Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Wrap up of Democractic Demonstration on Dec.4th

Legco of Hong Kong voted down government's proposal, which involved the new procedure of electing Chief Executive and Legislator. This made the democratic destiny of HK be stranded again into the uncertainties. Last night, I was watching the live coverage of Legco's vote. The final result was not suspensive on the last day, because the people who were hesitant seemed to be determined. I am thinking what most matters after all about the whole process.
Government officials blamed Bishop Zen and Legislator Martin Lee that they should be responsible for the standoff. In other words, are the two persons who influenced the final results and turned the scales? Otherwise, is it like what MingPao said today, that is, it was because of the Three Bundle of Cigarettes including Bishop Zen, former chief secretary, Anson Chan and Next Media's Chairman, Jimmy Lai. We should remember the advertising war waged by Jimmy Lai in the late October. We also remember Bishop summoned all the pan-democratic members and called on his followers to protest on Dec.4th. We must remember Anson Chan joined the big march, and also held the press conference later to publicly express the disapproval of government's proposal. It seems to be so. However, can they influence those legislators? If it's in the western countries, we gotta say of course it is; because constituencies' will influence legislators'. HK doesn't embrace full democracy yet, who on earth influences whom? I'd like to anatomize the vote behind the scene next.
The total number of 60 legislators in HK composes of 30 persons by direction election in the respective constituencies and of the rest by functional constituencies. In the Legco election in 2004, pro-democratic camp won the 60% of the votes in the direct election, while pro-Beijing camp won the 77% of the votes in the election of functional constituencies. Before the vote on the proposals, government can definitely get 11 votes from pro-Beijing legislators who come from direct election, plus 23 votes from pro-Beijing legislators who come from functional constituencies. The eight independent legislators without party background had become the determinant factor. But the four who come from direct election won't definitely vote for the proposal, because they knew what their constituencies thought. The result is that one of them abstained (I think he took both his political wisdom and risk). Until now, there has been not any chance for government to win the 2/3 votes to pass the proposal. The rest in the functional constituencies hadn't mattered to the whole situation. The media in Hk said the legislator from the Accountant field is the miss democracy. That's too sensational, too much to say that. We can see a reality from the vote, there are seven fields in the functional constituencies are the democratic power, which represents 25% of the total number of 28 functional fields. The government's proposal about the Legco increased the total seats from 60 to 70, and five of them are from direct election; the rest of them are from district council members. However, 102 of the total 529 district council members are appointed by Chief Executive. That is why many people oppose to the proposal and call for universal suffrage. I dare say Beijing would compromise, and HK government would give the new proposal which both sides can accept. When will be the universal suffrage for HK? 2007/2008? 2012? Judged by the current information, 2012 seems to be more possible. You bet? I just hope so.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hong Kong blogger in the demonstration against WTO: Report personally

The Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference was held in Hong Kong, 13-18 December 2005. Thousands of anti-globalization campaigners, especially South Korean farmers who has been opposing to opening their rice market by the agreement South Korean government made with WTO, had protested across central Hong Kong, carrying huge banners, chanting, banging drums, and fighting with policemen of Hong Kong.

Most of the bloggers in Hong Kong who joined the demonstration against WTO personally were supporting the South Korean farmers’ appeals from the bottom of heart, which is similar to the demonstration against universal suffrage on Dec.4. HK bloggers played the role of not only civic reporters, but the practitioners of grass root power.

Majority of bloggers in the inmediahk are strongly against WTO, and support South Korean farmers staunchly. They reported the daily demonstration using their first hand source. When the riot took place on Dec. 17, some of them were shot by water cannon, and nearly suffocated by tear gas and pepper spray. They condemned what HK police did against protesters, and described it was the shame of HK. Interestingly, if there was one person who expressed the different view with them, they besieged and censured him.

The Journalism and Media Study Center at the University of Hong Kong joined by HK’s reputable English newspaper, The Standard and the well-known EastSouthWestNorth blogger, Roland Soong established a dedicated blog style website for this WTO ministerial meeting named Curbside @ WTO .Curbside reported the daily meeting formally, and post personal feelings in the item of web log by its tens of master students in the journalism school. One of them, Jonathan Lee thinks Hong Kong Police's motto of “We serve with pride and care" is being exercised to the fullest, and he also believed that the unsung heroes of Hong Kong during the demonstrations are those street cleaners in HK.

The eloquent HK blogger, Glutter also joined the demonstration against WTO, and talked a lot about her observations and feelings in her rants during the meeting. She expressed deep disappointment to the protest in the WTO Diary: Genuine Concerns Turns First World Violent Entertainment. She said, “the reason I left was I felt really disappointed by a lot of Hong Kong people who turned up were just standing around blocking the protesters and the police… The reason that really made me totally embarrassed and made me want to leave the whole thing was reading the "Declarations" of the Hong Kong hunger strikers. It was total bullshit, what they were demanding they wanted the negotiation on agriculture and fisheries removed from the WTO table meaning everything remains status quo and it doesn't help the cause at all”. In her another post named Globalize Trade, Globalized Violence, Violence of poverty, and Having the Strength of Convictions to Deal with Consequences, she said, “the police has my respect for being completely restraint. I have never seen such a lack of forward attack happen between police and protesters considering how violent it was. The South Korean farmers have my respect for having the strength of conviction with following up with what their threats were and dealing with the consequences with honor and respect. They put their bodies and lives at risk, they willingly put themselves out there because they feel they are being hurt by globalization and danced for hours and chanted for hours while surrounded by police in defiance and belief”. Finally, she said, “all I can say is no matter what, how I feel is a complete failure of the Anti-WTO movement in being unable to express themselves in any logical way”.

