Mark Zuckerberg’s China trip

As the founder of facebook, world’s leading social network, Mark Zuckerberg can’t say his trip in China has no special meaning. Although facebook has over 500 million active users who login facebook everyday, but it is currently isolated from 400 million Chinese Internet users by the great firewall, making its entry strategy harder than ever.

Mr. Zuckerberg couldn’t just ignore these huge amount of potential users, however there are enough lessons he should learn from many foreign IT companies’ failure of developing localized products and services.

Zuckerberg’s first visit is Baidu’s headquarter. Unlike Google, Baidu is open for deep cooperation with Chinese bureaucracy and self-censorship, which helps Baidu to achieve the search engine market leader in China. It will be unsurprised that if facebook is about to enter Chinese market, it needs to find the way to get Chinese government's access. Moreover, a domain name of ‘www.facebook.cn’ will probably be activated like ‘Google.cn’ with all servers and user data being kept in China for censorship.

On the bright side, facebook is not unfamiliar with Internet censorship. It already has a censorship team built up. But it is still too far away to meet up the new condition. Take Sina Weibo, the biggest mircoblog service in China, as example. Sina Weibo has a very large censorship team (specific number is unknown, but it is really big, otherwise they can’t deal with mass traffic), 24 hours & 7 days online. An more extreme case is renren.com, a copycat of facebook with a former name Xiaonei, which is notorious for censorship and block user account. On December 10, 2010, renren.com block all search and input of the Chinese family name ‘Liu’, in order to prevent any information about 2010 Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo and the ceremony.


For facebook, censorship is definitely the most difficult task, but still can’t grantee that facebook will defeat its Chinese competitors such as renren.com, Qzone. facebook still gets a long way to go.


The first Chinese Nobel prize winner, Liu Xiaobo

This post is originally from here.

I am so exciting about Liu Xiaobo awarding Nobel peace prize. Even though there are many people, not just Chinese government, questioning his qualification , I am still so proud to witness a historical event of the first Chinese citizen winning a Nobel prize.

Well, thanks to Chinese government, which are doing a very well job so far to keep any Liu’s information away from ordinary Chinese people, most of ordinary Chinese people don’t know who Liu is and his contribution to China human right and democracy. All of his information can be found in Wikipedia, or some other web pages, but they are just blocked in China.

In my opinion, it will be very silly to evaluate or even criticize someone whom you don’t know. Just like in the novel Nineteen Eighty-FourEmmanuel Goldstein is generally seen as an enemy of the state, symbol of all evil forces, but almost no one knows his political opinion and how he "betrayed” the big brother. Therefore it is also ridiculous for Chinese people to accept government's statement of “Liu is not qualified to win the prize because he is a criminal” without knowing any other information.

Many people, includes US president Barack Obama, have appealed Chinese government to free Liu. He has been in jail since last June, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”, which is wisely seen as against freedom of speech in democratic nations. Will Chinese government compromise and free Liu? Well, I don’t see this can happen in the short term. After all, the most possible phrase which our spokesman will say is “don’t interfere China's internal affairs” (this is not your business, go away).


A day for condolence

The State Department of China announced that August 15 would be a national condolence day for deaths in Zhouqu landslide, this would be the the third time of national condolence for the massive natural disaster.

Zhouqu landslide

The landslide in Zhouqu county, Gansu Province, has caused 1239 deaths and 505 men missing. The recent rain made the rescue become more difficult. The whole town was silted up, which requires a long time to rebuild. As Zhouqu county is an extremely poor place in western China, the local economy recovery will highly depend on state appropriation.

National condolence

To condole the deaths in landslide, the state flag will fly at half staff across the whole country and embassies on August 15. Meanwhile, any public entertainment will be shut down, which also includes online games and online videos. On this day, any online speech to against the condolence will be deleted or angrily criticized in order to show respect for the deaths as a whole nation.

A man-made disaster

Even though the expert said that the landslide was mainly caused by continuous heavy rain. It is still not a real natural disaster. The true reason to cause the landslide is soil erosion, as the result of mass vegetation destruction in upper Bailong river. The town is built in the valley, which is very easy to be threaten by flood and landslide. In 2005, Global Times had posted a article about the serious situation of soil erosion in Zhouqu county, exposing that the local disaster is man-made. After the landslide, this article was ordered to be deleted to cover the truth. The expects have been trying to weak the anthropogenic factor to explain the reason of landslide.

Condolence is not enough

Any question about whether it needs a national condolence will be commented as lack of respect of deaths. But there is few people who think about the lesson in this disaster and how to avoid it. A far more serious issue beyond is how to monitor the local office corruption after they controls the folk domination and state appropriation.


