All Articles Tagged "China"
This Thursday was meant to be opening day for Django Unchained in China, but abruptly and without full explanation, the film was pulled from theaters. In some cases it was pulled while audiences were actually in the theater.
China is very restrictive about the media that reaches its citizens, whether broadcast and print media, Internet news, or entertainment. According to The New York Times, American movies are routinely edited (read: censored) because there’s no ratings system and everything that’s pushed out has to be appropriate for children and adults alike. That means less blood and gore, no nudity, and less violence. Because movie makers stand to make a ton of money from the Chinese market, they go along with this. The paper says that Django director Quentin Tarantino actually played a role in altering the movie before it was sent to China. Nevertheless, a confused Sony spokesperson told Deadline Hollywood in an email, “We regret that Django Unchained has been removed from theaters and are working with the Chinese authorities to determine whether the film can be rescheduled.”
A moviegoer told The Wall Street Journal‘s China Realtime Report blog that about a minute into his viewing of the movie, the lights came on and “several people in suits” entered the theater and offered everyone a refund. That’s like something out of a movie that the Chinese government would never let its people see.
China Film Group and the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television, the organizations that regulate films in China, aren’t talking yet. But bloggers are.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, online writers in China are openly saying that they’re going to get their hands on pirated copies of the movie and watch it on their own.
“While many bloggers have expressed surprise about the Chinese censors giving the film the green light – with its Chinese distributors, Sony China, confidently claiming the film will be released in full with just minor adjustments in the color and extent of blood being shed on screen – the news of the film’s sudden fall from grace still astounded many,” the article says. Some have said that the incident reflects poorly on the Chinese government, which is trying to put a good face forward internationally.
You can mess with a lot of things. But once you start fooling around with people’s entertainment, they take matters into their own hands.
She is known the world over for her glorious bridal gowns with people clamoring the world over to just try on one of her dresses. But will they pay to do so?
Vera Wang, who has been called the queen of bridal couture, announced that, for her bridal boutique in Shanghai, China, there would be a $500 charge just for brides-to-be to try on the dresses, a step taken to deter counterfeiters. Of course, global outcry ensued and now Wang, who is of Chinese descent, has decided to abolish the try-on surcharge, which amounted to about 3,000 yuan.
According to Reuters, “Local and global media had criticized the surcharge as being discriminatory because it was applied only in China.” Wang’s Shanghai store staged a “soft opening” in January and is company’s first bridal salon in the country.
“Please kindly be informed that Vera Wang has abolished appointment fees at her bridal salons worldwide starting from March 27, 2013,” the company spokeswoman told Reuters in an email.
Wang had reason to fear knockoffs in China. The facts are in the data: According to the latest customs seizure reports from the U.S. and the EU, in 2012, China was the top source country for counterfeit goods entering the United States and the European Union with more than 70 percent originating from China.
Li, one seller of “Vera Wang style” dresses on Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest e-commerce site, told Reuters he can achieve up to 90 percent similarity to the namesake garments without even seeing the originals. “For the experts you don’t need to try on the dress to figure out how to copy it, you just need to see it or feel it at the shop,” said Li, who declined to give his full name.
And the knockoffs are deeply discounted. A Vera Wang original can range anywhere from $2,000 to over $10,000, but Taobao’s imitations go for as little as $100.
However, Alibaba Group, which owns Taobao Marketplace, said they don’t deal in knockoffs. Instead, in a statement to Reuters the company said they works with intellectual property rights holders to take down counterfeit listings and will penalize stores caught.
Do you agree with Wang’s try-on fee?
When Beijing resident Martha Makuena and husband Paul Luyeye realized that the Black hair market was severely under-served in China, they made history by deciding to fill in the gap and opening the Paulma Afro Hair Salon, reports BBC. Martha and her husband, who are originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo opened the salon in an effort to offer proper hair care to Beijing’s Black residents, but quickly found that Chinese locals were booking appointments and enjoying the benefits of the salon as well.
“When we go to local salons, they can’t do our hair. Local people’s hair is oily, but our hair dry. We need products to put on our hair, but local salons don’t have them,” Martha revealed to China Daily.
“The idea came to us because my wife has a diploma in hair dressing. She also has a diploma in fashion design. She knows all of these things and the idea came: Why not set up something like this official in Beijing so that we can help the African and African descendents?” said Paul.
“Everyone is welcome to have an African style in their hair. You might be Caucasian or Chinese or Indonesian. If you like our style, you are welcome and we can do it,” he continued.
Martha revealed that she moved to China in 1998, just two years after her husband’s job transferred him there. All of her children were born in China. For her, a large part of doing business in China is knowing the language, which she speaks fluently.
