Tag Archives: China

Saying goodbye to Google China

Eariler today, I followed a tweet from Twitter to this link, A new approach to China. After reading this entry, I felt so sad!

I’d been working as a vendor for Google China during Oct, 2008 to Apr, 2009. (Except some very detailed ActionScript codes, I have NOTHING TO DO with Google or Google China)

Personally, I am quite sure that every Googlers from Google China loves this country so much. Google China had tried its best to improve the search experience in China and had achieved a lot of great localized projects,  including Google Music. And I can’t imagine how big trouble/pressure they’ve faced since it’d be a nightmare to censor every single word in the serach result pages. Even with the best affort, Google China was blamed for many times about "spreading illegal information" in search result pages.

Quit from this country would be a great relif for those hard-working engineers. (Though Baidu also faced the same troubles, they are based in Beijing and easy to control/compromise.)

Goodbye, Google (China)!

Pictures of Google’s headquarter in China (via a friend of mine who’s working at Google China):

Twitter is blocked in China finally!

After Facebook, Youtube, Plurk, Twitter is now finally blocked in China. Though people have predicted this and I know it’s sooner or later, it still make me so sad.

I am a super fan of Twitter and I have got nearly 4000 followers, 70% of which are from mainland China. Now I cannot talk to them and nor can they talk to me. some of our authors and readers are also very active in Twitter.

What a stupid censorship! What a shame!

FYI:

  1. In the "China Twitter user investigation" I made few weeks ago, more than 70% twitter users from China said they’d keep using Twitter with proxy servers. Only very few of them would consider to join other twitter-like services in China.
  2. Wikipedia is also blocked today!
  3. Bing.com and Live.com are also blocked!
  4. Almost all the Chinese twitter users are spreading #FUCKGFW, #FuckGFW and #fuckGFW around and it soon became the hottest Trending Topics couple of hours later!

Youtube is finally blocked in China (updating)

Update on Mar 23: Now it’s blocked again :( – even with OpenDNS, I cannot access Youtube in Beijing!

Update on Mar 07: Now the block has been removed, we’re still now sure why this happened. I really hope that we could stop updating this post by now.

Update: Now Youtube is finally, finally, completely unable to access even in Beijing (northern China). Fuck GFW!

Well… many friends told me (via IM and Twitter)  that Youtube, the most popular video sharing site is now blocked in southern China. The ISP is China Telecom, which covers mostly in southern China.

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=youtube+blocked+China

I am so sorry to hear this news. It’s such a sad March. As far as I know, Youtube (Google) is doing a very great job in China and paid a lot for a CDN in China. Not matter what ISP you use, Youtube is as fast as any local video site. And the most outstanding feature is that Youtube offers a “embeddable” version with smooth fullscreen-mode and search support!

PS: Fortunately, I’m in Beijing now, so I can still visit Youtube. But I am not sure whether I can still enjoy the clips from Youtube tomorrow.

God bless Youtube!

Bu Zhe Teng

“Bu Zhe Teng” is a slogan (buzzword?) proposed recently by the Communist Party leader, Hu Jintao. In Chinese, it is usually used in Beijing dialect (yes, Beijing dialect is different than Mandrin, even they share most of the vocabularies)

There are some translations for this weird word. For instance, here are some from Xinhua News:

Do not toss
No dithering
Do not flip flop
Don’t mess around
Do not sway back and forth
Do not bugger about pointlessly
Do not do much ado about nothing
Do not do something over and over again, and to little effect

I guess you get the idea.

Well, I just want to say a very “Zhe Teng” (Bu in Chinese means no) thing I encounted recently.

I was planning a trip to China with my girlfriend this summer. She is American, so she needs a visa. Here is the policy for Americans [1].

Ⅱ.How to apply
1.You may submit the application to the Visa Office of the Embassy or Consulate -General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state where you reside;
2.If you cannot come in person, you may entrust someone else or a travel/visa agent to drop off your application at the visa office of the Embassy or Consulate -General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state where you reside;
No appointment is required.
Mailed applications are not acceptable and will be returned.
Mail back service is available (make sure you read INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATION MAIL SERVICE) .

And the obnoxious table [2]:

.Visa fees
1.Please pay by Visa, MasterCard, Money Order, Cashier’s Check, Company Check or Cash.Personal checks are not acceptable.
2.Please make the check or money order payable to the
Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate-General.

3.Fee list:

Number of Entry

American

Citizens of other countries

Single Entry

$130

$30

Double Entry

$130

$45

Multiple Entry for 6 Months

$130

$60

Multiple Entry for 12 Months

$130

$90

Multiple Entry for 24 Months

$130

$90

My girlfriend was really frustrated because for her, she never has to go to the embassy to get the visa. She has been to several countries, and China is the only one that needs “in person” visa application.  Also, she asked me, were there any differences between U.S. citizens and the citizens of other countries? Why American needed to pay $130 and they only needed to pay $30 for a single entry?

