My mobile phone rang around noon on Friday.

Caller: Hello, Erica, I am XXX.  I used to work at TVB and that is why I have your phone number.  I am working on my own now and I am contacting you for a certain job.

[Erica thinking to herself: This is normal because it is better to do promotion or production on your own than working for TVB.]

Erica: May I ask what type of work is it?

Caller: No, it is a dinner companion sort of thing.

[Erica thinking to herself: This is an interesting answer, but I can breathe a sigh of relief.]

Caller: It is an escort job.  Three days and two nights in (name of country).

Erica yelling in anger: Are you kidding!  Do you think that I will take these kinds of "jobs"!

Caller: Actually, Ms. Yuen, I know that you won't do it.  But I really want to get this job.  The client is in a hurry.  Can you introduce any friend to me?

Erica: Who do you think I am?  If you want this sort of thing, you can just call Ms. X.

Caller: I know Ms. X will do it.  Also it is clear that Ms. K has done it before.  But my client only has a budget of HKD 100,000 to 300,000.  He may not be able to afford them.

Erica: You can try.  I hear that she'll take anything.

Caller: Is there anyone that you can suggest?

Erica: Wow ... I really don't know anyone who does this ... you can try and call Stephen Shiu ... he knows a lot of people.

Caller: But my client wants a TVB actress.

Erica: Huh?  He has that kind of taste.  I really don't know anyone.  Birds of a feather flock together, and my friends won't do this.

Caller: Can you please help me!

Erica: I have heard that XXX has helped people take these kinds of jobs.

Caller: Oh ... it seems that she will do it herself.  Fine, thanks a lot!

Erica to herself: Help!  100,000 to 300,000 dollars.  Many young starlets will do it.  Then I began to think whether this call was a set-up by some reporter.  No matter what, let me write out the content of this conversation on my blog just in case.

Kids are dragging their parents to see the new cartoon movie <Happy Lamb 2>, so the tickets are sold in multiples of three.  Meanwhile, the box officer leader <Avatar> continues to occupy the top of the perch and rake in the RMB.  Faced with this two-pronged attack, it is clear that the movie <Confucius> is about to be taken off across the board.  This is the most interesting event in January 2010 and it hints at what will be happening in the second decade of this century.

As everybody knows, <Confucius> possesses all of the competitive advantages inside and outside the market.  <Avatar> had to make way to allow <Confucius> to take over the screens, together with the mass advertising and promotions plus the reports of obligatory attendance by certain groups of people.  Everything says that behind this simple movie stands the figure that is familiar to all Chinese people: The System.  Yet, even if with such powerful backing, why did <Confucius> still fail so ignominiously?  Moreover, is this a victory for the market forces?

I can provide an answer: it was not making money.  Alternately, it was not making enough money.  During its first week, <Confucius> claimed to have 38 million yuan in box office receipts.  Statistical data from another source said that the actual box office receipts were around 28 million yuan.  Even if the official figure is accepted, it was disappointing to make only 38 million yuan with so many screens and showings for <Confucius>.

One may well ask that since <Confucius> has backers who can use The System to issue administrative orders to keep it in play, or even organize audiences, couldn't they make more money?  I think that is a possibility and it has indeed happened many times in history.  But the problems are: (1) Compulsory viewing by administrative fiat and monopoly will lead to a public opinion blowback.  While The System is not necessarily afraid of public opinion, it represents trouble.  When trouble arises, someone has to be held responsible.  And today we are living in an era in which nobody wants to be held responsible.  (2) 2009 is the year in which the Chinese film industry blossomed as capital flowed in to seek return on investment, and these investors will have something to say.  So how can a movie which is not making money be allowed to hog the screens?  Why not show my movie instead?  How about organizing audiences for my movie?  The result is mutual compromise and concession.  Mobilizing people to watch a movie should not be done lightly.

Others may ask, "Why do you think that it is so important to make money?  <Confucius> is a main theme movie which can completely ignore box office receipts or costs.  It can be shown for one full year."  We can take a look at the film market.  The project proposal and review of a film are in the hands of the administrative department.  Everybody knows that The System makes the decisions.  At the same time, we also know that the administrative department is too busy to micro-manage each and every movie house in China.  Therefore, the movie houses are owned by private entrepreneurs who go by market rules.  That is why we have those luxurious movie houses today as opposed to the spartan state-run movie houses of the past in which popcorn was an unthinkable luxury.  We know that many people are investing in the movie industry, they hire scriptwriters and directors, they choose male and female actors and they treat movie making as an investment in which they seek financial returns.  There is a market in action.

So the capitalization, production, distribution and screening of movies all take place in a market environment.  If everything works well, the administrative department can have good results to report each year in terms of total box office receipts and the number of movies.  In turn, this meant that things will be bright for the administrative department.  This would be like having a dinner with lobster on the table, as opposed to everybody eating BBQ and drinking cheap wine at a curbside stall.  In simple terms, when the industry is lively and energetic, the administrative department excels too.  Conversely, when the market is more dead than alive, the administrative department will not be funded and they will be marginalized with broken office desks and disrespected public service workers.

So movies have to make money.  Giving you a couple weeks in the schedule is giving you respect already.  Giving you three to five months in the schedule requires that you generate money.  Such is the reality that we are seeing: even the film reviewers have to be get their salaries and subsidies.  Money is needed to ensure that a The System runs smoothly, whether this money comes from tax dollars or some other means.  Even The System needs to be fed, and the basis for good food is the market where the people pays the bill.

In this game, the people used to have nothing whatsoever before.  Fortunately, the market listens to the voice of the people who are the bill payers.  With respect to a movie such as <Confucius>, the people have at least two weapons in their hands.  Firstly, they can express their opposing opinion so that the administrative actions won't go too far.  Secondly, they can refuse to view the movie and thus influence The Invisible Hand through controlling the pockets.

We have been accustomed to saying: Because The System works that way.  Is that so?  As of now, it would seem that as least as far this movie was concerned, the market and the people are victorious.  Something has changed.

I accidentally came across the blog post entitled <"Liu Xiaoyuan" is a sensitive term at the Baidu Post Bar>.  I thought that this was funny.  I thought, How can my name be a "sensitive" term?

That blogger explained what happened: He sometimes posts at the Baidu Post Bar and he sometimes quotes from lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan's blog posts.  But the rules over at Baidu Post Bar are very strict, with frequent reminders "please do not make comments with inappropriate content; please do not post advertisements."  Restrictions are understandable for things such as hyperlinking, advertising and politically sensitive information.  Every Chinese is aware of that.  But I was surprised that the name of an ordinary citizen could become a sensitive term.  At first, I thought that it was for some other reason.  So I had kept testing different options.  But when all I entered was the name "Liu Xiaoyuan" and I was blocked, I understood everything.  This explains why I could not comment on the news story about "the Internet in China is free and open."

After reading this blog post, I went somewhat skeptically to the Baidu Post Bar in order to investigate.  I picked up a post at the "Ideas Bar" and entered my name.  I hit "Publish" and I got a "failure notice" with the reminder: "Please do not make comments with inappropriate content; please do not post advertisements."  I thought that maybe it was a programming error, so I entered someone else's name and that was successfully posted.  I entered my name again and once again I got the "failure notice."  I tried a few more times.  As long as my name appeared, it wasn't published.

Such being the case, my name must be either "inappropriate content" or "advertisement."  This is really somewhat weird!

When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about "Internet freedom," she addressed Internet censorship in China.  With respect to the charges by Clinton, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson replied that the Chinese Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech of its citizens and it is also the state policy to promote the development of the Internet.  China has its unique conditions and traditional culture.  China administers the Internet in accordance with the law and consistent with practices elsewhere around the world.

THe Baidu Post Bar administrator classifies the name of an ordinary Chinese citizen as "inappropriate content" or "advertisement" and puts restrictions on it.  Is this "in accordance with the law?"  Is it "consistent with practices elsewhere around the world"?

I strongly protest against the Baidu Post Bar for making my name "inappropriate content" or "advertisement"!

[Note: "Liu Xiaoyuan" is restricted in the Baidu Post Bar, but "Liu Xiaoyuan" can be found from the Search, Images, Videos and Knowledge functions at Baidu.

Home page>>Resumés of leaders
No information available at present

Home page>>Inside Xinzhou>>
No information available at present

What kind of website is this?  There is nothing under any section!
Oh, wait, how about clicking on "Pretty Women Forum"?

Yes, there are many entries such as
- Develop pretty female resources, develop pretty female economy, create an alluring Xinzhou
- Use the allure of "pretty economy" to create the "Mountain and Water" brand
- ...
- Why we fail to understand the "pretty economy"
- What is the purpose of pretty women during tourist travel?
- Who can take advantage of the "pretty economy?"
- ...

(Southern Metropolis Daily)  January 27, 2010.

In November 2009, the whole scale reconstruction of the Xiangban area in Taijiang district, Fuzhou city became a hot Internet topic.  "The relocation process became the concern of all Xiangban residents.  Most pathetic of all was the fact that the newly built Xiangban Elementary School was also due for demoltion.  This school cost the taxpayers more than 20 million to build and became operational in 2009.  But it will leveled to the ground."  The poster asked the relevant leaders to come down to the school and see whether they will be sorry or angry that such a good facility should be demolished.