Yahoo Hong Kong conducted a survey which 9.594 thousand people participate in as of Dec. 19. Responding to the question that if you agree with what anti-WTO protesters did, tremendously 68% of participants recognize, only 26% of them don’t. And yet 65% of the respondents think the action that HK police’s took against protesters are proper, even 14% of them consider it too tolerant. This is the public opinion of HK people. They love freedom and fairness, as well as rule of law.
(the photo in this article was taken by
Simon Song at Curbside)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shanwei Incident Implied the Cost of China’s Economic Miracle

The incident happened in Shanwei (汕尾)certainly demonstrated the weak capability of Chinese government to cope with the social crisis again. Many people even associated it with June 4th incident. There was another case similar to Shanwei incident taking place in Hanyuan city, Sichuan Province late last year. Government in Sichuan confiscated farmers’ lands, planning to construct a power plant near Dadu River. The peasants in Hanyuan who lost their lands stopped the plant's construction, demanding government to increase the compensation level. When clashes began, the Police opened fire. The incident was cracked down on by force, ending with tens of peasant's death.

Coincidentally, Australia broke out the massive riot due to the racial hatred on Dec.12nd. This is for the same cause with what happened in Paris last month. Although the riots there were serious, there were few death reports (only one man died in Paris). Whereas there are more than 50 nationalities in China, the racial violence case like the grim conflict between Hui (Chinese Muslim) and Han Nationality which led to tens of death toll in Zhongmu of Henan Province last year was rare, except for the hot spot regions like Xijiang and Tibet. Furthermore, when the riot was happening, nobody saw policemen. Every time what the police did was to arrest the rioters afterwards, and left behind the large casualties. It seems that the Chinese police aren’t to protect people, but merely protect the authority instead. People fight with each other; it’s none of my business. If you fight with me, I’ll open fire. Moreover, it's real gun. They won't even use stun guns, pepper sprays, tasers, rubber bullet or other intimidating purpose weapons which have also been criticized by international consensus.

The minister of Public Security, Zhou Yongkang said in June this year, 74 thousand demonstrations happened in China last year. Zhou said that most of them were triggered by economic reasons like land and property disputes, and power abuse by local officials like the Wanzhou incident (a city of Chongqing Municipality).

That sounded reasonable. However, if we look into the overall social situation in China, I would say the riots or violent activities will most probably go on happening. Chinese government hopes to mitigate the level of unrest which was dormant in the untold corners of society, by all means of keeping high economic growth rate. Paradoxically, the high economic growth in China depends much on depriving people’s rights. It was said that present Chinese economy was braced by 3“C”. That is, construction, car, and coal. Therefore, that is why there are so many cases about coal mine accidents, demonstrations for losing property, and traffic accidents (China amounted for over 20 percent of total traffic accidents in the world last year).

Shanwei incident not only implied the officials’ weak capability of good governance, but alarmingly signaled that China has gotten into very severe situation. If such abnormal model of economic growth continues without political reform, China might become the most powerful economic entity some day as somebody anticipates. However, China would also possibly strand deeply in the big unrest if his people can’t choose their popular governors, moreover, have been dissatisfying with their rulers.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Roundups of the march in HK-babies' festival

The press in Hong Kong were debating the motivation why Anson Chan joined the march on Dec. th recently. And, they also reported that the different reations to comparison between Anson Chan and Aung San Suu Kyi which I first broached in my blog. It seems that democractic camp doesn't like Anson Chan very much. Tt's interesting to observe the progress of political situation in HK. There isn't any absolute accredited political leader in HK, and their political performances are mediocre, but they would rather be the leader themselves.

I interviewed serveral persons who were joining the march on that day.

A pro-Taiwan organization named Confederation of Free League & China Youth-Service League in Hong Kong said, ““Father of China”, Mr. Sun Yat-sen, had told us that people couldn't have their own rights until the country has democracy, yet we are still arguing whether democracy is good and right, or not”. They said that political situation in Hong Kong has retrograded.

Two retirees who took hold of banners calling for universal suffrage said they decided to come to the march from the very beginning. They came there not for themselves, but for the youth. They thought that Donald Tsang's proposal was unreasonable and it would deprive people's human right. Another old marcher also said he came to struggle for his children. A college student said that he and his classmates decided to come to the march from the very beginning as well. He also touched on the ads heavily placed by pro-democracy camp before the march. “The ads just specified the details of the march; I came here not being influenced by them”. A clerk said they decided to come at the early beginning. She also mentioned that most of her friends came to join the demonstration. An elderly retired person who had been standing outside the parade said that he supported the universal suffrage; the reason why he didn’t join the march was because he preferred to look into the process of the whole march. “If I join the march personally, I can not see what happens in the behind of the parade”.