“Doing business in China is just a matter that you understand each other, the most important thing is the language. You have to understand and once you understand the language, you can understand the person… They don’t look at me as African, they look at me as a person… doing business,” she said.
Paul also shared that establishing a business in China was a bit challenging as investors are eluctant about entrusting their money to foreign businesses.
“It was not that easy. It was as hard as every company in China, as a foreign company when you want to invest, you have to go through a long process…I know it wasn’t easy, but if it were easy, everyone would do it.”
The Paulma Afro Hair Salon currently employs three women who are all from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Check out Martha and Paul’s interview with BBC on the next page.
When I first saw the remake of the Karate Kid with Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, and Taraji P. Henson, I was surprised a bit at the plot. Henson, playing Smith’s mother, is an African-American executive whose new job takes her and her son from Detroit to Beijing, China. There is no denying it — China is a major business hub. I wondered, “Are there many black women working in China?” Yes, I later discovered.
Stephanie Hunt, president and founder of etiquette and protocol firm Swan Noir, recently returned from a stay in Shanghai. Hunt, who plans to move there in the fall of 2013, went to pave the way for her future move to the booming city. “I thought about the business aspect in 2011. There was so much buzz about China. I had been to Beijing, in 2007 for a 10-day tourist trip. It was then that I decided to… attempt to bring Swan Noir there and expand,” she explains. “I want to bring this training to Chinese who travel abroad and Americans and Europeans to China.” Eventually, Hunt wants to expand to other Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Nanjing, and Guangzhou. What she discovered were nuances that will help her along the way to establishing a foothold in the Land of the Dragon.
Business is Not Just Business: Understanding the Chinese Way
These days the Chinese are all about business. But there is an art to doing a deal in the country. They like the personal touch. “China is so complex, I did not want to use traditional American muscle and business tactics. I wanted to learn and experience China first,” Hunt tells us. “The nuances and the details that it takes to interact and do business with the Chinese is enormous. There are superstitions, auspicious colors and numbers, protocol with rank and title, business card etiquette, and so on.” Sabrina Lamb agrees. Lamb is the CEO of the nonprofit World Of Money, a New York City-based nonprofit whose mission is to empower youth with a sound financial foundation. Lamb is planning on bringing a delegation there in August 2013, touring Shanghai, Beijing and Xi-en, during which time she wants to forge business contacts for the nonprofit. She looks to make the visit an annual affair. “Learn cultural modes, such as, in general the Chinese are very shy. Americans tend to gaze in the eyes of others; while we may take their averted eyes as ignoring us or being rude, when in China the opposite is true. Often Chinese will smile once they know that you wish to connect with them,” says Lamb.
Patience Is a Virtue
The Chinese don´t make business decisions rashly. You have to prove yourself time and time again. “I was surprised to discover how much time it could take to actually reach a plateau,” observes Hunt. “I was networking with some Americans and Europeans that have lived in Shanghai for seven years, and nine years, respectively. They are still gaining trust with clients after years of pitching and proving themselves. The return on investment is worth it but it could take years.”
You must also be prepared to connect with potential clients personally. “You have to have patience and be prepared to be confused most of the time. Contracts are different, business is different, the thinking process is different, everything is different,” Hunt points out. “Relationship building is a must. If you are not good at networking and relationship building at home, you will have a really hard time in Asia. Meet people, and host people, drink, eat, karaoke, buffets, drink, talk, exchange ideas, more drinking, more karaoke, etc…”
If you took a look at stock news yesterday, you saw lots of financial reporters doing a major freak out about the steep decline in the markets. When we posted this story, the markets were tanking even as we got a little positive news about gas prices. The Dow Jones index closed down nearly 250 points.
But today, things are looking much brighter, thanks in part to Facebook. The social network announced its earnings after the closing bell, showing a 32 percent rise in revenue for the quarter ending in September to $1.26 billion and improved performance in the mobile arena. CNET quotes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who says the company can introduce new products and increase engagement on mobile devices. This morning, media has been crowing about the spike in Facebook stock, up 24 percent.
That news, coupled with a positive financial report from aviation company Boeing and news that manufacturing in China has declined at a slower rate than months past is sending the stock market into a happier place. We’ve also got news that the sales of newly-built homes in the US in September was up 5.7 percent to 389,000. The media price for a new home was $242,400, down from $250,400 in August.
One of the most international businesses in the world is fashion, and it has once again proved itself that in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. Thousands of African immigrants, many of them small-scale clothing traders from Nigeria, have come seeking business opportunities there and have naturally made it their home.They trade and buy clothing, apparel and accessories from the merchants in China and then ship them back to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, were the real profit is made.
Although the Little Africa neighborhood in Guangzhou is dominated by African immigrants who run the shops and stalls, many customers are Chinese who welcome their business. Read the full story here…
Do you think the business of Fashion crosses all color lines?