It was in the spring of 2005 that Taijiang Department of Education director Huang Yingming said: "It is hard to imagine that a coastal city like ours could have as dilapidated school as this one and that the children of Taijiang are forced to study under these circumstances."  The director added, "I believe that the various levels of party officials and governments will show their concern and build a brand new Xiangban school in short time."  With the proposals coming from the People's Congress delegates and Political Consultative Conference members, the directives of the city party secretary and the city mayor, the supervision of the secretary general and deputy secretary, the district party secretary and mayor approved the allocation of 15 million to rebuild Xiangban Elementary School.

In 2008, the new school was finished.  "The classroom building was constructed to withstand a magniture 8 earthquake; the site covered 8,150 square meters, including 30 classrooms and 13 special classrooms; the plaza was more than 800 square meters in area.  The school also invested 1.5 million yuan to build a rubberized sports field.  The school officially commenced operation in September 2008.

In mid-December 2009, the Xiangban Elementary School sent a letter to parents that due to the requirements for the Mingjiang North Shore Business District in Fuzhou city, Xiangban Elementary School will be temporarily relocated elsewhere this spring as the present school will be demolished while a new school building will be built at another site.

In the past, demolitions/evictions were made on the basis that the buildings were "old," "dilapidated" or "dangerous."  In this case, a brand new school building is to be demolished and the students will be moved temporarily to an old facility in danger of collapse?  What is the sense in this?

(Southern Metropolis Daily)  January 28, 2010.

After the story broke out on the Internet, the Fuzhou city publicity department told <People's Daily> and <China Youth Daily> that "the building is not scheduled for demolition -- it will merely be converted into an office building in the new Central Business District.  Therefore, 15 million yuan was not waste."  When asked, "After the Central Business District is complete, will this building be demolished?"  The answer was: "That would be five to seven years later, and we don't know now."

This official also explained how the historical process went: "Originally the area was designated as a residential zone which required an elementary school.  In May 2009, the State Council proposed certain ideas on accelerating economic development on the west coast of the Taiwan Strait, including a Central Business District in Fuzhou."  According to the Taijiang District government, about 5,200 households will be relocated.

(Southern Metropolis Daily)  January 29, 2010.

The Minjiang North Shore Central Business District Office issued a press release in Q&A form.  The Xiangban Elementary School building will not be demolished.  Instead, it will serve as the command center of the Minjiang North Shore Central Business Office.  The original relocation move was made out of safety reasons.  More than 20 industrial companies around the present Xiangban Elementary School were scheduled to move away.  Is it save for an elementary school to be surrounded by construction sites on all four sides?

During the transition period, Xiangban Elementary School will be using the Minjiang Institute campus which is four times bigger than the original site and is supposed to have good classrooms and a sports ground.  "The original plan was to use the Minjiang Institute campus for development purposes.  The government is now considering the requirements of the students and teachers of Xiangban Elementary School and giving them the Minjiang Institute campus.  Previously, the word was that Xiangban Elementary School would only be using the Chunhua Building of the former Fengshan Elementary School inside the Minjiang Institute campus during a transitional period of two years.  But now, the transitional site will be permanent along with the rest of the Minjiang Institute campus.

On the afternoon of January 25, the 1204 train originating from Shenzhen West to Xunyang city made a scheduled intermediate stop in Dongguan East station to pick up passengers.  The stop was scheduled for only four minutes, but there were more than 1,500 waiting passengers.  In order to help the passengers possible, railroad workers did everything that they could, including helping passengers climb through the car windows.  A newspaper photojournalist was present and took a photo.

When the photo was posted, it carried the caption: "Dongguan East station passengers climb through windows to get into the cars with the assistance of station workers."  When the photo was carried on the Internet forums, it became: "The Spring transportation wave has not yet even begun and the station management is already in chaos.  The management is failing."

The result was that the Dongguan East train stationmaster and Liu Xiaoping and party secretary Liu Xiangzhen were both relieved of their duties.  According to a Dongguan East station leader, "The workers meant well when they helped the passengers climb through the windows to get into the cars so that the passengers can go home to for the Chinese New Year.  However, the consequences turned out to be very serious."

Headline: Average annual salary of 246,000 yuan -- the financial industry returns to the top of the chart

A comparison of annual corporate salaries in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen showed that Shanghai lists first at an average annual salary of 217,000 yuan.

Furthermore, the breakdown in Shanghai by employee grade was as followed:
21,000 yuan: operations staff
38,000 yuan: junior specialists
68,000 yuan: specialists
120,000 yuan: administrators
210,000 yuan: managers
380,000 yuan: general managers
680,000 yuan: C-suite (chief executive officers, chairmen of the board, etc)

Okay, how would you reconcile the grand average of 217,000 yuan with the averages for the several grades?

(21,000 + 38,000 + 68,000 + 120,000 + 210,000 + 380,000 + 680,000) / 7 = 216,7000.

Of course, this is wrong as the numbers of people by grade are not equal.  Instead, there is only one chief executive officers, some managers and a lot of operational staff (such as receptionists, janitors, etc).  Thus, the average annual salary is not the straight average of seven numbers.


(South China Morning Post)  Judge's niece slaps officer after crash  By Clifford Lo and Joshua But.  January 28, 2010.

The niece of a Court of Final Appeal judge, Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary, has been arrested for slapping a policeman and refusing to take a breath test after her car collided head-on with a tour bus in Happy Valley yesterday. Amina Mariam Bokhary, 33, who has twice been convicted of assaulting a police officer in the past 10 years, apparently tried to leave the scene of the crash on Stubbs Road and was being blocked by police when the assault happened.

Police chief Tang King-shing, condemned the attack, saying it was a "disrespectful" act. "I have asked our frontline officers to handle [different scenarios] in a fair manner and they should also take care of their personal safety," he said. Asked if the case reflected a general lack of respect towards police, Tang said recent polls had shown that most Hongkongers were satisfied with the force's performance.

Police said Bokhary was driving her white Nissan Infinity on the uphill lane of Stubbs Road, Mid-Levels, when the accident occurred at about 12.15am. Her car crossed into the opposite lane and collided head-on with the bus near the junction with Shiu Fai Terrace. Bokhary, who had no apparent injuries, sat on a stretcher and was checked by ambulance workers. Her legs were covered with a red blanket and she was buckled in.

Television footage taken by a TVB cameraman showed her telling paramedics: "Take off, now." As paramedics unbuckled her, she removed the blanket and left the stretcher. She sat on the pavement and then returned to her car which was seriously damaged.

The footage showed Bokhary, seated in the car's rear passenger seat with the door wide open, telling a policeman: "I don't understand what you are saying." She then hit a file held by a policeman. Bokhary later got out of the car, saying: "I don't care. I need to leave." Officers asked her to calm down. A policeman who tried to hold her left arm in an attempt to stop her was told: "Don't touch me." The TV footage showed Bokhary slapping a policeman who stood in front of her blocking her way in the narrow path between a fire engine and a hillside.

Bokhary was handcuffed and taken to a police station. She was arrested for assaulting a police officer and refusing to provide a breath specimen for a breathalyser test. She was released on HK$5,000 bail and ordered to report to police next month. Police said Bokhary and the bus driver - a 33-year-old man - were uninjured.

In December 2008, Bokhary was sentenced to the maximum 240 hours of community service for assaulting a policewoman and a taxi driver. That assault took place in Central in July 2008. Bokhary, who suffers from bipolar depressive disorder, was also fined HK$1,000 and ordered to continue her psychological and psychiatric treatment. In December 2002, she was fined HK$9,000 for assaulting a policeman and damaging a spotlight outside a bar in Central. That incident happened in June 2001.

(The Sun)

Beginning Wednesday last week, McDonald's began to air its television commercials for the Chinese New Year period.  Of these, the Doraemon ad shows a young boy saying "I wish you to grow taller and bigger (祝你快高變大)" followed by a young girl saying "May you get one hundred treasures in your bag (祝你百寶進袋)."  Unfortunately, both young actors mispronounced key words, such that the young boy sounded as if he said "I wish you grow bigger testicles" and the young girl said "May you have a hundred treasures in your scrotum."

This commercial has drawn considerable comments at the popular Golden Forum and Baby Kingdom Forum in Hong Kong.  A netizen made a post with the title "Complaint against McDonald's for an indecent television commercial" pointing out the indecent language, but other parents said "Just because some children pronounced inexactly doesn't necessarily have to end up with formal complaints."

A McDonald's spokesperson said that that two young children were only articulating congratulatory messages for the New Year, emphasizing that McDonald's has always been loved deeply by children and their promotional material will always be suitable for viewing by children.


I was responsible for the interview with Wang Xing.

During the past six months, I interviewed at Fanfou thrice.  The first time was just before HP bought advertising at which time Fanfou's future was brightening.  That is why I felt so touched when Wang Xing said "It was good -- HP bought advertising and the venture capitalists showed up."  Several days after the interview, Fanfou was shut down and remained so to date.