There were lots of prams in the march then. It seemed to be a festival indeed. Babies enjoyed the march, but their parents had a more ponderous mission for Hong Kong's future.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Roundups of the march in HK-about Anson Chan

The roundups of the march on Dec. 4th should be done yesterday, but I composed a reaction story of Hong Kong bloggers for the Global Voices in the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School.
First of all, I added the video clip about Anson Chan joining in the march.

It also can be seen at
Google Video.
The newspaper in HK today talked a lot about why Anson Chan attended the march in a lofty stance. Some said that she might decide to run for the CE in 2007, some said she cannibalized the fruits of pan-democratic camp, some said she wasn't a very enlightened when she was in office, and some even said that she should also be responsible for the failure of governance and economy both in the colonial and Tong CheeHua's time. The march was that Anson Chan showed her attitude to Beijing most strongly in the wake of her essay named Trust Us in Time magazine in June 2004.
Press also mentioned that Anson Chan once had the highest popularity wehn she was in offfice, even higher than the current favorite of HK people, Donald Tsang. It seems that she will probably replace Tsang, if she can run for the post of CE later. And, some bystanders during the march then joined them when they saw Anson Chan was among the parade. It seemd that Anson Chan had the engough preparation for the march.
When I was interviewing in the march, I heared some people said Anson Chan didn't need to attend the march personally necessarily. They explained that people knew what Anson Chan thought, and that her presence only made trouble for herself. That's a typical and general thought about Chan's acts. They believed Chan just supported the appeal like any other general citizens.
I'm interested in what Anson Chan will do next. Will she emulate Aung San Suu Kyi,who is considered as the democratic hero in Bruma, and got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
Here is an interview record of Anson Chan by PBS (America's public broadcasting corporation)
in 1998 below. It seemd that she has been craving for the universal suffrage in 2007 all the time.

PHIL PONCE: You talked about the record turnout for the recent elections, and yet, the majority of the people who cast their votes in the popular vote voted for pro-democracy candidates and some of those candidates-Martin Lee, for example,--are saying that the time is now for immediate one person, one vote.

ANSON CHAN: I think, of course, people in Hong Kong want more democracy. That is, in fact, what they will get in accordance with the timetable for the development of democratic institutions, that is, election to the legislature. In accordance with our basic law, which is our constitution, there is a specifically laid-out timetable to reach the ultimate target of universal suffrage. And so for our next election, which will be in the year 2000, the number of directly-elected seats in the legislature will increase to 24, and in the year 2004, it will be half the legislature that will be returned by popular vote. And in the year 2007, in accordance with that timetable, the people of Hong Kong can decide for themselves whether to move straight away to universal suffrage.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hong Kong was in the march

The intensified debate or even propaganda war on universal suffrage in the past days rang down the curtain this afternoon. Total over 200,000 people was claimed to join the march which started in the Victoria Park in Hong Kong.
The biggest news about this march is that former Chief Secretary of HK, Anson Chan attended the march in the name of herself. Mrs. Chan has been called the Conscience of Hong Kong because she insisted on the interests of Hong Kong. She was forced to resign in 2001 by Beijing government.
The total number of protesters is controversial in every march in HK. Police department said the total figure is 63,000, but the organizer of the march said the total figure amounts to 250,000. I also once calculated the number by different means. When I first got in the park, I counted the total number of people in the single pitch. There were approximately 3000 persons every pitch, and if so, the total protesters will have 36,000(3000 persons multiply by 12 pitches) in the pitches. The total figures in the Victoria Park probably have 40,000 circa (plus the persons outside the pitches) at 3pm. The march started at 3:10pm or so. I went out of the park, and counted the traffic. There were 600 persons who went by me every minute, and so I speculate that the total number of protesters in the street is 78,000 or so. Even if adding the people joining halfway, the total number at most is about 100,000.
There are still many different appeals in this march besides the universal suffrage. For example, Falungong (2), anti-WTO (2), pro-Taiwan organization, human rights group, overseas Chinese democratic organization, civil radio, children and women organization (2), elder people organization, postal labor union, estate labor union,educational unions (2) (3), journalists' organization, the persons whose rights are abused by others (2), and some other organization also joined the march.
The protesters arrived at the Government Offices in Battery Path, and requested that Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, went out to meet them. However, Donald Tsang met the press at 8:45pm in his Government House. He said that he knew what Hong Kong people required, and he believed he can see the day when universal suffrage comes even if he has been over 60 years old. The protesters left at 9pm even if they dissatisfied with what Donald Tsang said. Some of them claimed that they will come back next Saturday.
It's the first time that I complained to myself about the insufficient memory for my digital camera. I can take 150 photos at the resolution of 2560*1920, but I had to delete many photos taken earlier and changed the picture quality to 1900*1600 at the time when the march just began for an hour.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Showdown for Democracy Debate in HK