Robin Li, it's time to hand in money

China National telecast CCTV exposed a web promotion for fake medicines in Baidu.com on July 19. It said the police of Wuhan discovered three factories manufacturing fake medicines and selling them across the country, and they also found out Baidu.com, the biggest web search engine of China, had been joining the fake medicines web promotion by key word bid.

When patients search key word such as rheumatism in Baidu.com, they will find several results of web promotion in the first place, which can not be distinguished. The fake medicine manufacturer paid high amount of money to overbid his competitors, making sure that his website would be found in the first place. Each time the web promotion was clicked, he need to pay 12 yuan (about 1.8 US dollar) to Baidu.

How profitable the key word bid is? According to the fake medicine manufacturer Gan, the manufacturing cost for each fake medicine is 31 yuan; the delivery cost is 20 yuan; web promotion cost is 495 yuan, which is the biggest cost of all. To sell each fake medicine, Baidu can earn over 70 per cent of the revenue.

Due to Google quitted China in March, Baidu has become the monopolizer in Chinese web search market. By raising the key word bid price, the second quarter Baidu's operation income is higher than expected.

Baidu's key word bid is notorious. However, Baidu always know how to maintain a heathy relationship with government and media by bribe. In 2009, after CCTV had exposed Baidu's key word bid for the first time, Baidu sponsored CCTV 2009 Spring Festival Gala with 50 million. Then CCTV and other media turned their fire to Google China, forcing it to quit. Now Google is gone, there is only Baidu, and CCTV start targeting Baidu. Maybe it is time for Robin Li, Baidu's CEO, to sponor CCTV again.


A conversation between a Chinese blogger and police

Jason Ng, a famous Chinese blogger of Kenengba.com, was taken by police to have a conversation in June 4, 2010. Since that, he has being low-key for a long time. Many people are worrying about him, asking him whether he was threatened by the police or government on that day. Therefore he updated a new post in his private blog about what exactly happened. The follow conversation is translated properly from original Chinese.

When we reached the police station, they told me to wait in a room with exchange equipments. A fat policewoman came to ask me:

"Have you said anything about Tiananmen Square protests on Internet?"

"About what?"

"Have you said anything?"

"About what?"

"Have you ever said anything?"


Then she went away, she was not in charge of my case.

And later a middle age police name Zhang came to me, whose son has the same age of me, he said when in June 4, 1989, he was a armed police to keep peace in Tiananmen Square. The he told me, it was not the time for China to have democracy, because there is only one politic party (China Community Party) in the country.

Later, another police name Wang came to me. He said he was also not in charge of my case, but he was on his duty. He repeated the conversation which I just had with the fat policewoman, and I replied the same. Then he took out a piece of paper, asking:

"T, W, I, T, T, E, Y dot COM (Twitter.com), is this your website?"

"Never heard of it."

He gave me the paper, and I told him he made a mistake, the last character was R, not Y.

"Is this website yours?" He asked again.

I said no, of course not. I wish it was, but they just couldn't understand the fact with their own intelligence quotient.

They asked me whether I had been writing blog, I said yes. I also told them that maybe someone made comments in my blog about Tiananmen Square protects, which I couldn't control.

They were seem to be cofused:

"How can somebody make comments in your blog?"

Therefore I took half an hour to explain the relationship between bloggers and visiters.

After that, the Police Zhang thought I had never posted anything about Tiananmen Square protects, but the Police Wang insisted on checking my laptop. So he called a guy who is good at computer staff.

They opened up my laptop, ask me to show my Internet history in IE. I said I didn't use IE, they were also confuse of surfing Internet without useing IE brower.

At last, they couldn't find anything they want in my laptop, so they ask to keep it for a couple of days.

I keep call they to give my laptop back for the reason of job requirment. Four days later, I finally got it back.

Well, the whole conversation is like a comedy. Janson Ng played innocent for his own safety, and the Police played being stupid. It is reasonable that there are still many Chinese people having no idea about what Twitter is, because Twitter is blocked in China. But it is so hard to believe the guy who was thought to be good at computer staff, didn't know there are other web browsers except IE. If Jason Ng used a Linux OS in his laptop, these police would think he was a hacker because they couldn't deal with an OS which was not Windows.

This event exposes the fact that the people who rule China don't know computer and Internet staff. The only thing they care is the negative speech about the government. The recommendation for Chinese citizens is the same for their ancestors in Qing Dynasty:

Do not make comments about government.


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