I made contact several times with the Fanfou team during the period.  Even though I got along with them, they maintained their silence.  They did not do so in order to "hijack the users" as some people say.  I find it incredible that anyone can say that.  Anyone with a brain must know that they did not have free choice in the matter.

As a reporter, I have to maintain my own position in order to find out the truth.  At the time, Wang Xing told me about many of the twists and turns in the matter.  As a small company, they were weak and frail.

I would have liked to tell those stories in order to gain more public sympathy and sobbing.  That interview would have been a lot better because many nosy people would have their curiosity satisfied ... but if I did that, Fanfou could be finished for good.  My chief editor said something that left a deep impression upon me ... "You cannot destroy somebody's future for the sake of writing a report."

In the end, that is the report that we filed.  This is what you are reading.  I hope that it will not cause problems for Fanfou, while hoping at the same time that all the users can discern from the report just how hard it was for this company.

The report also covered BTCHina, Yeeyan and  Most people are probably their loyal users.  If you know the stories about these websites, you will probably know that the nature of Fanfou is quite different from theirs.

This interview was the first time that Wang Xing spoke to the media for the past six months.  He is still very anxious because the Fanfou team is still making the final effort to re-open the website.

I should not be saying this.

--- I don't know how you all feel about this website.  I am just speaking as an ordinary user who has recorded many of here happiness and feelings over this time, including my sorrows as well as my reactions to every good movie that I saw.

For me, these records were valuable.  But I will not curse the Fanfou team because I am unable to view those records now.

How can you simple-minded friends not understand?  This matter is not just one of whether Fanfou allows you or not.

Fortunately, most people understand the issues involved.

Frankly, I don't know if Fanfou will ever return, but it doesn't matter anymore.  Waiting has become a habit -- this was my first micro-blog on which I made almost 10,000 entries and got to make all sorts of friends across China.

Within there are my joys and dreams.  Even if I cannot retrieve the text, I can still remember the traces.  Fanfou is only a carrier which was shut down for some unknown reasons.  I feel sorry, but I still like that website, even if it never returns.

Will waiting changing anything?  I think that compared to all the waiting users like myself, the sense of loss for the Fanfou team must be one hundred times more than ours.  The website constitutes their entire dreams and joys.

I asked Wang Xing, "What is the biggest problem with your website?"

Wang Xing said: "The biggest problem is that Fanfou no longer exists!!!  Our product no longer exists!!!"

Do you understand how awful that feels?

Compared to them, my waiting is nothing.  I am willing to wait with them.

I am not saying anything passionate, and I don't want to firm up your faith.  I have no interest ties to Fanfou.  The truth is that we had an disagreement with Wang Xing over whether the report should cover the supervision.

Coming back to the case itself, when a kind person provides a good product carrying amity, joy and ideas at no cost, why would you blame them because they had to go away due to irresistible outside forces right at the moment when they needed some warmth and comfort from you?

Anyway, if you don't want to wait any longer and you are done with cursing them, you can leave.  People's feelings are fragile, but the repetitious blaming is pathetic.

Taiwanese professional magician Liu Qian knelt to the Japanese Emperor on a New Year's program in Japan!  He wore a traditional Tang costume and knelt down in front of the Japanese Emperor!  Liu Qian also said during the program that he has adored the Japanese Emperor since he was a small child, and he is one of his greatest fans.  The Japanese Emperor presented him with a gift, which Liu Qian deliberately acted to be pleasantly surprised like a running dog slave.  The appalling behavior of Liu Qian has seriously hurt the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese compatriots.  We recommend China to ban Liu Qian completely and chase this the crook Liu Qian who adores the Japanese Emperor out of China!

Someone may say that this was merely an entertainment program.  But any knowledgeable person would know that this was a plot by the Japanese with whom Liu Qian cooperated.  34-year-old Liu Qian could not be so dumb.  Liu Qian intentionally worked with the Japanese to provoke the Chinese people who had suffered so much at the hands of the Japanese bandits!  It was a supreme insult to wear a Tang suit and kneel down to the Japanese Emperor!  And he had the nerve to say on the program that the Japanese Emperor is his idol whom he adored since childhood.  The Chinese traitor Liu Qian has clearly lost all sense of national dignity in receiving the gift from the Japanese!



Our reporter called up Liu Qian's agent He Huangjie.  After hearing the reporter's description of the issue, Mr. He said: "Let me check it out first and then I'll talk to you, okay?"  Mr. He said that he was not familiar with what the Internet story was, and he wanted to see it personally.  The reporter asked if Liu Qian had appeared in such a program.  Mr. He did not issue a denial, but he added, "Sorry, can you let me see it first?  I'll talk to you later."

30 minutes later, the reporter called up Mr. He again.  Mr. He admitted that Liu Qian had made an appearance in such a program in Japan.  He said, "I have a statement for you.  Can you file your report after reading the statement first."

At 6:30pm, He sent a statement via email to the reporter.  He said that Liu Qian appeared on the program <Silly Town Master> last December on Fuji TV in Japan.  The so-called "Japanese Emperor" was actually Mr. Shimura Ken.  "Mainland Chinese residents may not be familiar with Shimura Ken, but he is almost universally known in Taiwan and Japan.  He has been in the entertainment field for more than 30 years, earning a status comparable to Zhao Benshan in China.  He is a highly esteemed actor.  His famous role 'Weird Uncle' is a classic that ought to be written into the Japanese history textbooks."

As for Liu Qian kneeling down and addressing "Your Highness," Mr. He said that there were translation errors: "In the Internet videos, the translations caused misunderstanding.  In the program, the term 'Town Master' was used throughout."

Here are some clarifications:

1. Was the person wearing an orange Japanese kimono "His Highness"?  No, it was Shimura Ken in his role as the <Silly Town Master>.

2. Did Liu Qian use the term "Your Highness" and called himself a "fan"?  All addresses were made to "Town Master" and the two performers were trying to bring happiness and friendship through a cross-border exchange.

3. Why did Li QIan kneel down?  The program was situated in ancient Japan, where people sit-kneel.  The Town Master comedian Shimura Ken also sat-knelt.

4. What present was given to Liu Qian?  To thank Liu Qian for participating in his program, Shimura Ken presented Liu Qian with a DVD of "Shimura Comic Moments" made twenty years ago.

Will the CCTV Spring Festival Gala cancel the planned apperance of Liu Qian?  This reporter asked a person associated with the CCTV Spring Festival Gala.  The person was surprised because he had never heard of Liu Qian being on such a program in Japan.  He said, "Sorry, but the entire program is still under review.  We do not know who is going to be in or out."

Q.  Shen Nanpeng (a partner of Sequoia Capital China) said that a new issue for listed companies is the protection of the public's right to know.  Do you have any experience to share here?  If there weren't restrictions in the environment, you can be bigger and farther along.
A: We have extraordinarily positive results in this regard.  Before Baidu was founded, the Chinese people never had the ability to obtain information so quickly and conveniently as they do today.  At the time, most Internet websites were in English.  When they can't find something, they can find it at Baidu.  When they can't find something at Baidu, they can't find it anywhere else either.  So more and more people use Baidu.  Today, Baidu has recorded more than 15 billion Chinese-language pages.  Recently, Google's CEO said that Chinese will become the most popular language on the Internet within the next five years.
Can we do better?  Of course we can, and there are many things to do too.  At the time when Baidu was founded, we only had five engineers.  Today, we have more than 2,000.  What do these engineers busy themselves with every day?  They are working to let the public get the information they need even more quickly and conveniently.  That is the ideal of Baidu.

Q. It is not easy to run a company in China.  Within the social structure, the entrepreneur belongs to a class that requires compromises.  There is an old saying, "Harmony brings wealth."  The first goal of the entrepreneur is to profit.  Therefore, he should not clash with the environment.  What kind of compromises do you make with the market?
A: I do not regard these matters as any big deal.  We have definitely encountered those sorts of problems.  Why can't everybody understand what I do?  For example, ten years ago and even more recently, hackers are regarded as heroes in China to the point of having the title "Hongke."  During the growth of Baidu, we were harassed and attacked by hackers.  Our services were even interrupted for brief periods of time.  It would be hard to get the police to arrest the hackers.  First of all, it is hard to do so technically; secondly, public opinion won't support it.  The public does not think that these hackers are criminals.  Instead, people think that they are technical experts and heroes.  We find these types of opinions to be puzzling.

Q: For leaking user information, Jeff Yang apologized at the US Congress to a Chinese user.  At the time, a Congressman asked him, "As an entrepreneur, what else do you pursue other than making a lot of money?  Could it be that your only goal in life is to make your company grow?"  How do you answer such a question?
A: Actually, American politics is very materialistic, especially for Congressmen.  Everything that they do and say are designed to win votes.  I do not believe that the question from this Congressman really represents his own thinking, but he said it for the voters to hear.
As entrepreneurs, we should do what entrepreneurs do and not what politicians do.  This does not mean that entrepreneurs must put making money on top.  If the market is relatively reasonable, making money should be the by-product.  That is to say, when you run your company well and you contribute to society, money will naturally flow into your pocket.  But if you create a bad influence on society and do harm, money will run away from you.  This is the effect of a normal, rational market-economy system.  At the moment, we cannot say that our present environment is perfect, but we are getting closer and closer to that state.

