Mass Consuption is here folks.. it’s alive and well in Beijing China and what better proof than these pictures? What you’re looking at is the lines ahead of the iPhone 4S launch tomorrow at the Xidan Apple Store in Beijing. THere are literally thousands of people waiting to get their hands on Apple’s latest baby as it makes its official mainland release. this is just nuts….. look at the pictures! picture from weibo user http://weibo.com/1457478803/y0tXSyH2K Here is a picture from the Sanlitun Apple Store earlier today ( yes, there’s more than one in Beijing) Keep in mind that we’re deep in the winter and temperatures are around -8 centigrade folks… that’s some dedication It wasn’t that long ago that yours truly had a hard time getting his hands on an Apple branded laptop in Beijing.. now, we’re looking at official apple stores all over the city! My oh My, have things changed!
So the web is abuzz Baidu’s new music service, Ting. For those that haven’t heard, the search engine giant has reached an agreement with a consortium made up of Sony, Universal and Time Warner to let users legally stream and download songs within China. It’s a positive development from Baidu and a giant step towards compensating artists and record companies. One can only hope that it is just a start and the service will develop even more over the next few months/years. Here’s a screenshot of the Ting’s front page: It’s quite similar in essence to that of Google Music (The Chinese one) as far as listing popular songs, giving access to top 10s and also allowing listeners to vote on some songs. Another common point is that one has to download the songs one by one. there is no functionality to download a full album in one go. The similarities however stop there! Lost in this PR shuffle is the fact that Google has been doing it for 3 years and their catalog much deeper than that of Baidu Ting: Some pretty big names out there are still missing in action on Ting like AC/DC , Motley Crue or The Blues Brothers just to name a few. Moreover, a slew of local bands like Xie Tian Xiao, Reflector, Yaksa, Zhou Yun Peng, Miserable Faith, Muma etc… are also not available yet. Overall, the announcement and the service itself are a sign that things are moving forward in terms of [...]
I don’t think Danwei need any introduction to most expats in China. The site has been around for quite sometime, predating most blogs and expat rags, reporting on happenings in China. Time have changed apparently with Jeremy Goldkorn and company going for a different direction/format. Last week, the new Danwei was launched, as a web magazine where each issue will have a specific focus! And guess what the focus of issue #1 is? yup, Music! actually, traditional Chinese instruments to be exact! As far as I understand it, the dizi, erhu, guzheng, zhongruan, pipa and drums all getting the mini videocumentary treatment. The Erhu (二胡) post is up already featuring Liu Hong. Check it out and keep your eyes peeled for the next installements of posts. Our good friend, the multi-talented Jonah Kessel, had a big hand in this re-branding and producing some of those video. So congrats to Danwei, Jeremy and Jonah…. long live the new danwei!
man the times have changed!!! A few years ago, China was considered cultural wasteland as far as foreign literature went! heck, it was difficult enough to buy foreign books, much less have an opportunity to sit down with authors and discuss their inspiration/work/whatever… My oh my!! we’ve come a long way. The Bookworm literary festival set things in motion and set the standard, a high one that is. Now, we’ve got the new kid on the block: The Capital M literary Festival with their inaugural edition. I got lucky enough to get tickets early on for a few sessions that caught my eye right away: A New Sexual Revolution in China: A look at what “sex in the city” means to modern Chinese. With Zhang Lijia. Food of the Silk Road: Food writer Jen Lin Liu talks about her journey spent discovering the foods of the Silk Road. Photographer Craig Simons will also display his works. Out of the Ordinary: Comic book writer Marjorie M. Liu of X-23 and Dark Wolverine discusses warrior women, shape-shifting men and how her day job as an attorney fits into it all. Illustrating Women: female illustrator/writers discuss the graphic novel The overall impression is a positive one! – The first session i attended was pretty much full but that tends to be the case when dealing with a topic that is sensitive/controversial. Other sessions were not that popular by the look of things with only 2 paid participants showing up for Marjorie Liu’s “out [...]
I’m not much of a gamer but this is just uber cool!!! a Man reportedly payed about 5000 Euros to play 10mn of the RPG game on the gigantic 250 meters long, 30 meters wide LCD screen. The damn thing covers an area of 7500 square meters! Check out this video on Youku: How cool is that? Anyone wanna pitch in so we can rent that thing out and do a Lord of The Rings Marathon there this spring? It reportedly costs RMB4500/mn to rent the screen so with a running total of about 8 hours, that’s about 480 minutes or 2.1 million RMB That’s definitely a cause worth raising money for… see original report on sina: http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2010-11-23/06434895513.shtml
Yup, it’s finally here, officially! The iphone 4 will be legally available for purchase in Beijing and all over china presumable of September 25th as reported here and here. With the official price at about CNY4999 for the base model, I would say it’s a relatively good reasonable deal as long as it is SIM unlocked which I’m not 100% sure off. The Hong Kong unlocked price is HKD 4988 which turns out to be about CNY4300. For such a high ticket item, I’m surprised at the small differential from apple. At a difference of CNY500, when you factor in the risks of getting a fake or having to deal with waranty problems and what not, it’s actually worth it and reasonable in my opinion. The black market is gonna have a hard time adjusting to this one in Beijing and it’s gonna be interesting seeing how the prices go down ( if they do). Considering both the mainland and the HK models should be the same in terms of features, I expect Zhingguancun shops to price themselves at the CNY 4500 range + a couple of accessories if they wanna make business. Having been an avid apple user for years and dealing with the pricing premiums in China, I’m quite happy about this new strategy! They’re definitely playing this one smart having learned from the fiasco that was the iPhone 3 Gs launch. Talking about Zhongguancun, it looks like they’ve already moved on past the iphone 4 and into [...]