(illustration: the march will begin from Soccer pitches of Victoria Park, Causeway Bay at 3pm on Dec. 4. The terminal point of the march will end at the Government Offices in Central. The march will pass through Causeway Road, Yee Wo Street, Hennessey Road, QueensWay, Queens Road Central, and end at Battery Path.)
Propaganda war on the democratic proposal in Hong Kong went on today. In the wake of TV address by Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang, pan-democratic camps wages more intensified attacks against government's proposal, and called on people to protest by more versatile means.
Today, the 25 pan-democratic legislators placed joint full page ads on the two English daily newspaper (the Standard, South China Morning Post) for the first time. Besides, they also advertised on Apple Daily, Mingpao, Economic Daily News, Economic Journal and Am730(the new free paper in HK) in the full page color. Moreover, the Next Media magazine which is the member of Next Media Group with Apply Daily dispatches spread page insert to call for universal suffrage (it seems that they wish people to hold it to protest then). There were six full page ads to call on people to protest in today's Apple Daily (including Christian church and some democratic organizations of China). What a money competition!
What should be pointed out that Democratic camps has begun to attempt the new means, such as webBlog , Internet live radio and PostcastPeople's Radio Hong Kong-香港人民廣播電臺), video clips (video 2, video 3) and viral marketing.
At the same time, the camps to support government also placed ads, but their voice seems to be weak compared to the opposite side.
Interestingly, the organizer of Dec.4th March declaimed that their base website was attacked by hacker ( I guess the attack might come from mainland if it was real. It is interesting to observe the reactions to the march from mainland people. The behavior of hacker may be one of the strong reactions.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Propaganda War in HK Warmed up

Today, all but the frontpages of the press in Hong Kong are story about chief Executive, Donald Tsang, gave a 5-minute TV address through the three TV stations (the other three radio stations also broadcasted his speech simultaneously) at the prime time (7:30pm) yesterday (full texts in Chinese , media coverage in English).
Almost the press all said that Tsang emulated George W. Bush, in order to win the support of his democratic proposal probably from elderly and female citizens in a emotional way (TV viewers are generally considered as more emotional than the readers of press). Some of the major Chinese media said Tsang threatened citizen to support him, otherwise they would never have universal suffrage (Apply Daily's story), some of them said the Tsang's first trial of TV address was inexperienced and unsuccessful hereby, some of economic press calculated the cost Tsang's address should take (Tsang's address was free), such as Economic Daily News and Economic Journal, some of them seemed to be more neutral, such as Standard's Tsang makes TV appeal on reforms, and some of pro-Beijing media said Tsang's address gets high marks.
Besides the TV speech Donald Tsang addressed yesterday,HK government officials, even the officials from Beijing also try to influence the possible turn-out of March on Dec. 4th by all means. Oppositely, the democratic camps went on waging their advertising attacks these days. An ad purporting to be a mother who has been caring about universal suffrage since 1980s was paralleled to oppose to the TV address by Donald Tsang, and the Democratic Party of HK called for people to join the march on Sunday (the other one).

Disaster information in China Should be more transparent

Today, I saw an essay on Caijing magazine which is a famous economic journal in China. It said that the information about epidemic situation can not be exported first and then sold back to domestic market (疫情不能出口轉内銷), which means that epidemic information should not be reported first by foreign media. That actually minces its word to criticize that Chinese government always hide epidemic information, such as SARS, bird flu, and mine coal explosion, etc.
The recent big news in China was definitely the incident of water pollution and the discontinuity of water supply in Harbin. When a chemical plant in Jilin Province exploded, Jilin officials didnÂ’t tell Heilong Jiang province the possible threat to the downstream Songhuajiang in Heilongjiang. And when the Songhuajiang was severely polluted, Heilongjiang especially Harbin city also didnÂ’t inform other cities including the fast eastern part of Russia, where Songhuajing will pass by. They found the situation of water pollution badly influenced their drinking water system, and just informed their citizen that the city would out of water supply for four days. No any reasonable explanation. Any even lied to citizen that they were repairing the water supply system! When many people knew that they could not have clear water because the water was contaminated by poisonous chemical substance, they were pandemic, and full of disbelief with their officials. They fled to other cities, and rushed to buy bottle water. Until then, the officials in Harbin had to admit what truly happened there.
Although the information of natural disaster in China has not been considered as the state secrets any more since last year, the Chinese official especially local officials who are afraid of possible negative impact on their political career still wouldnÂ’t rather disclose those information timely and fully. However, there have been too many bloody lessons in China because those officials cover and delay the epidemic information. The innocent people are vulnerable; they much depend on the information provided by government. If our government still disregards it, they are indeed burying their people with their hands which should be used to help people.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Stanley Ho Hung-sun is in the limelight in Hong Kong