Q. In selecting a search engine to use, there is a customary phenomenon among people.  That is, those people who have their own free will do not like to use Baidu and they use other search engines instead.  What is your explanation of this?
A: Actually, I don't need to explain this.  My ideal is to use technology to change the world and help people to use technology to access information more quickly.  To realize this ideal, I do not need to know which types of people I need to win over.  What I need to do is let the farmer tilling the land in Xinjiang immediately find out what he wants to know just like any city dweller.  This is the problem that I am trying to solve.  Our product design fully reflects this concept.  I only need to see which products and services are really needed by ordinary folks.  Post Bar, Baudi Knows, Baidu Encyclopedia were designed from this starting point.  For example, Post Bar already accounts for 10% of the traffic at Baidu.  Their users tend to be more grassroots.  But what is so wrong about that?  Most of the one billion plus people in China are ordinary folks.  They are the weakest, the most vulnerable, the most needy, the most serviceable group.  Our products and services are intended to benefit the largest number of people.

Q: But some people have said that Baidu is just copying Google's technology to use for itself.  Do you think that this is a fair statement?
A: That is very unfair.  Here are some details.  When I was studying in Peking University in 1987-1991, my major was information management.  From that time on, I began to study technology related to search engines.  When I studied in the United States, I came across the most advanced search engine technologies in the world.  At the time, the subject was known as information retrieval.  Although search engines in the sense of the Internet have not been born yet, the technology was several decades old already and the United States was always at the forefront.  In 1996, I discovered "hyperlink analysis."  This is a search engine technique that all mainstream search engines used after 1999.  In 1998, I was the first one in Silicon Valley to apply the theory and technology of long-term analysis to search engine technology.  At the time, Google was not yet a mainstream seach engine yet, but they were using that technology already.
In 2000, I started Baidu, but Google was not yet an influential company.  We did not think about learning from them.  Today, it is possible to see that the guiding principles in our products are very different from those of Google.  For example, we created the first Baidu Post Bar in December 2003.  Previous to that, people did not give serious thought to names in Chinese.  For example, "Wang Zhi" and "Wang Zhidong" are two different persons.  In the English-language search engines, people often get information about "Wang Zidong" when they are searching for "Wang Zhi" because they overlap.

Q. Why does Baidu come up with search results different from other search engines on the same term?
A: I cannot give a precise answer.  For each search term, the step that made the key difference during the process requires detailed analyses.  We have been concentrating on providing the largest and most complete search results.  But in practice, users may find counter-examples.  For example, in Baidu, the longer the search term, the smaller the number of results.  This is because we believe that all the words in the search term should appear in order to guarantee the accuracy.  But in Google and other western search engines, the longer the search term, the bigger the number of results.  They believe that any search results in which any one word appears should be included.  In other words, Baidu uses an "AND" logic while Google and other western search engines use an "OR" logic.  For the user, the total number of search results does not matter much.  The crucial point is for him to find what he is looking for.

Q. My impression is that Peking University graduates are more likely to have a sense of mission, social responsibility and a willingness to participate.  In you, I see more technical rationality and practicality.
A: I am still quite passionate.  I cannot say that I worry about the nation and its people, but I am concerned about many things.  For me, the best thing that I can do is to manage the company well.  This is the career that I have chosen.  Harping about other people won't change anything.

(Wikia)  James Cameron's Avatar Wiki

The Hallelujah Mountains (Na'vi named them "Thundering Rocks") are floating islands that circulate slowly in the magnetic currents like icebergs at sea, scraping against each other and the towering mesa-like mountains of the region. On Pandora, huge outcroppings of Unobtainium rip loose from the surface and float in the magnetic vortices due to the Meissner Effect.

The entire area is sacred to the Pandorans. This poses a problem for the humans who have come to mine them for their mineral wealth. The mountains float like clouds among the fixed mountains and swirling cloud structures. When they are in clear sunlight they cast distinct shadows on the land below.

They are overgrown with foliage at the top, and straggly beards of vines hangs down beneath them like the roots of air-ferns. Their sides are sheer cliffs. Waterfalls, originating on the mesa-like tops, stream down the sides and disperse into spray at the bottoms, like upside-down geysers.

(Xinhua travel)

On December 23, 2009, <Avatar>'s director James Cameron made a brief remark that the Hallelujah Mountains were inspired by Huangshan in China.  The official Huangshan Scenic Area's website has put out the slogan "<Avatar>'s Hallelujah Mountains are China's Huangshan on its home page.  A worker in the Huangshan Scenic Area said that they were aware that an <Avatar> cameraman had been there.

(Xiaoxiang Morning News via Huanqiu)

On January 25, the Southern Sky Column (also sometimes known as the Heaven and Earth Pilloar) was formally re-named <Avatar>'s Hallelujah Mountain.  Several hundred local witnesses and overseas tourists attended the ceremony.

The Southern Sky Column is one of the "3,000 magnificent column" in the southern end of Yuanjiajie scene site inside the world heritage site of Wulingyuan.  The column is situated at 1,074 meters above sea level with a vertical fall of about 150 meters.

In December 2008, the Hollywood photographer Hanson came to Zhangjiajie to take scenic photos.  These photos were later used as the originals for various landscapes on the planet Pandora in the movie <Avatar>.  At a time when <Avatar> is doing well across the world, everybody is interested in the original model of the Hallelujah Mountains.

Some netizens did not see any reason for Zhangjiajie to change the name for the sake of a movie.  Other netizens feel that this proves that the origin of the floating islands in <Avatar> is in Zhangjiajie.

Yuanjiajie Scenic Area administrative director Song Zhiguang said that the name change from Southern Sky Column to <Avatar>'s Hallelujah Mountain is not an effort to appease foreigners.  Instead, the name change was intended to reflect the wishes of the local residents and outside tourists.  At the same time, he said that the magnificent sceneries of Zhangjiajie belongs to the world and not just to China.  The name change therefore conveys an important message: Zhangjiajie not only belongs to the world, but it is reaching out to the world.

Pandora is far away, but Zhangjiajie is close enough.  Zhangjiajie is preparing the various scenic sites to welcome the world to visit <Avatar>'s Hallelujah Mountains in search of the real Pandora.

Apple Daily:
Government cover-up
Swine flu vaccination: another fetus dead in a pregnant woman

Ming Pao:
Liberal Party chooses to boycott "referendum"

Tai Kung Pao:
Liberal Party draws line on "referendum"
Boycott the by-election

Wen Wei Po:
By-election becomes "insurrection"
Liberal Party refuses to play

Sing Tao:
"Unfair" and "unjust"
Pro-establishment party refuses to enter by-election

(South China Morning Post)  Liberals to shun by-elections in anger at 'uprising' adverts    Albert Wong    January 24, 2010.

The Liberal Party says it will not take part in by-elections triggered by the resignations of five pan-democrats in protest at their use of the word "uprising" in campaign adverts. Miriam Lau Kin-yee, chairwoman of the Liberals, said the Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats were effectively "challenging the bottom line of 'one country, two systems'" by using such a word to describe their campaign and she did not want the public to think the Liberal Party was condoning this by taking part. The two parties say the by-elections will be a de facto referendum on democratisation. "All along, the Liberal Party has said it does not recognise the expected by-elections as a referendum. And we continue to take that view ... but in the past two days there has been a big change ... The words that are being used are becoming more extreme. Now they say want to create a civil uprising," she said. "Wave by wave, they are increasing their level. What their next step is, nobody knows. One of our considerations is that there is a high chance that people will distort the picture to make it look like we are supporting, or condoning this so-called referendum. Or even support, or condone, this uprising."

The Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats caused uproar among Beijing loyalists when they revealed campaign slogans and advertisements last week calling for "people power" and a "civil uprising" to express their democratic aspirations through the ballot box. Five lawmakers from the two parties plan to resign - one in each of the five geographical constituencies - next week, then seek re-election on a shared platform calling for a commitment to genuine universal suffrage and the abolition of functional constituencies. The government has released proposed electoral changes for 2012 that fall short of those goals.

City University political analyst Dr James Sung Lap-kung said the Liberals' move was the result of pressure from Beijing and a sign of a change of tactic. "If you do not participate, then you can concentrate on pure labelling," he said. Sung said that if all pro-establishment parties withdrew, "then the show cannot go on" since the turnout would be low, and the pro-establishment camp could criticise and label the two parties for months.

Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said: "Obviously, they've received a message [from Beijing]." She did not believe that "two Chinese words" in an advertisement were the reason for the Liberals pulling out. "It shows the Liberal Party does not want to face the people."

The resignation plan was also attacked yesterday by Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, former president of the Legislative Council and now a member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. She said proponents of the campaign would set a "dangerous precedent" by misleading the public over the purpose of by-elections. "Hong Kong has no such law [providing for a referendum], and the Basic Law does not give us such authority. So this is just a by-election, not a referendum," she said. "Anyone who has studied Chinese history will know that the word 'uprising' gives us images of revolution, blood, violence ... when you hear these words, it makes people think of social turmoil, hardship, chaos."

