debate

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | Tags:,
41 Comments » newest 2008-09-25 11:17:03

It’s not my intention to be critical here. But I find this blog has evolved into a polite debating society. Comments to one post can run up to several tens or even well surpassing 100. However, they are more of opinions and criticisms rather than analysis and suggestions. Continue reading »

Sep 04

minipost-Uygur BBS back online

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:-mini-posts, News | Tags:, , ,
30 Comments » newest 2013-07-31 18:02:22

Uighur-Online, a gathering place for many minority voices in Xinjiang that has often pushed the limits of political speech in China, is again available online (连接).

Continue reading »

Jun 13

Chinese opinions of the Internet

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:News | Tags:,
5 Comments » newest 2008-06-14 03:39:47

While looking into the Pew Global Attitudes Survey (which deserves a blog post of its own), I came across these interesting results highlighted by Pew, with the title ‘Few in China Complain About Internet Controls‘.  This survey was conducted in 2007:

  • Over four years of tracking user reaction, trust in the reliability of online content has fallen by one-half, from 52% in 2003 to 26% now.
  • Only about one-third of internet users (30%) said they considered online content reliable.5
  • An overwhelming number of Chinese, almost 84%, agreed that the internet should be controlled or managed.
  • Since 2005, the percentage of users who say that online content about “politics” should be controlled or managed jumped from 8% to 41%, by far the biggest increase of any items tested.

It’s fair to wonder whether the survey is fully representative. After looking at the methodology in detail (pdf) (which polled 2000 urban residents in 5 cities), I think these numbers do give us at least a fuzzy picture of common trends.

This all tells me that perhaps we shouldn’t expect much liberalization online in the near future. There’s just too little popular demand for it.

May 29

“I’m just here to buy soy sauce.”

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:culture | Tags:
9 Comments » newest 2008-05-30 15:32:10

And the newest expression sweeping the Chinese internet: “I don’t give a $@*&; I’m just here to buy soy sauce.” (关我鸟事,我出来打酱油的)

It comes to us from Guangzhou TV last December, when an average man on the street was asked his opinion about a pressing social issue (the Edison Chen photo scandal if you must know). He gave a very, uh, candid and straight response.

This works very well with the Chinese sense of humor, and has just exploded in usage over the past few months. It’s taken on other meanings now without a clear definition… but I’d summarize it as: “I’m cynical as hell.” As rumors of official corruption after the earthquake were swirling, the emotional young Internet crowd often turned to this phrase when they felt frustration, but had little else to add… at least without having their post deleted by censors. (“More corruption? Whatever, who gives a $@*%, I’m just here to buy soy sauce.”)

This follows the “very pornographic, very violent” (很黄很暴力) expression which started sweeping the Internet a few months ago.

May 09

Tianya and Chinese online: A brief introduction

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:Analysis | Tags:,
18 Comments » newest 2015-10-06 20:31:47

Many people probably know that the number of people going on line in China has just recently, officially, passed the number of people going online in the United States . (Many believe China passed the United States long ago, since hundreds of millions login through anonymous internet-cafes where they aren’t “counted”.) But many people might not understand what this really means from a practical impact point of view.

Perhaps due to cultural reasons, or perhaps due to political reasons, or perhaps just due to demographics… just as in the real world, life on the internet is substantially different in China from what it is in the United States. I want to introduce a few of these differences to the English-speaking world.

Tianya remains one of China’s most popular and famous message forum sites (and partly owned by Google). At any given time during the day, Tianya will have anywhere from 50,000 to 250,000 viewers. Interesting threads will stay active for years at a time, accumulating tens of thousands of replies. Active threads (like those following recent Olympics torch rallies) will build up thousands of replies within the matter of one or two days. Numerous, significant, nation-changing “movements” have come out of Tianya.

Details after the jump.

Continue reading »