Monthly Archives: May 2009

China's Internet "heroes"

Chinese netizens are once again getting together to publicize a case of injustice involving wrong-doing government officials. In 2003 there was the Sun  Zhigang case - millions of Chinese netizens became involved in a national conversation - while Yang Jia became famous for killing six police officers in 2008.

This time the case is about a waitress in Hubei Province who stabbed an official to death and injured another in resisting their sexual advances. Deng Yujiao is being turned out into a national hero because she killed a presumably corrupt and certainly licentious official but also because she defended herself and her honor.

The reaction of support from the Chinese society is somewhat a reminder of “All Men Are Brothers”, a 12th century book of tales about 108 outlaws who outwit greedy, abusive officials.

Coopetitive research

Japan and China are soon to enter into a cooperation agreement, whereby both countries will jointly develop next-generation technologies for use in mobile phones. Beyong the traditional exchange – Chinese companies will get technology transfer and Japanese companies will get market access – the collaboration should extend to public-private research on 3G and 3.9G technologies.

In a related annoucement, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) are entering a partnership – GO4IT China – for testing technologies, a move aimed at ensuring global interoperability of future information and communication technologies.

Both moves illustrate well the concept of coopetition - cooperation between potentially competing entitiescoopetition.

Shanghai's agropark

Ever heard of Greenport Shanghai?Located on Chongming Island, not far from Dongtan Ecocity, it should be one of the first agropark – a systems innovation of metropolitan agro production, processing and logistics – in the world. In other words, the idea is to have fully sustainable food production in an food park in the vicinity of Shanghai. gardentower.jpg
Vertical farming (Dickson Despommier)
greenport.jpg The 27km2 park is a joint product of Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation (SIIC), TransForum and Wageningen UR – a Dutch undertaking.
Let’s hope that the agro-park will fare better than the Dongtan eco-city project…

Data protection: EU vs. China

An interesting report was released a few months ago in the framework of  the EU-China Information Society project.

The report compares data protection experiences in Europe and in China and is interesting in many regards. First because a number of central themes (e.g. principles, rules, scope and definition of data protection) are looked at from the European perspective and have recommendation from both sides, thus highlighting the differenct views.

For example, in Europe, data protection is about finding a balance between protecting human rights, and in particular information and allowing the free flow of personal data between the EU Member States. In China, there is still the need to define “personal data” – there is currently no personal data protection or privacy law in China, except a draft which was said to be out from a few years ago.

A Chinese OS for mobiles?

China Mobile plans to set up an industry alliance for its Open Mobile System (OMS) operating system for handsets to end China’s reliance on foreign mobile phone operating systems.

The idea of the OMS industry alliance is to boost the development of the operating system and make OMS a world-class mobile phone operating system with high security, transparency and a user-friendly interface.

The new OMS should also help China Mobile in building an applications store and compete with iPhone’s App Store. To this end, the company is developing a browser-based application engine (BAE) for multiple mobile phone operating systems. BAE is being developed for OMS, Symbian and Windows Mobile.

Regardless of its technological merits, there is little doubt that with close to 500 million subscribers China Mobile will lack critial mass.