Eu said the form of uprising they were advocating was one through the ballot box. "You can't on the one hand say you listen to the opinion of the people, but on the other hand accuse what we are doing as being unconstitutional," she said.

Reference: Wang Bingzhang's ideas on "armed insurrection" (Wang Bingzhan is a democracy activist currently serving a life sentence in China; he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009)

The so-called military coup is a palace coup by the armed forces.  The so-called political coup is a change in political power.  An armed insurrection is different from the above, because it does not necessarily lead to a change in political power.  For example, the August 1st Nanchang uprising was an armed insurrection, but it was not a military coup and the central government was not threatened.  Armed insurrection does not have to conducted by regular armed forces.  The main forces for an armed insurrection can be workers and farmers who take up arms.  To progress from an armed insurrection to seizing political power can be very easy if it took place in Beijing when Zhongnanhai is overrun.  If the armed insurrection took place in a border area, the armed forces must get to Beijing to seize central authority.

I would like to talk here about the issues of establishing an armed forces in either a remote or a central region in China, including the timing of an insurrection.

The biggest question is one of feasibility.  Is this feasible?

First, there is the problem of weapons.  There are three sources: you make them yourself; you buy them; or you acquire them by robbery.

Manufacturing weapons is harder, but not completely impossible.  For example, it is possible to manufacture home-made bombs.

Buying is feasible.  Chinese Communist documents show that there are more than 700,000 guns at large in society.  The actual number may be even higher and increasing on a daily basis.  Where do they come from?  Mainly from sales by the People's Liberation Army in exchange for money.  Certain armories are missing significant number of guns.  Weapons also come in from across the Sino-Russian and Sino-Myanmar borders.

Robbery is possible.  The Chinese Communist armories are not well-guarded.  When a large number of people are available, robbing the armories is one way of acquiring ready-made weapons.

Therefore, the problem of weaponry can be solved.

Secondly, there is the problem of personnel.  There are many unemployed persons in society, many unused persons in the countryside and many laid-off ex-workers.  In theory, they are all potential recruits.

Therefore, the problem of personnel can be solved.

Thirdly, there is the problem of instructors/trainers.  Such talents exist within the democracy movement already.

Fourthly, there is the problem of training bases.  Where should they be located?  Mountains, forests, national borders (Sino-Myanmar, Sino-Russian, etc) and overseas (Russia, Myanmar, Afghanistan, etc) can be considered.  The factors in the consideration are whether they will be discovered by the Chinese Communists; if discovered and encircled, the groups must be able to retreat to a safe haven or otherwise repel the assaults.

At present, it is premature to recruit on a mass scale.  But there is no problem with training small groups of elite armed guerillas.  Small teams of guerilla fighters can form the basis for taking over the small- and medium-sized cities.

"Mental associations not allowed" is the name of a famous mainland Chinese blog.  At the same time, it also represents a certain attitude that the Chinese people should have above all today.  In my view, our biggest problem is that we like and are able to make far too many mental associations about things, to the point that our brains and bodies are wasted and we become a bunch of useless people who make risible mistakes.

For example, let us look at the many lists of the best books of 2009.  Most of them were chosen by panels of judges.  A number of scholars and critics were assembled to nominate, discuss and vote on the books in meetings.  These people should be responsible for the final lists.  But in truth, they were not responsible.  Why?  Because there is something called "the leader."  I do not imply any disrespect when I refer to it as "something," because you do not know what it is.  Is it one person?  A group of persons?  We don't even know what it is.  I only know that at a certain critical moment, "the will of the leader" is communicated through certain channels and completely overturns the group decision made by the scholars and experts.  This "leader" does not seem to be especially wise compared to the experts; it does not seem to be especially learned so as to have unique insights.  Its forte is the ability to make mental associations.

There are things that you cannot imagine, but it will immediately come up with it; there are things that you have already thought about, but it can think deeper and further than you.

Let us consider two books that shook up the literary field in China last year to good reviews: Eileen Chang's sensational swan song <Small Reunions> and the UK-based scholar Liu Yu's <The Details of Democracy>.  Based upon my information, these two books were selected by certain panels of judges for certain book lists.  But it the end, they were removed.  I asked around, and informed sources told me that it was the will of the "leader."  The problem with <Small Reunions> was that the author was Eileen Chang, who was married to the Chinese collaborationist Hu Lancheng.  Therefore, wouldn't recommending Eileen Chang be promoting the wife of a Chinese collaborationist?  Wouldn't that be encouraging people to become Chinese traitors?  The problem with <The Details of Democracy> was that the title contained the word "democracy."  This book is about American politics and the Chinese Communists also approve of democracy and are proud of its own democracy (as being even more democratic than America).  But somehow the word was considered too sensitive and the book was removed lest people should think that the list was promoting democracy.

If <The Details of Democracy> was titled as <Observations of American Politics> instead; if Eileen Chang did not marry Hu Lancheng and married an American and lived her life out in America; then these two books will have no problem with making all the lists of best books of the year.  While a book list may have the exterior coating of professionalism and democracy, it cannot be so if "the will of the leader" intercedes.  As such, it can only express the power of mental association by "the leader."

The amazing thing is that both of these books are legally published in mainland China.  They were chosen among the best books in many other similar kinds of activities.  This showed that these books were not at fault in themselves, and there was no mysterious supreme leader issuing a blanket order against them: they were removed only because of the will of "some of the leaders" who oversee some of the book lists.  How did these "leaders" make so many mental associations about these two books?  Why are they making these mental associations on their own without a supreme directive?  That is because they have automatically turned their brains into what they believe is the Central Computer.  They conjecture how the Central Computer might deal with the situation and they simulate its thought processes; they imagine reader reactions which may not actually exist; they imagine how complaints might arise to the detriment of their own careers.  In other words, they can make mental associations with many problems that the ordinary people don't see.  The ability to make these kinds of mental associations comes from a system of mental associations that ordinary people don't understand either.

So these book lists are the victims of the regime of terror.  Those books lists in which <Small Reunions> and <The Details of Democracy> were successfully selected are the survivors in the regime of terror.  The basic logic of the regime of terror is to conceal its core so that outsiders cannot understand and must speculate.  Thus your thinking becomes its colony from which to make mental associations.  It does not have to use real arms and knives, but it can make you imagine the presence of arms and knives according to certain details.  It can make you associate Christmas with Liu Xiaobo, because Liu Xiaobo was sentenced on Christmas Day; it can make certain people decide to forbid hyping about <Avatar> because people were associating <Avatar> with demolitions/evictions in China.

The regime of terror tries to rule through associated thinking.  Everybody uses the same brain to think (more accurately, everybody automatically try to emulate the mythical Big Brain).  When malcontents want to avoid this all-encompassing array of associated thinking, they have to use an opposing set of associated thinking (that is why everybody saw the forced demolitions/evictions in China being portrayed in <Avatar>, and "river crab" and "grass mud horse" came after harmonisation).  You have your mental associations, but I've got my own mental associations; you try to use your mental associations to rule over me, but I use my own mental associations to make fun of you.  After a while, China becomes a grand nation of mental associations, in which people are no longer capable of direct logical inferences but only know how to use analogies and metaphors to trace out the curves of mental associations.

No wonder the largest computer company in China is called "Mental Associations" (=Lenovo).

(  August 7, 2009.

In Songbai town, Yangchun city, ten people went missing without a trace.  In the successive cases of missing people (including young and old), they seemed to have vanished into the air without any sign of being dead or alive.  The police investigated but came up with nothing.  Since there were no bodies and no clues, these cases kept happening without being solved.  It all began on July 8, 2009, when the 19-year-old high school student named Yan went to play at the Beihe Reservoir in the morning and never came back.  This girl was usually very obedient and never goes missing for so long.  So the family were in distraught.  They had heard about the missing people in the town, so they notified the relevant departments immediately.  This news go to the newspaper reporter Xiao Chen.

On the morning of July 10, the reporter went to the reservoir and checked out the scene.  He found nothing at first.  At 13:10, he entered a hillside village in the Beihei area and saw something that he will never forget.

Several villagers held a girl down on a chair.  One man then plunged a knife into the girl's throat.  Xiao Chen observed the scene from afar and he fell down on the ground in shock.  After a while, he took out his camera and took the photos that would solve all the cases of missing persons. 

Cannibalism?  How can there still be cannibalism in our society today?? But the facts were right in front of him.

This is a tragic world.  All on the evening of July 10, the Songbai town police received the report.  The police went down to the village and detained everybody there.  We will know why this happened when the police releases the results of their investigation.

The high resolution copies of these photos would suggest that it was a plastic female model.

(EastDay)  August 11, 2009.

Recently an Internet forum post entitled <Shocking cannibalism in Songbai town, Yangchun city> was criculating.  When the police learned about it, they started an investigation quickly.  Yesterday, the police announced that this was completely fictional, and the suspected rumormongers and propagators have been detained by the public security bureau.