The 85-year-old Macau casino tycoon, Stanley Ho Hung-sun(何鸿燊), who has been considered as a staunch partner of Chinese Communist Party, is in the limelight of Hong Kong media.
He placed ads on some presses to support government’s democratic proposal on his birthday. He also said that government would need to make concessions only if the turnout for the march exceeded 50,000(related story). That riled democratic camps, which sworn that they will by all means break that number to show HK people’s courage to the world.
Later on, he said a certain official of central government of China told him that universal suffrage in HK should be fulfilled step by step, and cited United States with 200-year history fulfills its universal suffrage only in its 180th year. He added the official said that if HK steadily demand the timetable of universal suffrage, what he only said is that it won’t be posterior to 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai’s hit movie in 2003) at latest definitely.
Almost at the same time, Mr. Ho’s sister placed ads to request Mr. Ho to pay off billions of HK dollars she should get. That’s part of the legend story about Mr. Ho’s family. Mr. Ho dismissed his 79-year-old sister last year from the post of director of his casino empire. Mrs. Ho wouldn’t rather step down, and has been fighting with his brother under the support of her son (another report), who was also dismissed from the top manager in Mr. Ho’s company.
Mr. Ho pledged a $500 million fund to our university (the University of Hong Kong) to celebrate its centenary in 2011 several weeks ago. Before that, Mr. Ho together with a woman (I didn’t recognize if she is Mr. Ho’s fourth wife or beloved daughter)showed up quickly in a donation ceremony our department organized (we got 1 million HK dollars donation from Shum Wai Yau, who was once a famous local journalist).
It seems that Mr. Ho is a very complex person from the aforementioned matters. What do you think?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Google: Unknown Story -the next media empire?

I didn't update my blog in the past a couple of days, because I was trying to find more information related to Google and its competitors. I would like to broach a question, will Google become another media empire?
From the chart I extracted from many sources to make, we can see the top-25 media companies in 2003. Bertelsmann which is a German media conglomerate, is the fourth largest media company in the world in terms of revenue. Google's revenue in 2003 should rank 24th. However, actually, many companies in the above chart aren't media companies; they are media related companies, such as Comcast,Cox,Clear Channel, because their primary revenue source are from system operation or outdoor AD(Clear ChanneL). So, we can't count Sony as a pure media company, but it has much investment in the movie, record label industry. Thus, Google's ranking should be more forward.
I looked up those companies's financial statements respectively, and got the data in 2004, but some companies don't provide the number of AD revenue. If we see the revenue figure in 2004, Google will surge to the 19th in the rankings. And again, if we see the temporary statements of these companies in 2005, Google's revenue increased nearly 100% over last year, yet other companies increased slightly, almost at the rate below 10%. Therefore, Google probably would rank 9th replacing Gannett in the 2005's rankings. Furthermore, if we exclude these companies whose assets aren't purely from media (publications and programs) , or just base on their advertising revenues(it's an important indicator for media companies), Google's ranking will go up to 6th in U.S, and 7th in the world in 2005( Bertelsmann). And, if Google can go on keeping such growth rate in the next five years, it will be world's largest media company. It would be another legend that a company establish a media empire only in ten years!
How can Google do that? I wouldn't like to talk more about its content strategy, because there have been many reports about that. I just would like to talk about its advertising management strategy,which makes its overwhelmingly major source of revenue (99% of its total revenue). I don't see any graphic ads like Gif banner, flash,etc. on Google, yes, Google only provides text ads to its clients. With the growth of bandwidth, many advertising professionals hyped the so-called rich media advertising in the past, but Google still emphasizes the model of performance based text only advertising. And it did work!
Performance based advertising means that advertisers pay only if users click ad, call to them(Google has provides its newest advertising service-click to call. I might elaborate it later), or even buy their goods. Google has been making its pre-eminent search technology to boost its key word advertising, and it bought Applied Semantics who was an online advertising tech company in April 2003, both adsence and adwords have become one of its most important and profitable products since then. Meanwhile, Yahoo bought Overture which is competing search advertising tech company with Google On October 7, 2003, but Yahoo often lays behind with Google in the competitive strategy.
Actually, what Google did is almost same with that DoubleClick, who used to be a dominant advertising technology and network company. DouleClick has good AD server technology (plus netgravity. I once used their product and service) ,comprehensive network, and reputable clients. However, DoubleClick doesn't have much unique product, what it did can be easily copied (in China, a local notorious Chinese company has defeated DoublClick in this market). DC has been bought by Hellman & Friedman, LLC in April 2005. Somebody said ADsense is the representation of web2.0 compared with DC. It does make sense, but may be a little bit overstated.
However, I would say Google should go on making progress in the innovation both in the aspects of technology and business strategy. I would like to talk about the possible potential threats to Google later. The story will continue......

