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Chinese blogger kidnapped, two months without news

Julien Pain of Reporters Without Borders / Internet Freedom desk:

“Reporters Without Borders today said it considered Chinese blogger Hao Wu to be the victim of state abduction as more than two months have gone by since his arrest by the National Security Bureau in Beijing without his family getting any news about him. His lawyer has not been allowed to see him, but has been told his client is under house arrest.

“This case shows the Chinese security services operate without any control by the courts,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Hao is the victim of an arbitrary system that interprets the law as it sees fit. We call on European and American diplomats to raised his case at their meetings with the Chinese authorities. We are curious know how they will justify the National Security Bureau’s procedures.”

In a message posted yesterday on her blog (http://spaces.msn.com/wuhaofamily/blog/), Hao’s sister, Na Wu, said she had hired a lawyer who asked three questions during an interview with the National Security Bureau on 21 April: why his client is being held longer than allowed by the law, why the authorities refuse to inform his client’s family, and why they refuse to let him see his client, which they should have done within the first 48 hours of his arrest.

The National Security Bureau replied that these were just “misunderstandings.” Hao was no longer in detention, he was under “house arrest,” the bureau said. At the same time, the case was “classified,” which explained why no information had been given about the charges against Hao and where he was being held. Finally, neither Hao’s family or his lawyer had been allowed to see him because they had not formally requested it, the bureau added.”

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Sergey Brin defends China portal

David Kirkpatrick interviewed in Davos today Sergey Brin on Google’s decision to put up a site in China that accepts censorship. Sergey also had interesting comments on how he deals with specific government requests:

“Fortune: You actually actively block child pornography?

Brin: No, but if we got a specific government request. If a third party makes a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) claim that another party is violating copyright, and that party is not able to counter, then we are obligated to block that.

In France and Germany there are Nazi material laws. One thing we do, and which we are implementing in China as well, is that if there’s any kind of material blocked by local regulations we put a message to that effect at the bottom of the search engine. “Local regulations prevent us from showing all the results.” And we’re doing that in China also, and that makes us transparent.

Fortune: Being born in the Soviet Union you know what the issues are.”



1Gbps home internet access for US$215

Yat Siu at the lesblogs conference in Paris compared the prices of broadband Internet between asia and the rest of the world, as a few people including David were surprised by these numbers, Yat just gave me a link with detailed pricing:

-1Gbps for US$215 per month

-100Mbps for US$34 per month

-10Mbps for US$16 per month

This was pricing in Honk Kong. In China according to this article (in Chinese), “100Mbps service is approx. 26.5 euros and 1 Gigabit service is approx. 166.36 euros the 1 G service has an installation fee” says Yat.

I want the same in Paris, now !

update: Yat adds info about Korea and more:

“On 100 Mbps in Korea there is an article in Korean that discusses this:

http://zdnet.co.kr/news/network/0,39024416,39135927,00.htm

The government has been pushing to spread nationwide increase of infrastructure speeds to 50Mbps already in 2003 in Korea with the construction of the BcN following the goal to have 100Mbps by 2010. This is not a secret that the Korean Government has had super internet speeds as part of their National Agenda (ever since the Asian Economic Crisis for that matter) however ever since then the plans have been pushed forward significantly as Korea has been ever keen to maintain its top dog status as the leader in Broadband everything.

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Traffic between Europe and China will have extreme growth in the next 20 years

It is via Pierre that I discover Randy’s blog, the Boeing VP of marketing who shares with us his predictions on the evolution of passengers traffic over the next 20 years between Europe and China. Isn’t it amazing ?

2003

 Randy Images Europe China 2003

2023

 Randy Images Europe China 2023

Clearly, launching a company welcoming the Chinese tourists in Europe is probably a good idea…



TypePad blogs accessible in China ?

I have been told on several comments (thanks) that TypePad blogs were accessible again from China. If you are reading me from there or you have friends there, could you confirm ?



China accounts for the majority of air pollution threat

According to today’s WSJ (content available for subscribers only):

“just as China’s industrial might is integrating the country into the global economy, its pollution is also becoming a global concern. Among the biggest worries: the impact of China’s vast and growing power industry, mostly fueled by coal, on the buildup of mercury in the world’s water and food supply.”