A little diversion from music and food unto my other guilty pleasure: Apple! So, it’s official and Apple put it on their website: The iPad is gonna be launched in Beijing officially this Friday September 17th. The official starting price is RMB3988… great… or is it? A quick stroll over to Zhongguancun shows that there are plenty of iPads available on the market as of right now.. much like with the iphone, I think the early adopters have already managed to get their hands on a unit that was brought over from Hong Kong or somewhere else in the world. What did surprise me was the pricing which varied from RMB 4200 to RMB 5000 depending on the shop. Most vendors I asked said that they knew of the impeding official release but stock was limited and thus the premium. They didn’t seem to be planning on cutting the price down even after the official release. A little clicking over to the Hong Kong side of the apple store shows a different story: official price for a the entry level unit, the 16GB WIFI model, is HK$ 3888 which translates to about RMB 3373. Now, having bought my fair share of Apple products in Beijing, the norm is that the zhongguancun prices fall somewhere between the HK price and the Official China price. In most cases, for a 16GB ipad, I would expect to pay about RMB 3500 here and have it delivered to my doorstep. It’s be interesting to [...]
When in China, anything worth doing is worth having multiple simultaneous instances off: Why have 1 festival when you can have 3 at a time? Why have one Mobile phone shop in a mall when you can have 30 of them on the same floor and why have only one international conference when you have two huge ones at the same time? Here’s looking at you CHINICT, WTTC and GOAP. uh? I hear someone ask.. let me explain: CHINICT: the largest conference on China tech innovation & entrepreneurship http://www.chinict.org/ WTTC: Global Travel & Tourism Summit 2010 edition http://www.globaltraveltourism.com/china-home.php?page_id=566&track=Beijing_2010 GOAP: Geeks on a Plane, a bunch of VC from silicon valley travelling around the world http://geeksonaplane.com/beijing/ All these events are very much interfering with yours truly’s regularly scheduled activities as I happen to work in technology & travel so a regular day’s work is subject to constant interruptions to check out my twitter feed and follow the news live from the field! For those that care and understand hashtags, you’re looking at #goap , #wttc10 and #chinict to get your fill. There’s some fairly smart and interesting people taking part in all these events and quite a lot of feedback and good information coming out of them tweets! If you’ve never tweeted, this a good time to get started and at least follow the events real time. While most events are pretty much invite only or sold out, there are still a few opportunities out there to meet these good people [...]
This past saturday in Beijing marked the historical launch of Girls in Tech China, the first ever country chapter of this worldwide association that aims to bring together and empower women in Tech. The invite-only event was held at CNEX cafe which was also home to TEDx Beijing a few months ago and if i may say, the launch was a smashing success against all odds. There was enough said about how it all started in my 10 questions with good friend and founder, Jenny Bai who, as everyone in attendance learned, suffers from jetsetter syndrome. So let’s focus instead on the launch itself! I’ve been to a few “Geek-centric” events in Beijing over the past year and not one of them started on time, this one was no exception. In their defense, CNEX is in a pretty obscure location in Beijing and most people don’t venture to that side of town on a regular basis. Still, those extra minutes waiting for things to get started presented a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. The event was kickstarted with a brief introductions covering Girls in Tech, the advisors and the team behind the China chapter all leading to a screening of a beta version of Siok Siok’s Twittamentary. This was one of the first screenings ever of the yet-unfinished crowdsourced documentary about Twitter that she filmed last year on a cross-america trek.. the screening was extremely appropriate given that micro-blogging in general and twitter [...]
Moving away from music for a while into a reilm that i have recently neglected a bit: my inner geek! This weekend marks the historic launch of Girls in Tech China, spearheaded by my good friend Jenny Bai who has also been involved in TEDx and the Geeks on a Plane initiatives. Jenny had kindly asked me a few months ago to be part of the advisory board for Girls in Tech, an honor I just had to accept! I mean come on! we got girls, tech.. what’s there not to like? TO celebrate the event, I caught up with Jenny for 10 questions to see what she was up to and have her give the full 411 on Girls in Tech: 1- Whats going on in your world? This is your chance to plug your stuff: By day, I lead product development and social media marketing for a stealth internet startup in NYC. By night, I sing blues in the NYC burlesque circuit, run a cross-border company (www.theredconnect.com) and direct Girls in Tech China from my Skype account and Bernadette, my MacBook Pro. Lots of love for the latter two. 2- How did the whole Girls in Tech China come about? I met the Founder of GIT, Adriana Gascoigne, during Geeks on a Plane last June in Beijing. Thought the GIT concept was interesting; saw that they had city chapters all over the U.S. and Europe. It seemed an unavoidable thing to do. China is actually the first Country [...]