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Showing posts from January, 2013

Social Media in Mainland China – “bei hexie le”

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What? Bei hexie le??? For your information, that is not a typo. In Mandarin Chinese, “bei hexie le” means “(something) has been harmonized.”

According to the Wall Street Journal report by Xiao Qiang and Perry Link, people in mainland China have to be very “creative” when communicating on the internet because the government is actively and heavily monitoring people’s conversation in the cyberspace. So, instead of posting “my wallet has been stolen” on the internet, one must use “wo bei hexie le” as a “synonymic but good” expression (translated into “I have been harmonized” for the bad accident happened to me). Otherwise, this kind of messages will be screened, and their voices will never be heard.
For a long time, I have known and accepted the fact that I cannot communicate with my family and friends in mainland China via social media. They have no access to Facebook, Twitter, or my blogs --- you can be the judge here and decide whether my blog is strictly business focus or promoting a…

Starbucks and Pizza Huts: Time Has Come for a Rapid Expansion in Mainland China

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The first Pizza Hut restaurant in mainland China opened in 1990. Yet, the Pizza Huts in China look nothing like the ones in the U.S. In China, customers will be greeted and seated by a hostess. They will then be served by young and good-looking waitresses or waiters. Back then, not many Chinese could afford to eat in a Pizza Hut because the average check per person was around 150 RMB (close to $20 at that time) while most Chinese were only making 1,500 RMB per month (less than $200 per month). With 150 RMB, people were able to purchase a whole week of food for two at home. As a result, most Pizza Huts opened in selected locations (e.g., in big business districts).    

Different from Pizza Huts, the Starbucks in China copy the U.S. concept with very few modifications and entered the market in 1999. The stores, menu items, and prices look almost the same as the ones in the U.S. A cup of latte, for example, costs about 35 RMB (about $4.5 back then). Without question, Starbucks used to …