shake it function (摇一摇)A few weeks ago, a conversation about the popularity of Wechat emerged on a tech mailing lists. Someone posted several reasons why they thought Wechat was more usable than skype. They listed several technical reasons, such as ease of use, great mobile interface, and more efficient battery conservation. The person also proposed that Wechat depersonalized communication.
I gave a talk back in Feburary of 2012 about one of my partiicpants (@hanunyi) who made global news for throwing shoes at the man known for architecting internet censorship in China. I didn't get a chance to post my notes about it until last week on my updates page. Here's the vide of the talk - it's essentially condensed fieldnotes with analysis in one. For more details read my additional notes about the talk. Here is the Chinese version: ［中文版 － 带着镣铐跳舞］
When doing fieldwork in a new city, one of the first things I do is try to bond with taxi drivers. They make the best informants and have such a rich sense of the city's informal and formal layers. They help me create what I call "consumption maps of the city. I buy a big street map and hang it up on my wall. Then I try to map the following onto it:
This lingerie advertisement in Hankou on 江汉路 shows a female in bra & underwear squatting with her legs spread open. The image reflects changing norms among public display of skin. There are more lingerie stores in a Chinese city than anywhere else in the world.
There is now a magazine for dog owners. My dream job is still to to research on dog ownership and culture. I put it out to the websphere two years ago and it still hasn't come true. Do you sell canine products? Hire me!
When I was in Beijing, I met with a well known VC. She retired from her work in the US and now lives in China managing a fund. During our conversation about investing in start ups, she said something that really stood out to me.
I've seen paisley ties and paisley button up shirts in the West, but I've spotted two males wearing paisley pants in the last month in China. The male in this picture is wearing blue paisley pants with white Adidas sneakers. His girlfriend's toenaills are painted blue. We are at a train station in Wuhan, China
A man walks by on the train offering 1 hour of DVD player rentals for 10rmb. The man sitting on the chairs says, “what if I run off with the DVD player?” The vendor replies, “where will you run to? We’re on a train. Plus now you train tickers require real name registration.”
Lunch time is sleeping time for some and bonding time for others. The male cooks bond over games and/or pictures of “pretty girls” on their cellphones. The waiters and waitresses nap before the doors open at 4pm.
China telecommunications expert, Marc Laperrouza, tips us off to an unconfirmed bit a of juicy news about the Chinese telecommunication market: China Telecom is being investigated for anti-monopoly infringement! You don’t hear of state-owned enterprises the stature of China Telecom being investigated for monopoly infringement very often so this is pretty big news.
There are signs everywhere that the expanding middle-class Chinese are globally mobile. Brands are noticing and catering to this new consumer. You can see it in the advertisements where companies are selling a specific lifestyle, such as this Toyota Highlander ad I saw a few months ago.
Oh how this Toyota Highlander advertisment is reflective of the new global order. I saw this picture in Guangzhou's domestic terminal. A Chinese couple is getting out of their Japanese brand car into what appears to be a private yacht. A white male greets them, taking their travel items and appears to be eagerin their service.
In the wonderful world of shanzai, we have a new competitor made with a Mediatek chip- a Nokia N9 knockoff, the Noka (诺卡) N9. The Noka N9 has 7 operating systems interfaces: Meego, iOS 5.0, HTC Sense, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, Smasung’s TouchWizand Symbian Anna. This screenshot below from the video shows the user switching OS interfaces.
This is a quote from Stephen Elop's first speech in Asia last week since becoming the CEO of Nokia: "The reality is that 90 percent of the world does not have or cannot afford a smartphone or a high-end device...This gap creates an opportunity.”
I've been touring underground tunnels looking for a short-term rental. This is the room that I've decided to rent. The room includes an incredibly dilapidated twin bed and a wooden desk. To give you an idea of the size of this particular room, it's as big as a large walk-in American closet and smaller than a queen sized bed. These rooms cost 350RMB/month. Some rooms have a double-bed or a TV, and those cost a bit more.