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Google: Unknown Story

Google is again in the limelight recently. Google stock price exceeds 400$ per share, and market value hits 120 billion. It has been the fourth largest tech company, and the third largest NASDAQ trade company (only inferior to Microsoft and Intel. IBM is traded in New York Stock Exchange Market) in terms of market value in the stock market. It seems that the image of crash of dot com and tech stocks in 2001 are still fresh, and NASDAQ is still in the swamp, how come Google is at full blast? Will Google lead the advent of so-called web 2.0?
I looked up today’s stock prices of both Google and Yahoo. Google’s is 410.9395$ per share, and Yahoo’s is 42.27$ per share. Their market values are 120.99B$ and 59.97B$ respectively. Google’s market value has almost amounted to the sum of that of Yahoo and EBay (64.38B$).However, if making a comparison between Google’s traffic, and income, and Yahoo’s traffic and EBay’s income, we can find that Google’s gross profit (1.73B) is lower than that of Ebay (2.66B), and Google’s traffic is lower than Yahoo, based on Alexa and Nielson/Netratings. (According to Alexa, Google ranks No.3 under Yahoo and MSN. According to Netratings, Google (190,598,000) also ranks No.3 under yahoo (194,999,000) and Microsoft (236,509,000) in the rankings of world’s most visited websites excluding China. I should redundantly add that Alexa’s method has many limitations, because it depends on the numbers of downloaded program which counts the traffic. Yet many work people can’t install it; its samples are biased. Netratings’ method is much like What AC Nielsen has been doing in the TV rating, which employs many random samples in many cities to fill in diaries or press “people meter”. ).
Does it imply the dusk of the old dot com represented by Yahoo, and dawn of the new web2.0 represented by Google? If we analyze the NASDAQ Index in the past years, we found that the peak of NASDAQ Composite Index was 5048.62 in Oct. 2000, and the nadir of NASDAQ index after peak was 1114.11 in Oct. 2002. Current NASDAQ index is 2241.67. However, how about Google’s price? I think it’s a little bit overvalued, but not too much.
Some Wall Street analysts said Google’s price would hit 500$ a share in the next 12 months . In my view, that's one of the major reasons why Google is blasting off, that is, investment analysts might mislead the investors somehow. If we look up the trade history of major stock prices in NASDAQ, we’ll find Yahoo had achieved the peak trade price at 433.29$ in Dec. 1999 (its highest open price was once over 500$), even after its stock was split three times. If we went back to Jan. 1999, when NASDAQ Index was near to present price, Yahoo price was 354.25$ a share. If we considered into the factor of stock split, it could be near to present Google’s stock trade price. Until now, it seems that we are substantiating its rationality of high price. No, don’t forget current Yahoo’s price (42$). Google’s price couldn’t be so high. Google must split its stock, and make its price under 100$ a share. However, based on my observations on Google, it will have much better performance than Yahoo. Next, I’ll talk about them.
Google has better global competitive strategy than Yahoo in terms of confronting with the censorship of totalitarian countries. We know Yahoo surrendered its client’s (Shi Tao, I ever talk about in the story below) personal information to Chinese government, and led to its client be jailed. I know many people said Google also helped Chinese government to filter some sensitive websites. Actually, I need to applaud what Google did, because it didn’t do that foolishly as Yahoo did. What Google did is to distinguish where users are by technical analysis. For example, if a website is blocked in China, and you visit the website from China; Google won’t show the website to you. However, if you visit the same blocked website in China by means of overseas proxy server, you'll see the website normally. That’s great! Google doesn’t need to offend Chinese government by its smart technology. Another case is Google map (it has been changed to Google Local). We know Taiwan government protested that Google called Taiwan is a province of China in the Map service. Google later on didn’t show any texts. When Beijing government protested, Google just said we had a strategic recap. Google easily survived these crisis, on the other side, that expounds there is a new dispute in the Google Sovereignty. That’s amazing! Continue......

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Former top CCP leader,and the motivator of Tiananmen Movement, was commemorated by CCP leaders

The time has spanned the 12am; now it's Nov.20. I have to talk about a person relating to today. It is also the 90th birthday of the former CCP(Chinese Communist Party) General Secretary (1981-1987), and also the his death in April 15, 1989 directly led to the occurrence of Tiananmen Movement then (please see the second pix below, which was taken during the Tiananmen Movement in 1989. Citizens and students in Beijing went to Tiananmen Square to commemorate Hu Yaobang's latest death spontaneously).
I'd like to talk about him, because he made me sense the true society first. Hu Yaobang died on April 15,1989, and CCTV (the only nationwide official TV station in China) broadcasted the obituary. I was in the sixth grade in the elementary school then. I talked to my classmates about his death news. I remembered I said, "the person is a good man, and I almost cry out when I watched the TV news of his death". I don't know why. I was a kid then indeed. However, since then, I knew a lot of things, and I want to know a lot of things, even my personality changed a lot.
The second reason why I'd like to talk about him is because Hu Yaobang was involved in the journalism reform in China from 1978 to 1987.
I once interviewed an elder advertising professional of China in 1998. I clearly remembered that he said it should owe to Hu Yaobang that advertising industry in China could be resumed after "Cultural Revolution"(Hu was the Propaganda Minister then, which took charge of both media and advertising industry). I also once interviewed a famous liberal Chinese journalist a month ago. He said it should owe to Hu Yaobang that China Youth Daily could make good news all the time, and the Chinese people especially college students then could come alive after the collapse of "Gang of Four" .
I looked up the internet in China, to figure out what Chinese netizens think about Hu Yaobang. As of one hour ago, there were 4761 persons who posted comments in on the reports that China commemorated Hu Yaobang's 90th anniversary of birth. Overwhelmingly majority of the comments were to praise Hu Yaobang's feat. Interestingly, Many netizens knew it was Hu Jintao who decided to commemorate Hu Yaobang, so many posts showed that they respect Hu Jintao as Hu Yaobang. A snap pic (the texts in the box) on the right expounds both Hu Jintao and Hu Yaobang are the pillars of China's future. Maybe, president Hu has partly achieved the original goal to improve his awful image in the past years through this controversial event with his peers.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The follow-up story about crazy ads on Nov.16

