Category Archives: Uncategorized

The almighty soft-power princess bomb

Chinese soft-power is doomed. I came to this conclusion a couple of weeks ago. The message was delivered in the form of a guy in a mouse suit on ice skates, and I received it loud and clear when Mrs. … Continue reading

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Remembering Talk Talk China and the “Cycle of Funk”

A lot has changed in the China blogosphere since I first put (virtual) pen to paper for Imagethief in June, 2004. I can’t think of many blogs that are still around from those days in anything like their original form. … Continue reading

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I can haz international funds?

After seven years and change in China it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that the purpose of the Chinese banking system is to keep you from doing anything useful with your money. It is widely said that the … Continue reading

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In which I finally hire a car and driver

After seven years of taking taxis in Beijing I finally crossed the Rubicon of bourgeois colonialism and hired a car and driver. I now have two full time domestic employees, which seems somehow wrong. In the back of my mind … Continue reading

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Four lessons from the Burson-Facebook fiasco

I’m ridiculously late to this, as usual, but people keep asking me about the Burson-Facebook thing because of my years at Burson, so I thought I’d post the gist of the response I’ve been giving. If you’re not familiar with … Continue reading

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What I learned when I shaved my head

I had a good run. I got more than forty years out of it. But I had to face the fact that my hair was in retreat and there was no going back. In fact, the front had already been … Continue reading

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China and the nature of Facebook

Reports have been percolating for a couple of weeks that Facebook will partner with Chinese search engine Baidu to launch Facebook China, or something similar. Anyone who has followed the history of foreign Internet firms in China knows that this … Continue reading

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Apocalypse box part two: Apocalypse box

Yesterday I posted part one of Apocalypse Box, in which I wrote a bit about the communication problems surrounding the reactor disaster in Japan. I concluded with saying that just because something is unthinkable doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It … Continue reading

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Apocalypse box part one: Thinking unthinkable thoughts

Note: This is part one. Part two is here. Apropos of today’s escalation of the Fukushima reactor disaster to “7″ (Chernobyl) on the international scale, there is something about the word “radiation” that bypasses rationality and whispers right to the … Continue reading

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Could better PR have prevented Groupon’s China gaffe?

Unless you live on Pluto and you’re just in town for the temple fairs you probably know the situation with Groupon and their notorious Tibet ad. From within the China echo chamber it can be tricky to calibrate your reaction … Continue reading

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