According to that investigation, the <Shocking cannibalism in Songbai town, Yangchun city> forum posts originated from the QQ space owned by "Ting Er."  On August 7, the police apprehended the rumormonger named Lei and three others who propagated the rumor.  During the interrogation, Lei made a confession: For the sake of excitement as well as increase website traffic volume, he found some fake photos on the Internet and fabricated the so-called news report, which he posted on his girlfriend's QQ space.

The police reminds the public not to believe in Internet rumors and not to forward them.  Anyone who fabricate or spread rumors bear legal responsibility.

(My China, My Home)  January 23, 2010.

Last July, citizen Lei was working in Guangzhou and frequented Internet cafes.  In order to increase traffic at his QQ site, he made up the post <Shocking cannibalism in Songbai town, Yangchun city> with four shocking photos of men butchering a naked woman.  Lei distributed the post all over the Internet.  By the time that the police got involved, there were already 148 re-posts and 165,260 page views.  The post created panic in society.

Although the post carried sensationalistic details, it was also flawed.  For example, there was no Beihe Administrative District in Yangchun city.  Rather, Beihe Village is a tiny village in the mountains of Songbai town.  The Beihe villagers found the whole case incredible, but many netizens were credulous all the same.

Soon after making the post, Lei deleted it after condemnations by netizens.  He restricted access to his QQ space by password.  But it was too late, because the Internet reaction had drawn the attention of the Guangdong provincial government and the Yangchun city government.  The relevant departments investigated the matter and found the post was fabrication.

On August 7, Lei was arrested by the public security bureau.  He was prosecuted and the court found his guilty of intentionally fabricating and spreading false information.  He was sentenced to two years in prison.

The prosecutor said that while the Internet is a relatively free space, citizens should take care that when they express themselves on the Internet, they must not impact others by fabricating information especially those that might cause social panic and anxiety.  This is an issue of social responsibility.

Apple Daily:
Unafraid of persecution by the most powerful of authorities
Five knights of referendum scale mountain of knives

Ta Kung Pao:
"General Resignation" Disrupts Hong Kong
Denounced By Various Social Sectors
Doing "Hong Kong Independence" By "De Facto Referendum"

Oriental Daily:
Mini-bus Disaster
Delayed Accountability
(Note: In the inside story about the five district referendum movement, the discussion was about semantics in the Chinese language.  The official slogan for the movement was: 五區公投、全民起義.  五區 is five districts, 公投 is referendum, 全民 is all the people together.  The trick is 起義.  The NJStar computer dictionary says "uprising, insurrection, rebellion."  Google Translate says "Uprising."  So the spokespersons of the campaign spent a lot of time explaining what is  起義 and why they do not really mean to advocate "Hong Kong independence" from China.)

Forced housing inspection, paid for by owners
Implemented end of next year at the latest

Headline Daily:
American stocks drop sharply by 214 points during mid-session
Chinese soccer gambling raid, huge anti-crime storm

Hong Kong Commercial Daily:
Results for Top 10 Events That Drew The Most Attention From the Business Communist In 2009

Hong Kong Economic Journal:
China's GDP growth over 8% last year
Slightly higher change of interest rate hike in first quarter

More discussion about "uprising/insurrection/rebellion":
「五區公投」易理妥 「全民起義」太惹火    紀曉風










所謂的「惹火尤物宜密實」,反過來說,就是只有密實姑娘才可以穿豹紋褸(典例是奧斯卡影后桂莉芙柏德露〔Gwyneth Paltrow〕)。



Wen Wei Po:
Worries Over Mainland Interest Rate Hike
Hong Kong Stock Index Falls Under 21000

Sing Tao:
Mainland inflation returns
More worries about interest rate hike

I don't have the image of the front page of the South China Morning Post, but the story in the middle is:

(South China Morning Post)  A story behind dissident's assumed name   January 22, 2010.

What's in a name? If that name is Wang Xingxiang, the answer seems to be quite a lot.

US-based mainland dissident Zhou Yongjun tried to enter Hong Kong in September 2008 with a fake passport using that name. Last week he was jailed by a mainland court for nine years for attempted financial fraud.

Wang Xingxiang was also the real name of Zhang Hongbao, founder of the banned Zhong Gong qi gong organisation on the mainland, who died in mysterious circumstances in a car accident in the United States in 2006. Zhang reportedly left behind assets worth at least HK$300 million, since frozen in Hong Kong bank accounts. Alarms were raised when Hang Seng Bank noticed a suspicious request to transfer overseas HK$6 million from a Hong Kong account registered to Wang. The attempt was foiled because the signature was incorrect, and Wang's name was placed on a money-laundering watch list.

Zhou, using a phony Malaysian passport bearing the name Wang Xingxiang, was intercepted by Hong Kong immigration authorities when he tried to enter from Macau. They handed him over to mainland officials after he declined to reveal his true identity. That extraordinary rendition has been criticised by Zhou's lawyers, with one of them, Mo Shaoping, saying his case should have been dealt with in Hong Kong where the alleged fraud was committed.

Is Zhou an innocent victim caught up in the intrigues of a massive fraud case? His girlfriend says that as a Tiananmen dissident, he was unable to return to the mainland and obtained a fake passport through a US immigration agency. Being given Wang Xingxiang as his fake name was just "bad luck". But observers say it is highly unlikely that Zhou got the name by chance.

A closer look at the two men's backgrounds suggests a close connection. Zhou was at one point an assistant to Zhang when they were both living in exile in the US. When Zhang died, Zhou was the spokesman who released the news of his death and claimed his former boss was killed by Chinese agents. Moreover, Zhang's enormous estate has been contested by various parties, including the Zhong Gong organisation and Zhou. Zhang's followers in the US publicly denounced Zhou, claiming he had attempted to forge Zhang's will and seize his property after his death.

Some rights activists believe Zhou's sentence was related to his background as a student leader in the Tiananmen protests in 1989, but given the complex background and the many facts still shrouded in mystery, others have cast doubt on the link.

Zhang claimed Zhong Gong had up to 38 million followers before it was banned by the central government along with Falun Gong in 1999. He was also the self-proclaimed president of China's "shadow government", which aimed to foster democratic reforms on the mainland and reportedly funded exiled dissidents.

The Sun:
Taoist Master From Mao Mountain Sect Gets Heavy Sentence of 81 Months Of Prison Time
Tricked Young Model Into Sexual Intercourse To Change Her Luck

Sing Pao:
Taoist Priest Gets Heavy Sentence
Tricked Young Model Into Bed

The Standard:
Sex "Superman" Caged
Taoist 'master' gets six years despite
celebrities swearing to his special powers

Here is Apple Daily's Action News animated rendition of the Sex "Superman":

January 5, 2010

January 22, 2010

Recently, an Internet post entitled <Analysis of fake results of sub-3:00 finishers at the 2010 Xiamen Marathon> claimed that there were many cheaters in that race.  The analysis was based upon comparing the photos at the finish line with the finishing times.

The most egregious example was the men who finished closed to the female winner who finished in a time 2:28:53.  Closely behind were 23rd place male finisher with bib number #08892 from Dongfang Middle School (Shandong province) in 2:29:01 and 24th place male finisher with bib number #08897 also from Dongfang Middle School (Shandong province) in the identical time of 2:29:01.  In the finishing line photo, the female winner was running next to a male runner with bib number #08900, who did not have an official time.  The netizen poster wrote: "Since 08900 did not have an official finishing time, it can only mean that he was wearing the chips for 08892 and 08897 while not wearing his own."

Even more amazing was the results for the 39th to 49th finisher.  They finished between 2:32:30 and 2:32:32.  The photos showed that only six people crossed the finishing line during that time, but 11 results were recorded.  Of these 11 finishers, 7 were from the Jinan City Sports Workers Team.

The reporter checked the official Xiamen Marathon website and observed that about 30 of the top finishers had their results disqualified.  These included finishers 23 and 24, 34 to 48, 67 to 69 (all three being from Yang'en University in Quanzhou).

According to the reporter's analysis, most of the disqualifications were for finishing times under 2 hours 34 minutes.  The significance of 2 hours 34 minutes is that it is the standard to qualify as a Chinese national first class athlete.  If a high school student reaches that standard, he gets extra points for this university entrance examination marks.

In the Xiamen Marathon, race times were determined by electronic chips identified with race bib numbers.  Each runner must theoretically carry only his own chip, which is usually tied to the shoe laces.  It would turn out some runners were wearing one or more chips that did not belong to them.  In addition, some runners were using transportation to take short cuts on the marathon course.

How to prevent cheating?  It is done either by prevention or punishment.  In the case of the Xiamen Marathon, they only recorded the chip at the finishing line.  In other international marathons, they recorded the chip at unannounced points during the race so that anyone who failed to cross all checkpoints will be disqualified for course cutting.  In addition, they will take photos of the racers at the start as well as the finish.

I admit that I am a conservative thinker.  If the "anti-Express Rail Link" siege of the Hong Kong Legislative Council is not an assault on the Legislative Council and the entire process was merely another peaceful protest, then I think that we have already altered our definition and understanding of social order.  Assaulting the Legislative Council goes father than peaceful protest.  I disagree with this kind of protest method.

