Monthly Archives: June 2011

CCB (China Celebrity Branding)

Telefonica is going the extra mile to crack the Chinese market. The Spanish firm, which now owns 9% of China Unicom, has announced a 3-year exclusive branding deal with the Chinese star pianist Lang Lang.

The partnership will cover three aspects: technology (broadband, mobility, social networks, etc,), culture (exclusive performances for Telefonica customers and partners) and society (development of musical training for young people).

Let’s hope that Telefonica will succeed where all other telecommunication operators have so far failed (i.e. breaking into the Chinese telecom market) and that Lang Lang will throw in a couple of ring tones for Telefonica.

China #1 in happiness ranking

Given the rising level of social discontent in China it may be hard to believe that the country made it to the top of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) index.

The explanation? The GNH ranking was established by North Korea. For sure the Hermit Kingdom knows how to chose its (rare) friends since all of them are at the top of the list, right behing China and North Korea (modestly ranked #2); Cuba comes third, Iran comes fourth and Venezuela comes fifth.  Unsurprisingly, South Korea is ranked #152 and the USA ranks last at #203.

Who said that North Korea’s propaganda department didn’t have a sens of humour?

P.S.: No wonder some North Koreans are fleeing to China: they all want to go and live in the happiest country on earth.

World’s tallest dam

With the gigantic Three Gorges Dam China had managed to break a number of world record, including the highest number of displaced people and the fastest filling reservoir. Chinese engineers will now be exporting their newly gained mastery over water and attempt to reach new heights.

In what appears to be an increasingly solid friendship China has signed a deal with Iran to build the world’s tallest dam in south west Iran. With a height of 315 meters and the capacity to produce 1,500 Megawatts of electricity (slightly more than the “average” nuclear reactor) the dam shall contain 4.8 billion cubic meters of water.

Priced at USD 2 billion, 15% of the project will be undertaken by the Iranian partner and the rest by Sinohydro. The deal follows the project to build more than 5000 kilometers of railway for USD 13 billion. One can just imagine whether the Chinese firms will get paid in cash or in “liquid”.


For those who doubted the importance of China’s emergence on the Internet scene, the past week has shown that the country is getting its act together when it comes to make use (and abuse) of the electronic media.

It all started with the announcement that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had set up a cyber blue team to detect and fight back against cyber-attacks. Almost at the same time came the banning of social media for PLA soldiers – no blogs, no RenRen account for the 2.3 million soldiers. In an ironic twist the week ended with Google uncovering a phishing campaign originating from the Chinese Jinan Province that targeted goernement officials in the USA and other Asian countries.

As Facebook contemplates entering the Chinese market, strategic choices seem to be de rigueur.