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Google.cn Goes Dark

March 22, 2010 at 10:27 p.m.

In January, Google revealed that hackers had launched ambitious attacks on the company and its properties. The attacks came from China, it said, and some targeted the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

At the time, it said this:

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next ...

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Good Reads on China and Reality

December 19, 2009 at 7:14 p.m.

James Fallows is right: The 44 percent of Americans who recently told Pew that China "is the world’s leading economic power" are (I'll be kinder than Fallows here) deluded.

But it's not an entirely unreasonable misconception, given the way China gets talked about on this side of the Pacific. China's economy is booming (though it, too, has suffered in the Great Recession). Its military is growing (even if it is far behind the US). It remains stubbornly Communist and undemocratic (though a far cry from totalitarian in many ways, and the central government is far less ...

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China's big day, the short version

October 4, 2009 at 6:50 p.m.

China's 60th Anniversary national day - timelapse and slow motion - 7D and 5DmkII from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

There's a lot to like in this video: the shots chosen, the editing, the way it swings between time lapse and slow motion punctuated with moments of real-time. It also assumes, if you're watching this video, you probably already know the back story. It's not news. It's an exceedingly well-done illustration that shows me in three and a half minutes what China's 60th National Day parade looked like, which is exactly what I wanted to see.

(Via ...

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Chinglish is winning.

August 31, 2009 at 10:36 p.m.

Denger Road. No thoroughfare.

With the World Expo coming, Shanghai has joined the War on Chinglish. And so, as sure as there is smog in Beijing, there is a new round of stories touting China's official efforts to copy edit the worst linguistic offenders.

None of this is new.

But it gets me thinking about Chinglish again, and more broadly, Konglish, Singlish and all the other creoles, sublanguages and other linguistic concoctions people use when one language just isn't enough.

In 2007, the IHT noted the rise of English as the first truly global language:

As a new millennium begins, scholars say ...

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Twenty years

June 4, 2009 at 7:54 p.m.

The Beijing I knew in my brief visits is a product of the last two decades, the time since Tiananmen Square, when China traded political freedom for economic liberty. It's a city I remember as thriving, diverse, crowded and still growing. It's the only place in China I ever heard anyone acknowledge what happened twenty years ago today.

I wrote about that memory two years ago, when I was an English teacher in Dalian. The day after getting blank stares from a group of college freshmen when I asked about the date, a graduate student dismissed the movement ...

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Geotagging: News here, now (or there, then)

October 31, 2008 at 11:57 p.m.

In a comment on yesterday's post about making news easy to find and easy to share, Alex reminds me that he and I have had this conversation before. Now that I think about it, we've had this conversation a lot, especially about finding relevant news based on location.

And about this time last year you and I worked out a way to do this. Well, the skeleton of one. It can be built, but UI is important, and location’s not going to happen unless Geotagging is made easy, and no one’s going to use it unless ...

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A short history of DalianDalian.com, and why you should build your own

September 17, 2008 at 7:13 p.m.

When I arrived in Dalian, most of what I knew about the city came from word of mouth. I'd spent a few months hanging around a local expat forum, reading blogs, emailing people who lived there.

I read up on the city where I could, but coverage of smaller cities in China (even small cities of three to six million) tends take a birds-eye view. I knew about Thomas Friedman's ongoing love affair with the Northeast's biggest outsourcing hub, and I knew about the Sino- and Russo-Japanese wars. There was more out there, but it was scattered ...

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There's no 'I' in team, but there sure is in China

August 30, 2008 at 2:13 a.m.

China won gold at more events than any other country in the Olympics, but it didn't take home the most gold medals, as Duke University political scientist Michael Allen Gillespie points out (via Tim Johnson). The reason: Americans dominated the team events, while Chinese athletes excelled in individual sports.

If one looks over all of the Olympic sports, Americans took home 118 gold medals, 99 silver medals and 76 bronze medals, while the Chinese took home 76 gold, 35 silver and 38 bronze medals. That is 293 total medals for the USA to 149 for China.

The point here ...

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Did Bush get it right on China?

August 28, 2008 at 12:57 a.m.

Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek seems to think so. While he's no fan of the current president, Zakaria gives him credit for engaging the People's Republic in last week's cover story, What Bush Got Right:

The bilateral relationship between China and America will be the most significant one in the 21st century. Bush began his term poorly on the subject. During the campaign, when asked by Larry King for the single most important area where he would depart from Clinton foreign policy, he cited China. "The current president has called the relationship with China a strategic partnership," Bush ...