The reader can criticize people like me for having a blind loyalty towards parliamentary politics, such that I still agree to a minority-obeys-the-majority game in an unjust system.  The blind loyalty in the eyes of the critics is the standards and ethics of parliamentary democracy in my eyes.  If today we can assault a parliament that we do not believe represents true public opinion because we are acting on the basis of what we believe to be true democracy, some day another crowd will wave their own political banners to lay siege to a majority parliament led by the democrats (or some other political party).  When that moment comes, we cannot complain.  Standards and order are not the tools just for one side to oppress another, because it also protects the other side.  It does not just constrain us, because it also constrains our opponents.  When all standards and order are tossed aside, everybody will pay a heavy price.

I understand that for many people, there is no likelihood that the current democrats will assume power and be assaulted by their opponents in the short term (because our electoral system is hardly likely to produce such a electoral seat distribution).  Therefore, they don't think that they need to worry.  In their eyes, the end rationalizes all methods.  Since the goal is just, then no standards or norms need to be observed.  With respect to these opinions, I must emphasize: Ignoring the standards and ethics of democracy will ultimately not lead to the true democracy that everybody wants.  Those who pursue true democracy will use democratic processes to reach their goal, including restraining themselves with democratic processes and standards.  No matter how disgusting the Hong Kong government might be, we cannot abandon democratic standards and ethics in parliament as a result.

I also heard someone opined that 98% of the actions during the Legco siege were joyous and peaceful protests and only a small number of people were more impulsive and tried more rash actions.  Thus, the scenes shown in the electronic media are exaggerations and distortions by the media and do not reflect the action as a whole.  Those participants who share this view regard the entire process as one in which they expressed their feelings and opinions, and therefore they don't care what the general public thinks.  But the reality is that the general public will not distinguish between the 98% and the other 2%.  More importantly, even if this whole action claims not to have been tightly organized, the general public will not feel that the extra action by this 2% or the impulsive actions of certain individuals are unrelated to the assembly as a whole.  The real world is cruel.  If the scenes shown in the news reports are not fictional, then this is the way society will define the whole action.  If the assembly did not agree with the action of those 2%, it should have stopped the recurrence of such incidents; if the assembly did not try to stop these impulsive actions, it was basically agreeing with these actions.

The assembly participant might ask: If so, then how come public opinion (except for those with obvious political positions) did not come out en masse to deplore the action?  The "opinion vacuum" that we are seeing right now does not mean that the broad masses of citizens are supporting the actions of those who laid siege to Legco.  Rather, the SAR government is very unpopular and no social forces want to stand on their side.  The estrangement of the SAR government caused public opinion to be withheld for now.  But this does not mean that people don't have their views.  They know that as long as the SAR government continues to be weak, the opposing actions will escalate until violence explodes.  Then public opinion will change and decide that the actions were irrational, anti-social and destructive.

Or the assembly participants might ask: Then why are public opinions praising the enthusiasm and idealism of the so-called "post-80's" or "spontaneously organized netizens"?  I think that this is probably only showing that Hong Kong people have become hypocritical in recent years.  Behind the praises of the young participants are reservations which did not give full endorsement to the form of the actions.  I cannot exclude that many praises were based upon a certain appreciation, but I am afraid that it is more likely that the idealism of young people is being used to criticize the SAR government.  These sounds of applause do not cost much.  When things go too far, the applauders do not have any responsibility.  In fact, they cane easily chime in with the counter-criticisms afterwards and blame the participants for not knowing where the line is.  Sometimes, I feel that these cheap applauses are only pushing the participants towards extreme actions and do not come from fellow travelers who are genuinely willing to share the risks.

The last question is: What would happen if peaceful actions are no longer used?  Only the participants can decide the course of action for themselves.  But this should be stated clearly so that all participants understand the implications and are willing to accept the consequences.  Nobody else should interfere.  In truth, the costs and risks for the participants will be rising in the future.  After this Legco siege, the Hong Kong SAR government and police will find it hard to use the same tactics to maintain order.

The pressure on them comes from two sources.  Firstly, citizens need an explanation about how order in the city centre was disrupted and why the police were unable to enforce the law effectively.  Secondly, the police themselves must think that it is hard for frontline police officers to decide how to enforce the law if this goes on.  These two kinds of pressure will force the authorities to send the message to the participants (such as summons issued later) to let them know that removing steel barricades or charging the scene are not risk-free activities.  It can be imagined that after the "opinion vacuum" has passed, the risks for the action will come in another form.  The organizers were aware of that, and are fully prepared.

I am pointing out the risks not because I want to stop the actions.  Rather, all those who organize the actions have the responsibility to provide clear explanations to the participants.  The organizers and participants have their ideas about what and how to do and they assume full responsibility.  Finally, I want to emphasize again that the implications of assaulting Legco are far and deep.  It was not just a case of demanding government officials to come out to have a dialogue.

On January 19, the Baidu Hanzhong/Lueyang forums carried a sensationalistic story.  According to the author, the director of a certain government department in Lueyang county met his lover for a tryst in a hotel.  But the husband of the lover found out, kicked down the door, knocked the director down and took out his razor to castrate him.  The director was taken to the hospital where his vital part was sewed back on.

According to the post, the hotel was the Guangxia Hotel in Lueyang county.  However, the post did not name the director or his department.  Nevertheless, the post drew tremendous interest as netizens tried to figure out who the director was.  In Lueyang county, the story was known to just about everybone.  Among the various versions, the most detailed one even indicated that the husband worked at the hotel.

On the afternoon of January 20, a post titled <An announcement on the rumor about "Castration Gate" at the Guangxia Hotel> appeared.  The post was signed "the Chengguan police station, Lueyang county public security bureau."


Beginning January 19, some netizens have been commenting about at the Baidu Lueyang and Hanzhong sections about Castration Gate at the Guangxia Hotel.

The Lueyang county public security bureau Chengguan police station police went to the Guangxia Hotel to investigate.  The hotel manager named Wang, the assistant manager named Liu (in charge of hotel security) and client service worker named Yang all said that no such incident took place.  The police have not received any complaints by the so-called "principal" at this time.

We ask the masses not to be believe or spread rumors.

Chengguan police station, Lueyang county public security bureau
January 20, 2010

On the evening of January 20, our reporter chatted with the hotel manager on duty that night about this case.  Apart from the public security bureau, the county government has also inquired about the case.  But the hotel workers never saw this incident.  "They did not even find the blood stains during room cleaning."  The manager speculated that since the post named the hotel but no further information about the principals, this was probably done by a business competitor of theirs, or an unhappy client.

Yesterday, the hotel visited the Lueyang County Hospital and the Lueyang Railroad Hospital.  Both denied having treated a patient in the aforementioned condition recently, and their ambulances have not gone to the Guangxia Hotel either.  The reporter also checked the Hanzhong City Centre Hospital, the 3201 Hospital and the Hanzhong City Hospital.  These three large hospitals have not received any such patient either.

Related Links: The 8-1/2 Laws of Rumor Spread.  By Susan Blackmore.  Psychology Today.

This reporter arrived in Pogong town at 6pm on January 18.  It took about half an hour to reach the Guo family home, which entails climbing several steep slopes.  January 18 was the seventh day after the deaths.  That night, this reporter stayed at the house of Guo Yonghua together with Guo Yonghua's young brother Fanping.  The fight between the Guo and Dai families occurred because of Fanping's failed marriage proposal to a girl who prefered a Dai boy.  The reporter woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of Fanping crying.  It was psychologically stressful.

The Dai family has moved to Duanqiao town, with only the father still living in Pogong town.  The Dai family had moved all their assets (including six pigs) from Pogong town to Duanqiao town because they were afraid that the Guo family might want to take revenge against them.

At the scene of the incident, there is no longer any trace of blood on the ground.  The people around the area refused to discuss the incident. 

On the day when reporter Liu Gang arrived in Pogong town, he had seen at least four groups of media from other provinces/cities (Jiangxi, Guangdong, Sichuan, Chongqing).  But there was no reporting on January 18 in the local newspapers Guizhou Metropolis Daily and Guizhou Commercial News.

On the evening of January 19, the reporter stayed at a small hotel in Pogong town (15 yuan per night).  The store owners near the scene said that they knew nothing, or that they not there at the time, or else they outright asked the reporter to leave.

At 9am on January 20, the reporter went to the Pogong town government office.  He called Pogong town party secretary Luo Qingping who was at Yaoshang village Diaojing brigade.  At noon, Luo declined to be interviewed by the reporter.  He said that no interviews were allowed unless the reporter carried a letter of introduction from the Guizhou provincial party publicity department.

In the afternoon, the reporter visited the Guanling county party publicity department.  The county party standing committee member and publicity department director said on the phone that the interview must go through the Guizhou provincial party publicity department.

The reporter learned that more media from outside Guizhou province are coming to Pogong.

Although the local cadres have been complaining about the reporting in a certain metropolis daily, this reporter encountered setbacks in his attempts to get interviews everywhere.  He finds it hard to understand why the information channels are blocked or why the known information is so seriously imbalanced.

January 21 is the third day for Liu Gang in Pogong town.  His investigation is continuing.  Even though his interviewing was not going well, he is persisting on finding leads and breakthroughs.  Although progress is slow, he is continuing.  Please pay attention to further developments in this reporter's notes.