Another day another Rihanna saga. Happy Friday StyleBlazers! Today in Robyn Fenty news, the self-proclaimed Good Girl Gone Bad released these twitpics of herself yesterday, in full Geisha garb with hashtags #thuglife #princessofchina. Wait, can princesses even be thugs? Sigh… Apparently the snapshots are from the video set of her track, “Princess of China” featuring Coldplay.
We love the red lip/black lined eye combo, plus those tassel earrings, high-slit dress and adorned chopsticks dangling from her bun are super fab! Take a peek at these Twitpics and let us know how you feel…
Check out the rest of Rih Rih’s pictures from her little impromptu photo shoot at StyleBlazer.com.
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I’ve never given much thought to the fur controversy that pops up from time to time because I had never owned any until last winter when my sister gave me a pair of UGGS. I remember being asked whether they were real or not, and when I said they were, the person responded that they had purchased a fake pair online that saved them a hundred bucks or so and nobody could tell the difference. The shoes may look the same in appearance but the process that goes into making the real boots and the knock-offs is totally different.
A recent report in The Daily Mail broke down the differences between UGGS and Internet fakes, and even though the article mentions raccoon dogs being farmed in horrific conditions in China and skinned alive for their fur, I didn’t get it until I watched this video from an Animal Cruelty organization called Swiss Animal Protection.
I can honestly still hear the sound of the dogs being slapped against the ground and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. That says a lot coming from me. I’m not an animal lover by any means but the cruelty that these raccoon dogs are subjected to is truly disturbing. I’m amazed at the inhumanity of these bootleggers, but the fact of the matter is that there is a market for these products and money often outweighs morals.
In addition to the beatings and skinning’s that the animals are subjected to, the workers creating these knock-offs are also treated unfairly. They are drastically underpaid, and work in unsanitary tanneries or sweatshops to create the “perfect gift” for someone in the United States to purchase as a Christmas present without giving a second thought to how the product came about. Or do we just not care?
I won’t pretend to be the most conscious consumer, but I don’t know how you could purchase a pair off knock-off boots without doing your homework after seeing this type of footage. Fur coats are the typical culprit in these types of discussions but this is an issue much more pertinent to our generation. On its website, UGG Australia warns against counterfeit products, but it’s up to consumers here to eliminate the market for these and many other bootleg products that give into consumerism at any cost. The matter at hand begs the question of whether the savings seen on the consumer side are worth the price that these dogs and Chinese workers are paying?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
(Wall Street Journal) — Rocky You is determined to see his company’s $100 Chinese-made smartphone catch on in Nigeria, so he visits crowded Lagos shopping malls every few days to make his case directly to the sales clerks at cellphone shops and electronics stores. ”People making $2,000 or less a month,” says Mr. You, a 28-year-old senior account manager for Huawei Technologies Co., “those are the people we want to reach.” While Huawei is one of the world’s biggest makers of telecommunications gear for service providers, the company only recently started selling consumer products such as smartphones and computer tablets. That has put the Chinese company at a disadvantage against big-name rivals, especially in established markets.
The new leaders of Guinea are making multi-billion dollar moves that will hopefully help in the country’s reform after decades of unrest. The mineral rich nation is ready to sign a $5.8 billion million deal with the state-owned China Power Investment, according to Reuters.
The deal will give the China Power Investment digging rights outside of the capital, Conakry. In exchange the investment company will finance a coal power plant, a deep water port and a refinery. Currently Guinea has only one refinery to produce its large reserve of bauxite, the principle ore in aluminum.
Guinea’s rulers have long attempted to bring infrastructure to the country of about 10 million people. Although the country produces half of the world’s bauxite and is rich in other minerals such as iron and gold, its people are among West Africa’s poorest nations.
Upon its independence from France in 1958, Guinea was crippled by severe instability as it underwent a series of corrupt and violent dictatorships. Alpha Conde became the country’s first democratically elected president last year after an intense run-off with political rival Cellou Diallo. However an assassination attempt last July revealed the country’s continued unrest.
As Guinea finds its footing in the international business world, it looks first to improving its infrastructure, and China has provided an answer to the problems. China’s increased interest in Africa has led to several deals in Guinea alone.
In February, China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi made promises to increase its investment in Guinea’s infrastructure, telecommunications and agriculture. Already China has made deals to build a $526 million hydroelectric dam in Guinea, as well as construct ports, roads and housing in exchange for bauxite. These plans are predicted to greatly benefit the West African country, as it uses and refines very little of its bauxite resource.
China is not the only country staking out the wealth of resources hidden in West Africa. Indian miner Vedanta is in Liberia and has bought an iron ore company in the country last month, in attempts to solidy its control on the Chinese iron market.