I told my girlfriend that China does not welcome you, and she told me that “your government is messing around”. What an excellent translation of “Bu Zhe Teng”!

[1,2]: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84246.htm

Happy "Niu" Year of 2009

As some of you may know, we Chinese people has a brand new "calendar-system", the Chinese New Year, rather than the world-wide used "Gregorian calendar". It is the most important festival among all the traditional Chinese holidays.

Though there are still a couple of weeks to go for the real Chinese New Year, people around are already celebrating for the "Niu" Year. Yes, the "Niu" Year, I did not misspelled it :)

Niu means Ox (aka, "牛" in Chinese). It is one of the twelve Chinese Zodiacs. In modern Chinese language, it means "very good, very strong".

We Chinese people experienced a lot, like hosted the 2008 Olympic Games for a first time, and won the first position in the golden medal standings. But we also suffered a lot in 2008, like the Big snow and Wenchuan earthquake, and many many other troubles for our current situation. Anyway, we really need a Niu Year of 2009 so much.

There’re still some hours to go for saying farewell to 2008, and I’ll be a little earlier than those who lived in the U.S. Well, let’s enjoy it! Happy Niu Year!!

Harmonious Society Tee from Chinese designer "nusea"

Well, I have to admit this designer a real genius!

Anyway, take a look at this picture:

Picture source: http://www.ggtee.com/

This tee is designed by "Nusea", who is a 26-year-old man located in Guangdong.

However, if you are confused about why I admit this designer a genius, take a read on my introduction:

"Harmonious Society" is first proposed by the Chinese government under the Hu-Wen Administration during the 2005 National People’s Congress, the idea deviates China’s focus from economic growth to overall societal balance and harmony. The idea is clearly visible in banners all over China.(via)

The idea is of course good, at least not a bad idea literally, but not long later, the word "harmonized" became rather popular among Chinese internet, which means a website is blocked or a sensitive phrase is filtered. For example: Technorati and Facebook are all harmonized in China :)

Pondering about housing…….

Time went fast and things changed a lot especially in the last 30 years from 1978 to 2008.  I can see the progresses of our country, the reformed China, when I recall my housing and compared the old one with the new one now!

I lived in a courtyard house for my childhood for 16 years. That was a traditional Chinese designed house with rooms in each 4 directions and a nice squared courtyard in the middle. It was located in a narrow alley and there were 4 houses on each side of this alley. 

We children of the 8 homes got along and lived joyously, as we could meet each other easily after class. When we came back home from school, we normally threw the bags on bed and shouted to mom or the maid: “We will have a rest and back soon”. Then we sisters and brother as well as other children would run out to the playground of the Military district and had a great time there. However, that kind of house was really an old fashion one where we even had no toilet at home but had to go out for 10 minutes to use the public one in the big military courtyard.

After I got married in 1978, I have moved 3 times so far and each time the latter house would be better than the former. I enjoy the advanced facilities of the flat but I still remember the old courtyard house. Why?  From the flat building, I can’t meet people as easily as we did in the courtyard house. People are now isolated in a well decorated house but hardly go to visit other’s home just for chat. And the young generation currently is often busy with their lessons and has no time to run out for a good time as we did….

The 2008 Blog Action Day

Today is the Blog Action Day of 2008, on Poverty.

Poverty is a big trouble in China. We have a population of more than 1300 millions (1,321,851,888 on July 2007 est). but most of the people are from rural areas or small cities. Though the economy of our country is improving at a very high-speed, the gap between rich and poor is still rather big. And this causes many problems. The more I love my motherland, the more I have to admit this.

In early years, I lived in a big city named Wuhan in Hubei province. Chinese families were not likely to move around frequently, so the voices from the poverty could hardly be heard, especially the real living situation of those people. I still remember the first time to visit my grand father’s village in 1994, I was so shocked! There’s no TV and telephone. Many of them even didn’t know what those things were. They could only "receive" information via radio and could never tell the outsiders how’s their daily life like.

Fortunately, internet and blog do change our life! Not only for those who can blog about their real life, but also for us who can share our knowledge and information about this.

Blogging is not only a "talkshow" but also gave the details on how to help the poverty and refugee in the terrible 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. In that case, You did a very great job and that post was hit for thousands of times. I am proudly sure there must be someone donating their money via our information.

Thanks again for the great idea of Blog Action Day, we are not blogging lonely and our ideas could spread all over the world!