If you have information, please follow up with us!

What did the unnamed metropolis daily say?  Here is part of the story:

Xiao Liu who runs a shop nearby gave basically the same story as Guo Yongwen: "I was stunned when I got out of the store."  He saw the plainclothes Zhang Lei pointing at Guo Yonghua with this left hand and pulling his gun out with his right hand while shouting: "Kneel down, or else I'll shoot you!"  That was especially loud.  Guo Yonghua replied: "I did not break any laws, and you don't dare to shoot anyway."

The uniformed police officer than use his electric baton to knock Guo Yonghua town.  The plainclothes Zhang Lei pulled out his gun and fired once into the air and once into the ground.  At that moment, Guo Yongzhi came up and Zhang Lei fired once at the hip.  Guo Yongzhi fell down, but he did not die immediately.  He crawled towards an electricity pole.  "This man can still be saved.  Get him to the hospital quick."  Spectators yelled.  But Zhang Lei pointed his gun at the approaching villagers: "I will shoot anyone who dares to take him to the hospital!"  Zhang Lei then went up to Guo Yongzhi and fired another shot into the back of his head.

The imbalance of the information is that the autopsy reports said that both shots fired at Guo Yongzhi entered from the front and exited in the rear.  Therefore, firing a shot in the back of the head is erroneous.  However, the story in the metropolis daily is the prevailing narrative of the moment, given that it was the first to go nationwide.  When the Guizhou authorities refused to let its cadres be interviewed, how do you expect their narrative to be known?

It is true that the autopsy results have been officially released.  But the official channels are under suspicion.  After all, the initial police investigation insisted that only four bullets were fired, two in the air and one at each deceased person.  That would turn out to be erroneous, as five bullets were actually fired with Guo Yongzhi being shot once in the leg and once in the head.

(Times Online)  Chinese democracy leader Zhou Yongjun jailed for fraud  By Jane Macartney.  January 21, 2010.

A former student leader of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement has been sentenced to nine years in jail, the latest in a series of tough prison terms to be handed down by the Chinese authorities. The arrest of Zhou Yongjun aroused widespread controversy in Hong Kong, whose police handed him to their counterparts in mainland China after he tried to enter the former British colony from the United States on a false Malaysian passport.


The case stems from a complaint by the Hang Seng bank in Hong Bank about a suspicious request for the transfer of funds out of an account registered to Wang Xingxiang — the name in Mr Zhou's fake passport. The signature on the transfer form for HK$6 milllion (£550,000) did not match that of the original account holder and the name Wang Xingxiang was placed on a money laundering watch list.

Mr Zhou said he was the victim of bad luck and mistaken identity. He says he obtained the fake passport through an immigration agency, a common practice among Chinese exiles who often find themselves stateless after Beijing refuses to renew their passports. He has lived in the United States since seeking asylum there in 1992 and holds permanent residency. He was put on trial in November, a day after President Obama ended a state visit to China.

(Associated Press)  Former China democracy movement leader sentenced to 9 years in prison on fraud charges.  By Christopher Bodeen.  January 21, 2010.

A former Chinese democracy movement leader who was controversially handed over to mainland China from Hong Kong has been sentenced to nine years in prison on the charge of attempted fraud, his lawyer said Wednesday.


Zhou had been living in the United States since smuggling himself out of China in 1993, but was arrested in August 2008 while attempting to enter Hong Kong on a phoney Malaysian passport bearing the name Wang Xingxiang. Supporters say he was planning on returning to mainland China to visit his elderly parents and accuse Hong Kong's government of violating its own laws in sending him to the mainland.

The 'victim of bad luck and mistaken identity'?  This is simply not the case.  Zhou Yongjun's lawyers and supporters, the western media, Apple Daily, Chinese democracy activists and organizations continue to gloss over the significance of the name Wang Xingxiang.  These latest reports are making out as if Zhou Yongjun simply had the bad luck of having an immigration agency giving him this passport name by chance.  In truth, Wang Xingxiang is the alias of Zhou Yongjun's late boss Zhang Hongbao, who founded the outlawed Zhonggong qigong sect and elected himself as the president of the Chinese Shadow government.  When Zhang Hongbao died, he left many assets around the world, including Hong Kong bank accounts under the name of Wang Xingxiang.  The estate of Zhang Hongbao is not yet settled at this time, being contested by Zhou Yongjun and several others parties.

The omission of these inconvenient facts in the case of Zhou Yongjun in media reporting is as bad as the refusal to name the "Hong Kong businessman living in Taiwan who ordered hits on Jimmy Lai and Martin Lee."

For further details, see The Case Of Zhou Yongjun.

P.S. The following report showed up the next day:

(South China Morning Post)  A story behind dissident's assumed name   January 22, 2010.

What's in a name? If that name is Wang Xingxiang, the answer seems to be quite a lot.

US-based mainland dissident Zhou Yongjun tried to enter Hong Kong in September 2008 with a fake passport using that name. Last week he was jailed by a mainland court for nine years for attempted financial fraud.

Wang Xingxiang was also the real name of Zhang Hongbao, founder of the banned Zhong Gong qi gong organisation on the mainland, who died in mysterious circumstances in a car accident in the United States in 2006. Zhang reportedly left behind assets worth at least HK$300 million, since frozen in Hong Kong bank accounts.

Alarms were raised when Hang Seng Bank noticed a suspicious request to transfer overseas HK$6 million from a Hong Kong account registered to Wang. The attempt was foiled because the signature was incorrect, and Wang's name was placed on a money-laundering watch list.

Zhou, using a phony Malaysian passport bearing the name Wang Xingxiang, was intercepted by Hong Kong immigration authorities when he tried to enter from Macau. They handed him over to mainland officials after he declined to reveal his true identity.

That extraordinary rendition has been criticised by Zhou's lawyers, with one of them, Mo Shaoping, saying his case should have been dealt with in Hong Kong where the alleged fraud was committed.

Is Zhou an innocent victim caught up in the intrigues of a massive fraud case?

His girlfriend says that as a Tiananmen dissident, he was unable to return to the mainland and obtained a fake passport through a US immigration agency. Being given Wang Xingxiang as his fake name was just "bad luck".

But observers say it is highly unlikely that Zhou got the name by chance.

A closer look at the two men's backgrounds suggests a close connection. Zhou was at one point an assistant to Zhang when they were both living in exile in the US. When Zhang died, Zhou was the spokesman who released the news of his death and claimed his former boss was killed by Chinese agents.

Moreover, Zhang's enormous estate has been contested by various parties, including the Zhong Gong organisation and Zhou. Zhang's followers in the US publicly denounced Zhou, claiming he had attempted to forge Zhang's will and seize his property after his death.

Some rights activists believe Zhou's sentence was related to his background as a student leader in the Tiananmen protests in 1989, but given the complex background and the many facts still shrouded in mystery, others have cast doubt on the link.

Zhang claimed Zhong Gong had up to 38 million followers before it was banned by the central government along with Falun Gong in 1999. He was also the self-proclaimed president of China's "shadow government", which aimed to foster democratic reforms on the mainland and reportedly funded exiled dissidents.

According to forensic expert Xu Yong, the gunshot wounds on the two men were all caused from short distances.  Specifically, the shots were fired from less than 10 centimeters.

The deceased Guo Yongzhi had a 1.6cm x 1.5cm skin tissue wound on his left forehead, with signs of star-like tissue tears around this wound.  There were also clear indications of burn marks and physical trauma.  On the back of his head on the right hand side, there was a 1.5cm x 1.1cm bone fracture with the bone fragments expanding outwards.  There was a gunshot would in the middle of this right leg, but there was no sign of damage to the blood arteries or bones.

The deceased Guo Yonghua had round-shaped wound visible under this left eye.  The wound showed signs of burning around the edge, with contusions and gun powder ringing on the outside.  There was bone fracture on the left side of the back of the head, with the bone fragments expanding outwards.

According to Xu Yong, the autopsies showed that all three shots that hit the two deceased men were fired from a close distance.  In the case of Guo Yongzi, the bullet into his left forehead was fired almost on contact.  All three wounds were caused by firing from in front (that is, the bullets entered from the front and exited in the rear.  The leg wound on Guo Yongzhi damaged his muscles but did not touch his blood arteries or leg bones.  Under normal circumstances, such a wounded person is still capable of moving.

He said that if Guo Yongzhi had been shot first in the leg and was crawling away, there should have been a trail of blood on the ground.  But no such trail was found at the scene, as Guo Yongzhi stayed where he fell.  If Guo Yongzhi was shot while drawing face down, the bullet should have entered in the back and existed out of the front of his body.  That would not be consistent with the autopsy result.

[According to eyewitnesses interviewed by the media, "the policeman Zhang Lei fired directly at the head of Guo Yonghua, who fell down on the ground immediately.  The cousin Guo Yongzhi went up to ask questions, but the policeman Zhang Lei hired a shot at his waist in the back.  Guo Yongzhi did not die immediately, but tried to crawl towards a electricity pole.  The policeman Zhang Lei went up, put the gun on the back of his head and shot him.]