I was too tired yesterday, and I didn’t find the ads on Sun, TakungPao, so I didn’t post anything. I tried to find the the ads in the newspaper our department doesn't have in the HKU library, but unfortunately, they don’t have those paper, and even fewer than our department.
First of all, I explain the incident from the cost point of view. The man who is called Gu Mingjun (see the man in the pix), cost 1.1 million (over 140 thousand U.S dollars) to place ads in at least 15 Chinese newspapers in HK on Nov.16 (source: HK Economic Daily News). That is called roadblock strategy in the advertising campaign. The newspapers where the full page ads were placed in the front page included MingPao (cost 176,000 HK$, please refer to its rate card at:
), SingTao (145,000 HK$, please refer to its rate card at:, am730 (free paper, its rate card doesn’t specify the price of full page B/W ads in the front page, but it mentions the B/W full page ROP ads, and the 4 color full page ads in the front page. So I guess it is 100,000 HK$ or so. Source: ), Economic Journal (信報)(it doesn’t have website, so I didn’t find its rate card). Excluding some tabloids and free newspaper which ads price are relatively low, ads in the five main stream broadsheets, such as MingPao, Oriental (99,800 HK$), Apple Daily (cost 115,000 HK$, source:
), Sun (60,000 HK$), SingTao, cost the man nearly 600,000 HK$, accounts for approximately 54% of its total budget.
Secondly, everybody may ask the same question: why did the man do that? According to the accounts of newspaper in HK yesterday, the man decided to place ads to support government, because he was angry that the chairman of Next Media, and a legislator of Democratic Party fabricated a 78-year-old man who placed ads to appeal to universal suffrage in the Apply Daily(see the color ad on the left). The next day after he placed ads, he went to police station and complaining service of Legco to report that the legislator fabricated news(ads) (the pixs related to the stroy can be seen at my another blog).
I used to be an advertising professional, so I clearly know advertising campaign should have a specific objective first, and the advertising effect depends on that objective you specify (that's what DAGMAR theory says). And then, you should know your target audience you want to appeal to. And then, you choose the appropriate media based on the relevant research (such as your target's reading habit, what're their favorite newspapers, etc). However, the man's ads cost so much money, and were placed on all the Chinese media. What I only can say is he must be crazy. Or, his money is too much, and he wants to throw off by meas of "donating" to media. Next, I give some clues from media's accounts.
Thirdly, we might ask another question, was it worthy of doing that? In other words, what was his true motive to do that? Some media said that he has been planning to privatize his two public companies, so he might just want to attract the attention of whole society, especially both HK government and Beijing government.
At last, we also want to ask what HK wants to embrace after the having freedom and run of law with HK's characteristic. If people just have freedom, that may be what the savage primitive society was like. If people just have run of law, that may be what the feudal society was like. Of course, If people just have the democracy at the low level, that may also be what the under-developed society was like, such as ancient Roma, and Athens. Democracy is the daily life style, not the slogan, or show arts. The ads war in HK implied politicians in the two camps including some so-called democrats are exploiting the will of general public. The barriers of full democratization in HK are not only from Beijing, but from their own elites in HK.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The biggest news in HK today

Today, I think the biggest news in HK is that a businessman placed full page advertisements in almost all the Chinese newspapers, including Apply Daily and free newspapers in HK. The guts of ads are to call on HK residents to support the proposal of democratic reform by government, as apposed to the ads placed in Apple Daily several days ago. I guess those ads will at least cost 1 million HK dollars. How come a man cost so much money just in order to express the will to support government? This is a weird thing!
Everybody says that there is freedom and rule of law, but no democracy in HK. I would also say the freedom in HK is HK style freedom. Media in HK are strongly commercially motivated, and they usually lose the objective and neutral position because of the temptation of commercial interests, although the world should admit that HK somehow still has press freedom to some extent, or at certain level. Advertising has been considered as the part of press freedom and freedom of expression. In America, advertising is beloved to be the commercial speech, which is protected by First Amendment, only if ads violate the interests of consumers, can FCC or the justice department regulate it. We have seen this kind of sufficient business-driven press freedom, as well as another kind of insufficient independent and objective press freedom in HK. These days, a lot of persons and organizations expressed the will opposing to government’s proposal, appealed to the dual universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008, and summoned HK residents to demonstrate on the street on December 4 by means of advertising.

Initially, the chairman of Next media, which runs the Apply Daily, Mr. Li Zhiying called for people to oppose to government’s proposal, and claimed that he would pay for half of the ads if somebody placed ads to express the will in the media (actually, 50% discount of rate card. It's a little higher than the 30% discount which is givent to their agencies). He claimed that the men who give signature in the ads to support democracy just need to pay 200 HK$ (please see the ads below). The Democratic Party cost 300,000 HK dollars to place ads in the media after an anonymous so-called HK 78-year-old man placed an ad, expressing the strong will to embrace universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008.