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We'll watch how we want to

August 10, 2008 at 8:02 a.m.

I'm watching the Olympics right now. I've been watching since early Friday morning, on TV and online, with and without the help of NBC.

The network has been the sole broadcaster of the Olympics as long as I've been watching television, but that monopoly is clearly ebbing. Yesterday morning, while I was sitting through an insufferable pre-taped Today show (summary: Isn't China weird?!?), my friends back in China were watching the opening ceremonies in Beijing live and telling me all about it over Twitter. Meanwhile, others were doing whatever they could to get around NBC's ...

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China's top schools go beyond its top cities

June 12, 2008 at 8:23 a.m.

I'm finishing up a long project on second-tier Chinese cities for a real estate newsletter, and clearly, I now have second-tier cities on the brain.

CN Reviews posted a list of the Middle Kingdom's top 30 universities, according to the China Academy of Management Science (h/t China Law Blog), and I couldn't help count how many were in smaller cities. For purposes of consistency, I'm calling Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen the first tier, and anything else is second-tier or lower. By that standard, two-thirds (20/30) of China's top 30 campuses are in ...

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The trouble with counting people in China

May 28, 2008 at 9:03 a.m.

A while back, I tried to answer a simple question people often asked me about Dalian: How many people live there?

Simple question, tough answer. Alex found a good dataset, which we put on DalianDalian. Well, the question has come back.

I'm writing a cover story on real estate in China's second-tier cities for an investment newsletter, and as part of the project, I've decided to compile a database of locales, most of which people outside of China have likely never heard (admittedly, there are some I couldn't have put on a map before starting this ...

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Slow boat to Korea: Act One

December 28, 2007 at 2:48 p.m.

Eyes East is once again blogging from Seoul. I'd like to say I'm here for a deeper look at Korean culture or to gaze into the future through the lens of the most wired country on Earth, really, I'm here for the cash. I'm teaching at Yonsei University again, and I'll be here for most of January.

We'll get to the day-to-day details a few posts hence. First, a bit about getting here, in three acts:

Act One: Dalian to Shenyang to Dalian to Shenyang....and finally we have a visa

Getting a visa ...

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Back alley Japanese BBQ: Pure joy on a stick

December 23, 2007 at 1:06 p.m.

Japanese BBQ - Click for mapA few days ago, I ate one of the best meals I've had in Dalian.

I've eaten well here, to be sure: dumplings of all variety at DaQingHua, curry at Abashi, pizza at Noah's. Add to that list Japanese barbecue at the pragmatically-named Barbecue Coals.

Consider the selection:

Grilled chicken teriyaki with a hint of lemon, covered in melted cheese.

Shitake mushrooms, cooked soft, subtle, and simple.

Asparagus, something I haven't had in China, roasted and served with a dollop of mayonnaise on the side, which I indulged in but felt guilty about (for masking the ...

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Chinese Fire Drill, a bit too close to home

June 13, 2007 at 11:41 a.m.

Mementos.For the second time in a week, a fire broke out yesterday at Dalian Fisheries University, where I live and have taught since last September. A dozen researchers watched their living quarters be consumed by a fast-moving blaze while they stood in their laboratory across the way.

The best guess of everyone on scene was that bad wiring sparked the blaze. That's how another fire started last week in the library: a poorly maintained electrical panel, according to my students. Yesterday's fire took two minutes to spread through several dorm rooms in the southwest corner of campus. No ...

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Mess of a language: It's London's fault.

April 10, 2007 at 11:23 a.m.

My friend Nik (better known as the Funky Mother on DalianXpat.com) posted a fascinating story on the expat forum that got me thinking. It seems the historically recent butchery of English, as it's spoken by those who still have a queen, is the fault of those living at the very heart of that once-upon-a-time empire.

Who put the R in bath? Surely this is a trick question, you may think, there is no R in bath. But if you search hard enough in certain parts of Britain the rogue consonant is there - squatting erroneously between the A and ...

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??? DaHeiShan: It sure is a big black mountain

October 15, 2006 at 9:36 a.m.

When a friend invited me out on a hike Saturday, I figured I was in for a lot of stair-climbing with a few photo ops near the summit. Daheishan measures 622 meters at its highest peak. I climbed Huashan mountain near Xi'an (2,160 meters, or about 7,087 feet) in August, so this sounded like cake.

Elevation aside, I really knew nothing about this miniature mountain. I vaguely remembered reading something about it on The Humanaught's blog (had I read this closer, I might have reconsidered) but basically I was going in blind, much like with Hua ...

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