“One reason China’s power industry spews out so much pollution is that under the nation’s rules, many plants have the option of paying the government annual fees rather than installing antipollution equipment.”

“Some scientists now say 30% or more of the mercury settling into U.S. ground soil and waterways comes from other countries — in particular, China.”

I am not an environmentalist, but looks like this is one of the aspects of globalization we can’t do anything about and which is quite frightening for our children, don’t you think ?



R&D Investment Shifts to China and India

I have no idea on the accuracy of these figures I have just read from the DaVinci Institute Report, but these are quite impressive:

R&D Investment Shifts to China and India – When you look at investing in R&D, China has emerged as the clear favorite in a new survey. A global survey of 104 senior executives conducted by London-based Economist Intelligence Unit shows the growing attractiveness of the Asian markets as the choice location for technology innovation.

“China was way in front with 39% of respondents naming the mainland as their top choice for R&D spending. A total of 29% chose the US, while 28% favored India for overseas R&D spending over the next three years.

A total of 52 per cent of firms plan to increase their overseas investment in R&D over the next three years, while another 38 per cent plan to maintain current spending levels over the same period.

Britain was in fourth place, favored by 24 per cent, and Germany was the choice of 19 per cent of the executives polled. Others in the top 10 were Britain (24 %), Germany (19%), Brazil (11 %), Japan (10 %), France and Italy (both 9 %), and the Czech Republic (8 %).

Among companies that are publicly traded in the U.S., those that are headquartered abroad are spending more than U.S. firms on R&D as a fraction of sales. This ratio, which is termed research intensity, is 4.2% for firms based in Japan, 3.2% in Germany, 5.7% in Finland, and 5.1% in Sweden. But this figure is just 1.7% in the U.S. and the U.K.”



The fashionable ice-cream in China: the green-bean ice cream

laglaceauxpetitspois
Just before I had to re-boot on account of jet-lag, we discovered the fashionable ice-cream in Beijing, the green bean ice cream.
Capture075
Honestly, it tastes terrible and I have been impressed that my friend Pascal tasted it in a deep way. Here is the effect it produced on me. To say the least, an awful taste that stays for hours in your mouth.
chineseicecreams
There were all sorts of weird tastes, that we may see one day arriving in our Countries…



China to become the #1 tourism Country very soon

chinatourismgrowthLast week at the China Summit I attended a very interesting session on Tourism and China. We learnt that incoming tourism is growing at a fast pace with more than 100 million tourists visiting China every year. At this pace, it will very fast become the #1 tourism destination in the World and a very large market both for Chinese and foreign companies in the tourism sector.

Mr Haji-Ioannou, head of Easy Jet shown his interest in China tourism sector by participating at several Summit sessions. He said he qualified to speak about China tourism as a current tourist and noted that there were many opportunities not only in the airlines sector but in any products and services to be provided to this new flow of tourist. Mr Haji-Ioannou mentioned China starting to welcome international companies such as Starbucks, already present in the Forbidden City.

I learnt that China Airlines is growing at 50% a year and after a slow down in growth with the 2003 SARS effects, its number of passengers is very high again.

hajiioannou

Another business opportunity to consider is the number of Chinese starting to have the means to travel abroad. The participants noted though that it was still difficult to get a visa for Chinese to leave their Country: it requires a one hour face-to-face interview that can be taken in very few places and costs about $100, the fee being not reimbursed in case of failure to obtain the visa. With such a large population and the per capita income increasing rapidly we can expect the Chinese to visit our cities very soon in large numbers, when China eases its Visa process.

Cross-posted on the World Economic Forum weblog.



Heard in China last week: US should learn respect.

redflag“America is very arrogant when China’s culture is about respect. Each time the US makes a mistake China’s prestige grows in the World. What China learnt from its ancestors is to respect others and whenever we are arrogant we make a mistake. The US is losing its prestige in the World and less and less respected because of its behaviour in the last years”.

I don’t agree basically on everything because China has proven many times it does not always respect people either. But generally, it summarizes pretty well the feeling about the US, heard from China.