I was upset and frustrated by somebody

I watched a documentary about 9/11 review on National Geographic Channel tonight (half an hour ago). I was still shocked by the images even if I have watched them as soon as the incident happened. A guy who lives in the same floor with me said he was excited when he heard the news, and the reason why he sit along just in order to watch the Twin Tower collapse again. When he didn't see the end of the documentary, he said angrily, "damn it, how come it (Twin Tower) doesn't collapse yet!" He is a PHD candidate from mainland China. How come Hong Kong government wastes taxpayer's money to support such cold bloody guy!
I have several classmates from mainland. When they heard something critical of China or Chinese government by the foreign students, they aren't happy very much. What they believe is that even if China isn't good enough, but we Chinese can't criticize our own leaders or motherland. What a herd of lost students!
In HK, I got to know a lot of people, who have different backgrounds in terms of culture, knowledge, religion, and ideology. I have s strong sense. Some people, especially ones from mainland China, are deeply influenced by the communism ideology. But they may also talk about the professional ethics. I think they have been contaminated from the bottom of heart, and won't purify themselves. We should respect each other, even if he is a radical communist. That is very important. However, there is somebody who has some power; they can criticize others who have a different faith. I'm very upset and frustrated! When I was a teacher in the university, I told my students they can join in Communist Party as long as they truly believe in it, but not being motivated by some incentives.
HK especially HKU is a very free place compared with mainland China, that's what I mostly cherish. However, HK can't be HK any more, if anybody can be somebody, disregarding if he respects the truth, and human conscience.
In the campus, we only need to respect the facts, truth and morality in the objective way. You can hate George W. Bush, or Hu JinTao, whomever, that's your choice. You need, and have to be cautious about if you breach the bottom line. Unfortunately, many people breach it.
I love HK, but I disdain some rats in HK!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hearing about Yahoo case organized by HK Legco

A journalist named ShiTao (師濤) in mainland China was sentenced to 10 year prison because he leaked some information about the 15th anniversary of June 4 to an overseas organization. The accusation was leaking state secretes. In this case, the controversy was that Yahoo HK disclosed his personal information to PRC government, and then, Chinese government got him, and arrested him.
A legislator in HK called Emily Lau (劉慧卿-the last pix) and other legislator, such as Albert Cheung (鄭經翰) who are the members of pan-democratic faction organized a hearing for this case. They claimed that Yahoo HK might violate the privacy law of HK, so they invited the commissioner of privacy in HK to testify.
I felt very disappointed with the hearing. Everybody just attended the meeting for the meeting; nothing constructive. Most important, Shi Tao is still in jail, furthermore, has to be there for 10 years.
Yahoo HK didn't appear, and just a written statement said the case was nothing to do with Yahoo HK; it was what Yahoo China did.
The chairman of FCC (Foreign Correspondent Club) in HK, Ilaria Maria Sala, was present, but said few and something meaningless.
I think the reason why such hearing was meaningless is because HK Legco is still a flower vase, in other words, they can't determine anything in HK yet. As Albert Cheung said we weren't American congress, so Yahoo HK dared be absent.
Interestingly enough, the founder of DAB, Tsang Yok Sing (曾鈺成-the third pix), who has been the staunch pro-Beijing politician in HK sit in all along. Why could he be interested in such meeting?

Some references about ShiTao-Yahoo Case
The verdict of ShiTao can be downloaded at Berkman Center at Harvard Law School.
A open letter to the Yahoo founder Jerry Yang by Liu Xiaobo, full Chinese version can be seen here: . Here is an English version of open letter in the New York Times at:
The same story was covered by other presses at:
Washington Post
Comments of users
A website against Yahoo because of the incident at:

Friday, November 11, 2005

Marry Meeker gave a speech in China

A Speech about internet trend in China was given by Marry Meeker, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, in China and Hong Kong simultaneously.
The picture was blur, because she was in Shantou,South China, and we saw her speech through the video conference system.
She said what she most bet on is mobile internet. Although she is the most influential investment analyst on internet in Wall Street, she seems to assume everything. What I mean isn't to blame her. Technology is fast changing, so she couldn't assert anything uncertain.
I prepared some questions about how ICT influences the society initially, but I lost the interest and courage to ask, because she was in China.
Her presentation can be downloaded at the website of E-commerce Institute at HKU. Posted by Picasa

the last governor of HK is visiting HK

the last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten gave speech at HKU.
Actually, I didn't attend his speech, because of a class. So, the picture was taken by my friend. However, interestingly enough, Patten went to our department to be interviewed by the Chief Editor of Standard after his public speech, and said hello to us.
I ever asked my friend what his speech was about. I had a feeling. When everything was related to money, everything would be changed. So did Patten. Patten talked a lot, but he didn't dare criticize the government of both HK and China. Is that gentle reason? I don't think so. We know Mr Patten was ever a radical politician who advocated the so-called true democracy in HK. But now, he is the chancellor of Oxford, which needs donations. And, most important, just as he sold his autographed book in the auditorium, he wants to do business with Chinese making use of his special identity.Posted by Picasa

Central HK from peak

The nocturne of Central is one of the most beautiful scene in HK. I took the tram to the Peak, and took the pix. It was so cold there then, that I couldn't concentrate myself on enjoying the scene.Posted by Picasa

the old Police Headquarter of HK

the old Police Headquarter of HK Posted by Picasa

HSBC tower in HK

The cannon located in the top of tower of HSBC, which is said to target its major competitor, Bank of China. It's a well known story about Feng-Shui in Hong Kong.Posted by Picasa

June 4th memorial statue in HKU